As head of the Institute of Military History of the USSR and General of the Soviet Army, Dmitri Volkogonov had access to secret Soviet documents not available to other historians up to the time of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika.
This authoritative, engaging, and instructive biography of the Red Czar of Soviet Communism, Comrade Joseph Stalin, was published in Russia in 1988, but was not translated and published in English until 1991, a pivotal year when the Russian bear stumbled bringing about the total collapse of Soviet communism.
The fact that this biography was completed and published during those years is crucial in understanding the work of General Volkogonov, and this timing allows me to add my nickel's worth to the compilation of reviews of this magnificent and authoritative biography. I say this because one gets the impression that Volkogonov has ambivalent feelings about the ideals, utility, and worthiness of Soviet communism, which he usually refers to as socialism. His ambivalence is, at times, obvious and may be the result of political doubts and anxiety in his dual life in communist Russia.
Even by 1988 the...
This is a great book, and once again I must disagree respectfully with the average reviewer in the case of one of Louis Kilzer's books! Incidentally, I don't know Mr. Kilzer personally, but I do know of his journalistic accomplishments and salute him for this and for writing yet another very remarkable book, Churchill's Deception: The Dark Secret That Destroyed Nazi Germany!
I believe some reviewers did not pay careful attention to his evidence and the suspenseful details in the narrative. I believe that in the zeitgeist of our times, Mr. Kilzer simply did not demonize Adolf Hitler enough, as is expected of all writers discussing any details in the life of the German Chancellor. We can objectively discuss Stalin's industrialization record, Five-Year Plans, and military record, but not so Hitler's. It is not politically correct!
And for the record, let me categorically state that Hitler was a monster, yes a monster, but no worse than Joseph Stalin, who, at least quantitatively in the number of atrocities and murders of innocent victims, vastly outmatched Hitler, in both war or peacetime perversity.
That said, Mr. Klizer does provide...
This a great book for history buffs and World War II aficionados. The author, Louis C. Kilzer, a respected journalist who has twice earned a Pulitzer Prize, has written an intriguing book. I must respectfully disagree with the unfavorable Amazon book reviews that have been posted so far in this forum, and so I am adding my contrarian view's nickel's worth. This book reads like a suspense, historic novel, fast-paced and well written. The facts in the narrative are substantiated by carefully selected letters, interviews on file, intelligence intercepts, top secret documents, including the Black Bertha files of the KGB released in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
This is the story of how British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (photo, left) with the assistance of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) conceived of a deception strategy to encourage Hitler to turn his war machine on Soviet Russia to save England from the German onslaught. Perhaps the facts have not been incorporated in the official history books to save the British government from possible embarrassment; but it should not. Churchill had to do what he did to put the safety of the...
Macon Telegraph journalist Charles Richardson, former Mercer University President, Dr. Kirby Godsey, and Mercer Law Professor David Oedel have all brought interesting points to the discussion of the problem of education and ethics. I believe this is a problem -- not just affecting Georgia and Bibb County -- but also the nation. And, in contemporary society, it goes deeper than educational methodology and throwing money at the problem. If history is any guide, it goes, unfortunately, to the core of our development as a society, citizenship, and declivity as part of (Western) civilization.
Consider the civic duty of a citizen in the Roman republic up to the time of the conquest of Alexander’s Hellenistic world, the sense of duty of the citizen to serve the republic; the thirst for learning of Greek aesthetics, architecture, law, history, rhetoric, mathematics, oratory, absorption of the various schools of philosophy (e.g. Stoicism, empiricism, humanism), etc.
In short, there was great value and pride to be a well-rounded, learned, Roman citizen, incarnated in the highest officers of the state, from the consuls Scipio Africanus Major (236-183 BC; photo, left), Scipio...
Mr. Epstein's books are always fascinating and enlightening. He has done this repeatedly with his tomes, Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (1978) and Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer (1996). He repeats his superb performance with Deception: The Invisible War Between the CIA and the KGB (1989).
Before we start a critical review of this book, we must remember this book was written and published in 1989, before the collapse of the Soviet Union and before the fabulous revelations of that great Russian, Vasili Mitrokin, the KGB defector who brought with him the family jewels of the KGB, foreign intelligence secrets. With his cooperation with British historian, Christopher Andrew, treasure troves of materials have been studied and many puzzles from the cold war have been solved.
Nevertheless, it is fascinating to read Deception, a cliffhanger that reads lika a novel. As with his book on Lee Harvey Oswald, Epstein's (photo, right) research and ramifications would have led one to enter the wilderness of mirrors of traitors and double agents and remain trapped in its labyrinthine jungle.
The truth is that the KGB's Chief...
The U.S. owes a great debt of gratitude to the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who after ten years of painstaking intelligence work finally led to the location in Pakistan and death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. It is also about time we extend our gratitude to this government agency that for several decades has been at the forefront of untold battles in the defense of this nation's freedom, and yet has remained almost unacknowledged by the nation and unappreciated by its citizens.
Along with the men and women of our military, the CIA has been the protective, security shield of the USA, the guardian of our national security and preserver of our liberty — all the while remaining in the background, in the shadows.
For years, the CIA has been the punching bag of critics in the media, academia, and even Hollywood moguls, who have castigated the agency for some real or very frequently imagined offenses — offenses, which when real had been pursued for our national security. While the CIA did conduct some testing of LSD, the charge that the CIA had tested LSD in the New York subway system was ludicrous. And an even more absurd...
April 17, 2011 commemorates the 50th anniversary of America’s disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
During 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower watched with trepidation the establishment of an authoritarian regime in Cuba unfriendly to the United States, only 90 miles from American shores, virtually in America’s own backyard.
On assuming power in 1961, the new, young President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, had to face the brewing crisis in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. He learned that a small expeditionary force of Cuban-American exiles (2506 Brigade) had been organized and trained in the U.S. and Central America to invade Cuba with the guidance and approval of the previous administration. After consultation with advisors, the CIA, and the military, Kennedy finally approved the escalation and implementation of the operation. Unfortunately, at the eleventh hour Kennedy changed many of the crucial aspects of the invasion, so that he could claim “plausible deniability” (of U.S. involvement)!
Declassified U.S. documents have revealed that the CIA had informed President Kennedy that the Soviets already knew of the invasion plans....
Evidence mounts that Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old disturbed individual accused of the attempted assassination of blue dog, conservative Democrat, U.S Representative Gabrielle Giffords; the cold-blooded killing of five other citizens, including an innocent 9-year-old student and a conservative judge; and the wounding of fourteen people --- should have been under psychiatric treatment.
It is obvious that many in the liberal mainstream media and their Democrat allies are attempting to make political gains at the expense of a horrible tragedy. This tragedy should not be transmogrified for political advantage or liberal vs. conservative politics, but ascribed to a very disturbed individual "doing the unthinkable."
Yet, two members of the U.S. Congress known for their long-term bias against private ownership of firearms for self- and family- protection --- namely, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) --- are already calling for more gun control laws in the wake of the shooting.
That same night of the shooting, a local sheriff in Arizona opined that the "vitriolic rhetoric" of political speech risked pushing "unbalanced...
Now that the Republicans with Tea Party assistance have won the House of Representatives by a landslide, we are hearing a lot of cries from the Democrats and their minions in the media about the need for ending "gridlock" and establishing bipartisan consensus!
We are told almost daily by the mass media that the American people dislike gridlock and that consensus is a way to stop political gridlock and move forward. Yet, to our Founding Fathers, "gridlock" was the very strong medicine needed then (and still needed today) against the malady of runaway government. For them, it was the checks and balances of a republican form of government designed to protect dissenting social and economic minorities from passionate, tyrannical majorities (mobocracy).
Gridlock is sometimes useful in the judicious maintenance of the balance of political power and to restrain political passions aroused by self-serving demagogues. Hear James Madison, Federalist No. 52, pages 323-324:
"The usurpations [by government in a republican form of government] are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments... The different...
Ken Jones’ “Tunes for Gun Buyback” offer may be noble but there may be more “feel good” and publicity intentions than meets the eye. And Rick Hutto, as a public servant, you should at least know better. This is a “feel good” proposal intended to be more beneficent to the giver (Jones) than the recipients (i.e., gun donors and sundry criminals and street gang members).
For starters, here are three detrimental consequences of this proposal:
1) This is an excellent way for criminals to get rid of criminal evidence — i.e., weapons previously used in armed robberies and even murders — “no questions asked.”
2) The criminals then get rid of bad weapons in this “beneficent program,” only to go and steal newer updated firearms (not previously used in crimes) from law-abiding citizens and use them for renewed criminal activities.
3) Increased burglaries to obtain more weapons, with no reduction in other crimes committed with firearms.
These are some unintended consequences of gun buyback programs (e.g. Richmond, Va., Miami, Fla., and elsewhere). Even the federal government stopped HUD’s buyback programs in 2001 because it did not reduce gun violence and...