Remember the story ages and ages ago (or days, I don’t know, this business is all running together for me) about that history prof’s wife who was doling out negative Amazon reviews to his competitors through sockpuppet accounts? Turns out it wasn’t even her, but him. Dude is a skuz-wad.
After threatening colleagues, literary journals and newspapers with legal action last week, Orlando Figes has revealed this morning that it was not his wife who anonymously rubbished fellow historians in comments on Amazon: it was him.
In a statement released to the Daily Mail the professor of history at London’s Birkbeck College said that he takes “full responsibility” for what he called “foolish errors”.
The story began when historians began to notice a series of reviews on the shopping site which praised Figes’s own books and attacked those of his colleagues. Comments posted under the alias “orlando-birkbeck” and “Historian” called Rachel Polonsky’s book Molotov’s Magic Lantern “hard to follow” and Robert Service’s history of communism, Comrades, “awful”, while praising Figes’s study of Soviet family life, The Whisperers as “a fascinating book … [that] leaves the reader awed, humbled, yet uplifted”.