A very interesting and thought-provoking book by Russian historian Stephen Cohen. It provides a clear analysis of US and NATO policy toward Russia since the fall of the Soviet empire. It also offers an answer to the important question of why we are now and have been sitting on the brink of World War III for the last four weeks of the Ukrainian invasion by Russia.
The author is clearly not the sort of pro-Ukraine cheerleader that so dominates the western media right now. Instead, he provides a thoughtful account of the history of relations between the US-led NATO countries and “Putin’s Russia”, and explains the origin of the new cold war and why it is far more dangerous than the old one. In much of the book, Cohen seems sympathetic to the Russians who he argues were badly treated by the west and particularly by successive US Presidents starting with Bill Clinton. He seems to have a grudging admiration for Putin or at least rejects the widely held notion that Putin is the root of all evil.
One of the really interesting topics Cohen discusses is how President Trump sought to mend relations with the Russians, and reverse the contentious relationship that had prevailed for decades. This so threatened the status quo that American political elites such as President Obama and Hillary Clinton and willing accomplices in the intelligence community and Congress used the collusion allegations to attempt to delegitimize President Trump and derail his efforts at detente with Putin. The so-called Russiagate allegation was eventually debunked, but the consequence is the real threat of war between superpowers.