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A bear with a sore head

Anyone who has lived for any length of time in Russia during the past decade will instantly understand why Andrew Meier wrote this book. Meier, who worked in Moscow for Time magazine from 1996 until 2001, probably spent most of his time there doing what most other reporters do: covering news, chasing the things that …

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Faith and Freedom

On the streets, giant menorahs jostle for space with Santa and Rudolph. On the airwaves, President Bush issues Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa messages. At the mall, you can buy dreidels to stuff in your stockings or lights to decorate your Hanukah bush.

Putin arrested Russia’s richest man as a warning to the others

I first met Mikhail Khodorkovsky several years ago, just after he had embarked upon his amazingly rapid conversion from shady, highly-suspect oil billionaire to famous, philanthropist oil billionaire. The location was the Moscow home of a Russian friend who might be best described as a democracy activist, and the occasion was Khodorkovsky’s first meeting with …

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When the stage was set for war

The use of culture as a tool of national rivalry is as old as national rivalry itself. European princes competed with one another for the services of court musicians, Renaissance magnates vied to commission the best painters, Versailles was constructed in order to display the power of the French king.

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