Putin’s Constitutional Tsarism | by Anastasia Edel | The New York Review of Books

... if history offers any lessons, this attempt at greatness will last no longer than the false covenants and official statues every autocracy erects, for they fail in their fundamental goal: improving the lives of the people. The legacy of Stalin and Lenin is not a socialist empire but the graves of millions, murdered and [...]

Wilson Center Digital Archive

The Digital Archive contains once-secret documents from governments all across the globe, uncovering new sources and providing fresh insights into the history of international relations and diplomacy. The Digital Archive is overseen by the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program and focuses on the interrelated histories of the Cold War, Korea, and Nuclear Proliferation. [...]

Knocking at the gates by Clayton Trutor | The New Criterion

In 410 ad, Alaric I, King of the Visigoths, breached Rome’s walls, likely with the aid of collaborators, and led an army of thousands into the city. Alaric’s sack of Rome was the culmination of a decade’s worth of campaigns against an increasingly unstable western imperial state, which had grown incapable of controlling its hinterlands [...]

History Book Club

Inventing Russia: Russia is a country with no natural borders, no single ethnic group, no true central identity. It has been subject to invasion by outsiders, from Vikings to Hitler’s Germans. In order to forge an identity, it has mythologized its past to unite its people and to signal strength to outsiders. In this fascinating [...]

On Crazyism, Jerkitude, Garden Snails and Other Philosophical Puzzles – Scientific American

Horgan: Why do you write fiction? Doesn't that mean philosophy isn't really that fulfilling for you? Schwitzgebel: Wait, writing fiction can’t be a way of doing philosophy? Sartre, Rousseau, Zhuangzi, Voltaire, Nietzsche and Borges might disagree! Is anyone currently doing better work on the ethics of technology than the TV series Black Mirror? For instance, [...]

Overblown and under-loved: wind farms at the edge of beauty | Aeon Essays

In The Great Animal Orchestra, Bernie Krause defines soundscape by breaking it down into ‘geophony’ — the sounds made by the physical environment (wind, water, etc); ‘biophony’ — the sounds made by animals, birds and insects; and ‘androphony’ — the sounds made by human activities. A soundscape is the interaction and balance of these factors, [...]

Decolonizing the Curriculum and Viewpoint Diversity – Digressions&Impressions

But then I look at the stereotyped Non-Western philosophy list and I can't help but notice another thing - it's a rejection of things that contemporary heirs to the Romantic tradition hate. Fair enough, they are trying to draw out what seems to them best in the texts they are... — Read on digressionsnimpressions.typepad.com/digressionsimpressions/2020/07/decolonizing-the-curriculum-and-viewpoint-diversity.html