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The Hawks of Peace: Notes of the Russian Ambassador
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The Hawks of Peace: Notes of the Russian Ambassador [Format Kindle]

Dmitry Rogozin

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The Hawks of Peace. Notes of Russian Ambassador is a unique analytical edition where Russian Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin shares his notes on personalities and events that shaped the history of post-Communist Russia, believing that without those it would be impossible to understand the past and envisage the future of his country. Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO until recently, in his political dairy Dmitry Rogozin contemplates on the complex relationship between Russia and the West. In his behind-the-scenes account, Rogozin opens up about certain mysteries of political stand-offs, military conflicts of the last two decades, terrorist acts and hostage situations. The book contains unique documents directly related to Chechen Wars, inside information from Brussels on the events in Georgia and other records that have been hidden from the public eye. The Western reader now has a rare opportunity to look at Russian current affairs through the eyes of a Russian.

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4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Other Side of the Story 11 juin 2013
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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin's The Hawks of Peace should prove an interesting book for many people. For those in political science and international relations, it offers a behind-the-scenes look at both the wider philosophy behind Russian foreign policy, and at the everyday negotiations and thought processes that make up relations between different states. For historians too, the book has much to offer: Rogozin's account of the attempted hardliner coup in 1991 and his insights into various Soviet and post-Soviet institutions make for a fascinating read, and the ambassador is not afraid of telling it like he sees it.

Obviously with this book, Rogozin aims to challenge some of the diplomatic conventions and bring a particularly Russian directness to international relations. The title of the book gives you a clue as to this no-nonsense approach to diplomacy: Rogozin explains this in depth, stating that he "came to a conclusion that it is in fact `doves' and not `hawks' that deliver suffering to nations and the whole world". He describes the cynicism (as he sees it) of the "political doves" he encounters in his work, and puts forth an alternative framework for global politics.

In a sense, what makes the book appealing to the general reader is Rogozin's capacity for humour and the fact that the book represents both a political and a personal memoir. His willingness to divulge the story of his own rise to power alongside political discussion mean that the book is never boring: he paints himself as a roguish yet ambitious young man who was not afraid to question the Soviet status quo. Nevertheless, the book does have serious intentions and it is clear that Rogozin regards this publication, his first in English, as a chance to explain his nationalist approach to his work. Basing his chapter titles around prominent works of Russian literature (e.g. `War and Peace'; `Fathers and Sons'; `Dead Souls'), he draws upon literary, historical and religious sources alike in explaining developments in Russia in the past couple of decades. Accordingly, he makes moral judgments on the current state of the Russian elite as well as on some key actors from recent history: Gorbachev and Yeltsin being only two of these figures.

It is probably not without intention that some of Rogozin's philosophy will be challenging for many Western readers; much of the book consists of a direct confrontation with the diplomatic status quo. Essentially, the Deputy Prime Minister attempts to explain the differences in approach that, as we often see, lead to diplomatic disagreements between Russia and the U.S., NATO or Britain for example. Because of this, the book is very important for the modern-day `Kremlin watchers' who want to understand why relations between Russia and NATO (or the U.S. or Britain) seem so often to be at loggerheads.

Although certainly there is room for criticism of some of his views, Rogozin makes some interesting points about the history behind Russian diplomatic relations, which make for some thought-provoking reading. Overall, I give this book a good review not because I agree with Rogozin's often controversial philosophy, but because of the book's importance in highlighting a point of view that is not often given much attention in the Western media. Reading Rogozin's book essentially gives you the other side of the story.
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