Book Review: Russia’s Americans, by Deena Stryker. China Rising Radio Sinoland 180603

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By Jeff J. Brownpale blue horiz

Pictured above: Ms. Deena Stryker and her latest book, Russia’s Americans.

 

Downloadable SoundCloud podcast (also at the bottom of this page), as well as being syndicated on iTunes and Stitcher Radio (links below),

 

 

T his is the third book I’ve read, written by Ms. Deena Stryker. The others are Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel, (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2014/01/19/lunch-with-fellini-dinner-with-fidel-by-deena-stryker-2013-amazon-a-book-review/), and A Taoist Politics: The Case for Sacredness (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/08/27/book-review-a-taoist-politics-the-case-for-sacredness-by-deena-stryker/).

Russia’s Americans, (2018, Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Russias-Americans-Deena-Stryker/dp/1984197126) is based on Ms. Stryker’s recent travels to Russia and her meeting and interviewing several Westerners, who have established their lives there. Interspersed are historical vignettes concerning Russia’s own history and its relations with the West, going back centuries.

An early theme in the book is the Wolfowitz Doctrine, a part of the now infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which advocates total US hegemony on every continent, known as full spectrum dominance. Ms. Stryker points out how the original Wolfowitz Doctrine was so extreme and in-your-face, that a “kinder, gentler” version replaced the former, but the extreme intentions and ambitions never changed, including those against Russia.

Another early theme is Pastor John Winthrop’s 17th century “city on a hill” motif. Mr. Winthrop and his merry band of genocidal settlers gleefully exterminated every Native American they came in contact with, in what was now being called New England, Massachusetts. Again, this early Orwellian Western propaganda fits in nicely with what we see in the headlines of today’s mainstream media, concerning Russia.

These themes are fleshed out with Ms. Stryker quoting extensively from several mainstream articles, exposing Western empire’s hypocritical and self-serving Big Lie propaganda machine, with a focus on Russia.

Besides lots of discussion on Russia in general, other topics include Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, NATO’s expansion up to Russia’s borders, the USSR, RT, Sir Halford Mackinder’s Heartland Theory on Asia as the World Island, uber-commie-hating cold warrior Zbigniew Brzezinski, the EU, Visegrad Four, Ms. Stryker’s hopes for an independent Europe that is not under the US’s total domination, postwar American imperialism, BRICS, China’s New Silk Roads (BRI) and its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

These are all well-covered, but what I really enjoyed were comments by Westerners living and working in Russia, whom Ms. Stryker met. Testimonials are powerful expository literary devices, as Studs Turkel and Howard Zinn could attest to, in their writings. Hearing what people have to say who have lived through an event, or are experiencing a place, is very meaningful because they are up close and concrete. They afford the reader a fly-on-the-wall perspective and an augmented, vicarious reality. Ms. Stryker’s interviewees talk very matter-of-factly about life in 21st century Russia, the ups and downs, the good and the great, the bad and the ugly; how they got there and why they are staying. That is my only regret for Russia’s Americans, is that there are not more of these personal testimonials. I could have read many more of them.

Ms. Stryker’s Russia’s Americans is an expansive, informative book that captures the zeitgeist of Russia in the modern world. For those who are looking to learn more about this amazing country, as well as the aforementioned topics covered in the book, it is well worth reading.

 


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Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History


ABOUT JEFF BROWN

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JEFF J. BROWN, Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and for Badak Merah, Jeff authored China Is Communist, Dammit! – Dawn of the Red Dynasty (2017). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on SoundCloud, YouTube, Stitcher Radio and iTunes.

In China, he has been a speaker at TEDx, the Bookworm and Capital M Literary Festivals, the Hutong, as well as being featured in an 18-part series of interviews on Radio Beijing AM774, with former BBC journalist, Bruce Connolly. He has guest lectured at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences (BASS) and various international schools and universities.

More on Jeff

Jeff grew up in the heartland of the United States, Oklahoma, much of it on a family farm, and graduated from Oklahoma State University. He went to Brazil while in graduate school at Purdue University, to seek his fortune, which whetted his appetite for traveling the globe. This helped inspire him to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia in 1980 and he lived and worked in Africa, the Middle East, China and Europe for the next 21 years. All the while, he mastered Portuguese, Arabic, French and Mandarin, while traveling to over 85 countries. He then returned to America for nine years, whereupon he moved back to China in 2010. He lives in China with his wife. Jeff is a dual national French-American, being a member of the Communist Party of France (PCF) and the International Workers of the World (IWW).

Jeff can be reached at China Rising, jeff@brownlanglois.com, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat (Jeff_Brown-44_Days) and Whatsapp: +86-13823544196.


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China Is Communist, Dammit! Dawn of the Red Dynasty

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