Putin’s Rise to Power and the Creation of a KGB-Run State

Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West, by Catherine Belton (Used or new @ SecondSale.com) You in the West, you think you’re playing chess with us. But you’re never going to win, because we’re not following any rules. Vladimir Putin seemingly came out of the shadows to run... Continue Reading →

Masha Gessen On Our Autocracy

Book review: Surviving Autocracy, by Masha Gessen (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist and author Masha Gessen lived through the changes of the Soviet Union, including Putin's ascendancy and increasing control over the state media. Gessen’s reported and written extensively about totalitarianism and the relationship of Putin's Russia with the west. In Surviving Autocracy, Gessen turns this... Continue Reading →

“Ghost Stories” and the New Russian Illegals

Russians Among Us, by Gordon Corera (Amazon / SecondSale.com) In July 2010, on the tarmac of thehttps://www.bookdepository.com/Russians-Among-Us-Gordon-Corera/9780008318949?a_aid=whatsnonfiction Vienna International Airport, the biggest spy swap since the Cold War took place. Ten Russian undercover agents who had been living in the US, some representing a new era in espionage by using their own names instead of... Continue Reading →

Pre-2019 Favorites

If new nonfiction this year was a little lackluster, I did feel more enthusiastic about the backlist titles I read throughout the year. It was one of these that was my absolute favorite and the best book I read this year: Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, by Kapka Kassabova - Kassabova returned... Continue Reading →

Two New Histories of Rivalries and Revisionism, From Cold War Berlin and Lenin’s Soviet Union

The Zookeepers' War: An Incredible True Story from the Cold War, by J.W. Mohnhaupt, translated from German by Shelley Frisch (Amazon / Book Depository) published November 12, 2019  The English translation of J.W. Mohnhaupt's German bestseller The Zookeepers' War opens with scenes from (West) Berlin's Zoological Garden as the Second World War reached Berlin's doorstep. It follows... Continue Reading →

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