Review of Assignment Moscow

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Cristiano Bellucci
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Review of Assignment Moscow

Post by Cristiano Bellucci »

[Following is an official review of "Assignment Moscow" by Gerrit Olivier.]
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5 out of 5 stars
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"Assignment Moscow: Reflections on Diplomacy" by Gerrit Olivier is a fascinating chronicle of the period in Russian history from 1991 onwards. The author was the first South Africa's diplomatic representative to the Soviet Union. Olivier's firsthand experiences provide a unique perspective on the events leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the political transformations under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and Vladimir Putin.

The book begins with Olivier's arrival in Moscow in 1991, a pivotal time when the Soviet Union was on the brink of dissolution. Olivier describes the stark contrast between the austere, utilitarian cityscape devoid of consumer luxuries such as shop windows and supermarkets and the green parks and artificial lakes where families enjoy their weekends.

Olivier delves deeply into the political dynamics of the era, starting with Gorbachev's ambitious reforms of "glasnost" (openness) and "perestroika" (restructuring). He portrays Gorbachev as a leader striving to improve the lives of the Soviet people through economic reform, yet ultimately succumbing to the complexities of the time. Gorbachev's resignation marks a turning point, ushering in the Yeltsin era, characterized by partial rollbacks of his predecessor's innovations.

I remember these events described by the media. Particularly, Olivier's assessment of Vladimir Putin's rise to power and his subsequent political style is a standout feature of this book. Drawing from his extensive experience, the author perceives Putin's governance as a blend of Tsarist and Soviet imperialism. This analysis offers readers a profound understanding of how historical patterns influence contemporary Russian politics.

I like the journey into a period of time when Moscow tried to change the course of its history. I enjoy the political insights that the author brings to describe the main characters and the politics they use. Olivier's ability to distinguish between media portrayals and realities adds authenticity to the historical report. Furthermore, I appreciate Olivier's reflections about the end of the Cold War and the ongoing political climate in Moscow. There is nothing I dislike about this book. The book is professionally edited, as I found only seven errors. Summarizing all of the above, I rate "Assignment Moscow: Reflection on Diplomacy" by Gerrit Olivier 5 out of 5 stars.

In conclusion, I recommend "Assignment Moscow" to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the dramatic changes in Moscow at the end of the 20th century. The book also helps explain the complexities of Russia's current political landscape.

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Post by Areena David »

I liked your writing style in the review. I agree with the author that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been influenced by Tsarist and Soviet imperialism in his political style and handling of domestic and foreign issues. Some argue that Putin seeks to revive elements of Tsarist traditions, such as focusing on state power and controlling authority. Additionally, Putin shows influence from Soviet practices in his appreciation of military and strategic power, and in his use of nationalist and diplomatic tactics reminiscent of those employed by the Soviet Union in international relations.
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Post by Sandre Lamar »

“Assignment Moscow" by Gerrit Olivier offers a captivating firsthand account of Russia's transformative period post-1991, mixed with historical insights with personal experiences from the frontline of diplomatic engagement.
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Post by Anthony Caleb »

I have little to no knowledge about the Soviet Union, to read up on this will be great to expand my knowledge.
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Slippy Spectrum
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Post by Slippy Spectrum »

Well, darlin', based on this here review, it looks like "Assignment Moscow: Reflections on Diplomacy" by Gerrit Olivier is a mighty fine read. The author, being the first South Africa's diplomatic representative to the Soviet Union, brings a unique and firsthand perspective to the table. With a deep dive into the political dynamics of the time, including Gorbachev's reforms and Putin's rise to power, it surely sounds like a fascinating journey through that pivotal period in Russian history. The review gives it a solid 5 out of 5 stars, so I reckon it's worth a gander for anyone looking to understand them dramatic changes in Moscow. Y'all should give it a whirl! Emotional depth, tugged at my heartstrings.
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