The collapse of the Soviet Union was far from inevitable: A historic opportunity to democratize and marketize Russia by...
The most consequential event of the second half of the twentieth century took place surreptitiously fifteen years ago at a secluded hunting lodge in the Belovezh Forest near Minsk. On December 8, 1991, heads of three of the Soviet Union’s fifteen republics, led by Boris Yeltsin of Russia, met there to sign documents abolishing that... Read More
Twenty years later, questions endure about how and why the nation abruptly dissolved.
This essay is an expanded version of an article that appeared in The Nation on the fifteenth anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union. Asked to evaluate the French Revolution nearly 200 years later, the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was famously reported to have replied, “Too early to say.” Though apocryphal, the long perspective... Read More
At a time when the United States is convulsed by anti-Russian hysteria and demonization of Vladimir Putin, a trove of recently declassified Cold War documents reveals the astounding extent of the lies, duplicity and double-dealing engaged in by the western powers with the collapsing Soviet Union in 1990. I was covering Moscow in those days... Read More
I have recently had the pleasure of watching a short presentation by Professor Stephen F. Cohen entitled “Rethinking Putin” which he delivered on the annual Nation cruise on December 2, 2017 (see here for the original Nation Article and original YouTube video). In his short presentation, Professor Cohen does a superb job explaining what Putin... Read More
Although my main academic focus was theoretical physics, I always had a very strong interest in history as well, especially that of the Classical Era. Trying to extract the true pattern of events from a collection of source material that was often fragmentary, unreliable, and contradictory was a challenging intellectual exercise, testing my analytical ability.... Read More
"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce," a saying attributed to Karl Marx, comes to mind in this time of Trump. To those of us raised in the Truman era, when the Red Army was imposing its bloody Bolshevik rule on half of Europe, and NATO was needed to keep Stalin's armies from... Read More
Jeeves, the excellent valet of Mr Wooster, had an ace up his sleeve: if going was tough, he had used his access to the records of the Junior Ganymede club, and there he could find embarrassing stuff against anybody who had ever employed a valet or a butler, for these gentleman’s gentlemen were obliged to... Read More
J. Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific head of the U.S. atomic-bomb project during World War II. Oppenheimer was a brilliant physicist whose contributions were essential for the successful development of the atomic bomb. Gen. Leslie Groves, the overall head of what became known as the Manhattan Project, testified that Oppenheimer was an exceptionally hard worker... Read More
For those of us who followed the Russian Internet there is a highly visible phenomenon taking place which is quite startling: there are a lot of anti-Putin videos posted on YouTube or its Russian equivalents. Not only that, but a flurry of channels has recently appeared which seem to have made bashing Putin or Mishustin... Read More