Both Sheila Fitzpatrick and Anne Applebaum are fine historians who have made important contributions to the historiography of the Soviet Union. Applebaum works as a journalist and writer. But that is no reason to sniff at her contributions as ‘popular history’ or ‘history light’. In the books I have read, Gulag: A History (2003), Iron Curtain (2012) and Red Famine (2017), she has always strived to document her assertions, present logical and well-honed arguments and use archival and other documentary material where possible to forge new paths. One might not always agree with her conclusions, but that is a different question. If only more of our colleagues could write as well as Applebaum, think as clearly and attack important subjects the way she does, we would have a richer historiography as a result.