A Tale of the Cold War from the Other Side

Jeff Lilley, ’86, will speak about how his education at Williams helped to put him on track to be an international correspondent in Russia at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and make writing an essential part of his professional life. He will tell the story behind the writing of his latest book Have the Mountains Fallen: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War, which has roots in his first posting in Central Asia. The book follows the lives of a writer and a broadcaster from Soviet Kirgizia who fought against Soviet authoritarianism with words not weapons. It’s a story of the Cold War from the “other side.”

April 24, 4.15 pm | Schapiro 129


Jeff LilleyRaised in a diplomatic family, Jeff Lilley ’86 got the international bug early on. At Williams, he studied Russian at the time of perestroika, a decision which opened up work possibilities in journalism at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. He has since worked in the field of governance support, with posts in Kyrgyzstan and Jordan while continuing to write. He is co-author with his late father Ambassador James Lilley of China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage and Diplomacy in Asia and author of the recently published Have the Mountains Fallen: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War. He currently lives in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where he works as team leader for a parliamentary support program funded by the UK Government.

* Sponsored by the Williams College Department of German and Russian