It is just fifty years since a young Middle Westerner, who had been persuaded to go to Princeton by reading Scott Fitzgerald, first arrived in Moscow as an attaché in the newly opened American embassy there. He was already unusually well-equipped to investigate the mysteries of Soviet society. An older cousin – also called George Kennan – had travelled widely in Tzarist Russia and had written about the Siberian exile camps and the pogroms inflicted on the Jews. Young George Kennan himself had already spent five years learning Russian and peering over the fence into Soviet Russia from the then still independent Baltic States.
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The minimalist Fumio Sasaki 'confesses that as he began to purchase fewer consumer goods, his meals shrank in size. He decluttered and lost weight. Accumulation is not just an economic way of life but a form of embodiment too. Enlightenment is reduction.'
'The river’s desecration mirrors Colombia’s long history of violence: "for years we treated it like a sewer," says Ahmed, a survivor of a particularly brutal paramilitary massacre, "just like we treated each other".'
Patrick Wilcken on the Magdalena.
It's 'all lively and entertaining but rather too black and white. Her account of British politics and the success of the Brexit campaign verges on the cartoonish.'
@David_Goodhart on Anne Applebaum's 'Twilight on Democracy'.