Month: February 2009

History’s greatest heist

A new book by Sean McMeekin, assistant professor of international relations at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, examines the apparent mystery of how the Bolsheviks managed to stay in power during the five long years of the Russian Civil War. The Moscow Times has a review.

(via Marius)

The grand accusation

On the ‘Z’ Word site, a remarkable interview by Michelle Sieff with Terror and Liberalism author Paul Berman. At one point, Berman discusses the historical underpinnings of contemporary anti-Semitism:

The Nazis are generally regarded as the worst, most evil political movement in all of history – a political movement that not only committed crimes but stood for the principle of crime. By comparing Israel to the Nazis, people mean to suggest that Israel is likewise one of the worst, most evil political institutions that could possibly exist. The accusation is cosmically huge. And the cosmically huge accusation makes perfect sense – if you keep in mind the venerable idea that the Jews stand in the way of mankind’s achievement of a perfected system of universal justice and happiness.

Russia’s passport offensive

An AP feature describes how,”claiming humanitarian grounds for ex-USSR citizens, Russia is building vast communities of citizens outside its borders”. The article discusses the situation in Georgia, Moldova, Trans-Dniester, Estonia and Ukraine. According to the Federal Migration Service, since the year 2000 Russia has given passports to nearly 2.9 million former Soviet citizens.

(via Marko Mikhkelson)

Who won the Russian-Georgian War?

Russia and Georgia at War has published a translated collection of summarized articles by the Russian journalist Yulia Latynina. Such was the barrage of lies and propaganda unleashed during the conflict and after it, she concludes that the only victor of the war was the South Ossetian regime and its out-of-control leader:

President Kokoyti solved all his problems. Georgian enclaves that used to irritate him with their wealth and affluence are burnt down. Georgian hospital and apartment blocks are destroyed. “We razed everything there to the ground” he said. All Tskhinvali residents know that Georgians were running around Tskhinvali and were killing children, while Georgian warplanes were bombing them, – all at the same time. Entire Tskhinvali population knows the name of their savior, the great leader Kokoyti. Those in South Ossetia who doubt it are guaranteed to have problems.

Books from Finland on the Web

Books from Finland, the English-language literary magazine which has been published quarterly since 1977, is now available in a new Web format. The style of the magazine’s contents continues to be the same as before, with translated extracts from recent Finnish and Finland-Swedish fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as plenty of book reviews, illustrations and short bibliographical summaries. Soila Lehtonen writes:

BfF, a weblication:

Spread the word, please!

Soila Lehtonen
Books from Finland, the online journal
of writing from and about Finland:

P.O. Box 250, FI-00171 Helsinki
+358 (0)20 131 345