Dominic Lieven, Napoleon vs Russia, and the eastward expansion of NATO. The Hundred Years Cold War. Mary Sarotte, Not One Inch, James Baker and Mikhail Gorbachev. Totalitarianism and public health.
This year, 2021, may be remembered as a pivot year in world history. Not because of the pandemic. Not only because of the protracted crisis of the American republic. But because of the changed balance of power in international relations brought about by the decrepitude of the American Atlanticist Alliance and the strengthening of the … Continue reading The World Island vs The Atlantic
In my study is a box of old index cards with fragmentary thoughts, notes on narratives and characters, and quotations taken from my reading. The box is labelled "Notes to Digitise," and perhaps that will one day be a retirement project. But for now it is a stimulus to dig deep down into the Burning … Continue reading Fragments from the Burning Archive: Anna Akhmatova
During the week I attended a lecture at my old university on the meaning of the Russian Revolution today, 100 years on from Red October. The lecturer, Mark Edele, gave an entertaining and insightful talk to perhaps 600 guests, some alumni, some students, some dignitaries associated with the large philanthropic donation that had enabled the … Continue reading Red Nostalgia
First there was the Latin empire, polyglot and legal, centred on Rome. Then there was the Eastern Empire, religious and magnificent, radiating out, then sucking itself back in when defending itself against Goths, Slavs, Persians and Arabs, in the seeming impregnable perfection of Constantinople. Then at last there was the third Rome - Holy Mother … Continue reading Third Rome