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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Soviet Union”

Drinking Vodka With Zhukov, Talking Basketball With Khrushchev

On July 4 Khrushchev arrived at Spasso House, the Moscow home of the American ambassador, as if he did not have a care in the world. He had begun to make a habit of dropping in on national-day receptions, his way of telling the world that a new day was dawning in the Soviet Union.

Read Here – Tablet

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Russia’s House Of Shadows

The most striking thing about the building was, and is, its history. In the nineteen-thirties, during Stalin’s purges, the House of Government earned the ghoulish reputation of having the highest per-capita number of arrests and executions of any apartment building in Moscow. No other address in the city offers such a compelling portal into the world of Soviet-era bureaucratic privilege, and the horror and murder to which this privilege often led.

Read Here – The New Yorker

Chernobyl: City Of Ghosts

In a post-Cold War world, the fear of nuclear holocaust has receded from the global consciousness. Donald Trump’s threat of unleashing “fire and fury like the world has never seen” against North Korea was an untimely and unwelcome reminder of a past, perilous era. Even by Trump’s standards these statements were a new low. And they are dangerous. History teaches us that the journey from political logorrhea to global disaster can be terrifyingly short.

Read Here – Politico Europe

Ssh! Don’t Mention The Revolution

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a country in which history plays a pivotal role in maintaining the legitimacy of the political regime. Putin sees himself as a leader that has given the Russians back their sense of pride. Ever since becoming president in 2000 he has been hard at work at whitewashing the Soviet period of Russian history and creating an uninterrupted narrative linking the Romanov Empire, the USSR and modern Russia.

Read Here – Chatham House

A Century Later, Lenin’s Legacy Lives On

On Easter Sunday exactly a century ago, a train pulled out of Zurich’s central station, beginning one of the most famous railroad journeys of all time. On board were Vladimir Lenin, his wife and 30 of their closest friends. Eight days later, after two boat trips and a second train ride, the little band of revolutionaries reached Russia. The rest, of course, is history.

Read Here – Stratfor

Illiberal Stagnation

Today, a quarter-century after the Cold War’s end, the West and Russia are again at odds. This time, though, at least on one side, the dispute is more transparently about geopolitical power, not ideology.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Buying Alaska

One hundred and fifty years ago, Russia and the United States agreed to swap the northwestern corner of the continent for $7.2 million, ending imperial Russia’s involvement in North America. At about two cents an acre, the Alaska purchase was a pretty good deal.

Read Here – JStor Daily

The Last Hollow Laugh

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man (1992). Rarely read but often denigrated, it might be the most maligned, unfairly dismissed and misunderstood book of the post-war era. Which is unfortunate for at least one reason: Fukuyama might have done a better job of predicting the political turmoil that engulfed Western democracies in 2016 – from Brexit, to Trump, to the Italian Referendum – than anybody else.

Read Here – Aeon

A Little Bit Of History: Why Are There Two Koreas

The Koreas were split at the end of WWII. That was when the Japanese, who annexed the peninsula in 1910, were replaced by occupying forces from the Soviet Union in the north and the United States in the south. The partition line at the 38th parallel would eventually mark the border of what have become vastly different countries.

Read Here – Jstor Daily

How The CIA Sponsored Indian Magazines That Engaged The Country’s Best Writers

Independent India’s founders were among the leading practitioners of neutrality. This was because of Nehru’s socialism and the British occupation confirming much of the socialist critique. But these views were balanced by strong cultural ties to the English-speaking world. As such, India’s leaders refused to align solely with either the United States or USSR. Because of this, the CIA sought to penetrate India. It would do so by using the local affiliate of the Congress for Cultural Freedom as a foothold…

Read Here – The Wire

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