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Andrei Martyanov Andrew J. Bacevich Andrew Joyce Andrew Napolitano Boyd D. Cathey Brad Griffin C.J. Hopkins Chanda Chisala Eamonn Fingleton Eric Margolis Fred Reed Godfree Roberts Gustavo Arellano Ilana Mercer Israel Shamir James Kirkpatrick James Petras James Thompson Jared Taylor JayMan John Derbyshire John Pilger Jonathan Revusky Kevin MacDonald Linh Dinh Michael Hoffman Michael Hudson Mike Whitney Nathan Cofnas Norman Finkelstein Pat Buchanan Patrick Cockburn Paul Craig Roberts Paul Gottfried Paul Kersey Peter Frost Peter Lee Philip Giraldi Philip Weiss Robert Weissberg Ron Paul Ron Unz Stephen J. Sniegoski The Saker Tom Engelhardt A. Graham Adam Hochschild Aedon Cassiel Ahmet Öncü Alexander Cockburn Alexander Hart Alfred McCoy Alison Rose Levy Alison Weir Anand Gopal Andre Damon Andrew Cockburn Andrew Fraser Andy Kroll Ann Jones Anonymous Anthony DiMaggio Ariel Dorfman Arlie Russell Hochschild Arno Develay Arnold Isaacs Artem Zagorodnov Astra Taylor Austen Layard Aviva Chomsky Ayman Fadel Barbara Ehrenreich Barbara Garson Barbara Myers Barry Lando Belle Chesler Beverly Gologorsky Bill Black Bill Moyers Bob Dreyfuss Bonnie Faulkner Brenton Sanderson Brett Redmayne-Titley Brian Dew Carl Horowitz Catherine Crump Charles Bausman Charles Goodhart Charles Wood Charlotteville Survivor Chase Madar Chris Hedges Chris Roberts Christian Appy Christopher DeGroot Chuck Spinney Coleen Rowley Cooper Sterling Craig Murray Dahr Jamail Dan E. Phillips Dan Sanchez Daniel McAdams Danny Sjursen Dave Kranzler Dave Lindorff David Barsamian David Bromwich David Chibo David Gordon David North David Vine David Walsh David William Pear Dean Baker Dennis Saffran Diana Johnstone Dilip Hiro Dirk Bezemer Ed Warner Edmund Connelly Eduardo Galeano Ellen Cantarow Ellen Packer Ellison Lodge Eric Draitser Eric Zuesse Erik Edstrom Erika Eichelberger Erin L. Thompson Eugene Girin F. Roger Devlin Franklin Lamb Frida Berrigan Friedrich Zauner Gabriel Black Gary Corseri Gary North Gary Younge Gene Tuttle George Albert George Bogdanich George Szamuely Georgianne Nienaber Glenn Greenwald Greg Grandin Greg Johnson Gregoire Chamayou Gregory Foster Gregory Hood Gregory Wilpert Guest Admin Hannah Appel Hans-Hermann Hoppe Harri Honkanen Henry Cockburn Hina Shamsi Howard Zinn Hubert Collins Hugh McInnish Ira Chernus Jack Kerwick Jack Rasmus Jack Ravenwood Jack Sen James Bovard James Carroll James Fulford Jane Lazarre Jared S. Baumeister Jason C. Ditz Jason Kessler Jay Stanley Jeff J. Brown Jeffrey Blankfort Jeffrey St. Clair Jen Marlowe Jeremiah Goulka Jeremy Cooper Jesse Mossman Jim Daniel Jim Kavanagh JoAnn Wypijewski Joe Lauria Johannes Wahlstrom John W. Dower John Feffer John Fund John Harrison Sims John Reid John Stauber John Taylor John V. Walsh John Williams Jon Else Jonathan Alan King Jonathan Anomaly Jonathan Rooper Jonathan Schell Joseph Kishore Juan Cole Judith Coburn K.R. Bolton Karel Van Wolferen Karen Greenberg Kelley Vlahos Kersasp D. Shekhdar Kevin Barrett Kevin Zeese Kshama Sawant Lance Welton Laura Gottesdiener Laura Poitras Laurent Guyénot Lawrence G. Proulx Leo Hohmann Linda Preston Logical Meme Lorraine Barlett M.G. Miles Mac Deford Maidhc O Cathail Malcolm Unwell Marcus Alethia Marcus Cicero Margaret Flowers Mark Danner Mark Engler Mark Perry Matt Parrott Mattea Kramer Matthew Harwood Matthew Richer Matthew Stevenson Max Blumenthal Max Denken Max North Maya Schenwar Michael Gould-Wartofsky Michael Schwartz Michael T. Klare Murray Polner Nan Levinson Naomi Oreskes Nate Terani Ned Stark Nelson Rosit Nicholas Stix Nick Kollerstrom Nick Turse Noam Chomsky Nomi Prins Patrick Cleburne Patrick Cloutier Paul Cochrane Paul Engler Paul Nachman Paul Nehlen Pepe Escobar Peter Brimelow Peter Gemma Peter Van Buren Pierre M. Sprey Pratap Chatterjee Publius Decius Mus Rajan Menon Ralph Nader Ramin Mazaheri Ramziya Zaripova Randy Shields Ray McGovern Razib Khan Rebecca Gordon Rebecca Solnit Richard Krushnic Richard Silverstein Rick Shenkman Rita Rozhkova Robert Baxter Robert Bonomo Robert Fisk Robert Lipsyte Robert Parry Robert Roth Robert S. Griffin Robert Scheer Robert Trivers Robin Eastman Abaya Roger Dooghy Ronald N. Neff Rory Fanning Sam Francis Sam Husseini Sayed Hasan Sharmini Peries Sheldon Richman Spencer Davenport Spencer Quinn Stefan Karganovic Steffen A. Woll Stephanie Savell Stephen J. Rossi Steve Fraser Steven Yates Sydney Schanberg Tanya Golash-Boza Ted Rall Theodore A. Postol Thierry Meyssan Thomas Frank Thomas O. Meehan Tim Shorrock Tim Weiner Tobias Langdon Todd E. Pierce Todd Gitlin Todd Miller Tom Piatak Tom Suarez Tom Sunic Tracy Rosenberg Virginia Dare Vladimir Brovkin Vox Day W. Patrick Lang Walter Block William Binney William DeBuys William Hartung William J. Astore Winslow T. Wheeler Ximena Ortiz Yan Shen
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    За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! The Red Army was the single greatest contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany sixty-four years ago, a truly evil empire based on slavery and oppression, and responsible for the genocide of millions of Slav civilians, Jews, Soviet POW's and Roma by gas, bullets and...
  • […] Myths of Eastern Front […]

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  • The Next 100 Years by George Friedman, published in 2010. Rating: 3/5 George Friedman at Stratfor is one of my favorite analysts on world geopolitics. This is because he tries to look at the world as it is, without the pointless moralizing, neoliberal ideologizing and end-of-history triumphalism that clouds too much American geopolitical thinking. Hence...
  • […] only Americans can really understand them (I am not even simplying his arguments all that much), but he also claims that China will break apart in the 2020s and Poland and Mexico will be superpowers this century, so take […]

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  • I don't make any claims to being some kind of hifalutin literatus. To the extent I read any fiction at all it is almost inevitably either sci-fi or fantasy. I am woefully uncultured when it comes to "Big L" Literature, and looking at the postmodernist dreck that seems to dominate the modern scene, I am...
  • […] from Chernobyl (by a former admirer of Felix Dzerzhinsky) is said to be utter garbage. Probably so are all the other books in that Guardian […]

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  • Unprofessional pseudo article!
    Why Alexievich, why not to comment on chemistry laureate or maybe physics? Oh, too easy to talk as an ignoramus but anybody can discuss literature, right?

    Dear author, thanks for sharing a txt file with a book! I am wondering how many readers are fluent in Russian mixed with Belarussian. Sure, a more logical version – in English – can cause copyright problems but who cares about Russian?

    It’s just a pity that nobody can open and read the book but I did and couldn’t stop reading. At the very beginning there is a story about a pregnant 23-year-old woman who has 14 days to watch her husband dying from radiation, losing hair and pieces of skin, eating his own lungs and liver, bleeding, getting bones part from muscles … She is not even supposed to touch or kiss him goodbye. I wanted to cry… But the author hasn’t read it, he counted ellipses. You don’t need to speak Russian to do so. His verdict: too many. Is there a formula to calculate a right number of ellipses in a literary text worthy of Nobel Prize?

    The author hasn’t read a single book of hers but is very smart to use a Google graph to figure out which other Russian authors are mentioned more in the press. So he comes up with more suitable candidates: Akunin and Lukyanenko among them. Akunenko writes about spies, Lukyanenko writes about vampires. Ok, I suggest Stephenie Meyer for the next year then! But American readers don’t know those Russian writers anyway, so why not to throw some names?
    And why would you laugh at Alexievich’s idea that ‘Chernobyl was ‘the main event of the 20th century, in spite of all terrible wars and revolutions’. Dear author, have you at least tried to google Chernobyl? Two world wars have ended but the damage from Chernobyl will be felt for the next thousands of years.

    And maybe the fact that 2016 will be at the same time a 30th anniversary of Chernobyl and a time to renovate a sarcophagus is still worthy of drawing world’s attention to?

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Noticed that on my FB feed as well today.

    I hate wasting column space on a mediocrity, but this is too good not to write a post about! I already have half of it done.

    Can’t wait!

    And don’t feel bad, Anatoly. If the Nobel Committee could waste a prize on her, you can find it in yourself to waste a column.

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  • The Next 100 Years by George Friedman, published in 2010. Rating: 3/5 George Friedman at Stratfor is one of my favorite analysts on world geopolitics. This is because he tries to look at the world as it is, without the pointless moralizing, neoliberal ideologizing and end-of-history triumphalism that clouds too much American geopolitical thinking. Hence...
  • […] only Americans can really understand them (I am not even simplying his arguments all that much), but he also claims that China will break apart in the 2020s and Poland and Mexico will be superpowers this century, so […]

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  • За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! The Red Army was the single greatest contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany sixty-four years ago, a truly evil empire based on slavery and oppression, and responsible for the genocide of millions of Slav civilians, Jews, Soviet POW's and Roma by gas, bullets and...
  • […] combat effectiveness advantage was more along the lines of 100%+. (Incidentally, this, and not the Hollywood myth of “two soldiers per rifle,” is what accounted for the high Soviet:German casualty ratios. […]

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  • I don't make any claims to being some kind of hifalutin literatus. To the extent I read any fiction at all it is almost inevitably either sci-fi or fantasy. I am woefully uncultured when it comes to "Big L" Literature, and looking at the postmodernist dreck that seems to dominate the modern scene, I am...
  • @Seamus Padraig
    In case this thread isn't completely dead yet...

    It appears that Alexievich is no Solzhenitsin. In fact, back in the 70s when it still mattered, our new Nobel laureate--that brave rebel against Soviet conformism!--once wrote a paean in praise of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the USSR's secret police:

    The essay ends with her words: “When my son grows up, we will naturally come to this place – to make a bow to the enduring spirit of Felix Dzerzhinsky – ‘the sword and flame of proletarian revolution” – Svetlana Alexievich.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/krovalevichdt/posts/886270728107611

    Noticed that on my FB feed as well today.

    I hate wasting column space on a mediocrity, but this is too good not to write a post about! I already have half of it done.

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    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    Can't wait!

    And don't feel bad, Anatoly. If the Nobel Committee could waste a prize on her, you can find it in yourself to waste a column.
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  • In case this thread isn’t completely dead yet…

    It appears that Alexievich is no Solzhenitsin. In fact, back in the 70s when it still mattered, our new Nobel laureate–that brave rebel against Soviet conformism!–once wrote a paean in praise of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the USSR’s secret police:

    The essay ends with her words: “When my son grows up, we will naturally come to this place – to make a bow to the enduring spirit of Felix Dzerzhinsky – ‘the sword and flame of proletarian revolution” – Svetlana Alexievich.

    https://www.facebook.com/krovalevichdt/posts/886270728107611

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Noticed that on my FB feed as well today.

    I hate wasting column space on a mediocrity, but this is too good not to write a post about! I already have half of it done.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • One Italian restaurant owner advertised that Russians are not welcome at his establishment.

    I don’t believe it.


    That is what Keith Gessen, her translator (and brother of Masha Gessen, of “Je suis fromage” fame), ventures in his panegyric of her for Human Rights Watch:

    The influence of this family of rent-a-dissidents is mind-boggling. Since they’re also put up in tony NYC by the government, I wonder if they have brunch with Saakashvili sometimes.

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  • @Sam Shama
    Hi Kiza,

    It is similar in the economics, medicine and natural sciences,
     
    In economics I agree, but in medicine and natural sciences? (love to hear your thoughts)

    Hello Sam,

    I missed your comment and question, sorry.

    What I know about the Prizes for Natural Sciences is that a couple of them where given to self-promoters and people whose teams have made achievements, but they as team administrators got the prize. Similar to rewarding the University Dean for the achievements of its School Of Physics.

    Therefore, the issue there is not a political bias, then inability or unwillingness to discern who has really achieved and who really deserves the Prize.

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  • Off-Guardian has also offered a very critical assessment of our new Nobel-laureate for literature: http://off-guardian.org/2015/10/17/svetlana-alexievich-the-nobel-prize-and-western-media/

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  • @James ben Goy
    His point was the loss of spirituality and the shift toward ever more materialism, which he rightly or wrongly attributed to the cultural phoenomena you cite. As to the Dec & the Constitution & all of the rights obtained thereby, all were enjoyed in some societies in antiquity, & in fact are the original source. But thanks for the history lesson nonetheless

    “As to the Dec & the Constitution & all of the rights obtained thereby, all were enjoyed in some societies in antiquity, & in fact are the original source. ”

    I see you say “societies in antiquity.” And what was the Renaissance other than a rediscovery of the glories and intellectual traditions of those “societies in antiquity,” ancient Greece and ancient Rome before the thousand-year interregnum of Christianity threw a dark pall over the intellectual thoughts of the West and forced men to think about really important things like how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. (Or, going back to the early days of Christianity as the “official” religion of the Roman Empire, whether the Son was “of the same substance yet not identical to the Father” as the Church struggled to explain why their “monotheistic” religion worshipped a three-part god.) In fact, it is well established that the Founding Fathers used their knowledge of ancient Greek and especially ancient Roman history in fashioning the institutions of the new American government. I don’t recall reading that the Founding Fathers paid particular attention to the thousand year reign of the Catholic Church in fashioning their new republic.

    Well, I am also glad for the history lesson. I didn’t realize the First Amendment’s protection of religion always existed and that the Inquisition against the Albigensians didn’t occur and that the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries didn’t happen. I also am relieved to learn that the First Amendment’s protection of free speech had long existed and that Giordano Bruno was not burned at the stake in 1600 by the Inquisition for saying and writing things that the Roman Catholic Church didn’t agree with. I won’t even mention Galileo.

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  • @Andrew E. Mathis
    Getting so you can't even wear a white robe and hood anymore, eh? You poor thing, you.

    First you mock people for hiding their identities behind false names then you mock them for not being able to wear identity hiding robes and hoods.

    I don’t see any upside to using my real name, on the other hand their are obvious downsides. So I don’t do it. If it is cowardice to avoid doing things with obvious downsides and no upsides, then why don’t you stick a fork in your eye? Are you a coward?

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  • @Andrew E. Mathis
    Getting so you can't even wear a white robe and hood anymore, eh? You poor thing, you.

    First you mock people for hiding their identities behind false names then you mock them for not being able to wear identity hiding robes and hoods.

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  • The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Andrew E. Mathis
    Here I am posting under my own name.

    You? Not so much, eh?

    On the internet no one can tell that Andrew E Mathis is really a dog.

    It’s the ideas that count, not the name.

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  • @Harold
    You post your mainstream conformist opinions under your own name? So brave.

    Getting so you can’t even wear a white robe and hood anymore, eh? You poor thing, you.

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    • Replies: @Harold
    First you mock people for hiding their identities behind false names then you mock them for not being able to wear identity hiding robes and hoods.
    , @Harold
    First you mock people for hiding their identities behind false names then you mock them for not being able to wear identity hiding robes and hoods.

    I don’t see any upside to using my real name, on the other hand their are obvious downsides. So I don’t do it. If it is cowardice to avoid doing things with obvious downsides and no upsides, then why don’t you stick a fork in your eye? Are you a coward?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrew E. Mathis
    Here I am posting under my own name.

    You? Not so much, eh?

    You post your mainstream conformist opinions under your own name? So brave.

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    • Replies: @Andrew E. Mathis
    Getting so you can't even wear a white robe and hood anymore, eh? You poor thing, you.
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  • @The most deplorable one
    Gasp, you big brave internet tough guy, you.

    You called him a Nazi.

    That is just so brave.

    Here I am posting under my own name.

    You? Not so much, eh?

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    • Replies: @Harold
    You post your mainstream conformist opinions under your own name? So brave.
    , @The most deplorable one
    On the internet no one can tell that Andrew E Mathis is really a dog.

    It's the ideas that count, not the name.
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  • @Kiza
    I believe that this article by Anatoly aimed to give you a taste of her writing. Alright, she got a Nobel Literature Prize for merging journalism and literature. How many presstitutes do not have a geniuses of literature waiting to be discovered? One has to be really Western biased or brainwashed not to see an award to an anti-Russian Ukrainian journalist wanna-be writer with zero literal talent. As Seamus Padraig commented: Pussy Riot missed out on the Nobel Peace Prize, so this cheap Ukrainian presstitute got the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    For a millisecond I hoped that Julian Assange may get the Nobel Peace Prize this year, but the committee selected some obscure Tunisian group, totally irrelevant in the global scheme of things. It is similar in the economics, medicine and natural sciences, the decisions are becoming more and more politically biased. Just like when it awarded the EU the prize recently.

    As a Swede, you really need to face that the Nobel Prize Committees have become discredited by their own decisions, they are doing a worse job now than even during the Cold War. Perhaps, it is a good indication of the mental and moral decline of the European Nordics. The brand of the Nobel Prize is going down-market. I am sure that the Chinese will establish a less politically biased one soon.

    Hi Kiza,

    It is similar in the economics, medicine and natural sciences,

    In economics I agree, but in medicine and natural sciences? (love to hear your thoughts)

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    Hello Sam,

    I missed your comment and question, sorry.

    What I know about the Prizes for Natural Sciences is that a couple of them where given to self-promoters and people whose teams have made achievements, but they as team administrators got the prize. Similar to rewarding the University Dean for the achievements of its School Of Physics.

    Therefore, the issue there is not a political bias, then inability or unwillingness to discern who has really achieved and who really deserves the Prize.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I was trying to find a short story or chapter/excerpt of her fiction translated into English. But I have not found anything. Anyone have any leads? Thanks.

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  • @Wally
    Now Jewish supremacist Mathis is becoming truly desperate.

    Andrew Mathis has been utterly demolished at:
    http://forum.codoh.com

    Mathis, also posts as 'Thames Darwin' demolished here:

    Alleged "mass graves" according to T. Darwin / Andrew Mathis
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9414

    'Andrew Mathis on Dachau, Majdanek, Auschwitz, Treblinka'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9228

    Andrew Mathis, who also posts as 'Thames Darwin', gets shot down again:
    Anecdotal evidence & "holocaust survivors"
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9238

    holocaust' denial article by Andrew Mathis debunked here'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2816

    'Prof. Mc Nally dissects HHP's Andrew Mathis' bogus article'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2841

    'Holo. Hist. Proj.'s Andrew Mathis on Zyklon scent removal'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2499

    'Green, Mathis refuted / cyanide: lice, humans, & more'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=267

    'Believer org. spokesman, Andrew Mathis, demolished in debate'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=254

    'Holo. Hist. Proj.'s Andrew Mathis attempts damage control'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2498

    'Email from Andrew Mathis (The Holocaust History Project)'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=1526

    'holocaust' History Project to unveil section on Treblinka'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=280

    You didn’t answer the question.

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  • @Fran Macadam
    It's hard not to be partial to the doubter who regaled Alyosha with the Grand Inquisitor story.

    You can be partial to Ivan all you want, even morally partial. Let’s just not pretend Dostoevsky was, nor that he wasn’t trying to influence you against Ivan. Which may be hard to believe considering what a mighty artistic achievement is Ivan as a character, but great persuaders often make the case harder for themselves. Though I can believe Dostoevsky could be on Ivan’s side as regards the Grand Inquisitor because of his hate for the Catholic church, I absolutely cannot believe he shares Ivan’s antitheism, which is the more important thing.

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  • @Seminumerical
    I came across one of Naipaul's Trinidad novels in the 80s, then systematically bought and read every book of his I could find. I had the good luck to have read An Area of Darkness before I travelled in India.

    Stuck in traffic and late for work on 9/11 I turned on the radio and heard the news. My first thought was of Naipaul's Among the Believers.

    I was actually annoyed when he won the Nobel because by then the Literature prize had been handed out to so many bores that I thought it an insult. Literature prizes are a racket anyway.

    I once thought to read all the Booker Prize winners in order from the beginning. I didn't get further than making up the list. I had never heard of most of them. Some weren't even in print.

    I edited a crap novel last year that was shortlisted for various awards (I badly needed the money). It's a dull first person account of experiences in a third world civil war, by an author with a third world surname. The reviews gushed about the "authentic voice" but the author had been in a very first world high school, with me, during the war. One of the historically inaccurate scenes was lifted straight out of an American war movie. Her surname was the only reason it was published.
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  • @guest
    "Who can say which Karamazov brother was right: Ivan or Alyosha?"

    If you don't know Dostoevsky was on Alyosha's side, I don't know what book you were reading. Ivan inspired the murder, if inadvertently (but not innocently), or have you forgotten? There's a mitigating factor, I suppose, in that at some point he succumbs to brain fever or demonic possession, not sure which. Alyosha, though not heroic, and not for that matter yet a fully developed adult, has the usual qualities of the Dostoevskian Holy Fool, which is his version of a hero.

    I don't want to criticize Dostoevsky on this count, since one of my pet peeves is when all the characters in a work of fiction sound the same, and he is a grand master of characters that seem to act independently of his authority. Certainly he's no propagandist, either, but he has his biases and axes to grind. Though he doesn't create mouthpiece heroes, near as I can remember, he absolutely has ideological caricatures for villains. See Luzhin in "Crime and Punishment."

    This idea that great artists have to be objective with their characters is madness. You are free to prefer Ivan, and Dostoevsky facilitates that by not making him a Luzhin. But there's no doubt Dostoevsky preferred Alyosha and wanted you to, too.

    It’s hard not to be partial to the doubter who regaled Alyosha with the Grand Inquisitor story.

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    • Replies: @guest
    You can be partial to Ivan all you want, even morally partial. Let's just not pretend Dostoevsky was, nor that he wasn't trying to influence you against Ivan. Which may be hard to believe considering what a mighty artistic achievement is Ivan as a character, but great persuaders often make the case harder for themselves. Though I can believe Dostoevsky could be on Ivan's side as regards the Grand Inquisitor because of his hate for the Catholic church, I absolutely cannot believe he shares Ivan's antitheism, which is the more important thing.
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  • @Ronald Thomas West
    I was acquainted with a school principal (USA) who ran her institution like a gulag. I was amazed (in hindsight I've learned a lot and should have intuitively known) when she confided to me her favorite work was Solzhenitsyn's great volume on the Soviet penal system. I had rather foolishly presumed the Gulag Archipelago would lead one to despise as opposed to inspire repression. I suppose she'd be one to snap up this trollop of literature's work.

    The contrary inspiration effect is well known. Ask Director Oliver Stone and actor Michael Douglas how nonplussed they were when stockbrokers asked for autographs in the Manhatten waterholes they frequented, idolizing Douglas’ Gordon Gekko character (“Greed is Good”) as inspiration and ersatz mentor to be emulated, rather than the cautionary tale against immoral financial misbehavior they intended “Wall Street” to be.

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  • @Peter Grafström
    Anatoly 'Lazy' Karlin
    may be too quick to label as 'hot air' and 'nothing technical' the suggestion that there was something fishy about the Chernobyl event. Maybe she simply listens to the debate without filtering and sometimes may catch something not discussed in the west. Reagan approved of sabotage of pipelines in the Ussr in 1982. The strange false alarm of an attack in 1983 during a Nato drill. The Us propaganda was preparing the Us public for a winnable nuclear war. 'With enough shovels' by Robert Scheer from 1982 is telling.
    The Chernobyl catastrophe had for effect to waste the opportunities for development of third world economies via french and Sovjet nuclear reactors and was a blow against those two economies. Multiple flies in one swat by the malthusian angloamerican oligarchy. Add to that the oil price shock around that time...

    I read about 10% – 15% of Alexievich’s book. She mentioned the possibility that the accident was caused by Western sabotage twice there. Of course she did it dismissively, as an example of the craziness of the old USSR. Russosphere liberals like her worship the Western powers that be.

    She wrote that soon after the accident KGB descended on Chernobyl to investigate and that they were looking for signs of Western sabotage. The book’s first interview was with the wife of one of the firefighters who was called to put out the fire and who later died of radiation sickness. The wife told Alexievich that the firefighter told her in the hospital that the disaster was caused by sabotage.

    Gorbachev wanted to make peace with the US. If he was told by the KGB that the disaster was caused by Western intelligence services, would he have hushed up that information? I’d say it’s unlikely but not impossible.

    At the time there were jokes going around in the USSR about Chernobyl and Challenger being quid-pro-quo situations. If I had to bet, I’d say that both were accidents. But it’s not something I can be 100% sure of.

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  • Anatoly ‘Lazy’ Karlin
    may be too quick to label as ‘hot air’ and ‘nothing technical’ the suggestion that there was something fishy about the Chernobyl event. Maybe she simply listens to the debate without filtering and sometimes may catch something not discussed in the west. Reagan approved of sabotage of pipelines in the Ussr in 1982. The strange false alarm of an attack in 1983 during a Nato drill. The Us propaganda was preparing the Us public for a winnable nuclear war. ‘With enough shovels’ by Robert Scheer from 1982 is telling.
    The Chernobyl catastrophe had for effect to waste the opportunities for development of third world economies via french and Sovjet nuclear reactors and was a blow against those two economies. Multiple flies in one swat by the malthusian angloamerican oligarchy. Add to that the oil price shock around that time…

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I read about 10% - 15% of Alexievich's book. She mentioned the possibility that the accident was caused by Western sabotage twice there. Of course she did it dismissively, as an example of the craziness of the old USSR. Russosphere liberals like her worship the Western powers that be.

    She wrote that soon after the accident KGB descended on Chernobyl to investigate and that they were looking for signs of Western sabotage. The book's first interview was with the wife of one of the firefighters who was called to put out the fire and who later died of radiation sickness. The wife told Alexievich that the firefighter told her in the hospital that the disaster was caused by sabotage.

    Gorbachev wanted to make peace with the US. If he was told by the KGB that the disaster was caused by Western intelligence services, would he have hushed up that information? I'd say it's unlikely but not impossible.

    At the time there were jokes going around in the USSR about Chernobyl and Challenger being quid-pro-quo situations. If I had to bet, I'd say that both were accidents. But it's not something I can be 100% sure of.
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  • @Yevardian
    Solzhenitsyn always struck me the poor equivalent of Dostoevsky, without the humour.

    His books are full of grim humour. Eg the preface of Gulag v1 which describes prisoners eating prehistoric fish found in fossil ice as “eschewing the higher claims of ichthyology”.

    Or the first chapter of Gulag v2 where he describes how everyone from a professor to the village idiot responds to the phrase: “You are under arrest!”, with a bleat of : “Me? What for?”.

    Lenin in Zurich is brilliant satire etc

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    About the journalism/literature debate:

    I should stress that in cases such as this, you absolutely must apply a different set of criteria in assessing quality. She is an explicitly non-fiction writer, the only one to be recognized as such by the Nobel committee apart from Churchill. But as Lazy Glossophiliac and myself demonstrated from the first few pages of one of her books, she has an exceedingly sloppy and careless attitude towards facts. What guarantee is there that she isn't performing similar "embellishments" on her "real life" stories?

    Take the example of the British journalist Johann Hari. He was also a "dissident" journalist (albeit targetted at the "wrong" people and institutions) with a distinct and masterful sense of style. But it later emerged he was also a plagiarist who made stuff up on occasions. For that, he was (rightly) excommunicated from journalism. Of course I am not claiming Alexievich's embellishments are anything like Hari's, but the cavalier disregard for facts and statistics does make one wonder.

    IIRC Hari’s real “crime” was vandalizing some other journalist’s wikipedia entry after a twitter spat.

    The British press tend to be lax about plagiarism. Hari basically lifted quotes from previous interviews. Luke Harding, who still works for The Guardian, plagiarised shamelessly in a book about Putin (IIRC it had to re-issued with the offending sections removed or attributed).

    Harding was actually awarded the James Cameron Prize last year – named for the acclaimed British journalist (who is spinning in his grave), not the film director.

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  • Solzhenitsyn always struck me the poor equivalent of Dostoevsky, without the humour.

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    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    His books are full of grim humour. Eg the preface of Gulag v1 which describes prisoners eating prehistoric fish found in fossil ice as "eschewing the higher claims of ichthyology".

    Or the first chapter of Gulag v2 where he describes how everyone from a professor to the village idiot responds to the phrase: "You are under arrest!", with a bleat of : "Me? What for?".

    Lenin in Zurich is brilliant satire etc
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • About the journalism/literature debate:

    I should stress that in cases such as this, you absolutely must apply a different set of criteria in assessing quality. She is an explicitly non-fiction writer, the only one to be recognized as such by the Nobel committee apart from Churchill. But as Lazy Glossophiliac and myself demonstrated from the first few pages of one of her books, she has an exceedingly sloppy and careless attitude towards facts. What guarantee is there that she isn’t performing similar “embellishments” on her “real life” stories?

    Take the example of the British journalist Johann Hari. He was also a “dissident” journalist (albeit targetted at the “wrong” people and institutions) with a distinct and masterful sense of style. But it later emerged he was also a plagiarist who made stuff up on occasions. For that, he was (rightly) excommunicated from journalism. Of course I am not claiming Alexievich’s embellishments are anything like Hari’s, but the cavalier disregard for facts and statistics does make one wonder.

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    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    IIRC Hari's real "crime" was vandalizing some other journalist's wikipedia entry after a twitter spat.

    The British press tend to be lax about plagiarism. Hari basically lifted quotes from previous interviews. Luke Harding, who still works for The Guardian, plagiarised shamelessly in a book about Putin (IIRC it had to re-issued with the offending sections removed or attributed).

    Harding was actually awarded the James Cameron Prize last year - named for the acclaimed British journalist (who is spinning in his grave), not the film director.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @tbraton
    "His Harvard commencement address was a masterpiece & every observation he made therein has, sadly, proven out"

    You mean the speech in which he came out against both the Renaissance and the Enlightenment? I had to go back and review the speech to make sure my memory was still correct and found the following paragraph:

    "This means that the mistake must be at the root, at the very foundation of thought in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was born in the Renaissance and has found political expression since the Age of Enlightenment. It became the basis for political and social doctrine and could be called rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the pro-claimed and practiced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of all."

    I hope you realize that the Age of Enlightenment produced both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the two founding documents of the United States of America. That was when I came to the realization that Solzhenitsyn probably had more to say to Russians than to the people of the United States.

    BTW I agree with the author of this blog that One Day in the Life was a supremely powerful book. That alone would have justified the Nobel Prize.

    His point was the loss of spirituality and the shift toward ever more materialism, which he rightly or wrongly attributed to the cultural phoenomena you cite. As to the Dec & the Constitution & all of the rights obtained thereby, all were enjoyed in some societies in antiquity, & in fact are the original source. But thanks for the history lesson nonetheless

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "As to the Dec & the Constitution & all of the rights obtained thereby, all were enjoyed in some societies in antiquity, & in fact are the original source. "

    I see you say "societies in antiquity." And what was the Renaissance other than a rediscovery of the glories and intellectual traditions of those "societies in antiquity," ancient Greece and ancient Rome before the thousand-year interregnum of Christianity threw a dark pall over the intellectual thoughts of the West and forced men to think about really important things like how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. (Or, going back to the early days of Christianity as the "official" religion of the Roman Empire, whether the Son was "of the same substance yet not identical to the Father" as the Church struggled to explain why their "monotheistic" religion worshipped a three-part god.) In fact, it is well established that the Founding Fathers used their knowledge of ancient Greek and especially ancient Roman history in fashioning the institutions of the new American government. I don't recall reading that the Founding Fathers paid particular attention to the thousand year reign of the Catholic Church in fashioning their new republic.

    Well, I am also glad for the history lesson. I didn't realize the First Amendment's protection of religion always existed and that the Inquisition against the Albigensians didn't occur and that the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries didn't happen. I also am relieved to learn that the First Amendment's protection of free speech had long existed and that Giordano Bruno was not burned at the stake in 1600 by the Inquisition for saying and writing things that the Roman Catholic Church didn't agree with. I won't even mention Galileo.
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  • Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website
    @Joe Franklin
    Are you waiting for forensic science evidence?

    You'll be waiting a long time, forever.

    Indeed, there is no forensic evidence for the impossible ’6M & gas chambers’.
    The only thing presented at Nuremberg was a communist report on ‘steam chambers’, hilarious.
    No enormous mass graves as alleged can be actually shown. Not one.
    The ‘gas chambers’ as alleged are scientifically absurd.
    Jews were everywhere after WWII.
    There are just too many $urvivors for the tall tale of ‘extermination’.

    But some people are making a lot of money, albeit unethically.

    Joe, come on over to:

    http://forum.codoh.com

    and join the fun.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website
    @Andrew E. Mathis
    Clearly you believe that the Nazis didn't kill anyone who didn't absolutely deserve it. Clearly as well, based on your posts here, you don't like people who aren't white and non-Jewish. So I guess I'm wondering why you aren't a member of the Nazi Party? Care to respond?

    Now Jewish supremacist Mathis is becoming truly desperate.

    Andrew Mathis has been utterly demolished at:

    http://forum.codoh.com

    Mathis, also posts as ‘Thames Darwin’ demolished here:

    Alleged “mass graves” according to T. Darwin / Andrew Mathis

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9414

    ‘Andrew Mathis on Dachau, Majdanek, Auschwitz, Treblinka’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9228

    Andrew Mathis, who also posts as ‘Thames Darwin’, gets shot down again:
    Anecdotal evidence & “holocaust survivors”

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9238

    holocaust’ denial article by Andrew Mathis debunked here’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2816

    ‘Prof. Mc Nally dissects HHP’s Andrew Mathis’ bogus article’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2841

    ‘Holo. Hist. Proj.’s Andrew Mathis on Zyklon scent removal’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2499

    ‘Green, Mathis refuted / cyanide: lice, humans, & more’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=267

    ‘Believer org. spokesman, Andrew Mathis, demolished in debate’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=254

    ‘Holo. Hist. Proj.’s Andrew Mathis attempts damage control’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2498

    ‘Email from Andrew Mathis (The Holocaust History Project)’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=1526

    ‘holocaust’ History Project to unveil section on Treblinka’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=280

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    • Replies: @Andrew E. Mathis
    You didn't answer the question.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sven
    Just a small comment:
    First, Alexievich was apparantly nominated along with 2 other writers to the russian literature prize Bolsjaja Kniga last year. She did not win it but it seems that not everyone agree that she is a lousy writer that got the prize solely because of political reasons. That price is quite big in Russia, so being nominated to it must mean something.
    Secondly; as I understand it she did not get the prize for an excellent prose, or an outstanding language. She got it (according to comments in Sweden) because she combined journalism and literature in one genre, a genre they claim she excelled in. It was the novelty of that that made her a choice.
    Third, it was mentioned that she was a voice for the human side of Russian/East European history, as she brought the people never heard to the front and gave them a voice.
    Finally it was mentioned that she was not well known in Russia, Belarus or Ukraine since she was censored during the Soviet period and also later been a "disliked voice" by those in power. But that does not entitle you neither to get the price or to not get it. True, she is not well known in her own country but they do not look for the number one bestseller writer of a country. I have not read her and got no real opinion about her as a writer. Can only say that some Nobel prize winners are really great writers, others are not, in my eyes.

    I believe that this article by Anatoly aimed to give you a taste of her writing. Alright, she got a Nobel Literature Prize for merging journalism and literature. How many presstitutes do not have a geniuses of literature waiting to be discovered? One has to be really Western biased or brainwashed not to see an award to an anti-Russian Ukrainian journalist wanna-be writer with zero literal talent. As Seamus Padraig commented: Pussy Riot missed out on the Nobel Peace Prize, so this cheap Ukrainian presstitute got the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    For a millisecond I hoped that Julian Assange may get the Nobel Peace Prize this year, but the committee selected some obscure Tunisian group, totally irrelevant in the global scheme of things. It is similar in the economics, medicine and natural sciences, the decisions are becoming more and more politically biased. Just like when it awarded the EU the prize recently.

    As a Swede, you really need to face that the Nobel Prize Committees have become discredited by their own decisions, they are doing a worse job now than even during the Cold War. Perhaps, it is a good indication of the mental and moral decline of the European Nordics. The brand of the Nobel Prize is going down-market. I am sure that the Chinese will establish a less politically biased one soon.

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    • Agree: Sam Shama
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Hi Kiza,

    It is similar in the economics, medicine and natural sciences,
     
    In economics I agree, but in medicine and natural sciences? (love to hear your thoughts)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Andrew E. Mathis
    Clearly you believe that the Nazis didn't kill anyone who didn't absolutely deserve it. Clearly as well, based on your posts here, you don't like people who aren't white and non-Jewish. So I guess I'm wondering why you aren't a member of the Nazi Party? Care to respond?

    Gasp, you big brave internet tough guy, you.

    You called him a Nazi.

    That is just so brave.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrew E. Mathis
    Here I am posting under my own name.

    You? Not so much, eh?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @jimbojones
    The French 1930's writer Celine used ellipses both profusely and well. But I can't think of anyone else who repeated Celine's accomplishment.

    Celine, or at least “Journey to the End of the Night” (haven’t read anything else), was great in spite of his ellipses, sentence fragments, repetitiveness, vulgarity, squalidness, and the general near-boredom that never actual becomes boring. Every time I read him he makes me feel like crap, but a good sort of crap. When other people write like him it makes me feel like actual crap, which suggests there might be something wrong with his style.

    He gets away with it, is all, and is not the sort of writer to emulate. Sort of like James Joyce, who more than any other individual writer has managed to ruin the genre of the novel. Except that I hate Joyce as much as his acolytes, whereas Celine is exceptional. I feel the same way about Kafka, that other father of modernist (and postmodernist) corruption, though I don’t like him as much as Celine. The two are similar in their matter of fact way of describing horror. If only they’d stop publishing poorly edited psuedo-fables and journeys into squalidness and endless ellipses not written by Celine and Kafka.

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  • The Nobel Prize committee is just another corrupted institution of the Deep State. As the ICC is their organ for beating up on the world’s petty war criminals, the NPC has become the awards ceremony for the champions of western soft power. If it was true to Nobel’s intent as (the current lawsuit attempts to return it to) Peace prizes would have gone to Snowden, Assange and Manning. The likes of Pinter would never have got a prize in literature today.

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  • “Who can say which Karamazov brother was right: Ivan or Alyosha?”

    If you don’t know Dostoevsky was on Alyosha’s side, I don’t know what book you were reading. Ivan inspired the murder, if inadvertently (but not innocently), or have you forgotten? There’s a mitigating factor, I suppose, in that at some point he succumbs to brain fever or demonic possession, not sure which. Alyosha, though not heroic, and not for that matter yet a fully developed adult, has the usual qualities of the Dostoevskian Holy Fool, which is his version of a hero.

    I don’t want to criticize Dostoevsky on this count, since one of my pet peeves is when all the characters in a work of fiction sound the same, and he is a grand master of characters that seem to act independently of his authority. Certainly he’s no propagandist, either, but he has his biases and axes to grind. Though he doesn’t create mouthpiece heroes, near as I can remember, he absolutely has ideological caricatures for villains. See Luzhin in “Crime and Punishment.”

    This idea that great artists have to be objective with their characters is madness. You are free to prefer Ivan, and Dostoevsky facilitates that by not making him a Luzhin. But there’s no doubt Dostoevsky preferred Alyosha and wanted you to, too.

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    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
    It's hard not to be partial to the doubter who regaled Alyosha with the Grand Inquisitor story.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “Just look at that weasel phrase at the beginning of the last sentence”

    “As I said” may be an empty phrase, but it’s not a weasel phrase. Weasel words and phrases suck the meaning out of the words around them, for example the “social” in “social justice.”

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  • I don’t know if Churchill got his facts right, but maybe his team of researchers and ghostwriters did.

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  • Nobel Prize degenerated into a total joke a while ago. I guess if they could give Peace Prize to the butcher of Syria, then they could certainly award literature prize to this latest mediocrity. If no money came attached to it, nobody would even mention it anymore.

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  • @Wally
    "During the years of the Great Patriotic War,the German fascists destroyed 619 Belorussian villages together with their inhabitants."

    Complete nonsense. There is zero proof for such propaganda and she cannot produce any.

    Apparently anyone can say anything they wish about the Germans and we're all supposed to bow in obedience. It's pure fantasy supported by a Jewish supremacist dominated media who milk these lies in order to keep their cash cow, the impossible '6M & gas chambers' scam going.

    And why aren't there excavations of the supposedly known enormous mass graves?
    Think about Treblinka and the alleged 900,000 Jews said to be buried there, but no excavation can be shown. We know why. It's a lie, simple as that.

    www.codoh.com

    Are you waiting for forensic science evidence?

    You’ll be waiting a long time, forever.

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    • Replies: @Wally
    Indeed, there is no forensic evidence for the impossible '6M & gas chambers'.
    The only thing presented at Nuremberg was a communist report on 'steam chambers', hilarious.
    No enormous mass graves as alleged can be actually shown. Not one.
    The 'gas chambers' as alleged are scientifically absurd.
    Jews were everywhere after WWII.
    There are just too many $urvivors for the tall tale of 'extermination'.

    But some people are making a lot of money, albeit unethically.

    Joe, come on over to:
    http://forum.codoh.com
    and join the fun.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Wally
    "During the years of the Great Patriotic War,the German fascists destroyed 619 Belorussian villages together with their inhabitants."

    Complete nonsense. There is zero proof for such propaganda and she cannot produce any.

    Apparently anyone can say anything they wish about the Germans and we're all supposed to bow in obedience. It's pure fantasy supported by a Jewish supremacist dominated media who milk these lies in order to keep their cash cow, the impossible '6M & gas chambers' scam going.

    And why aren't there excavations of the supposedly known enormous mass graves?
    Think about Treblinka and the alleged 900,000 Jews said to be buried there, but no excavation can be shown. We know why. It's a lie, simple as that.

    www.codoh.com

    Clearly you believe that the Nazis didn’t kill anyone who didn’t absolutely deserve it. Clearly as well, based on your posts here, you don’t like people who aren’t white and non-Jewish. So I guess I’m wondering why you aren’t a member of the Nazi Party? Care to respond?

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    Gasp, you big brave internet tough guy, you.

    You called him a Nazi.

    That is just so brave.
    , @Wally
    Now Jewish supremacist Mathis is becoming truly desperate.

    Andrew Mathis has been utterly demolished at:
    http://forum.codoh.com

    Mathis, also posts as 'Thames Darwin' demolished here:

    Alleged "mass graves" according to T. Darwin / Andrew Mathis
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9414

    'Andrew Mathis on Dachau, Majdanek, Auschwitz, Treblinka'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9228

    Andrew Mathis, who also posts as 'Thames Darwin', gets shot down again:
    Anecdotal evidence & "holocaust survivors"
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9238

    holocaust' denial article by Andrew Mathis debunked here'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2816

    'Prof. Mc Nally dissects HHP's Andrew Mathis' bogus article'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2841

    'Holo. Hist. Proj.'s Andrew Mathis on Zyklon scent removal'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2499

    'Green, Mathis refuted / cyanide: lice, humans, & more'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=267

    'Believer org. spokesman, Andrew Mathis, demolished in debate'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=254

    'Holo. Hist. Proj.'s Andrew Mathis attempts damage control'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2498

    'Email from Andrew Mathis (The Holocaust History Project)'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=1526

    'holocaust' History Project to unveil section on Treblinka'
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=280
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Priss Factor
    This is pretty funny.

    You should see US politics.

    Ben Carson and Carly the Bitch are calling for new cold war with Russia.

    And other GOP clowns are calling for same. Only Trump disagrees.

    It seems that the problem is Russia is now too conservative for the Goppers.

    During the Cold War, GOP hated Russia cuz it was too leftist and commie.

    Now, as GOP cucks for Jews, goppers hate Russia cuz it's too nationalist and rightist.

    GOP sucks.

    Dont Leave out Rubiloco. He is calling for America to establish an no-fly zone in Syria.

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  • Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    This is pretty funny.

    You should see US politics.

    Ben Carson and Carly the Bitch are calling for new cold war with Russia.

    And other GOP clowns are calling for same. Only Trump disagrees.

    It seems that the problem is Russia is now too conservative for the Goppers.

    During the Cold War, GOP hated Russia cuz it was too leftist and commie.

    Now, as GOP cucks for Jews, goppers hate Russia cuz it’s too nationalist and rightist.

    GOP sucks.

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    • Replies: @Stan
    Dont Leave out Rubiloco. He is calling for America to establish an no-fly zone in Syria.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Stubborn in Germany
    The Nobel Peace Prize descended into absurdity many years ago, the Literature prize a little later. When they awarded the clown Dario Fo, that sealed it. Briefly they returned to sanity when they picked V.S. Naipaul after 9/11, but that was a one-time aberration.

    I came across one of Naipaul’s Trinidad novels in the 80s, then systematically bought and read every book of his I could find. I had the good luck to have read An Area of Darkness before I travelled in India.

    Stuck in traffic and late for work on 9/11 I turned on the radio and heard the news. My first thought was of Naipaul’s Among the Believers.

    I was actually annoyed when he won the Nobel because by then the Literature prize had been handed out to so many bores that I thought it an insult. Literature prizes are a racket anyway.

    I once thought to read all the Booker Prize winners in order from the beginning. I didn’t get further than making up the list. I had never heard of most of them. Some weren’t even in print.

    I edited a crap novel last year that was shortlisted for various awards (I badly needed the money). It’s a dull first person account of experiences in a third world civil war, by an author with a third world surname. The reviews gushed about the “authentic voice” but the author had been in a very first world high school, with me, during the war. One of the historically inaccurate scenes was lifted straight out of an American war movie. Her surname was the only reason it was published.

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    • Replies: @Seminumerical
    http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/books/marlon-james-the-first-jamaican-author-to-win-the-man-booker-prize
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @James ben Goy
    His Harvard commencement address was a masterpiece & every observation he made therein has, sadly, proven out

    “His Harvard commencement address was a masterpiece & every observation he made therein has, sadly, proven out”

    You mean the speech in which he came out against both the Renaissance and the Enlightenment? I had to go back and review the speech to make sure my memory was still correct and found the following paragraph:

    “This means that the mistake must be at the root, at the very foundation of thought in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was born in the Renaissance and has found political expression since the Age of Enlightenment. It became the basis for political and social doctrine and could be called rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the pro-claimed and practiced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of all.”

    I hope you realize that the Age of Enlightenment produced both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the two founding documents of the United States of America. That was when I came to the realization that Solzhenitsyn probably had more to say to Russians than to the people of the United States.

    BTW I agree with the author of this blog that One Day in the Life was a supremely powerful book. That alone would have justified the Nobel Prize.

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    • Replies: @James ben Goy
    His point was the loss of spirituality and the shift toward ever more materialism, which he rightly or wrongly attributed to the cultural phoenomena you cite. As to the Dec & the Constitution & all of the rights obtained thereby, all were enjoyed in some societies in antiquity, & in fact are the original source. But thanks for the history lesson nonetheless
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  • The French 1930′s writer Celine used ellipses both profusely and well. But I can’t think of anyone else who repeated Celine’s accomplishment.

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    • Replies: @guest
    Celine, or at least "Journey to the End of the Night" (haven't read anything else), was great in spite of his ellipses, sentence fragments, repetitiveness, vulgarity, squalidness, and the general near-boredom that never actual becomes boring. Every time I read him he makes me feel like crap, but a good sort of crap. When other people write like him it makes me feel like actual crap, which suggests there might be something wrong with his style.

    He gets away with it, is all, and is not the sort of writer to emulate. Sort of like James Joyce, who more than any other individual writer has managed to ruin the genre of the novel. Except that I hate Joyce as much as his acolytes, whereas Celine is exceptional. I feel the same way about Kafka, that other father of modernist (and postmodernist) corruption, though I don't like him as much as Celine. The two are similar in their matter of fact way of describing horror. If only they'd stop publishing poorly edited psuedo-fables and journeys into squalidness and endless ellipses not written by Celine and Kafka.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Borges de Oliveira
    The opening sentences are quite illuminating:

    "I don’t make any claims to being some kind of hifalutin literatus. To the extent I read any fiction at all it is almost inevitably either sci-fi or fantasy. I am woefully uncultured when it comes to 'Big L' Literature [...]"

    In other words, Anatoly Karlin is proud to be a philistine.

    So am I when it comes to the [propaganda] crap that the elites want us to read.

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  • The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the Apocalypse"] says:

    I am sure she will make up for those failings when she publishes Putin’s Gay Gulag!

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  • The opening sentences are quite illuminating:

    “I don’t make any claims to being some kind of hifalutin literatus. To the extent I read any fiction at all it is almost inevitably either sci-fi or fantasy. I am woefully uncultured when it comes to ‘Big L’ Literature [...]”

    In other words, Anatoly Karlin is proud to be a philistine.

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    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    So am I when it comes to the [propaganda] crap that the elites want us to read.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Cliff Arroyo
    I haven't read anything of hers but I'll mention that Alexievich is involved with testimonial literature which is about documenting past suffering as a way of coming to grips with the present and preparing for the future.

    On the whole, Russians seem singularly uninterested in examing the past and punishing the guilty. AFAICT there's been no demand for settling accounts with the abuses of the Soviet period or the rape of Russia in the 1990s. It's hardly surprising that one of the few writers examining such themes wouldn't be known to Russian speakers.

    "What always surprised me is that when you travel across Lithuania and stop to talk to people, they immediately switch to political themes and speak about freedom and intellectual things. When you travel in our villages, people say: “What freedom do you mean? We have plenty of everything, we have a variety of sausages and a variety of vodkas.” When you try to involve them into a conversation, they look at you as if you were an alien."

    source: https://charter97.org/en/news/2015/5/15/151651/

    AFAICT there’s been no demand for settling accounts with the abuses of the Soviet period or the rape of Russia in the 1990s.

    Alexievich is a “liberal”, meaning that she’s a part of the crowd that thinks that Russia wasn’t raped enough in the 1990s. Belarus was raped much, much less than Russia or the Ukraine because since 1994 it’s been run by a guy named Lukashenko, who has not allowed oligarchs to plunder it. You can look at GDP and social statistics – Belarus is doing really well compared to its neighbors because of that.

    Alexievich, who lives in Belarus, is a part of the crowd that calls Lukashenko a tyrant. She has allied herself with the people who would like to violently overthrow him and install a Yeltsin-like, Maidan-like oligarchic regime in his place, a regime that would plunder and rape that country.

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  • Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    “During the years of the Great Patriotic War,the German fascists destroyed 619 Belorussian villages together with their inhabitants.”

    Complete nonsense. There is zero proof for such propaganda and she cannot produce any.

    Apparently anyone can say anything they wish about the Germans and we’re all supposed to bow in obedience. It’s pure fantasy supported by a Jewish supremacist dominated media who milk these lies in order to keep their cash cow, the impossible ’6M & gas chambers’ scam going.

    And why aren’t there excavations of the supposedly known enormous mass graves?
    Think about Treblinka and the alleged 900,000 Jews said to be buried there, but no excavation can be shown. We know why. It’s a lie, simple as that.

    http://www.codoh.com

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrew E. Mathis
    Clearly you believe that the Nazis didn't kill anyone who didn't absolutely deserve it. Clearly as well, based on your posts here, you don't like people who aren't white and non-Jewish. So I guess I'm wondering why you aren't a member of the Nazi Party? Care to respond?
    , @Joe Franklin
    Are you waiting for forensic science evidence?

    You'll be waiting a long time, forever.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Cliff Arroyo
    I haven't read anything of hers but I'll mention that Alexievich is involved with testimonial literature which is about documenting past suffering as a way of coming to grips with the present and preparing for the future.

    On the whole, Russians seem singularly uninterested in examing the past and punishing the guilty. AFAICT there's been no demand for settling accounts with the abuses of the Soviet period or the rape of Russia in the 1990s. It's hardly surprising that one of the few writers examining such themes wouldn't be known to Russian speakers.

    "What always surprised me is that when you travel across Lithuania and stop to talk to people, they immediately switch to political themes and speak about freedom and intellectual things. When you travel in our villages, people say: “What freedom do you mean? We have plenty of everything, we have a variety of sausages and a variety of vodkas.” When you try to involve them into a conversation, they look at you as if you were an alien."

    source: https://charter97.org/en/news/2015/5/15/151651/

    You cannot punish the people who perpetrated the worst excesses of the Soviet period, as they are dead. Still, Stalinism gets discussed ad nauseam, especially by the older generations. When people complain about this topic not being sufficiently examined, what they generally mean is not everyone has yet agreed with their own opinion on it. As for calls to hold to account those responsible for the ’90s, you are very wrong – there have been plenty. Many people believe it should not have stopped at Khodorkovsky. And the horror of the ’90s is certainly a hot topic of discussion.

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  • @jimmyriddle
    "well, just One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in Solzhenitsyn’s case"

    I'd add "Cancer Ward" and "Lenin in Zurich" (the only one of his historical novels that is any good, but it is very good, if malicious and ahistorical).

    She isn't the first complete zero to win the Nobel literature prize. I stopped taking it seriously when they gave it to some Spaniard whose main achievement was a lexicon of obscenities.

    His Harvard commencement address was a masterpiece & every observation he made therein has, sadly, proven out

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "His Harvard commencement address was a masterpiece & every observation he made therein has, sadly, proven out"

    You mean the speech in which he came out against both the Renaissance and the Enlightenment? I had to go back and review the speech to make sure my memory was still correct and found the following paragraph:

    "This means that the mistake must be at the root, at the very foundation of thought in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world in modern times. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was born in the Renaissance and has found political expression since the Age of Enlightenment. It became the basis for political and social doctrine and could be called rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the pro-claimed and practiced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of all."

    I hope you realize that the Age of Enlightenment produced both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the two founding documents of the United States of America. That was when I came to the realization that Solzhenitsyn probably had more to say to Russians than to the people of the United States.

    BTW I agree with the author of this blog that One Day in the Life was a supremely powerful book. That alone would have justified the Nobel Prize.
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  • War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Great Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    You can start an English sentence with “And”. And you sure as hell can split infinitives. And war against Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia continues apace. And we all know who is waging it:The ethnic group that owns the Democratic Party. And semicolons are the equivalent of birdshit on a car window.

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  • […] Originally appeared at The Unz Review […]

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  • thanks for this essay, Karlin. When National Public Radio (a Left-wing sonic hedge fund whose personnel consists largely of Reds, sodomites, and other Jews) spent 3 days rhapsodizing about this scribbler, I too wondered what it might be. Soon as I saw the name “Gessen” it all came into focus: yettanother Soros/CIA (see also: Masha) cognate who wants to bring the joys of our Hollywood/NY Jew-mediated Kosher Culture of Death – abortion/porn/feminism/homosex – to Russia

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  • Whatta joke, like Obama getting the Peace Prize.

    Must be a tough one for Philip Roth this year. Murakami, Amis, Oates, Rushdie still have time.

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  • @nykstys
    What about 200 years together....not sure if it's available in English.

    assuming you are not being facetious, I’ll answer that: Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together has no formal book publication in English because a certain Tribe whose machinations are the main topic of the work has a lock on both book publishing and distribution in the Anglosphere. There are, however, somewhat rough English translations of most of the important chapters, esp. from Vol. II, at a number of HardRight/Jew-wise internet sites

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  • I was acquainted with a school principal (USA) who ran her institution like a gulag. I was amazed (in hindsight I’ve learned a lot and should have intuitively known) when she confided to me her favorite work was Solzhenitsyn’s great volume on the Soviet penal system. I had rather foolishly presumed the Gulag Archipelago would lead one to despise as opposed to inspire repression. I suppose she’d be one to snap up this trollop of literature’s work.

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    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
    The contrary inspiration effect is well known. Ask Director Oliver Stone and actor Michael Douglas how nonplussed they were when stockbrokers asked for autographs in the Manhatten waterholes they frequented, idolizing Douglas' Gordon Gekko character ("Greed is Good") as inspiration and ersatz mentor to be emulated, rather than the cautionary tale against immoral financial misbehavior they intended "Wall Street" to be.
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @nykstys
    You made me chuckle by that... thing... about Lithuanians, as a Lithuanian I can assure you we don't immediately switch to political themes or speak about freedom ant intellectual things. And Charter 97 is famous for it's "unbiased" views and "news" LOL.

    I think that Lithuanians -and Russians and Tunisians…- do not tend to switch to such themes among themselves but tend to do so when the interlocutor is a foreigner -as I believe was the mentioned case. In my opinion it is a behaviour that people developped throughout the ages when there was no media, or very restricted media and the foreign visitor was considered as the bearer of news and opinions; also people felt the duty of showing the foreigner how informed, cultured and knowledgeble they are.

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  • I guess you could say the prize is worth about the powder that Alfred Nobel blew to hell in order to finance it.

    “They might have been anti-Soviet, and justifiably so, but all of them produced real literary masterpieces (well, just One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in Solzhenitsyn’s case, but even that is still one more than I am aware of Alexievich ever writing).”

    I consider Cancer Ward and The First Circle literary masterpieces – at least, in their English translations. Not quite up to Dostoyevsky, but then he wasn’t around to comment on what he prophesied. And who is up to the standard of Karamazov, arguably the finest achievement in the novel form in world literature?

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  • @Cliff Arroyo
    I haven't read anything of hers but I'll mention that Alexievich is involved with testimonial literature which is about documenting past suffering as a way of coming to grips with the present and preparing for the future.

    On the whole, Russians seem singularly uninterested in examing the past and punishing the guilty. AFAICT there's been no demand for settling accounts with the abuses of the Soviet period or the rape of Russia in the 1990s. It's hardly surprising that one of the few writers examining such themes wouldn't be known to Russian speakers.

    "What always surprised me is that when you travel across Lithuania and stop to talk to people, they immediately switch to political themes and speak about freedom and intellectual things. When you travel in our villages, people say: “What freedom do you mean? We have plenty of everything, we have a variety of sausages and a variety of vodkas.” When you try to involve them into a conversation, they look at you as if you were an alien."

    source: https://charter97.org/en/news/2015/5/15/151651/

    You made me chuckle by that… thing… about Lithuanians, as a Lithuanian I can assure you we don’t immediately switch to political themes or speak about freedom ant intellectual things. And Charter 97 is famous for it’s “unbiased” views and “news” LOL.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I think that Lithuanians -and Russians and Tunisians...- do not tend to switch to such themes among themselves but tend to do so when the interlocutor is a foreigner -as I believe was the mentioned case. In my opinion it is a behaviour that people developped throughout the ages when there was no media, or very restricted media and the foreign visitor was considered as the bearer of news and opinions; also people felt the duty of showing the foreigner how informed, cultured and knowledgeble they are.
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  • Just a small comment:
    First, Alexievich was apparantly nominated along with 2 other writers to the russian literature prize Bolsjaja Kniga last year. She did not win it but it seems that not everyone agree that she is a lousy writer that got the prize solely because of political reasons. That price is quite big in Russia, so being nominated to it must mean something.
    Secondly; as I understand it she did not get the prize for an excellent prose, or an outstanding language. She got it (according to comments in Sweden) because she combined journalism and literature in one genre, a genre they claim she excelled in. It was the novelty of that that made her a choice.
    Third, it was mentioned that she was a voice for the human side of Russian/East European history, as she brought the people never heard to the front and gave them a voice.
    Finally it was mentioned that she was not well known in Russia, Belarus or Ukraine since she was censored during the Soviet period and also later been a “disliked voice” by those in power. But that does not entitle you neither to get the price or to not get it. True, she is not well known in her own country but they do not look for the number one bestseller writer of a country. I have not read her and got no real opinion about her as a writer. Can only say that some Nobel prize winners are really great writers, others are not, in my eyes.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    I believe that this article by Anatoly aimed to give you a taste of her writing. Alright, she got a Nobel Literature Prize for merging journalism and literature. How many presstitutes do not have a geniuses of literature waiting to be discovered? One has to be really Western biased or brainwashed not to see an award to an anti-Russian Ukrainian journalist wanna-be writer with zero literal talent. As Seamus Padraig commented: Pussy Riot missed out on the Nobel Peace Prize, so this cheap Ukrainian presstitute got the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    For a millisecond I hoped that Julian Assange may get the Nobel Peace Prize this year, but the committee selected some obscure Tunisian group, totally irrelevant in the global scheme of things. It is similar in the economics, medicine and natural sciences, the decisions are becoming more and more politically biased. Just like when it awarded the EU the prize recently.

    As a Swede, you really need to face that the Nobel Prize Committees have become discredited by their own decisions, they are doing a worse job now than even during the Cold War. Perhaps, it is a good indication of the mental and moral decline of the European Nordics. The brand of the Nobel Prize is going down-market. I am sure that the Chinese will establish a less politically biased one soon.
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  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Read all Solzhenitsyn. His publicistics is unreadable "The Letter To The Chiefs Of Soviet Union" is case in point. His "How We Are To Rearrange Russia" is another megalomaniac delirium. In terms of GULAG literature, Solzhenitsyn is a pale shadow of Shalamov, from whom he did steal most of real GULAG reflections. After all Solzh is known (documented) to give Shalamov high priority on this issue, especially since Solzhenitsyn spent his time mostly in Sharaga. And, then, comes this One Day (In Life) Of Ivan Denisovich (I may re-read it again, maybe tomorrow)--what is SO literature-wise awesome in that? And then comes the issue of Great Patriotic War and that is where it all stops.

    What about 200 years together….not sure if it’s available in English.

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    • Replies: @Haxo Angmark
    assuming you are not being facetious, I'll answer that: Solzhenitsyn's 200 Years Together has no formal book publication in English because a certain Tribe whose machinations are the main topic of the work has a lock on both book publishing and distribution in the Anglosphere. There are, however, somewhat rough English translations of most of the important chapters, esp. from Vol. II, at a number of HardRight/Jew-wise internet sites
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  • I haven’t read anything of hers but I’ll mention that Alexievich is involved with testimonial literature which is about documenting past suffering as a way of coming to grips with the present and preparing for the future.

    On the whole, Russians seem singularly uninterested in examing the past and punishing the guilty. AFAICT there’s been no demand for settling accounts with the abuses of the Soviet period or the rape of Russia in the 1990s. It’s hardly surprising that one of the few writers examining such themes wouldn’t be known to Russian speakers.

    “What always surprised me is that when you travel across Lithuania and stop to talk to people, they immediately switch to political themes and speak about freedom and intellectual things. When you travel in our villages, people say: “What freedom do you mean? We have plenty of everything, we have a variety of sausages and a variety of vodkas.” When you try to involve them into a conversation, they look at you as if you were an alien.”

    source: https://charter97.org/en/news/2015/5/15/151651/

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    • Replies: @nykstys
    You made me chuckle by that... thing... about Lithuanians, as a Lithuanian I can assure you we don't immediately switch to political themes or speak about freedom ant intellectual things. And Charter 97 is famous for it's "unbiased" views and "news" LOL.
    , @olivegreen
    You cannot punish the people who perpetrated the worst excesses of the Soviet period, as they are dead. Still, Stalinism gets discussed ad nauseam, especially by the older generations. When people complain about this topic not being sufficiently examined, what they generally mean is not everyone has yet agreed with their own opinion on it. As for calls to hold to account those responsible for the '90s, you are very wrong - there have been plenty. Many people believe it should not have stopped at Khodorkovsky. And the horror of the '90s is certainly a hot topic of discussion.
    , @Glossy
    AFAICT there’s been no demand for settling accounts with the abuses of the Soviet period or the rape of Russia in the 1990s.

    Alexievich is a "liberal", meaning that she's a part of the crowd that thinks that Russia wasn't raped enough in the 1990s. Belarus was raped much, much less than Russia or the Ukraine because since 1994 it's been run by a guy named Lukashenko, who has not allowed oligarchs to plunder it. You can look at GDP and social statistics - Belarus is doing really well compared to its neighbors because of that.

    Alexievich, who lives in Belarus, is a part of the crowd that calls Lukashenko a tyrant. She has allied herself with the people who would like to violently overthrow him and install a Yeltsin-like, Maidan-like oligarchic regime in his place, a regime that would plunder and rape that country.
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  • @Stubborn in Germany
    The Nobel Peace Prize descended into absurdity many years ago, the Literature prize a little later. When they awarded the clown Dario Fo, that sealed it. Briefly they returned to sanity when they picked V.S. Naipaul after 9/11, but that was a one-time aberration.

    I generally agree with you regarding the (lack of) quality or merit of recent recipients of the Nobel Literature Prize, but we must acknowledge that they got it right in 2010 when they gave the award to the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa – a tremendous author with an amazing body of work, and who can be described politically as a “classical liberal” in the best sense of the term.

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  • @jimmyriddle
    "well, just One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in Solzhenitsyn’s case"

    I'd add "Cancer Ward" and "Lenin in Zurich" (the only one of his historical novels that is any good, but it is very good, if malicious and ahistorical).

    She isn't the first complete zero to win the Nobel literature prize. I stopped taking it seriously when they gave it to some Spaniard whose main achievement was a lexicon of obscenities.

    “The First Circle” is the Solzhenitsyn novel that impressed me.

    I’ve never even heard of this Alexievich, and I think I’m reasonably well informed as to who’s who in Russian language literature of today. Pelevin is a talented satirist or fantasist, as is Vladimir Sorokin, who doesn’t like Putin either but also has genuine literary talent. Since I haven’t read this year’s winner, I can’t compare, but I suspect they would make better choices. Or if they were looking at literature in Russian written in the rest of the former USSR they might have considered such writers as Andrei Kurkov in Ukraine, or the Riga-based writing team of Garros & Yevdokimov.

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  • So I guess what we have here is the literary equivalent of Pussy Riot. And to think that Jorge Luís Borges never won the Nobel Prize for Literature!

    Seriously, I think I once read an editorial piece by this woman in a German newspaper–just chock full of anti-Russian clichés.

    That is what Keith Gessen, her translator (and brother of Masha Gessen, of “Je suis fromage” fame), ventures in his panegyric of her for Human Rights Watch …

    Gessen? Human Rights Watch? That explains a lot.

    As I said, I do not pretend to be any sort of expert on the sense of style. In fact, I am downright awful at it. (Just look at that weasel phrase at the beginning of the last sentence. And putting this in brackets. And starting sentences with “and”).

    Well, Anatoly, at least you have the capacity for self-criticism! ;-)

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  • @jimmyriddle
    "well, just One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in Solzhenitsyn’s case"

    I'd add "Cancer Ward" and "Lenin in Zurich" (the only one of his historical novels that is any good, but it is very good, if malicious and ahistorical).

    She isn't the first complete zero to win the Nobel literature prize. I stopped taking it seriously when they gave it to some Spaniard whose main achievement was a lexicon of obscenities.

    if malicious and ahistorical

    It was MO of Solzhenitsyn.

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  • Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    Read all Solzhenitsyn. His publicistics is unreadable “The Letter To The Chiefs Of Soviet Union” is case in point. His “How We Are To Rearrange Russia” is another megalomaniac delirium. In terms of GULAG literature, Solzhenitsyn is a pale shadow of Shalamov, from whom he did steal most of real GULAG reflections. After all Solzh is known (documented) to give Shalamov high priority on this issue, especially since Solzhenitsyn spent his time mostly in Sharaga. And, then, comes this One Day (In Life) Of Ivan Denisovich (I may re-read it again, maybe tomorrow)–what is SO literature-wise awesome in that? And then comes the issue of Great Patriotic War and that is where it all stops.

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    • Replies: @nykstys
    What about 200 years together....not sure if it's available in English.
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  • @Sunbeam
    " recall that Chernobyl blew up in 1986 – due to Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign."

    What?

    You were fooled by the use of – … – instead of ( … )

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  • “well, just One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in Solzhenitsyn’s case”

    I’d add “Cancer Ward” and “Lenin in Zurich” (the only one of his historical novels that is any good, but it is very good, if malicious and ahistorical).

    She isn’t the first complete zero to win the Nobel literature prize. I stopped taking it seriously when they gave it to some Spaniard whose main achievement was a lexicon of obscenities.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    if malicious and ahistorical
     
    It was MO of Solzhenitsyn.
    , @SWSpires
    "The First Circle" is the Solzhenitsyn novel that impressed me.

    I've never even heard of this Alexievich, and I think I'm reasonably well informed as to who's who in Russian language literature of today. Pelevin is a talented satirist or fantasist, as is Vladimir Sorokin, who doesn't like Putin either but also has genuine literary talent. Since I haven't read this year's winner, I can't compare, but I suspect they would make better choices. Or if they were looking at literature in Russian written in the rest of the former USSR they might have considered such writers as Andrei Kurkov in Ukraine, or the Riga-based writing team of Garros & Yevdokimov.
    , @James ben Goy
    His Harvard commencement address was a masterpiece & every observation he made therein has, sadly, proven out
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  • ” recall that Chernobyl blew up in 1986 – due to Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign.”

    What?

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    • Replies: @5371
    You were fooled by the use of - ... - instead of ( ... )
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  • @Craig Willy
    Has someone done an analysis of the Nobel Prize-givers' political economy? It, like the Cannes film festival, seems to have gotten heavily "geopoliticized."

    the Cannes film festival, seems to have gotten heavily “geopoliticized.”

    Could you please expand on this?

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  • The Nobel Peace Prize descended into absurdity many years ago, the Literature prize a little later. When they awarded the clown Dario Fo, that sealed it. Briefly they returned to sanity when they picked V.S. Naipaul after 9/11, but that was a one-time aberration.

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    • Replies: @FederalistForever
    I generally agree with you regarding the (lack of) quality or merit of recent recipients of the Nobel Literature Prize, but we must acknowledge that they got it right in 2010 when they gave the award to the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa - a tremendous author with an amazing body of work, and who can be described politically as a "classical liberal" in the best sense of the term.
    , @Seminumerical
    I came across one of Naipaul's Trinidad novels in the 80s, then systematically bought and read every book of his I could find. I had the good luck to have read An Area of Darkness before I travelled in India.

    Stuck in traffic and late for work on 9/11 I turned on the radio and heard the news. My first thought was of Naipaul's Among the Believers.

    I was actually annoyed when he won the Nobel because by then the Literature prize had been handed out to so many bores that I thought it an insult. Literature prizes are a racket anyway.

    I once thought to read all the Booker Prize winners in order from the beginning. I didn't get further than making up the list. I had never heard of most of them. Some weren't even in print.

    I edited a crap novel last year that was shortlisted for various awards (I badly needed the money). It's a dull first person account of experiences in a third world civil war, by an author with a third world surname. The reviews gushed about the "authentic voice" but the author had been in a very first world high school, with me, during the war. One of the historically inaccurate scenes was lifted straight out of an American war movie. Her surname was the only reason it was published.
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  • Thank you for quoting my little blog. Those war-paint-like blobs on Alexievich’s face in the picture above reminded me of something: among other things, this is a case of Swedes rewarding a Ukrainian for attacking Russia. There’s a famous historical precedent for that.

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  • Has someone done an analysis of the Nobel Prize-givers’ political economy? It, like the Cannes film festival, seems to have gotten heavily “geopoliticized.”

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    • Replies: @ion

    the Cannes film festival, seems to have gotten heavily “geopoliticized.”
     
    Could you please expand on this?
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  • The prize is lipstick on a pig nowadays, even when it’s not about politics. How many new readers, or how much prophetic clout did that Swedish poet Tommy Transformer gain by winning it a few years ago, despite his cool name?

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  • За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! The Red Army was the single greatest contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany sixty-four years ago, a truly evil empire based on slavery and oppression, and responsible for the genocide of millions of Slav civilians, Jews, Soviet POW's and Roma by gas, bullets and...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    AK edit: I deleted most of this post, but left the first few paragraphs since observing the rantings of this deranged mind really is quite amusing.

    I agree with Jake Kilgore et al. You communist pigs (I know, you deny who you really are like all commies). You lying commie swine are totally misinformed about every aspect of WW2. All you know is the worn out Soviet lies (circa 1920-2015) that you puke out. Thanks to all the commie traitors in the USA, from obama on down, your puke is repeated 24-7 by America’s propaganda army known as the television, academic, government, motion pictures and print media…a colossus of atavistic commie propaganda that has turned most Americans into sheeple.
    I am not an American patriot. I see the average american as a greedy, fat, and ignorant coward who has no principles, no ideology and is not worth a damn. That’s why the one party system of tyranny controls America today.
    When I read you smug , arrogant, race-traitor commies’ marxist-praying/braying for the blacks/moslems and latinos to enslave us, my blood boils. There are enough hard people like me to nuke you and your commie brethren here. Neither of you deserve to continue your tyranny. Oh Lord deliver to us our enemies! Bring it own swine!
    What about Stalin’s attempt to form an army of cross-bred russkis and chimpanzees (since you are so similar in morals and intelligence, e.g. russpanzees) so that he could wipe white western civilization off the map?
    What about the fact that the Russkis are so barbarically atheistic that they left the Red Army’s rotting corpses that turned to bleached bones, on WW2 battlefields from 1941 until the mid nineties?
    Message to all reds on this site: Go ahead and demand proof of my las ttwo statements. I have it chapter and verse. My proof is much better than the commie US media that covered up your evil for so long, with lies!

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  • [Repeat of comment elsewhere as is even more relevant here]

    The claim that three quarters of German air losses (let alone 77,000 fighters) were in the East is quite false. The Germans never remotely had that many aircraft of all types there to start with. In fact Luftwaffe strength (at any given point) and losses (per year) were about 3000 (with strength declining to a bit over 2000 by mid ’43) in the east, see eg here:

    http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/eastern-front-aircraft-strength-and.html

    Figures vary a bit by source but that is the ball-park.

    From 1943 on most German air strength and losses are in the west, see eg here:

    http://simhq.net/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1135719/1/Some_Facts_about_German_Aircra.html

    This illustrates the problem with taking Soviet or pro-Soviet Russian figures at face value, some of them are pure propaganda, even if believed by those quoting them.

    Also ground forces/losses, whilst indeed much heavier in the east, by late 1944 were becoming rather more even (counting the Italian front plus the West), and by the end of the war the prisoner hauls in the west were bigger than the east, partly because of the preference to surrender there, but also because Hitler directed large forces there in the last year especially to halt the Western Allies.

    Lend-Lease was important not only in the first 18 months, but later gave the Red Army much of the operational mobility (hundreds of thousands of trucks especially) and key supplies that enabled it to inflict such deep blows on the Axis forces, as even Zhukov admitted.

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  • The last comment was a bit harsh in tone perhaps, due to a certain anger at some claims in the article, in future I will be more restrained and deal mainly with the military aspects, which are not so inflammatory or salient, after some further reading of works not consulted for a while. Good to see you showed the guts to keep it up however.

    Btw I don’t contest that the Soviets had a hell of a hard war and took the bulk of the losses etc, though the Western Allied role was still a substantial component overall, especially by late 1944. And that there were aspects of justice in the cause – along with a lot of injustice – especially at the top, for which ordinary Russians also paid a high price. And that the Russians (who are almost the only ones to still celebrate the “Great Patriotic War” as such – the rest having left the nation it refers to technically) have some right to celebrate the victory, which did represent the survival of their nation and even people in fair part. But not in a way (sometimes) generally and grossly demeaning to the descendants and memories of their opponents, most of whom were ordinary people too in terrible circumstances beyond their control, as well as to the sheer facts in some cases. Hardcore criminal racists and fascists were indeed deserving of death and disgrace, but they were a small minority, just as were the hardline Communists. And whilst refusing to accept denial or minimization of the real crimes of Stalin and his cronies, and even some ‘ordinary people’ under them that were also caught up in events beyond their control or understanding, I also apply the same standard to the others too, including the Western Allies who certainly had plenty of blood on their hands – I don’t single out Russia by any means. But the Sovietic triumphalist propaganda style (which may seem normal to some who grew up under its influence) is out of date and not acceptable either in this day and age, what’s needed is a more nuanced and realistic view that accepts the dark with the light, as the facts decree, and also the grey in-between. There is still enough left over to satisfy reasonable requirements and even pride, after all, the Soviets won, after being attacked first and coming to the brink of destruction, and Germany and its allies were the ones crushed. But a whitewash of a brutal regime and actual crimes won’t do, for any nation, and least of all one that lays claim to a higher righteousness of any sort (Russia is not alone there of course).

    And to repeat, Soviet figures were often rather off the mark, for obvious reasons, and while Western figures are not always to be trusted at face value either, a more critical and careful approach needs to be taken with such matters. Certainly this is the case also with the partisan war, where much destruction was caused by the large and ruthless (by Stalin’s command) partisan forces, who often engaged in reprisals and the like against ‘collaborators’ etc, well documented in some cases. That is not to deny that the Axis actions in this regard were even greater by a good margin. Yet according to the standard Sovietic line, all such destruction was inflicted only by the Fascists, and sometimes with a margin of exaggeration added in as to the total extent. Such an approach will convince only ideologues, hyper-patriots and fools, not a good standard to pitch at.

    A general point on relative numbers (details will have to wait), the Axis forces WERE greatly outnumbered overall after 1942-3, usually by 2/3-1 across the front (increasing over time), and rather larger ratios in the sectors of main fighting, and air power, armour and artillery. Glantz for one gives a good overview of this, and he is certainly not anti-Soviet. Only in 1941-early 43 was there some sort of vague parity at times, and most of the Axis allies were second-rate at best in terms of military effectiveness, sometimes much worse. By 1945 the disparity was truly hopeless, and the soldiers who were expected indeed ordered on pain of death to stand up to such a steamroller by then are to be pitied if anything, in human terms if not politically.

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  • Wow I am shocked by this Sovietic propaganda that is both badly wrong on a number of points and in fact quite offensive also in some of its statements, especially for those who lost relatives at the hands of the Soviets too. It is however typical of the sort of thing that passes for standard in pro-Russian circles, and illustrative of why many are still so suspicious of Russia. That the Eastern Front was the main theatre on land is not in doubt, but the one-sidedness of this piece is no better than what it attacks on the other side. Whilst it’s fair to point out shortcomings in Western coverage of the war, it’s not fair to substitute for it something just as flawed or even more. And uncritically accepting Soviet claims of numbers etc is just fallacious, for various reasons. I don’t have time now to critique every point, but I will mention a few howlers.

    This “albeit it is currently fashionable to castigate them for killing 600,000 people who by and large had no problem with waging a war of extermination responsible for tens of millions of deaths on the Eastern Front” is appalling. Most of those killed in the bombing were old people, women and children, who moreover had no awareness of any “war of extermination” being waged, let alone power to do anything about it if they did. The war was presented as a defensive war against a treacherous enemy, in heroic terms in the propaganda, which many did not bother much with anyway. But to try and dismiss any sympathy for such victims by implying they basically deserved it is obscene, and makes me quite angry. Was the young teenage girl relative of mine killed in a bombing raid a deserved victim because she “had no problem with a war of extermination blah blah blah”? If you think that then you are the one ok with extermination.

    The justification of Soviet actions in Eastern Europe, the German parts especially but not exclusively, is just as bad. Several million civilians went missing as the Red Army swept through, and in the immediate aftermath at the hands of the pro-Soviet allies, along with mass rape often accompanied by mutilation and murder (attested by Soviet witnesses also). To try and justify it (as Stalin did) by claims of hard fighting etc is not acceptable, the Germans had also had lots of hard fighting by the time they got deep into Russia, in several campaigns, and seen and heard of mass Soviet atrocities, with a lot of bombing at home, but that doesn’t justify their atrocities. And most Soviet troops never saw the death camps, which had long ceased operation, and the atrocities started well before they were ‘liberated’ anyway (or what was left of them). And many of the destroyed villages etc were the result of Soviet partisans (who fought ruthlessly from the start), barrages, etc. Soviet propaganda blamed it all on the Germans, who certainly did much damage, but far from all. As for the Soviet civilian toll it is highly variable according to source and period, but a substantial portion of it was at the hands of Stalin not Hitler, and admitted as such even by some Russians, though of course most was in Hitler’s zone of control. Several million starved to death during the war under Stalin’s authority, due to his harsh rule and command choices, on top of the Gulag, deportations, executions etc. And as for actual POW’s, not only are recent Russian figures rather reduced, to 1.28 million according to Krivosheev (who strangely you quote elsewhere but not on this), others he assumes were part of the civilian toll, but also the highest percentage of losses was actually Italians in Soviet captivity, at 80+ percent. There’s more, but it will take other posts to detail it, if you can take it, another time.

    Make no mistake, I sympathise with the sufferings of the Russians in WW2, and at other times, and despise the savage aspects of the Nazi rule especially, but I also despise the savagery of Stalinist rule, and apologetics for it, which are little better in my opinion than those for the Nazis, and are a false attempt to portray Stalin and his regime as basically ‘the good guys’, which is BS. He was a mass murderer and torturer second only to Hitler if that, and a willing collaborator with him for 22 months. The ordinary Russian may have been largely innocent of it, but so were the average people everywhere, including in Germany, most of who never voted for Hitler in a free election anyway. The more of this sort of one-sided propaganda that comes out of Russia and from Russians, the more people will be suspicious of both, and the more Russia will sink into a deluded view of things that can only end badly.

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  • A few months ago I posted a table and map of Russian IQ's as derived from regional PISA performance. Those figures are based on Jarkko Hautamäki’s slideshow comparing regional PISA performance in Finland and Russia. That material is a bit inadequate because, as had been my custom up that point, I was only making IQ...
  • […] благосостоянием индивидуума. Теперь смотрим сюда: Analysis Of Russia’s PISA 2009 Results То есть, если наша Смайли из Москвы, С.-Петербурга, […]

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  • За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! The Red Army was the single greatest contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany sixty-four years ago, a truly evil empire based on slavery and oppression, and responsible for the genocide of millions of Slav civilians, Jews, Soviet POW's and Roma by gas, bullets and...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Stephen Zaloga checked Wehrmacht data and found that Germans lost 35% of their armor (tanks, assault guns and tankdestroyers) against western allies. Some other documents have estimated that Luftwaffe lost about 50% of their aircraft in west and south. German Navy lost 95% of tons of ships against western allies. Western allies captured three times more German soldiers than Red Army. What’s OKW:n loss figures KIA, MIA, WIA until December 1944 suggest that 33% of German losses really came against western allies.

    On the other hand even Marshall Zhukov admitted in 1960′s that “without western aid [lend lease] Soviets would not have managed to create their strategic reserves” and “continued the war”. In autumn 1943 65% of Luftwaffe dayfighters were fighting against just one single allie unit – 8th US Air Force. Think about that.

    So when we talk about German losses and defeat we should never forget both Red Army and especially magnificiant American economic and military potential. It looks like German losses came 35% in west and south and 65% in east. Western allies paid the price of some 500 000 death soldiers while Soviet official figures are showing 10 million military deaths or like David Glantz have estimated some 14 700 000 military deaths (during the war and soon after the war[died in wounds] etc).

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  • All of these are true, the fighting in the west paled in comparison to the fighting in the east, and the Nazi treatment of Soviet prisoners of war was far more terrible than Soviet treatment of German soldiers. My only problem is that I think you distorted the numbers a little in myth 2, official reports read that two times more Soviets died than Germans. It’s not really about “Asiatic hordes” it’s more about the fact that Stalin just didn’t care about his own troops. Not trying to make the Nazis look good or anything but the Nazis valued German troops more because they were of pure “Aryan” blood. In Hitlers eyes they were part of the superior race whereas everyone who wasn’t Aryan was considered a sub-human to be exterminated. Nevertheless, Hitler did have some respect for the lives of German people, just not the lives of anyone else. Stalin literally didn’t care about the lives of anyone, whether they were German, Russian, or anyone in-between.

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  • The Next 100 Years by George Friedman, published in 2010. Rating: 3/5 George Friedman at Stratfor is one of my favorite analysts on world geopolitics. This is because he tries to look at the world as it is, without the pointless moralizing, neoliberal ideologizing and end-of-history triumphalism that clouds too much American geopolitical thinking. Hence...
  • […] For the interested, here is a friendly but critical review of Friedman’s supposedly best-selling The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (2009). Friedman actually predicts the disintegration of Russia in the 2020’s, following a […]

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  • Here it is, for those who read Russian. The May data also has emigration data, which is not included in the prelimary estimates - that is here. The main points to take away: Births fell 0.3% and deaths fell 0.5%; as a result, the overall natural decrease has fallen from -57,000 in 2012 to -53,000...
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Just... wow. It even has the Kurils. Thanks for this!

    I think I'll even make a separate post.

    hello
    5600000 people hade not declared their own ethnictly-is these muslims or russians?

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  • @karl1haushofer
    What about emigration figures? Are more or less Russians moving abroad?

    hello
    there is about 5600000 people hade not declaired their ethnictly-all of them migrants from central asia (muslims) russia will became muslim majority state by 2050

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    I'm afraid that simply isn't going to happen.

    Jan-Jul 2012 Ukraine's natural population growth was -3.7/1,000; this year, it's -4.0/1,000.

    In particular, while the death rate fell modestly (from 14.9 to 14.7), the birth rate fell substantially (from 11.2 to 10.7). Nor is there much scope for increasing it, because as in Russia, the small 1990s cohort is now fast coming into peak reproductive age - and the Ukrainian population is slightly older than Russia's to boot. It would do very well to keep the birth rate at ~10/1,000 in the next two decades.

    I couldn’t find direct info about birth rate by oblast for Ukraine in the 1990s, but this map of population growth from 1989 to 2001:

    suggests that the reverse baby-boom of the 1990s did not impact western Ukraine that much. This may mean that the regional demographic differences may escalate as the 1990′s cohort reaches childbearing age.

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  • @Anonymous
    Do you know how is the situation now in Ukraine with birth rate? I think they will have better year than 2012 which was their best or i am wrong? President of Ukraine said in 2012 that they will have more births than deaths in 2013-2014 in Ukraine.

    I’m afraid that simply isn’t going to happen.

    Jan-Jul 2012 Ukraine’s natural population growth was -3.7/1,000; this year, it’s -4.0/1,000.

    In particular, while the death rate fell modestly (from 14.9 to 14.7), the birth rate fell substantially (from 11.2 to 10.7). Nor is there much scope for increasing it, because as in Russia, the small 1990s cohort is now fast coming into peak reproductive age – and the Ukrainian population is slightly older than Russia’s to boot. It would do very well to keep the birth rate at ~10/1,000 in the next two decades.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I couldn't find direct info about birth rate by oblast for Ukraine in the 1990s, but this map of population growth from 1989 to 2001:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UaPopulation1989-2001.PNG

    suggests that the reverse baby-boom of the 1990s did not impact western Ukraine that much. This may mean that the regional demographic differences may escalate as the 1990's cohort reaches childbearing age.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Do you know how is the situation now in Ukraine with birth rate? I think they will have better year than 2012 which was their best or i am wrong? President of Ukraine said in 2012 that they will have more births than deaths in 2013-2014 in Ukraine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I'm afraid that simply isn't going to happen.

    Jan-Jul 2012 Ukraine's natural population growth was -3.7/1,000; this year, it's -4.0/1,000.

    In particular, while the death rate fell modestly (from 14.9 to 14.7), the birth rate fell substantially (from 11.2 to 10.7). Nor is there much scope for increasing it, because as in Russia, the small 1990s cohort is now fast coming into peak reproductive age - and the Ukrainian population is slightly older than Russia's to boot. It would do very well to keep the birth rate at ~10/1,000 in the next two decades.

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  • What great news of the improvement in Russian fertility.

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  • @Will
    HAHA! You might as well start looking for a new word for Siberia soon. Russian de facto rule in the Far East is finished!

    AK: I believe I have already asked you to insert hyperlinks as opposed to spamming the comments threads with entire articles.

    Judging by the very end of the article, it looks like these Chinese will simply assimilate into Russian society.

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  • HAHA! You might as well start looking for a new word for Siberia soon. Russian de facto rule in the Far East is finished!

    AK: I believe I have already asked you to insert hyperlinks as opposed to spamming the comments threads with entire articles.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Judging by the very end of the article, it looks like these Chinese will simply assimilate into Russian society.
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Just... wow. It even has the Kurils. Thanks for this!

    I think I'll even make a separate post.

    I’m glad to be helpful; it’s the least I can do, given the many insightful articles of yours that I have enjoyed.

    A caveat about the map: it seems to closely match other demographic data I have seen, but it doesn’t seem to have a specific reference.

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  • @AP
    FYI, a map of natural population growth in the former USSR in 2012 (not 2013):

    http://s019.radikal.ru/i638/1304/87/95fd415a6095.png

    Just… wow. It even has the Kurils. Thanks for this!

    I think I’ll even make a separate post.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I'm glad to be helpful; it's the least I can do, given the many insightful articles of yours that I have enjoyed.

    A caveat about the map: it seems to closely match other demographic data I have seen, but it doesn't seem to have a specific reference.

    , @lucya
    hello
    5600000 people hade not declared their own ethnictly-is these muslims or russians?
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