Philosophers & Murderers

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Charles Clover is an award-winning reporter, but he also writes like a conscientious academic. The first half of his book describes a century of Russian political philosophy, from Nikolai Danilevsky’s Russia and Europe of 1869 to Lev Gumilev’s ‘Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere of Earth’ (1989), while the second half draws on recent memoirs and interviews […]

Borderlands

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

I first came across Daghestan, a mountainous semi-autonomous republic of Russia at the eastern end of the Caucasus, in a Soviet-era encyclopaedia of national minorities. The Daghestanis, the entry said, had over fifty different languages, which in one valley were specific to the sexes, so that men and women could not communicate. Their chief industry was […]

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