The City of Brass and Judgement in Moscow

I recently reappeared on Zaklog the Great’s Book Club, to discuss Rudyard Kipling’s prophetic poem about the horrors of socialism, “The City of Brass”, which was written decades before the Soviet revolution in Russia and can be found here:

http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_cityofbrass.htm

Our discussion can be followed below:

On a related note, the book mentioned at the start and end of the discussion, Judgement in Moscow, is now available for sale in both kindle ebook and paperback format. My contribution to that massive project involving scores of people was merely to unify the style and polish the English of the various translations from the original Russian.

Written by legendary Russian dissident and human rights activist Vladimir Bukovsky with the help of thousands of top secret KGB and politburo documents smuggled out of their classified archives, Judgement in Moscow describes the various ways in which the Soviet elite manipulated, abused and deceived their own people, finding their propaganda to be far more successful with the international community than at home, with no shortage of willing collaborators in the West to spread and endorse their deceitful messages and knowingly or unknowingly work towards the Soviets’ foreign policy goals of total domination, as well as ensuring that billions of dollars of foreign aid would flow the Soviets’ way to prop up their regime, fund terrorist groups around the world and crush dissent at home. Filled with disturbing and sometimes amusing insights into the inner workings of the Soviet system and the insidious, bizarre mindset of party apparatchiks and members of the inner circle, it also follows the events that led to the downfall of the Soviet regime from their perspective as they clung to power tooth and nail, attempting deception on top of deception right to the end. There is a lot of information in this book that is not public knowledge, time and again many of my own misconceptions about the final years of the Soviet Union were shattered.

One major thrust of the book is about Nuremberg-style trials that were planned to take place, but through too much hesitation on the part of the immediate successor to the Supreme Soviet among other factors, they were reduced to a short-lived farce that didn’t resolve anything, and a supreme opportunity for Russia to heal properly was missed, with tragic consequences both for Russia and the wider world. In fact Bukovsky argues that this wasted chance to properly end the Cold War has resulted in it not ending at all, merely moving into a new phase, and when you see his reasoning, it’s hard to disagree. The many parallels to modern day events and movements will leave you uneasy.

Despite being a best seller in multiple languages, various major publishers succeeded in blocking the publication of this book in English for more than twenty years. One small human rights organization managed to gather together the people and resources to get it out there for the Anglosphere to see

Take a look for yourself to see what they were afraid you would find out, in paperback

or ebook format

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More Than Just My Best Friend


Today is the anniversary of the first time I contacted my wife. Here is this years’ poem:

More Than Just My Best Friend

You’re more than just my best friend, the bond that we both share
Is precious as the sunrise and glorious fresh air.
You’ve joined to me for life with your most solemn guarantee
And yet I often fall far short of what my role should be:

I forget the things you treasure, and miss the warning signs
That you’re struggling to cope and I need to invest time
In listening and sharing in the burdens that you bear
And showing in my stumbling ways that I still truly care

Whatever chaos this world sends, together we’ll push through,
I’ll look for little ways to demonstrate I still love you
The many things we can’t control that tempt our hearts to quail
With His strength we’ll overcome, His purpose never fails.

Though sometimes we won’t understand, we know that we can trust
That He will work things for our good, He’s merciful and just.
So as we talk and pray and live together each new day
We ask for wisdom that we need to walk the narrow way.