Robert Service was born on October 29, 1947. He received an MA in modern languages from the University of Cambridge and an MA and a PhD in government from the University of Essex. He is a Russian historian and political commentator. He has written numerous books including Comrades: A World History of Communism; Stalin: A Biography, Lenin: A Biography, and Spies and Commissars. He received the 2009 Duff Cooper Prize for Trotsky: A Biography.