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Stephen Holmes: Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia by Stephen Cohen, 19 April 2001

Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia 
by Stephen Cohen.
Norton, 305 pp., £15.95, November 2000, 0 393 04964 7
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... of President Bush’s foreign policy team have even begun echoing those leftist critics, such as Stephen Cohen, who miss no opportunity to denounce ‘the disastrous failure of US policy towards post-Communist Russia’. Best known for his 1973 study of Bukharin, Cohen is presumably well prepared to imagine how ...

After Lahore

Tariq Ali: It’s not just cricket, 26 March 2009

... at a Brookings Institution event optimistically titled ‘Pakistan: Dream Deferred or Denied?’ Stephen Cohen, an expert on the Pakistan military and a senior fellow at the institution, painted a grim picture of the situation in Pakistan. The country, he said, was unravelling at a rapid pace and the US could lose control. If ...

What do you know about Chekhov?

Keith Kyle, 19 December 1985

Aquarium 
by Viktor Suvorov, translated by David Floyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 249 pp., £10.95, June 1985, 0 241 11545 0
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Breaking with Moscow 
by Arkady Shevchenko.
Cape, 278 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 224 02804 9
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Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History since 1917 
by Stephen Cohen.
Oxford, 222 pp., £15, May 1985, 0 19 503468 6
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Rise and Fall 
by Milovan Djilas.
Macmillan, 424 pp., £14.95, September 1985, 0 333 39791 6
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Tito’s Flawed Legacy: Yugoslavia and the West 1939-1984 
by Nora Beloff.
Gollancz, 287 pp., £12.95, July 1985, 0 575 03668 0
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... by birth – are sealed off from the many intractable problems of everyday Soviet life, which, Stephen Cohen maintains in his interesting volume of essays, put one in mind of a Third World state rather than a modern super-power. ‘My father lives in the skies,’ Gromyko’s daughter once told Shevchenko. ‘For twenty-five years he has not set foot ...

I was warmer in prison

Vadim Nikitin: ‘A Terrible Country’, 11 October 2018

A Terrible Country 
by Keith Gessen.
Fitzcarraldo, 352 pp., £12.99, July 2018, 978 1 910695 76 0
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... of most American scholarship and reporting on Russia. With a few exceptions – such as NYU’s Stephen Cohen and Pittsburgh’s Sean Guillory – even simple self-criticism is almost entirely absent from US Slavic Studies departments. Politically, nearly all the major scholarship of the past half century (some of it very good or even brilliant in ...

Unfair to Stalin

Robert Service, 17 March 1988

Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World 
by Mikhail Gorbachev.
Collins, 254 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 00 215660 1
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The Birth of Stalinism: The USSR on the Eve of the ‘Second Revolution’ 
by Michal Reiman, translated by George Saunders.
Tauris, 188 pp., £24.50, November 1987, 1 85043 066 7
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Stalin in October: The Man who Missed the Revolution 
by Robert Slusser.
Johns Hopkins, 281 pp., £20.25, December 1987, 0 8018 3457 0
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... late E.H. Carr and the warmth for it expressed by historian-reformers in the Soviet Union and by Stephen Cohen in the USA. The merit of Reiman’s book lies elsewhere. E.H. Carr, whatever one thinks of his general analysis (and readers of this journal will be aware that his heritage is contentious), pioneered the study of early Soviet ...

Terkinesque

Sheila Fitzpatrick: A Leninist version of Soviet history, 1 September 2005

The Soviet Century 
by Moshe Lewin, edited by Gregory Elliott.
Verso, 416 pp., £25, February 2005, 1 84467 016 3
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... norms’ of an earlier era) as well as appealing to young American ‘revisionist’ scholars like Stephen Cohen, who wanted to decouple Leninism and Stalinism in order to rescue the former from the stigma of ‘totalitarianism’. Lewin’s next book, dauntingly entitled Political Undercurrents in Soviet Economic Debates, had Nikolai Bukharin – the ...

Somewhat Divine

Simon Schaffer: Isaac Newton, 16 November 2000

Isaac Newton: The ‘Principia’ Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy 
translated by I. Bernard Cohen.
California, 974 pp., £22, September 1999, 0 520 08817 4
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... until now, been another. It has understandably taken the Harvard historian of science I. Bernard Cohen and his collaborators much longer to produce this new translation than Newton took to compose the original, or Motte his version. In 1956, when Cohen had already established his reputation as a historian of Newtonian ...

Forget the Klingons

James Hamilton-Paterson: Is there anybody out there?, 6 March 2003

Evolving the Alien: The Science of Extraterrestrial Life 
by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart.
Ebury, 369 pp., £17.99, September 2002, 0 09 187927 2
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XTL: Extraterrestrial Life and How to Find It 
by Simon Goodwin and John Gribbin.
Weidenfeld, 191 pp., £12.99, August 2002, 1 84188 193 7
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... Most formative thinking about the genuinely alien has been done by science fiction writers, and Cohen and Stewart provide their own short SF story about how an unknown creature might perceive a Nasa probe sent in the near future to Europa, a satellite of Jupiter. (There are great hopes that life might be found in the ocean that is believed to lie beneath ...

Which Face?

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Emigrés on the Make, 6 February 2020

Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia 
by Benjamin Tromly.
Oxford, 329 pp., £75, September 2019, 978 0 19 884040 4
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The Dissidents: A Memoir of Working with the Resistance in Russia, 1960-90 
by Peter Reddaway.
Brookings, 337 pp., £25.50, February, 978 0 8157 3773 5
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... passed on samizdat documents from Reddaway to the NTS’s publishing house in Frankfurt, while Stephen Cohen of Princeton, persona non grata with the Soviets because his research topic was the Bolshevik Oppositionist Nikolai Bukharin, passed materials on to Valery Chalidze, who helped found the Moscow Human Rights Committee in 1970. Peter Dornan at ...

On and off the page

Thomas Nagel, 25 July 1991

Isaiah Berlin: A Celebration 
by Edna Margalit and Avishai Margalit.
Hogarth, 224 pp., £25, June 1991, 0 7012 0925 9
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... many subject which have been part of their friendships with him. Of the 14 essays and one poem (by Stephen Spender) three have previously been published. Alfred Brendel writes about humour in music, Francis Haskell on controversies about the transition from Late Roman to Early Christian art; Bernard Williams, in a wonderful and unsummarisable essay called ...

British Worthies

David Cannadine, 3 December 1981

The Directory of National Biography, 1961-1970 
edited by E.T. Williams and C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 1178 pp., £40, October 1981, 0 19 865207 0
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... Mr Stephen is editing a little dictionary,’ a friend explained to a clergyman foolhardy enough to ask whether Leslie ‘did any writing’. The enterprise in question was the DNB, one of those grandiosely-conceived and indefatigably-executed works of late 19th-century self-regard, comparable to the Victoria County Histories and the Survey of London ...

Rancorous Luminaries

R.W. Davies, 28 April 1994

Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives 
edited by J. Arch Getty and Roberta Manning.
Cambridge, 294 pp., £35, September 1993, 0 521 44125 0
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Beria: Stalin’s First Lieutenant 
by Amy Knight.
Princeton, 312 pp., £19.95, January 1994, 0 691 03257 2
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This I Cannot Forget: The Memoirs of Nikolai Bukharin’s Widow 
by Anna Larina.
Hutchinson, 385 pp., £25, March 1994, 0 09 178141 8
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Stalin i Ordzhonikidze: Konflikty v Politbyuro v 30-e gody 
by O.V. Khlevnyuk.
Rossiya Molodaya, 144 pp., December 1993, 5 86646 047 5
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... famine of 1932-3. The estimates made as long ago as 1946 by Lorimer, and in the Seventies by Stephen Wheatcroft and myself, proved to be too low, but many estimates by Western historians were too high. The present state of our knowledge about these grim consequences of Stalinism is succinctly summarised in Alec Nove’s 14-page chapter in Stalinist ...

Brandenburg’s Dream

Derek Walmsley: Digital Piracy, 7 January 2016

How Music Got Free 
by Stephen Witt.
Bodley Head, 280 pp., £20, June 2015, 978 1 84792 282 3
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... as the heartland of hiphop, belt buckles were used for bragging and branding. Everyone wore them, Stephen Witt writes in How Music Got Free, at the CD pressing plant in North Carolina that handled heavyweight hiphop labels such as Def Jam, Interscope and Death Row. ‘The white guys wore big oval medallions with the stars and bars painted on. The black guys ...

Lemon and Pink

David Trotter: The Sorrows of Young Ford, 1 June 2000

Return to Yesterday 
by Ford Madox Ford, edited by Bill Hutchings.
Carcanet, 330 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 397 1
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War Prose 
by Ford Madox Ford, edited by Max Saunders.
Carcanet, 276 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 396 3
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... begins momentously with Joseph Conrad, and develops into a meticulous and heartfelt tribute to Stephen Crane, concludes by recommending an old leather portmanteau as the best possible manure for fig trees. Mrs Gwendolen Bishop no doubt astonished Holland Park Avenue with the splendour of her costume; it’s the onions we remember her by. Recollection was a ...

Never Mind the Bollocks

Hilary Rose and Steven Rose: Brains and Gender, 28 April 2011

Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences 
by Rebecca Jordan-Young.
Harvard, 394 pp., £25.95, September 2010, 978 0 674 05730 2
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... were on average 14 per cent heavier than women’s. Broca’s data were elegantly picked apart by Stephen Jay Gould in The Mismeasure of Man. Most of the difference is accounted for by differences in height and build between men and women, and once corrected for these, the gross difference evaporates. After Broca’s death – it turned out at his post-mortem ...

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