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Fine Weekend Reading
On Fridays I suggest worthwhile weekend reading that’s guaranteed to improve your posture, your online dating prospects, and make you an all around better person. Read a dozen articles, lose five pounds.
First though, our weekly photo quiz. Unless you recognize this country’s parliament on the opposite shore, this just may not be where you think it is. Where is this place?
The answer is down at the end of this post.
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Now, on to your weekend reading:
Here is a longish think piece from Hal Brands at the American Enterprise Institute that I’ll talk more about tomorrow. Putin Repeats Napoleon’s Mistake: Strategy Wins, Not Power
A heartbreaking but riveting narrative of a life far, far worse than yours and mine. I Was a Political Prisoner at Birth in North Korea
The thing about most considerations of the 56th Secretary of State is they’re either preachy or hagiographic. Kissinger at 100: A Legacy with Lessons for Us All
“We know that the Soviet Union collapsed. But in the 1980s that outcome was far from certain…. The events of the late 1980s culminated in the ‘Baltic Way,’ an astonishing human chain of two million people stretching from Tallinn, Estonia to Vilnius, demanding the return of their countries from Moscow’s grip.” The Baltic Love of Freedom
Scary stuff here. The forever prisoner: Abu Zubaydah’s drawings expose the US’s depraved torture policy
Taylor Swift records a happy birthday greeting to you, personally. Or does she? A comprehensive guide to ghostwriters, virtual pop stars, and the world to come. The Last Recording Artist
My first visit to the Soviet Union came in 1986, but my most vivid was to Russia in 1991. I saw stuff like the photos here: “Poverty, prostitutes and the long, slow death of the Soviet Union: Haunting pictures show desperate struggle to survive in last days of the USSR”
Walter Russell Mead says if there’s one thing he’s learned over the decades, it’s the importance of interrogating the obvious. You Are Not Destined to Live in Quiet Times
In commencement-day addresses in which graduates are exhorted to follow their dreams, most of the poor things are worrying frantically about how to pay their debts. What Were We Thinking? The intolerable inequalities we take for granted.
The existing political system lacks democratic legitimacy; those in a position to wield institutional power are unresponsive to popular demands; and both major parties fully support police violence. What to do? Some rambling reflections on truth and violence
Searchable database of 490,000 works in the Musée du Louvre and Musée National Eugène-Delacroix. Louvre
And a podcast. Just about all of the stuff in this podcast is way beyond me, but it’s explained so cogently as to be kind of thrilling that there are people who think this well. From the Joy of Why podcast from Quanta magazine, Are There Reasons to Believe in a Multiverse?
The answer to this week’s photo quiz? The parliament building across the way is in Budapest, Hungary, as you can see more clearly here:
Tomorrow we pull out the map to have a look at all the politicians and diplomats scurrying around East and Central Asia this week, we’ll wrap up the Thai and Turkish elections, we consider populism, cruelty and El Salvador, and the biggest thing anywhere. Ever.
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bookclub blogclub newsletter club together. Subscriptions start at free and through June they come with 50% off the pre-shipping price on every order from Earthphotos.com. Thanks. See you tomorrow.
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