I was born in Amsterdam in 1953, graduated as a sociologist in 1978, and obtained a PhD in 1988 with my thesis Socialism in One Zone. Stalin's Policy in Korea, 1945-1947 (the latter events both at the University of Amsterdam). Although I graduated as a sociologist, I see myself rather as a historian. Since the early eighties my research has focussed on the history of communism, more specifically on Stalinism. I suppose my interest in this subject has much to do with the fact that I was an active maoist from 1973 to 1981. At present I am research associate of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. My present research focuses on the history of the phenomenon of the revolutionary organisation.