Martin Dewhirst studied the Russian language and Russian affairs at Oxford University and the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 1964 until 2000 he lectured on Russian literature and history at the University of Glasgow. He is an expert on Russian Samizdat and on the Tsarist, Soviet and neoSoviet systems of censorship. Of late he has been working to improve the conditions in which people deprived of liberty in Russia are held.