Extraordinary champion of ordinary people

A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, by Anna Politkovskaya, University of Chicago Press, 224pp.

Some years ago, I went to visit the offices of a small Moscow newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.   Novaya Gazeta has always led a precarious existence — it is one of the few publications that has consistently opposed the Kremlin — and that day the editor was particularly distracted. Continue reading “Extraordinary champion of ordinary people”

How Life Imitates Chess

  • From chessboard to boardroom,
    by Gary Kasparov, Heinemann, 262pp.

If I were a leading venture capitalist, the CEO of a large company, or in any case a person in search of ways to win friends and influence people, then I would be in a much better position to judge the utility of How Life Imitates Chess, Garry Kasparov’s bid to convince business executives that there is much to be learned from studying the game of chess. Continue reading “How Life Imitates Chess”

What really destroyed the Hungarians in 1956?

  • Twelve Days: Revolution 1956 – How the Hungarians Tried to Topple Their Soviet Masters
    by Victor Sebestyen Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006, 340pp.

Of all the great events of the Cold War, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 is probably the one most in need of serious historical attention. In part this is because new archives have at last explained a number of mysteries: did Imre Nagy, the reforming communist and later national hero, really request Soviet ‘assistance’ in putting down the rebellion? Continue reading “What really destroyed the Hungarians in 1956?”

Die Macht der Fußballfans: Spontane Krawalle nach der verlorenen WM 1954 als Vorboten des Ungarn-Aufstands

So sonderbar es klingen mag – aber der erste echte Vorbote des ungarischen Aufstandes waren Ausschreitungen von Fußballfans. Es war im Jahr 1954, dem Jahr der Fußballweltmeisterschaft, in dem die ungarische Mannschaft alle anderen überragte. Continue reading “Die Macht der Fußballfans: Spontane Krawalle nach der verlorenen WM 1954 als Vorboten des Ungarn-Aufstands”