Ways to Seize Power: A Brief Review

How many ways can a leader or a regime wrest control from a government or a people? Following are three examples from history. Overthrown Coup, short for Coup d'état, is "the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group. The chief prerequisite for a coup is control of all or part of the … Continue reading Ways to Seize Power: A Brief Review

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Me, the Kremlin, and the Fall of an Empire: Moscow, 1991

In the summer of 1991, I toured the Soviet Union with a group of "student ambassadors." Just a few months later, that entity no longer existed. The U.S.S.R. had collapsed, splintered into 15 separate states. Student Ambassadors We crossed 11 time zones over four weeks, traveling by train, bus, and plane. We went as far … Continue reading Me, the Kremlin, and the Fall of an Empire: Moscow, 1991

“I Am,” I Said: Thoughts on Borders and Refugees

Shifting Borders When I read about the history of Eastern Europe, I realize how changeable national boundaries and concepts of nation are. I live in a very young country, America, which nevertheless has been highly successful in forming a self-concept that seems essential and timeless. Its sense of surety likely is rooted in the concept … Continue reading “I Am,” I Said: Thoughts on Borders and Refugees