A thorough, illuminating overview of major geopolitical shifts in 2019 involving America, Europe, and Turkey.

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An expert looks at the interconnected foreign policies of the United States, Europe, and Turkey in 2019.

With opinion pieces published in the New York Times and articles featured in leading academic journals, in addition to her diplomatic career at the United Nations, Cherneva has established herself as a leading voice of a new generation of foreign relations experts. In this book, she eschews a traditional analysis of bilateral diplomacy and instead looks at the myriad calculations made by U.S. President Donald Trump, European leaders, and Turkish officials in 2019 and early 2020. Trump astonished the world, including fellow Republicans, in 2019 when he allowed Turkey to enter Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria that was previously protected by American troops. This reversal of nearly a half-century of U.S. support for the Kurds presaged a new era of international relations in the Near East. Moreover, Trump’s 2019 impeachment proceedings released private telephone calls and other materials related to the administration’s relationship with Ukraine that signaled to Europe the president’s foreign policy priorities. Now, more than ever, many European leaders understood that they “first need to appeal to the US President’s private business or political interests before they can get on the US foreign policy agenda.” Moreover, given Britain’s internal preoccupation with Brexit and Trump’s “hostility” to the European Union, Cherneva argues that French President Emmanuel Macron used the chaos of 2019 to his personal advantage in his quest to become the most powerful figure in Europe. Though she is an open supporter of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and a critic of Turkey’s political regime, the author’s analysis is that of a skilled diplomat. Her study of the past year is nuanced and fair to all sides even when critical. The book also features an intriguing case study of the interconnection of human rights and global trade in her appraisal of German opposition to a proposed Volkswagen plant in Turkey. More historical context would have been helpful for general readers. But experts will gladly welcome Cherneva’s insights into an unprecedented year in international diplomacy.

A thorough, illuminating overview of major geopolitical shifts in 2019 involving America, Europe, and Turkey.

Pub Date: Feb. 29, 2020


Page Count: 112

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2020


The value of this book is the context it provides, in a style aimed at a concerned citizenry rather than fellow academics,...

A provocative analysis of the parallels between Donald Trump’s ascent and the fall of other democracies.

Following the last presidential election, Levitsky (Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America, 2003, etc.) and Ziblatt (Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy, 2017, etc.), both professors of government at Harvard, wrote an op-ed column titled, “Is Donald Trump a Threat to Democracy?” The answer here is a resounding yes, though, as in that column, the authors underscore their belief that the crisis extends well beyond the power won by an outsider whom they consider a demagogue and a liar. “Donald Trump may have accelerated the process, but he didn’t cause it,” they write of the politics-as-warfare mentality. “The weakening of our democratic norms is rooted in extreme partisan polarization—one that extends beyond policy differences into an existential conflict over race and culture.” The authors fault the Republican establishment for failing to stand up to Trump, even if that meant electing his opponent, and they seem almost wistfully nostalgic for the days when power brokers in smoke-filled rooms kept candidacies restricted to a club whose members knew how to play by the rules. Those supporting the candidacy of Bernie Sanders might take as much issue with their prescriptions as Trump followers will. However, the comparisons they draw to how democratic populism paved the way toward tyranny in Peru, Venezuela, Chile, and elsewhere are chilling. Among the warning signs they highlight are the Republican Senate’s refusal to consider Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee as well as Trump’s demonization of political opponents, minorities, and the media. As disturbing as they find the dismantling of Democratic safeguards, Levitsky and Ziblatt suggest that “a broad opposition coalition would have important benefits,” though such a coalition would strike some as a move to the center, a return to politics as usual, and even a pragmatic betrayal of principles.

The value of this book is the context it provides, in a style aimed at a concerned citizenry rather than fellow academics, rather than in the consensus it is not likely to build.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6293-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017


Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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