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Category: Books and Reviews

Corrupt yes, Russian spy unlikely

A review of House of Trump, House of Putin. The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia. By: Craig Unger. Publisher: Transworld Publishers, London, 2018.

August 26, 2019 - Taras Kuzio

Much needed context to the mystery of Kazakhstan

A review of Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan. By: Joanna Lillis. Publisher: I.B. Tauris, London, 2019.

August 26, 2019 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

Forgotten revolutionaries

A review of Roving Revolutionaries. Armenians and the Connected Revolutions in the Russian, Iranian, and Ottoman Worlds. By: Houri Berberian. Publisher: University of California Press, Oakland, CA, USA: 2019.

August 26, 2019 - Kamil Jarończyk

Belarusian culture: Still a terra incognita

Review of Alhierd Bacharevič's Maje Dzievianostyja (My 1990s).

June 5, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Security under Ze threat?

Review of the book titled: Ukraine after Maidan. Revisiting Domestic and Regional Security. Written by Tomasz Stępniewski and George Soroka.

May 15, 2019 - Tomasz Lachowski

Vladimir Putin. What’s left to say?

A review of We need to talk about Putin. How the West gets him wrong. By: Mark Galeotti. Publisher: Penguin Random House, United Kingdom, 2019.

May 2, 2019 - Adam Reichardt

Accidental borders and blurred identities

A review of The Caucasus. An Introduction. Second edition. By Thomas de Waal. Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2019.

May 2, 2019 - Krzysztof Strachota

The taste of evil

A review of Błoto Słodsze Niż Miód. Głosy Komunistycznej Albanii (Mud is sweeter than honey. Voices in communist Albania). By: Małgorzata Rejmer. Publisher: Wydawnictwo Czarne, Wołowiec Poland, 2018.

May 2, 2019 - Małgorzata Nocuń

The unheard voices of war

A review of Інтернат (The Boarding School). By: Serhiy Zhadan. Publisher: Meridian, Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

May 2, 2019 - Zbigniew Rokita

A western in Warsaw

A Covert Action. Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland. By: Seth G. Jones. Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2018.

When on December 13th 1981 the Polish communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski introduced Martial Law in Poland, Ronald Reagan, the US president at that time, was vacationing at Camp David. The interpretation of this fact still remains ambiguous today: were the Americans surprised by the decision of the Polish communist authorities? Or was the president’s weekend outing a demonstration of his peace of mind? This question remains unanswered, even though it is widely known that the defecting Polish Colonel, Ryszard Kukliński, had informed the CIA about the communists’ plans to introduce Martial Law. Why, in that case, did the Americans not warn the Polish underground?

March 4, 2019 - Andrzej Brzeziecki

Inspirations and lessons for an oppressed world

The Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War. By: Michael Cotey Morgan. Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2018.

Many lessons and inspirations for our troubled times can be drawn from the Cold War. For example, we learnt that fascism has many outfits. Communism showed that even the humanist, enlightened pursuit of utopia leads to totalitarianism, as long as it is based on a philosophy that counters rather than values political, social and basic human diversity. Similarly, we saw that we should take ideology seriously. This lesson is particularly important for us today, in the world of Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, Bashar al-Assad, Xi Jingping, Donald Trump, and Nicolás Maduro.

March 4, 2019 - Jordan Luber

An iron will

Prebijem sa! Štefánik. Muž železnej vôle (I shall prevail! Štefánik – a Man of Iron Will). By: Jozef Banáš. Publisher: Ikar, Bratislava, 2018.

“Were we not to follow the path of truth and prove worthy of the good and the work you have done on our behalf, we would kill you. Were we to act selfishly in seeking our own prosperity instead of the nations, we would kill you. Were we to search for the meaning of life in material things, in money, food and physical escapades that are all soul-destroying, we would kill you. Were we to love lies more than truth, were we not to purge our private and public lives of evil, we would kill you. Were we to lose our national consciousness and pride, we would kill you.”

These were the touching words of Evangelical Bishop Samuel Zoch at Milan Rastislav Štefánik’s funeral on May 11th 1919 in Bradlo, close to the general’s native village of Košariská in western Slovakia. The Czechoslovak government in Slovakia – which had to fight for its survival until the Treaty of Versailles would grant recognition of the new state and its southern borders – demonstrated its gratitude with a state funeral and a beautiful sepulchre (mohyla) that was worthy of a king.

March 4, 2019 - Josette Baer

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