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Martin Sixsmith - Author

About the Author

Martin Sixsmith was born in Cheshire and educated at Oxford, Harvard and the Sorbonne. From 1980 to 1997 he worked for the BBC as the Corporation’s correspondent in Moscow, Washington, Brussels and Warsaw. From 1997 to 2002 he worked for the Government as Director of Communications and Press Secretary first to Harriet Harman, then to Alistair Darling and finally to Stephen Byers. He is now a writer, presenter and journalist. He is the author of two novels, Spin and I Heard Lenin Laugh, and two non-fiction books, Moscow Coup: The Death of the Soviet System and The Litvinenko File: The True Story of a Death Foretold. He lives in London.

Featured books by Martin Sixsmith

Philomena The True Story of a Mother and the Son She Had to Give Away

Philomena The True Story of a Mother and the Son She Had to Give Away

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/10/2013

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent at Roscrea in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman.     She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic. Philomena's son, renamed Michael Hess, grew up to be a top Washington lawyer and a leading Republican official in the Reagan and Bush administrations. But he was a gay man in a homophobic party where he had to conceal not only his sexuality but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDs. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent where he was born: his desperate quest to find his mother before he died left a legacy that was to unfold with unexpected consequences for all involved.

Other books by Martin Sixsmith

Ayesha's Gift A daughter's search for the truth about her father

Ayesha's Gift A daughter's search for the truth about her father

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2018

**FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING PHILOMENA, MADE INTO THE AWARD-WINNING FILM STARRING STEVE COOGAN AND JUDI DENCH** Ayesha's Gift is the true story of a young woman, born in Pakistan, living in Britain, whose life is thrown into desperate turmoil by the violent death of her father. The Pakistani authorities talk of suicide, but why would Ayesha's happy, gentle father kill himself? Ayesha's quest to find the truth takes her away from her safe English existence and into Pakistan, where she is met with threats, violence and smiling perjurers. She is warned that her life is in danger; powerful, ruthless men have reasons to want her silenced. But there are things she needs to know, that compel her to press on with her search for the truth. Was her father an innocent victim? Can she continue to revere the image of him she grew up with, that of a good, loving parent? Or will she be forced to accept that her father was not the person she thought he was? As the two countries she had considered home reveal themselves as foreign and inimical, Ayesha is forced to confront the tormented issues of identity and belonging. When she travels to Pakistan, Martin Sixsmith goes with her. A shared tragedy and an unlikely friendship lead them both to question the things that give meaning to their lives, and ultimately find solace in the common human values of kindness and respect. `Written at thriller pace.' Telegraph `Wonderful ... What I find so striking about Ayesha's Gift is that it's a book in which the writer is changed by the writing of the book.' Andrew Marr

Russia: The Wild East

Russia: The Wild East

Author: Martin Sixsmith, Martin Sixsmith Format: eBook Release Date: 15/06/2017

Power struggles have a constant presence in Martin Sixsmith's story of Russia. Collected here in 50 episodes, he chronicles the Mongol hordes invading in the 13th century, through the iron autocratic fists of successive Tsars, to the fall of the Soviet Union and Russia's re-emergence as a superpower.Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, Peter the Great - all left their mark on a nation that pursued expansion to the East, West and South. Many Tsars flirted with reform, but the gap between the rulers and the ruled widened until, in 1917, the doomed last Tsar, Nicholas II, abdicated. After the whirlwind of the revolution, the Bolsheviks struggled to consolidate their victory. To rescue the economy and save the regime, Lenin made concessions to the people. But after his death, Stalin introduced forced collectivisation and industrialisation, condemning the Soviet people to conditions worse than those experienced under the Tsars. Nikita Khrushchev reversed the worst excesses of Stalinism, and in 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on radical reforms of the communist system - unleashing unforeseen consequences that swept him from power and destroyed the USSR. Martin Sixsmith brings his firsthand experience of reporting from Russia in the 1980s and '90s to his narrative, witnessing the critical moment when the Soviet Union lost its grip on power. He asks if the recurring patterns of Russian history can help us understand what has happened since 1991, when the promise of Western-style democracy aroused so many hopes for change. Eyewitness accounts, archive recordings and personal testimony enrich his narrative, as well as readings from Russian authors and historians such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Vasily Grossman, plus music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and others.

Ayesha's Gift A daughter's search for the truth about her father

Ayesha's Gift A daughter's search for the truth about her father

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/01/2017

**FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING PHILOMENA, MADE INTO THE AWARD-WINNING FILM STARRING STEVEN COOGAN AND JUDI DENCH** Ayesha's Gift is the true story of a young woman, born in Pakistan, living in Britain, whose life is thrown into desperate turmoil by the violent death of her father. The Pakistani authorities talk of suicide, but why would Ayesha's happy, gentle father kill himself? Ayesha's quest to find the truth takes her away from her safe English existence and into Pakistan, where she is met with threats, violence and smiling perjurers. She is warned that her life is in danger; powerful, ruthless men have reasons to want her silenced. But there are things she needs to know, that compel her to press on with her search for the truth. Was her father an innocent victim? Can she continue to revere the image of him she grew up with, that of a good, loving parent? Or will she be forced to accept that her father was not the person she thought he was? As the two countries she had considered home reveal themselves as foreign and inimical, Ayesha is forced to confront the tormented issues of identity and belonging. When she travels to Pakistan, Martin Sixsmith goes with her. A shared tragedy and an unlikely friendship lead them both to question the things that give meaning to their lives, and ultimately to find solace in the common human values of kindess and respect. `Written at thriller pace' Telegraph `Wonderful . . . What I find so striking about Ayesha's Gift is that it's a book in which the writer is changed by the writing of the book' Andrew Marr

Ayesha's Gift A daughter's search for the truth about her father

Ayesha's Gift A daughter's search for the truth about her father

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/01/2017

**FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING PHILOMENA, MADE INTO THE AWARD-WINNING FILM STARRING STEVEN COOGAN AND JUDI DENCH** Ayesha's Gift is the true story of a young woman, born in Pakistan, living in Britain, whose life is thrown into desperate turmoil by the violent death of her father. The Pakistani authorities talk of suicide, but why would Ayesha's happy, gentle father kill himself? Ayesha's quest to find the truth takes her away from her safe English existence and into Pakistan, where she is met with threats, violence and smiling perjurers. She is warned that her life is in danger; powerful, ruthless men have reasons to want her silenced. But there are things she needs to know, that compel her to press on with her search for the truth. Was her father an innocent victim? Can she continue to revere the image of him she grew up with, that of a good, loving parent? Or will she be forced to accept that her father was not the person she thought he was? As the two countries she had considered home reveal themselves as foreign and inimical, Ayesha is forced to confront the tormented issues of identity and belonging. When she travels to Pakistan, Martin Sixsmith goes with her. A shared tragedy and an unlikely friendship lead them both to question the things that give meaning to their lives, and ultimately to find solace in the common human values of kindess and respect. `Written at thriller pace' Telegraph `Wonderful . . . What I find so striking about Ayesha's Gift is that it's a book in which the writer is changed by the writing of the book' Andrew Marr

Philomena

Philomena

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: eBook Release Date: 10/02/2014

Philomena Lee ist selbst noch fast ein Kind, als sie hochschwanger im Kloster Zuflucht sucht. Doch statt Barmherzigkeit erwartet sie dort ein unerbittliches System: Im Irland der 50er-Jahre verkaufen die Nonnen jedes uneheliche Kind, das in ihrem Konvent geboren wird, mit neuer Identitat in die USA. Wie viele andere Mutter verliert auch Philomena ihren Sohn, aus Anthony Lee wird mit drei Jahren Michael Hess. Mutter und Sohn konnen einander nicht vergessen, doch erst 50 Jahre spater erfahrt Philomena, was aus ihrem Sohn geworden ist.

Philomena The True Story of a Mother and the Son She Had to Give Away

Philomena The True Story of a Mother and the Son She Had to Give Away

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/10/2013

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent at Roscrea in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman.     She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic. Philomena's son, renamed Michael Hess, grew up to be a top Washington lawyer and a leading Republican official in the Reagan and Bush administrations. But he was a gay man in a homophobic party where he had to conceal not only his sexuality but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDs. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent where he was born: his desperate quest to find his mother before he died left a legacy that was to unfold with unexpected consequences for all involved.

Russia A 1,000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East

Russia A 1,000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

Russia is a country of contradictions: a nation of cultural refinement and artistic originality and yet also a country that rules by 'the iron fist'. In this riveting history, Martin Sixsmith shows how Russia's complex identity has been formed over a thousand years, and how it can help us understand its often baffling behaviour at home and abroad. Combining in-depth research and interviews with his personal experiences as a former BBC Moscow correspondent, Sixsmith skilfully traces the conundrums of modern Russia to their roots in its troubled past, and explains the nation's seemingly split personality as the result of influences that have divided it for centuries. A Sunday Times bestseller, Russia is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complex political landscape of this country, and its unique place in the modern world.

Russia: The Wild East Part One From Rulers To Revolutions

Russia: The Wild East Part One From Rulers To Revolutions

Author: Martin Sixsmith, Martin Sixsmith Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 02/06/2011

The first 25 episodes from the landmark BBC Radio series. Martin Sixsmith brings his firsthand experience of reporting from Russia to this fascinating narrative, witnessing the critical moment when the Soviet Union finally lost its grip on power. Power struggles have a constant presence in his story, from the Mongol hordes that invaded in the 13th century, through the iron autocratic fists of successive Tsars. Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, Peter the Great - all left their mark on a nation that pursued expansion to the East, West and South. Many Tsars flirted with reform, but the gap between the rulers and the ruled widened until, in 1917, the doomed last Tsar, Nicholas II, abdicated. The first part of Sixsmith's history ends with Lenin and the Bolsheviks forcing through the final Revolution and paving the way for the Communist state. Eyewitness accounts and readings from Russian authors and historians, from Pushkin to Solzhenitsyn, enhance this fascinating account, as well as music taken from a wide range of Russian composers including Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Shostakovich. Martin Sixsmith traces Russia's turbulent 1000-year history from its founding to the Revolution.

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/05/2010

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent at Roscrea in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic. Philomena's son, renamed Michael Hess, grew up to be a top Washington lawyer and a leading Republican official in the Reagan and Bush administrations. But he was a gay man in a homophobic party where he had to conceal not only his sexuality but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDs. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent where he was born: his desperate quest to find his mother before he died left a legacy that was to unfold with unexpected consequences for all involved. The Lost Child of Philomena Lee is the tale of a mother and a son whose lives were scarred by the forces of hypocrisy on both sides of the Atlantic and of the secrets they were forced to keep. A compelling narrative of human love and loss, Martin Sixsmith's moving account is both heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive.

Putin's Oil The Yukos Affair and the Struggle for Russia

Putin's Oil The Yukos Affair and the Struggle for Russia

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/02/2010

This title investigates Vladimir Putin's war for control of Russia's vast oil reserves, in particular Mikhail Khodorkovsky's oil firm, Yukos. Putin's Oil investigates the complex world of Kremlin politics, including conspiracies and conspiracy theories, allegations that Roman Abramovitch plotted with Putin to destroy Khodorkovsky, suspicions of betrayal and double agents in the Kremlin and in Yukos, murder charges against Khodorkovsky's partners, and the KGB defector who claims they were carried out by Kremlin agents. After the mysterious death in a helicopter crash of the Englishman who had taken over Yukos, the company's war against the Kremlin is now being waged by a troika of mild mannered Britons, pursued by Interpol arrest warrants and Moscow's fury. Khodorkovsky remains in a penal camp in far Eastern Siberia. Martin Sixsmith, former BBC Moscow Correspondent, has gained unprecedented access to many of the players in the drama. The resulting book is both a thriller and an analysis of the defining moments of Putin's presidency and their ongoing impact in Russian and world politics.

Litvinenko File

Litvinenko File

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: eBook Release Date: 15/05/2007

On December 7 2006, in a Highgate Cemetery drenched with London rain, a Russian was buried within a stone's throw of the grave of Karl Marx. He was Alexander Litvinenko, Sasha to his friends, a boy from the deep Russian provinces who rose through the ranks of the world's most feared security service. Litvinenko was the man who denounced murder and corruption in the Russian government, fled from the wrath of the Kremlin, came to London, and allied himself with Moscow's sworn enemies. Now he was a martyr, condemned by foes unknown to an agonizing death in a hospital bed thousands of miles from home. Martin Sixsmith draws on his long experience as the BBC's Moscow correspondent and his contact with the key London-based Russians to dissect Alexander Litvinenko's murder. Myriad theories have been put forward since he died, but the story goes back to 2000 when hostilities were declared between the Kremlin and its political opponents. This is a war that has blown hot and cold for over six years, and that has pitted some of Russia's strongest, richest men against the most powerful Russian president since Josef Stalin. The conflict is also beginning to revive horrors of the days of the KGB, in a conflict that looks set only to intensify as the March 2008 presidential election approaches.The Litvinenko File is a gripping inside account of a shocking act of murder, when Russia's war with itself spilled over onto the streets of London and made the world take notice.

Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets

Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets

Author: Martin Sixsmith Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/1970

Martin Sixsmith continues his history of Russia, from the tumultuous events of 1917 to the country's re-emergence as one of the world's most powerful nations. After the whirlwind of the revolution, the Bolsheviks struggled to consolidate their victory. To rescue the economy and save the regime, Lenin made concessions to the people. But after his death, Stalin introduced forced collectivisation and industrialisation, condemning the Soviet people to conditions worse than those experienced under the Tsars. Nikita Khrushchev reversed the worst excesses of Stalinism, and in 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on radical reforms of the communist system - unleashing unforeseen consequences that swept him from power and destroyed the USSR. Martin Sixsmith brings his firsthand experience of reporting from Russia in the 1980s and '90s to his narrative, witnessing the critical moment when the Soviet Union lost its grip on power. He asks if the recurring patterns of Russian history can help us understand what has happened since 1991, when the promise of Western-style democracy aroused so many hopes for change. Eyewitness accounts, archive recordings and personal testimony enrich his narrative, as well as readings from Russian authors and historians such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Vasily Grossman, plus music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and others.