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Probably, Perhaps

Dan Jacobson: Wilhelm von Habsburg

14 August 2008
The Red Prince: The Fall of a Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Europe 
by Timothy Snyder.
Bodley Head, 344 pp., £20, June 2008, 978 0 224 08152 8
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... any group, the Communists aside, that he hoped might put him in a post appropriate to his rank. Timothy Snyder, the author of this biography-cum-history, holds a chair at Yale and has written accounts of the rise and collapse of kingdoms and popular movements in Eastern and Central Europe. Garlanded with encomia from ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Meaney: Ersatz Tyrants

3 May 2017
... Timothy Snyder​ , a historian of Modern Eastern Europe at Yale and the most rhetorically gifted defender of the anti-Russian US foreign policy establishment, must have been rubbing his eyes in wonder last year as the theatrics of the Republican primary gave way to the rise of an ersatz Führer. How to describe those private security men ejecting protesters from rallies if not as the first recruits to an American SS? How long until the diatribes against Muslims were followed by a demand that they wear yellow crescents on their lapels? What is the Wall if not a way to secure an American Lebensraum? As the cabinet appointments snapped into place, there was Rex Tillerson, ready to renew the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, while Trump’s economic advisers seethed about trade deficits as if they were unjust war reparations ...

Who remembers the Poles?

Richard J. Evans: Between Hitler and Stalin

4 November 2010
Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin 
by Timothy Snyder.
Bodley Head, 524 pp., £25, September 2010, 978 0 224 08141 2
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... of Poles, 64 per cent of Ukrainians and 75 per cent of Belarussians would perish in this way. As Timothy Snyder reminds us, the Nazis made a start on this scheme of racial annihilation with the blockade of Leningrad, which led to the death of a million of its inhabitants, and the deliberate murder by starvation and disease of more than three million Red ...

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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... falls into three camps: the conservative right (Richard Pipes), neoliberal right (Anne Applebaum, Timothy Snyder) or the cravenly apolitical centre (Timothy Colton). They all treat Russia as a problem to be solved. What is the underlying reason, they ask, for Russia’s deviance from the ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation

7 September 2016
... read the first section of Howl; two younger poets, Michael McClure (early twenties) and Gary Snyder (mid-twenties), read on the same night. So did Lew Welch, who disappeared years later in the Sierra Nevada. Barry Miles, who has written the introductory essay in the catalogue for the Centre Pompidou’s exhibition Beat Generation (until 3 ...

If Only Analogues...

Ange Mlinko: Ginsberg Goes to India

20 November 2008
A Blue Hand: The Beats in India 
by Deborah Baker.
Penguin US, 256 pp., £25.95, April 2008, 978 1 59420 158 5
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... to sail with him to India to find his now ex-girlfriend Hope Savage. The married Beats, Gary Snyder and Joanne Kyger, were studying Zen in Kyoto but planned a pilgrimage to India to see the birthplace of Buddhism. It’s hard to imagine how such disparate personalities got on for long enough to create a literary movement. They were each on a quest to ...

Diary

Jeremy Harding: My ’68

19 July 2018
... jazz figures such as Alice Coltrane; poets and writers, among them Alan Watts, Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Anne Waldman. Travellers on this path thought they were shredding a veil of illusion: ‘Maya’ was a word in common use, on loan from Indian philosophy to sub-prime borrowers in the West, with its hip suggestion that the real is an illusion worked by a ...

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