NEW BOOKS: History. Russia. China.

Asia’s Reckoning; China, Japan, and the Fate of US Power in the Pacific Century by Richard McGregor. Viking, 2017. The geopolitical conflicts in the Pacific Rim since the normalization of US relations with China in 1972, including the ongoing rivalry between China and Japan, industrial rivals.

The House of the Dead; Siberian Exile under the Tsars by Daniel Beer. Vintage, 2017 paper. In the nineteenth-century the Tsars exiled to Siberian labor camps more than a million prisoners and their families.

The Last of the Tsars by Robert Service.   Pegasus Books, 2017. The last eighteen months of Nicholas II’s life.

Gorbachev; His Life and Times by William Taubman. W.W. Norton, 2017. In 1985, when Gorbachev became the leader of the USSR, the Soviet Union was one of two superpowers. In December 1991 Gorbachev unintentionally presided over its collapse. What accounts for this collapse, and Gorbachev’s acceptance of that fate?

The New Russia by Mikhail Gorbachev & Arch Tait. Polity Press, 2017 paper. After years of rapprochement, the relationship between Russia and the West is strained. What are Putin’s motives? Gorbachev’s explanation.

The House of Government; A Saga of the Russian Revolution by Uri Slezkine. Princeton University Press, 2017. The House of Government was a residential building and at the time Europe’s largest. It was home to hundreds of Communist Party officials and their dependents.

Red Famine; Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum. Doubleday, 2017. In 1929 Joseph Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization. Millions of peasants were forced onto collective farms and a planned agricultural economy, and famine.

The Resurgence of Central Asia; Islam or Nationalism? by Ahmed Rashid. New York Review of Books, 2017 paper. The new ‘stans,’ going back to the Russian revolution and forward to the breakup of the Soviet Union.

What You Did Not Tell; A Russian Past and the Journey Home by Mark Mazower. Other Press, 2017. The siege of Stalingrad, the Vilna ghetto, occupied Paris, even the Wehrmacht. All part of Mazower’s family history.

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