A good book review is a platform for a skilled sweep of history and society.
Andrew O’Hehir’s Salon.com review of The Rise and Fall of Communism by Archie Brown rises to this standard. The focus of O’Hehir’s write-up is the recent work of a retired Oxford Sovietologist and former informal adviser to Margaret Thatcher.
Despite having been affiliated with one of the biggest anti-communists of them all, Brown has some unorthodox views. The review is worth a read, and the book probably is too.
Amidst all the buzz around new U.S.-Cuba relations, Chris Matthews found a way to sound the old Cold War alarm. Avoiding the messy details of real history, Mr. Matthews criticized President Obama’s call for a new U.S.-Cuba relationship:
Well, I just am not a Castro fan. You know, he [Castro] bought the wrong ticket. He bet on communism. He bet on the Soviet Union. If that side had won, he would be marching through Fifth Avenue, overseeing the executions in Central Park….So, I don’t really want to help Castro.
Summoning ghosts from the 80’s flick Red Dawn, Matthews revealed a history of Cuba that never existed. There was never such a “bet” to be made. Continue reading