November 01, 2016

Kremlin's Men, Majors and Fools

Mikhail Zygar (Public Affairs $27.99)

Back during the First Cold War, academics invented kremlinology. The Kremlin was a black box, and so, to smoke out Soviet intentions, analysts would parse leaders’ seating arrangements, speaking order, speech content, press articles and more, to find out what sorts of things the red elite were sparring about behind closed doors. There were often some interesting conclusions, but it was sometimes more tea leaf reading than science, and rarely of predictive value.

Today, the Kremlin is no less opaque, and the speculations of modern kremlinologists are still rarely helpful in predicting Russian actions.

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