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Dessert And Dialogue With Stephen Williams
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 7:00 PM
Quaker House Living Room (above the office)
2121 Decatur Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Registrants & Fees
Steve Williams will discuss his recent book, The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution (Encounter Books 2017), a biography-plus-history of Vasily Maklakov. Maklakov was a lawyer, famous among other things for the defense of Menahem Beilis in 1913 (“the Russian Dreyfus case”), and a leader in the Russian legislature from 1907 to 1917. In the interests of curbing state arbitrariness, Maklakov struggled to advance its antidote: the rule of law. Steve will discuss not only those efforts but the deficiencies in law, institutions, and civil society that made the struggle an uphill one – and in the end unavailing.
Writes Garry Kasparov: “The Reformer illuminates the life and times of Vasily Maklakov, one of the most remarkable lives during the most turbulent times in Russia’s history. Maklakov’s attempts to avoid revolution by bringing about revolutionary reform failed, but his course and his arguments should not be forgotten. . . . The Reformer is an essential book for anyone interested in Russian history, but its story is still all too relevant today, when freedom and the rule of law are under assault around the globe.”
Steve Williams and his wife Faith have been members of the Village since 2011. Steve practiced law in New York City, then taught at the University of Colorado Law School 1969 to 1986 before being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. His previous book on Russia, Liberal Reform in an Illiberal Regime: The Creation of Private Property in Russia, 1906-1915, came out in 2006.