Eurasian Geography and Economics, 20221-6

Reviewed Works

The free world: art and thought in the Cold War, by Louis Menand, London, Harper Collins Publishers, 2021, 880 pp., ISBN 9780007126873

World politics since 1989, by Jonathan Holslag, Polity Press, Cambridge, UK, and Medford, MA, USA,2021, reprinted 2022, 416 pp., ISBN 9781509546725


I am fortunate in that the two books reviewed in this essay are, in their separate ways, books of high quality, written by highly reputable academics, who are also experienced in popular journalism. Louis Menand has been contributing editor of The New York Review of Books, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and a Pulitzer Prize winner.1 Jonathan Holslag describes himself as a world politics generalist contributing to, among others, Le Monde, The Straits Times, and the BBC World Service. This encourages confidence in both the scholarly research that gives the books their foundation and in the clarity and cogency of the prose. The reader will not be disappointed. Although quite different from each other, taken together the books provide both historical knowledge of and intellectual insights into the eras that followed the Second World War.