Originally published 03/18/2013
David Priestland teaches modern history at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Merchant, Soldier, Sage: A History of the World in Three Castes, new from the Penguin Press, as well as The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World (Penguin, 2009).As we struggle to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis, we may now have enough distance to understand its real significance.Immediate judgments were often very flawed. For example, then-president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, brandished a copy of Das Kapital before the press to show his deep, structural understanding of the catastrophic events in the international markets. The implied message: Capitalism is doomed, as anyone can see. But there was no Marxist revival, and capitalism has not collapsed. Indeed, in the global East it is positively flourishing. Capitalism seems to have an assured future, at least in the medium term.
Originally published 03/06/2013
A former Red Army soldier who went missing in action (MIA) in 1980 during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan has been found alive almost 33 years after he was rescued by Afghan tribesmen.Now living under the name of Sheikh Abdullah and working as a traditional healer in the Shinand District of Afghanistan, the former Soviet soldier Bakhredtin Khakimov, an ethnic Uzbek, was tracked down by a team from Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a nonprofit, Moscow-based organization that leads the search for the former Soviet Union's MIAs in Afghanistan....