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.