Category Archives: Cold War

John Le Carré’s Legacy: Passion in Germany and the Maze of Betrayal

In possibly his last novel, A Legacy of Spies (2017) John le Carré, aged 86, has done what writers and artists long to do, not for their audiences but for the sake of their own soul. He’s found the perfect … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, english literature, novels, Writing | Tagged , , , ,

The Skripal Affair and the Problem of Russia

  A few nights ago on the BBC the Russia expert Andrei Illarionov, once a Putin confederate and now at Washington’s Cato Institute, was asked about Britain’s best response to the latest attempt to murder Russian state enemies on British … Continue reading

Posted in Arc of Utopia - my latest book, Britain Today, Cold War, Current Affairs, Russia | Tagged , , , ,

The Sculptor, the Spy and a Moment of Political Sincerity

The story of how the highly distinguished art historian and former Cambridge Apostle Anthony Blunt was unmasked in 1979 as having been a spy for Soviet Russia, has a peculiar appeal for my generation and roundabout. I imagine John le … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Anyone's Game - my latest novel, Art History, Britain Today, Cold War, Russian Revolution 1917, Writing | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Arc of Utopia in the anniversary year of Russia 1917

Not much enthusiasm has been directed towards the Russian Revolution in this year of its centenary, 2017. At least that’s the case in the British press. Before the fall of Communism in 1989 and the end of the Soviet Union … Continue reading

Posted in Arc of Utopia - my latest book, Art History, Britain Today, Cold War, Philosophy and Philosophers, Russia, Russian Revolution 1917 | Tagged , , , , ,

Vaclav Havel died four years ago: Leaving was his last play

Former Czech President and dissident leader Vaclav Havel died on December 18, 2011. To the end he wanted to return to his first calling, as a playwright. His success on stage was part of the Cold War as we knew it, … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Europe, Literature in Translation, Theatre, Writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

From Pasternak’s novel to David Lean’s film of Doctor Zhivago

Pasternak told an interviewer from abroad in 1960 that  I wanted to record the past and to honor in Doctor Zhivago the beautiful and sensitive aspects of the Russia of those years. There will be no return of those days, … Continue reading

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Shostakovich and Football Another Way of Expressing the Soviet Tragedy

4 January 1942 Kuybishev Dear Isaak, I am writing to you a lot these days, as much in fact as my supply of envelopes will allow – this particular product of the papermaking industry is extraordinarily hard to come by. … Continue reading

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