Best of Times, Worst of Times
Memoirs of a Political Education
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Brandeis University Press
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When my grandchildren were growing up I decided to write an autobiography, not because of their insatiable curiosity as far as my early life was concerned; I love them dearly but their interests are quite different from mine, ranging from . . .
1 | A Surfeit of Politics: or, Why I Would Have Preferred the Nineteenth Century
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When Marcel Proust was a boy of thirteen, he was given a questionnaire to fill out. The questions concerned his favorite heroes in literature and real life, his favorite color, his favorite composer, and also some very . . .
2 | Growing Up under the Nazis: or, Why One Had to Be There to Understand It
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The first major public event in the outside world I remember must have been the appearance of the dirigible Graf Zeppelin, noiselessly gliding over my hometown, light gray in color, nearly 800 feet in length. Flying was . . .
3 | Marxism, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War: or, The Dream That Failed
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For many of my generation of young German Jews— and even more for that before us— Marxism and the Soviet Union were the dream that failed. It is not easy to understand at a distance of so many years . . .
4 | The Downfall and Partial Resurgence of the Soviet Empire: or, The Strange Fortunes of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, “Finlandization,” and Putinism
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According to a famous French saying of the nineteenth century, “How beautiful was the republic during the days of the Empire.” In the twentieth century, in the midst of the Cold War’s tension and conflct, how . . .
5 | A Middle East Education: or, Reflections on Arabia, Israel, Zionism, and Antisemitism
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Having left Europe in late 1938, I received my political education during the next fifteen years in the Middle East. Middle Eastern politics seemed relatively uncomplicated at the time. Of the Arab countries, only Iraq . . .
6 | Think Tanks and Political Intelligence: or, Why It Is So Difficult to Predict
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was associated with a Washington think tank for more than thirty years, and the experience certainly broadened my horizons. One came to know many of the leading players (a term that emerged, I believe, only . . .
7 | Guerrilla Warfare and Terrorism:or, What Systematic Study and Theory Can Mean
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My first personal encounter with terrorism took place in Jerusalem not long after the end of World War II. I had visited my dentist, and in the same building, at street level, was a bank, which . . .
8 | Europe, 1945– 2008: or, A Short Study in Hope and Frustration
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The long summer of 2007 began early in Eu rope. High temperatures were registered in April and May throughout the Continent. In June, July, and August, as the schools were closing down for holidays, many millions . . .
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Among the many proverbs we learned in fi rst- year Latin, there was one according to which one should always act prudently and consider the end. In other words, Look before you leap. It is excellent advice . . .
Works by Walter Laqueur
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Page Count: 252
Publication Year: 2009