Red Rockets Over the Horizon

By James A. Chisem

In 1938, Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov had been identified as an enemy of the Soviet state. According to the powers that be, he was a Trotskyite plotter who had conspired with other missile designers and technicians to overthrow socialism and derail the Russian path to progress. Of course, Sergey Pavolvich was not a spy, nor a traitor—he was the victim of a world in which truth and fiction were as…

Mr Livingstone, I Presume?

By James A. Chisem

This week should have been plain sailing for the British Labour Party. Granted, nobody’s expecting Kezia Dugdale and company to halt the seemingly inexorable march of the SNP in the Scottish Parliamentary elections, nor does it look like there’ll be any sweeping gains in Local Council elections, but the Welsh cohort is on course to maintain its majority in the Senedd, and expectations are so low in general that anything bar a complete catastrophe at next week’s polls will likely be spun as a qualified success—a competent steadying of the ship, if you will. There’s even…

Kennan’s Crystal Ball

By James A. Chisem

George F. Kennan was a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, he was a consummate diplomat, flying the flag for the Balance of Power in the age of the Balance of Terror. To others, he was a great scholar, his unique insights into the peculiar character of foreign cultures matched only by his outsider’s appreciation of the United States’ own idiosyncrasies. Still more viewed him as the author of the West’s Cold War strategy and the architect of the Warsaw Pact’s demise. And then there are those who thought he was a reactionary, a peddler of snake oil, an…