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Note: BackChannels’ editor will take reviewer’s copies in advance of publication.

However, this post is simply to pass along a few titles that promise to “entertain, educate, and delight” the reader who has found his way to the intersection of post-Cold War politics and contemporary “hybrid warfare” and terrorism.

As 2016’s production of a summer out of the 1960s enters its final month, BackChannels enjoyed these oldies but still very, very goodies.

Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History. New York: The Penguin Press, 2005.

Everything you wanted to know condensed.

Motyl, Alexander J.  Vovochka: The True Confessions of Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend and Confident.  Augusta, Georgia: Amphora Literary Press, 2015.

A “me and Vlad” story — and no President-for-Life ever had a better buddy or mirror!

Pomerantsev, Peter.  Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia.  New York: Public Affairs, 2014.  Nothing is true but Pomerantsev’s book, and at the end even Pomerantsev’s reality becomes a surreal impression left to fade in memory.  In between: criminals, state-managed happy media, a mind-control cult involved in an ill-fated model’s leaping boldly into suicide, and assorted men on the take and women on the make bagging “Forbes’s”.

How crazy surreal?

A man dials the serial number on his firearm, comes up with a woman’s voice, pursues, woos, and marries the dame — and it works out.

How crazy making?

If hesitating on the book, enjoy this sample of Pomerantzev’s perspective first: “Why We’re Post-Fact,” Granta, July 20, 2016.

Smith, Martin Cruz.  Stalin’s Ghost.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007.  When it comes to heroism and virtue — also combat, corruption, crime, and history — fate is funny — and Cruz, in the telling of a great tale, peerless.