Monday, 4 February 2008

Who's up for a new Cold War?

Yesterday evening I began to read 'The New Cold War' by the Economist’s Edward Lucas. The initial chapters have not raised my hopes that it will comprise a sober and sensible analysis of tension between Russia and the west. It is instructive that even Baltic nationalists, who fete Lucas’ paranoiac Russophobe journalism, seem sceptical about the tenor of his book.

I will read the rest before reviewing this book in detail, but his analysis so far is deeply confused. Lucas has an almost religious devotion to ideas of market liberalism and yet he maintains a pathological fear of Russian influence gaining momentum through trade and investment in western economies.

So far the book appears actually to prescribe a return to Cold War suspicion and hostility. I suspect from the rogues’ gallery of well known Russia bashers who have contributed praise to the jacket that it will continue in this vein, but for the moment I reserve judgment and look forward to reading Lucas’ evidence for some of the wilder allegations he has made thus far.

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