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The Spymaster

Last December, while most of us were watching the presidential election lumber toward its disastrous conclusion, two aged ­representatives of a very different political era died. One of the deceased was David Cornwell, better known as John le Carré, the pen name he used while writing novels set in . . . . Continue Reading »

Strategic Long-Term Propaganda

In the opening lines of Cold Warriors, Duncan White notes that “between February and May 1955, a group covertly funded by the Central Intelligence Agency launched a secret weapon into Communist territory”: balloons carrying copies of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This was perhaps the . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Lose a Cold War
(and Why)

North by Northwest’s style is so impeccable, its tone so effervescent, that many viewers fail to grasp the film’s seriousness. Ernest ­Lehman, the screenwriter, did not help when he described the film as an insubstantial caper in the vein of James Bond, “something that has wit, . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

With God in America: The Spiritual Legacy of an Unlikely Jesuit by walter j. ciszek, s.j. loyola, 264 pages, $19.95 With God in America completes the triptych of the legendary Walter J. Ciszek, S.J., an American missionary priest who endured twenty-three years in the Soviet Gulag. While the . . . . Continue Reading »

Mr. and Mrs. Fearmonger

The Cold World They Made:The Strategic Legacy of Roberta and Albert Wohlstetter by ron robin harvard, 365 pages, $35 Today all but forgotten, Roberta and Albert Wohlstetter were once the First Couple of Armageddon. During the Cold War, with World War III seemingly just around the corner, they played . . . . Continue Reading »

The Realism We Need

What Hitchens fails to spot is that the Soviet Union was not just about Communism, or about Russia. It was an empire. One hundred twenty million-plus of the Soviet Union’s two hundred eighty-six-million population were non-Russians. Almost none of them were Soviet by choice, any more than the one hundred million people in the other Warsaw Pact countries wanted to be under Soviet tutelage. To view the collapse of the evil empire solely from a Russian point of view is therefore misleading. Continue Reading »

The Cold War Is Over

The misreading of Russia’s geopolitical situation is especially sad because for the first time in many decades there is much to hope for in Moscow. Out of utopian misery has come the prospect of rebirth. It is as yet incipient. But I see great possibilities in it, in the many once-blighted . . . . Continue Reading »

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