FDL Book Salon Welcomes Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book

By: Saturday June 21, 2014 1:59 pm

Today’s guests, Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, discuss their book on the golden age of CIA influence campaigns, The Zhivago Affair.

Within a larger narrative about the life and Russia’s persecution of poet and novelist Boris Pasternak, Finn and Couvee describe CIA’s successful efforts to publish and distribute Pasternak’s Nobel Prize-winning novel, Dr. Zhivago. Somehow, MI6 got a copy of the manuscript and shared it with the CIA, which had it published in Russian by a Dutch publisher and distributed at the Vatican’s exhibit at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. Russian efforts to suppress the book and its coercion of Pasternak to publicly disclaim the publication and the Nobel prize brought international criticism. The operation was — Finn and Couvee describe CIA concluding — “a successful stunt.”

 

Finishing the Job

By: Sunday May 11, 2014 6:40 pm

The remotely controlled events in Ukraine are not about bringing liberal democracy to that country, but about securing its rich black soil for agribusiness, its minerals for defense contractors, its cheap labor for Washington’s European ‘allies’, and most of all, about drawing Russia into an armed conflict that would finish what was started in 1919.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Gareth Porter, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

By: Sunday February 16, 2014 1:59 pm

In his precise and definitive account, Porter dissects the politics of the Iranian nuclear scare – how the U.S. national security complex needed a new threat after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how Israeli politicians invoked the “existential” threat from Iran to deflect attention from the Palestinian issue, how the Iranians, though rejecting the notion of building a bomb, nevertheless believed that a nuclear enrichment program would be a “latent deterrent” against threats from outside.

Come Saturday Morning: Perestroika and Austerity

By: Saturday November 30, 2013 7:00 am

It turned out that the ordinary Russians had good reason to hate perestroika: It was killing them.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jon Wiener, How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America

By: Saturday March 23, 2013 1:59 pm

Wiener’s new book How We Forgot the Cold War is a travelogue of visits to sites across the US (plus one in Cuba and one in Grenada) where the Cold War is publicly commemorated. As different as they are—among them are half a dozen presidential libraries, a general’s tomb, missile silos, a VIP fallout shelter, a CIA museum that’s closed to the public, and a proposed $100 million Victims of Communism museum, a grandiose project that was never built—all of them are notable for a curious lacuna: the Cold War itself, or perhaps more accurately, the neo-conservative, triumphalist narrative about the Cold War that has been so successfully projected onto the memory of Ronald Reagan.

Noam Chomsky: “The Most Dangerous Moment,” 50 Years Later

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 7:25 pm

Here was the oddest thing: within weeks of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on a second Japanese city on August 9, 1945, and so obliterating it, Americans were already immersed in new scenarios of nuclear destruction. As the late Paul Boyer so vividly described in his classic book By the Bomb’s Early Light, it took no time at all — at a moment when no other nation had such potentially Earth-destroying weaponry — for an America triumphant to begin to imagine itself in ruins, and for its newspapers and magazines to start drawing concentric circles of death and destruction around American cities while consigning their future country to the stewardship of the roaches.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes John Feffer, Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War on Islam

By: Saturday August 4, 2012 1:59 pm

Less than a week after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, then-President Bush infamously called the resulting “war on terror” a “crusade…[that] is going to take awhile.” The use of the phrase brought about global rebukes, ranging from French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine, who said that we “have to avoid a clash of civilizations at all costs” to Soheib Bensheik, the Grand Mufti of the mosque in Marseille, France, who warned that the use of the phrase was “most unfortunate.”

Bush’s trip-up was seen largely as a gaffe that U.S. public affairs officials sought to avoid in the future. But in John Feffer’s Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War on Islam, we are shown that the current conflicts the United States is involved in with the Muslim world — both at home through Islamophobic protests of mosque construction and abroad in hot conflicts in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere — in a way do resemble a renewed Crusade.

Late Night: Resistance Is Futile

By: Sunday May 20, 2012 8:00 pm

On wars, taxation, social services, and almost everything else, the government and media now agree that the majority of Americans are, well, mistaken, and they’re letting us know with their LRAD’s and editorials, respectively. And why wouldn’t they? As George Bush said, “History? We’ll all be dead.” And for once, he wasn’t lying.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Stephen Glain, State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire

By: Sunday September 11, 2011 1:59 pm

As U.S. drones continue to take flight over Pakistani soil and that country’s restive population becomes more and more resentful of what it views as excessive foreign meddling in its affairs by various actors – the West, Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists, and its old rival India – I think the topic of empire is more relevant than ever to the two countries that I consider my own.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Tad Daley, Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World

By: Sunday May 8, 2011 1:59 pm

Apocalypse Never is a frightening book to read but impossible to put down. In clear, accessible prose, Tad Daley unblinkingly lays out the case, point by point, for why we must ultimately rid the world of nuclear weapons or else suffer the inevitable consequences of the end of civilization as we know it. Daley then takes on the task of showing how this seemingly Herculean task can be accomplished, even within our lifetimes. It is compelling and accurate in its assessments and one of the absolute best out there on why we simply cannot continue along the way it has been.

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