Speech Lessons: What Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” can tell us about regime change.

Because he has already been lauded for his extensive research and his psychological insight, I won’t heap further praise on William Taubman, author of a substantial new biography Khrushchev: the Man and His Era. Suffice it to say that he makes extensive use of newly opened archives, carefully parses the Cuban Missile Crisis, pays due …

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George’s big mistake was to listen to Tony

Practically nobody is willing to say it, so let us be as frank as possible: the decision to conduct the invasion of Iraq in consultation with the United Nations – a decision taken by President George W Bush partly to mollify his friend Tony Blair – has been utterly disastrous.

Reflections in the World’s Eye

Because no review of Being America can avoid recounting the biography of the book’s author, this one will dispense with the task right at the beginning. Jedediah Purdy is the child of hippie parents who dropped out and moved to West Virginia.

Saddam is a pushover compared to Kim Jong Il

This weekend, Colin Powell, the American Secretary of State, is not in Israel or in Jordan, preparing for imminent war with Iraq. He is not in Europe, mollifying allies. Instead, he is in Japan and South Korea, quietly dealing with the other weapons-of-mass-destruction crisis, the one we have heard much less about.

After the Gulag

In 1955, the Russian writer Yuri Dombrovsky returned home to Moscow after twenty-five years in Soviet camps and exile—twenty-five years “out there”—to discover that he had not, after all, been completely forgotten. He was handed a rehabilitation document, given a grudging pension, assigned a single room in a communal apartment. Although few of his works …

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It really was the day the world changed

A few days ago, I negotiated a service contract for the boiler in my new house in Washington DC. At the end of a long telephone exchange, I had to make a decision: did I want a fixed oil price, or a variable one? The variable price was lower. Nevertheless, I preferred the fixed price.

The Gulag Argumento

Martin Amis swings at Stalin and hits his own best friend instead. Judging by the reviews, Martin Amis’ new book, Koba the Dread, will produce an unusually wide range of reactions—but that is hardly surprising. Although Amis is best known as a novelist, Koba the Dread is a truly unique, not to say peculiar, work …

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