Die Macht der Worte

In Erinnerung an Alexander Solschenizyns Gulag.

Obwohl mittlerweile drei Jahrzehnte vergangen sind seit jenem Winter 1974, als erste ungebundene, handgetippte Samisdat-Manuskripte des “Archipel Gulag” in der damals sogenannten Sowjetunion zu zirkulieren begannen, sind die Gefühle immer noch stark. Continue reading “Die Macht der Worte”

Deluded and abandoned

  • The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia
    by Tim Tzouliadis, Little, Brown, 472pp.

Once, while travelling in an odd part of Siberia, I was told of a place called ‘the English colony’. A remote spot — it was said to be several hours from the nearest town, but trains were infrequent and roads non-existent — the ‘English colony’ was the site of a former Soviet camp: a small piece of the gulag where the prisoners had been British. Or so the story went. Continue reading “Deluded and abandoned”

Planting Ideology

  • The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov
    by Peter Pringle
    Simon and Schuster, 384 pp.

Concentration camps, mass murders, wars, starvation: The history of the Soviet Union is not short of large-scale tragedies and crimes. But in cataloguing these events or counting up the dead, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the Bolshevik Revolution left more than physical damage in its wake: Continue reading “Planting Ideology”

John McCain and Barack Obama have much in common in presidential race

And now, at last, we’ve got to the interesting part: the race between two candidates seemingly so different from one another that their opposing presidential campaigns can actually be described in large, sweeping metaphors. Continue reading “John McCain and Barack Obama have much in common in presidential race”

The Blog of War

  • Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization
    By Nicholson Baker
    Simon and Schuster, 567 pp.


The ideal Gawker item,” Nick Denton, the owner of Gawker Media, wrote in an instant message, “is something triggered by a quote at a party, or an incident, or a story somewhere else and serves to expose hypocrisy, or turn conventional wisdom on its head.

“And it’s 100 words long.

“200 max. Continue reading “The Blog of War”