Wilson looks at Belarusian history as a series of false starts in the medieval and pre-modern periods, and at the many rival versions of Belarusian identity, culminating with the Soviet Belarusian project and the establishment of Belarus's current borders during World War II. He also addresses Belarus's on-off relationship with Russia, its simultaneous attempts to play a game of balance in the no-man's-land between Russia and the West, and how, paradoxically, Belarus is at last becoming a true nation under the rule of Europe's "last dictator."
It is a dramatic story: an outgoing president implicated via secret tape-recordings in corruption and murder; a shadowy world of political cheats and manipulators; the massive covert involvement of Putinâ€™s Russia; the poisoning of the opposition challenger; and finally the mass protest of half a million Ukrainians that forced a second poll and the victory of Viktor Yushchenko.
As well as giving an account of the election and its aftermath, the book examines the broader implications of the Orange Revolution and of Russiaâ€™s serious miscalculation of its level of influence. It explores the likely chain reaction in Moldova, Belarus, and the nervous autocracies of the Caucasus, and points to a historical transformation of the geopolitics of Eurasia.
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.