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Diary

Anatol Lieven: In Pakistan, 15 November 2001

... Complacency was the greatest danger I faced in Pakistan last month. I didn’t visit Quetta or Jacobabad, where serious rioting took place and the police shot several people dead, and everywhere else – especially in Punjab, where the fate of Pakistan has always been decided – the demonstrations were small and easily contained. They were also overshadowed by a heavily armed military and police presence ...

US/USSR

Anatol Lieven: Remembering the Cold War, 16 November 2006

The Cold War 
by John Lewis Gaddis.
Allen Lane, 333 pp., £20, January 2006, 0 7139 9912 8
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The Global Cold War 
by Odd Arne Westad.
Cambridge, 484 pp., £25, January 2006, 0 521 85364 8
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... America’s struggle with the Soviet Union and Communism during the Cold War is the key founding myth of the modern American state – a state in many ways utterly different from the one that existed before the 1940s. The Cold War ended in what has generally been portrayed in the US as absolute victory, involving not just the crushing defeat of the enemy and the disappearance of its ideology, but the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a state ...

A Trap of Their Own Making

Anatol Lieven: The consequences of the new imperialism, 8 May 2003

... Nineteenth-century empires were often led on from one war to another as a result of developments which imperial governments did not plan and domestic populations did not desire. In part this was the result of plotting by individual ‘prancing proconsuls’, convinced they could gain a reputation at small risk, given the superiority of their armies to any conceivable opposition; but it was also the result of factors inherent in the imperial process ...

British Chill

Anatol Lieven: What E.H.Carr Got Right, 24 August 2000

The Vices of Integrity: E.H.Carr 1892-1928 
by Jonathan Haslam.
Verso, 306 pp., £25, July 1999, 1 85984 733 1
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... Three years after E.H. Carr’s death in 1982, Mikhail Gorbachev began the process which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and Soviet Communism, a development which at first sight renders Carr’s life’s work not only irrelevant but absurd, based as it was on a profound admiration for Soviet achievements. The charge of having grossly misread the nature of the Soviet system is likely to dog him in death, just as in his lifetime he could never wholly shake off that of having advocated the appeasement of Nazi Germany ...

Diary

Anatol Lieven: In Kabul, 4 April 2002

... Downtown Kabul is Fat City, Afghan style. The first shock for a new visitor is how undamaged and commercially busy it looks. On my second day, I bought a camera, one of a large range, from the only Hindu shopkeeper left in town, and French cheese and Carr’s water biscuits with sesame seeds from a shop in Flower Street – which had a far more elaborate choice of English biscuits than most of the better US supermarkets ...

Taking back America

Anatol Lieven: The right-wing backlash, 2 December 2004

What’s the Matter with America? The Resistible Rise of the American Right 
by Thomas Frank.
Secker, 306 pp., £12, September 2004, 0 436 20539 4
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... There is no great mystery about the Republican victory in the US election. It was the product of what used to be one of the most familiar and powerful combinations in the modern history of Europe: the marriage of nationalism and conservative religion. The combination is unfamiliar to most Western Europeans today; but it was all too familiar to their ancestors, and remains so in many parts of the world ...

The New Cold War

Anatol Lieven: The New Cold War, 4 October 2001

... Not long after the Bush Administration took power in January, I was invited to lunch at a glamorous restaurant in New York by a group of editors and writers from an influential American right-wing broadsheet. The food and wine were extremely expensive, the decor luxurious but discreet, the clientele beautifully dressed, and much of the conversation more than mildly insane ...

We do not deserve these people

Anatol Lieven: America and its Army, 20 October 2005

The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War 
by Andrew Bacevich.
Oxford, 270 pp., £16.99, August 2005, 0 19 517338 4
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... A key justification of the Bush administration’s purported strategy of ‘democratising’ the Middle East is the argument that democracies are pacific, and that Muslim democracies will therefore eventually settle down peacefully under the benign hegemony of the US. Yet, as Andrew Bacevich points out in one of the most acute analyses of America to have appeared in recent years, the United States itself is in many ways a militaristic country, and becoming more so: at the end of the Cold War, Americans said yes to military power ...

The Push for War

Anatol Lieven: The Threat from America, 3 October 2002

... The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration’s plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism ...

Preserver and Destroyer

Anatol Lieven: Pakistan’s Predicament, 23 January 2003

Pakistan: Eye of the Storm 
by Owen Bennett-Jones.
Yale, 328 pp., £18.95, August 2002, 0 300 09760 3
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... Pakistan has been described as ‘the most dangerous place on earth’, yet Owen Bennett Jones’s title is appropriate, for though storms rage all around Pakistan, the country itself is surprisingly calm – surprisingly at least to anyone depending for information on the Western media, which have all too often been given to hysterical talk about state collapse, military tyranny, imminent Islamist revolution, terrorist takeover and a nuclear war with India ...

Will the Empire ever end?

John Lloyd, 27 January 1994

Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics 
by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Oxford, 221 pp., £17.95, March 1993, 0 19 827787 3
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Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States 
edited by Ian Bremner and Ray Taras.
Cambridge, 577 pp., £55, December 1993, 0 521 43281 2
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The Post-Soviet Nations 
edited by Alexander Motyl.
Columbia, 322 pp., £23, November 1993, 0 231 07894 3
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The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence 
by Anatol Lieven.
Yale, 454 pp., £22.50, June 1993, 0 300 05552 8
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... has outlived its credibility ... The point about the melting pot ... is that it did not happen.’ Anatol Lieven, in his compendious and elegant book on the former Soviet states of the Baltics, makes the point for the East: ‘The issue ... is how to regulate the relationship of nations, each with their own language, culture and, above all, set of ...

‘My God was bigger than his’

Colin Kidd: The Republicans, 4 November 2004

The Right Nation: Why America Is Different 
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
Allen Lane, 450 pp., £14.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9738 9
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Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet 
by James Mann.
Penguin, 448 pp., $16, September 2004, 0 14 303489 8
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Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image 
by David Greenberg.
Norton, 496 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 393 32616 0
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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism 
by Anatol Lieven.
HarperCollins, 274 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 716456 4
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... of them liked it – that the authentic voice of Nixonian politics was the snarl of resentment. Anatol Lieven’s fascinating and incisive analysis of American nationalism in America Right or Wrong sets the topic of right-wing Republican resentment in a much wider context, comparing the recent transformation of American Republicanism with the ...

Old Europe

Jeremy Harding: Britain in Bosnia, 20 February 2003

Indictment at The Hague: The Milosevic Regime and the Crimes of the Balkan Wars 
by Norman Cigar and Paul Williams.
New York, 339 pp., $24.95, July 2002, 0 8147 1626 1
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Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia 
by Brendan Simms.
Penguin, 464 pp., £8.99, July 2002, 0 14 028983 6
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Under Orders: War Crimes in Kosovo 
by Fred Abrahams.
Human Rights Watch, 593 pp., £18, October 2001, 1 56432 264 5
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Milosevic: A Biography 
by Adam LeBor.
Bloomsbury, 386 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 7475 6090 0
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... particularly a war which would range the US and Russia on different sides.’ ‘In Bosnia,’ Anatol Lieven said in 1994, ‘Russia is not Nato’s enemy, but Nato’s alibi; if Russia had not existed, then Britain and France would have had to invent it as an excuse for their cowardice and indecision.’ But Tory diplomacy on Bosnia had ...

Make for the Boondocks

Tom Nairn: Hardt and Negri, 5 May 2005

Multitude 
by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
Hamish Hamilton, 426 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 241 14240 7
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... account of how strong this belief remains among born-again Americans, and more recently still Anatol Lieven has underlined the rapport between such apocalyptic convictions and US political identity in America Right or Wrong (2004). Unfortunately, being on our side has in this wider context the sense of carrying our side over to their terrain: we too ...

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