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The Road to Unfreedom - Timothy Snyder

Last updated Mar 5, 2024


# Metadata

# Highlights

For the reporters, the heroes of our time (Location 20)

# PROLOGUE (2010)

A financial crisis two years before had eliminated much of the world’s wealth, and a halting recovery was favoring the rich. (Location 44)

Postwar, published in 2005. (Location 48)

the Nazi-Soviet alliance that began the Second World War in Europe. (Location 62)

In April 1940, the Soviet secret police murdered 21,892 Polish prisoners of war, most of them educated reserve officers. (Location 63)

Since the end of the Soviet Union, the new Russian Federation had been struggling to address the legacy of Stalinist terror. (Location 68)

A new Polish mother asked me what I thought. I said that this was all very unlikely. (Location 85)

In Poland, the Smolensk catastrophe united society for a day, and then polarized it for years. (Location 94)

In 2013, Russia turned against the European Union, condemning it as decadent and hostile. Its success might encourage Russians to think that former empires could become prosperous democracies, and so its existence was suddenly at risk. (Location 100)

a new unfreedom to suit a new time. (Location 108)

The machines that were meant to create time were consuming it instead. As we lost our ability to concentrate and recall, everything seemed new. (Location 116)

In the American capitalist version of this story, nature brought the market, which brought democracy, which brought happiness. (Location 123)

Americans and Europeans kept telling themselves their tales of inevitability for a quarter century after the end of communism, and so raised a millennial generation without history. (Location 129)

The financial crisis of 2008 and the deregulation of campaign contributions in the United States in 2010 magnified the influence of the wealthy and reduced that of voters. (Location 133)

The collapse of the politics of inevitability ushers in another experience of time: the politics of eternity. (Location 137)

In power, eternity politicians manufacture crisis and manipulate the resultant emotion. (Location 142)

Inevitability and eternity translate facts into narratives. (Location 150)

Eternity politicians suppress facts in order to dismiss the reality that people are freer and richer in other countries, and the idea that reforms could be formulated on the basis of knowledge. (Location 156)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 was a reality test for the European Union and the United States. (Location 162)

What has already happened in Russia is what might happen in America and Europe: the stabilization of massive inequality, the displacement of policy by propaganda, the shift from the politics of inevitability to the politics of eternity. (Location 172)

Americans tend to react to surprise in two ways: either by imagining that the unexpected event is not really happening, or by claiming that it is totally new and hence not amenable to historical understanding. (Location 176)

in the 2010s influence flowed from east to west, as the offshore exception became the rule, as Russian political fiction penetrated beyond Russia. (Location 185)

Eternity politicians first spread fake news themselves, then claim that all news is fake, and finally that only their spectacles are real. (Location 192)

The advisor of the first pro-Russian American presidential candidate had been the advisor of the last pro-Russian Ukrainian president. (Location 197)

By suggesting that political foundations cannot really change, the politics of inevitability spread uncertainty as to what those foundations really are. (Location 211)

History is and must be political thought, in the sense that it opens an aperture between inevitability and eternity, preventing us from drifting from the one to the other, helping us see the moment when we might make a difference. (Location 214)

If institutions are to flourish, they need virtues; if virtues are to be cultivated, they need institutions. (Location 222)


To accept this is to deny individual responsibility for seeing history and making change. (Location 234)

An oligarch spinning a tale of an innocent past, perhaps with the help of fascist ideas, offers fake protection to people with real pain. Faith that technology serves freedom opens the way to his spectacle. As distraction replaces concentration, the future dissolves in the frustrations of the present, and eternity becomes daily life. (Location 238)

Russia reached the politics of eternity first, and Russian leaders protected themselves and their wealth by exporting it. (Location 242)

History always continues, and alternatives always present themselves. (Location 252)

If we accept eternity, we sacrifice individuality, and will no longer see possibility. (Location 258)

In the 2010s, Putin relied upon Ilyin’s authority to explain why Russia had to undermine the European Union and invade Ukraine. (Location 275)

His propaganda master Vladislav Surkov adapted Ilyin’s ideas to the world of modern media. Surkov orchestrated Putin’s rise to power and oversaw the consolidation of media that ensured Putin’s seemingly eternal rule. (Location 278)

In early 2014, members of Russia’s ruling party and all of Russia’s civil servants received a collection of Ilyin’s political publications from the Kremlin. (Location 283)

To think historically is to accept that the unfamiliar might be significant, and to work to make the unfamiliar the familiar. (Location 293)

Like the period from the late 1980s to the early 2010s, so the period from the late 1880s to the early 1910s was one of globalization. (Location 294)

According to Ilyin, communism had been inflicted upon innocent Russia by the decadent West. One day Russia would liberate itself and others with the help of Christian fascism. (Location 315)

Having removed God from the scene, Ilyin himself could issue judgments about what is and what ought to be. (Location 339)

Like all immorality, eternity politics begins by making an exception for itself. (Location 348)

Like fascists and other authoritarians of his day, Ilyin insisted that his nation was a creature, “an organism of nature and the soul,” an animal in Eden without original sin. (Location 361)

In such a scheme it was easy for Ilyin, who knew little of actual Russian history, to grasp centuries in simple phrases. (Location 375)

According to Ilyin, every single battle ever fought by Russians was defensive. Russia was always the victim of a “continental blockade” by Europe. (Location 377)

Like other fascists, such as Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, he turned Christian ideas of sacrifice and redemption towards new purposes. (Location 387)

The men who redeemed God’s flawed world had to ignore what God said about love. (Location 394)

Because the world was sinful and God was absent, his champion must emerge from some uncorrupted realm beyond history. “Power,” Ilyin imagined, “comes all by itself to the strong man.” (Location 401)

Fascism begins not with an assessment of what is within, but from a rejection of what is without. (Location 410)

“Everything begins in mystique and ends in politics,” as the poet Charles Péguy reminds us. (Location 421)

Destruction is always easier than creation. (Location 424)

Legal institutions that permit the succession of power allow citizens to envision a future where leaders change but states remain. Fascism, however, is about a sacred and eternal connection between the redeemer and his people. (Location 426)

Russia should be a zero-party state, redeemed only by a man. Parties should exist, according to Ilyin, only to help ritualize elections. (Location 433)

Rather than governing, the leader produces crisis and spectacle. (Location 449)

Ilyin used the word “law,” but he did not endorse the rule of law. By “law” he meant the relationship between the caprice of the redeemer and the obedience of everyone else. (Location 451)

Unified by their redeemer, their sins washed away in the blood of others, Russians would welcome God back to his creation. (Location 460)

Ilyin had no earthly idea, in other words, of how a Russian state could endure. (Location 466)

The very dread of what comes next generates a sense of threat that can be projected upon others as foreign policy. Totalitarianism is its own true enemy, and that is the secret it keeps from itself by attacking others. (Location 467)

remade the state to preserve their own gains. Having achieved this, Russian leaders had to define politics as being rather than doing. (Location 471)

Although Ilyin opposed Soviet power, the shape of his argument was eerily similar to that of the Marxism, Leninism, and Stalinism in which all Soviet citizens were educated. (Location 475)

Ilyin and the Marxism he opposed shared a philosophical origin and language: that of Hegelianism. (Location 478)

Ilyin was a Right Hegelian. (Location 491)

When Ilyin was arrested by the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, Lenin intervened on his behalf in order to express his admiration of Ilyin’s philosophy. (Location 503)

“The Bolsheviks would have no fundamental problem accepting Ivan Ilyin’s book. They consider themselves the bearers of absolute good and oppose those whom they regard as evil with force.” (Location 509)

The aftermath of the Second World War was the beginning of the end of the Soviet politics of inevitability, and thus the opening gesture towards a Russian politics of eternity. (Location 533)

The last decades of Soviet communism prepared Soviet citizens for Ilyin’s view of the world. (Location 541)

American conventional wisdom contributed to the disaster by suggesting that markets would create institutions, rather than stressing that institutions were needed for markets. (Location 543)

Ilyin’s ideas sanctified radical inequality at home, changed the subject of politics from reform to innocence, while defining the West as a permanent source of a spiritual threat. (Location 548)

No Russian state could be built on Ilyin’s concepts. But they did help robbers to present themselves as redeemers. (Location 550)

The politics of eternity cannot make Putin or any other man immortal. But it can make other ideas unthinkable. (Location 554)

The only thing that stands between inevitability and eternity is history, as considered and lived by individuals. (Location 557)


In discrediting democratic elections in 2011 and 2012, Vladimir Putin took on the mantle of the heroic redeemer and placed his country on the horns of Ilyin’s dilemma. (Location 571)

Leaders must think beyond themselves and their clans, to imagine how other people might succeed them in the future. (Location 579)

The mechanism that ensures that a state outlasts a leader is called the principle of succession. (Location 581)

The meaning of each election is the promise of the next one. Since each citizen is fallible, democracy transforms cumulative mistakes into a collective belief in the future. (Location 582)

The Bolsheviks were not concerned about succession because they believed that they were beginning a global revolution, not creating a state. (Location 585)

The party claimed legitimacy not from legal principle or continuity with the past, but from the glory of the revolution and bright promise of the future. (Location 589)

Marxism-Leninism was a politics of inevitability: the course of events was known in advance, socialism would displace capitalism, and party leaders knew the details and made the plans. (Location 591)

After Lenin’s death in 1924, it took Stalin about six years to defeat his rivals, several of whom were killed. (Location 597)

Rather than of a victory of communism to come, Brezhnev spoke in the 1970s of “really existing socialism.” Once Soviet citizens expected no improvements from the future, nostalgia had to fill the vacuum left by utopia. Brezhnev replaced the promise of future perfection with a cult of Stalin and his leadership in the Second World War. (Location 612)

The myth of the October Revolution promised everything; the myth of the Great Fatherland War promised nothing. (Location 617)

In the 1960s, some Czechoslovak communists believed that communism could be renewed. When the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies invaded Czechoslovakia to overthrow reform communists in 1968, (Location 623)

Gorbachev believed that communism could be reformed and a better future promised. His main opponent was the party itself, (Location 629)

Polish communists, facing economic crisis and political opposition, took him at his word, scheduled partially free elections in 1989, and lost. (Location 631)

Democratic elections in the various Soviet republics were held in order to generate new elites who would implement economic reform. (Location 635)

Societies of every Soviet republic believed that they had been exploited by the system to the benefit of other regions. (Location 638)

Gorbachev’s own legitimacy had come from the party, but he was trying to replace the party with a state. (Location 640)

The new Russian Federation was established as a constitutional republic, legitimated by democracy, (Location 651)

Ilyin had anticipated a different transition from Soviet to Russian power: fascist dictatorship, the preservation of all Soviet territory, permanent war against the sinful West. (Location 654)

The myth of a redeemer would have to be founded on lies so enormous that they could not be doubted, because doubting them would mean doubting everything. (Location 659)

Democracy never took hold in Russia, in the sense that power never changed hands after freely contested elections. (Location 662)

Yeltsin simply remained president after independence. To be sure, such an institutionally ambiguous claim to power was typical as the 1990s began. (Location 665)

the very rich chose Russia’s redeemer. (Location 669)

Americans, taking the rule of law for granted, could fantasize that markets would create the necessary institutions. (Location 673)

In 1993, Yeltsin dissolved the Russian parliament and sent armed men against its deputies. (Location 676)

In 1996, Yeltsin’s team (by its own account) faked elections that won him another term as president. (Location 679)

“Operation Successor,” as the challenge was known in the Kremlin, had two stages: finding a new man who was not a known associate of Yeltsin, and then inventing a fake problem that he could then appear to solve. (Location 683)

Vladimir Putin, who had held a meaningless post in the East German provinces during his career in the KGB, was seen as the closest match to the fictional Stierlitz.* (Location 688)

There was no evidence that Chechens had anything to do with the bombings. (Location 699)

Thanks to unequal television coverage, manipulation of the vote tally, and the atmospherics of terrorism and war, Putin was accorded the absolute majority needed to win the presidential election of March 2000. (Location 701)

Credit for the political technology of Operation Successor was taken by Vladislav Surkov, (Location 704)

During Putin’s first two presidential terms, between 2000 and 2008, Surkov exploited manageable conflicts to gain popularity or change institutions. (Location 708)

Justifying the end of those elected governorships, Surkov (citing Ilyin) claimed that Russians did not yet know how to vote. (Location 711)

In order to join the European Union, these countries had to demonstrate their sovereignty in specific ways that Russia had not: by creating a market that could bear competition, an administration that could implement EU law, and a democracy that held free and fair elections. (Location 716)

Democracy is a procedure to change rulers. To qualify democracy with an adjective—“ people’s democracy” during communism, “sovereign democracy” thereafter— means eliminating that procedure. (Location 725)

what Ilyin meant by “freedom” was the freedom of the individual to submerge himself in a collectivity that subjugates itself to a leader. (Location 731)

In 2004, Putin spoke in favor of European Union membership for Ukraine, saying that such an outcome would be in Russia’s economic interest. He spoke of the enlargement of the European Union as extending a zone of peace and prosperity to Russia’s borders. (Location 738)

Once Medvedev was accorded the office of president, he named Putin prime minister. Under Medvedev, the Russian constitution was changed so that the term of president was extended to six years. (Location 744)

Yet the only mechanism for returning to the office of president in 2012 was the (apparently) democratic election. Putin would have to cheat, as before; but this time, when caught cheating, he would admit the deed. (Location 748)

making an eternity of the present required endless crisis and permanent threats. (Location 751)

many Russians saw these elections as the last chance to prevent stagnation, and voted accordingly. (Location 758)

In Chechnya, Putin was accorded 99.8% of the ballots: the figure likely reflected the total control exercised by his Chechen ally Ramzan Kadyrov. (Location 769)

regime-friendly foreigners from the far Right endorsed the results. (Location 772)

Putin chose to regard the transient illusion of winning on the first ballot as more important than law, and his own hurt feelings as more important than the convictions of his fellow citizens. (Location 778)

By dismissing the principle of “one person, one vote” while insisting that elections would continue, Putin was disregarding the choices of citizens while expecting them to take part in future rituals of support. (Location 780)

For Russia in 2012, the fictional problem became the designs of the European Union and the United States to destroy Russia. (Location 792)

Ilyin had described opposition to his views as “sexual perversion,” by which he meant homosexuality. A century later, this was also the Kremlin’s first reaction to democratic opposition. (Location 795)

Visiting Germany, Putin told a surprised Angela Merkel that the Russian opposition was “sexually deformed.” (Location 802)

The purpose of the anti-gay campaign was to transform demands for democracy into a nebulous threat to Russian innocence: voting = West = sodomy. (Location 816)

The question of gender identity clung to the Russian president. In 2016, Putin asserted that he was not a woman who has bad days. In 2017, he denied that he was Donald Trump’s groom. (Location 821)

Putin was offering masculinity as an argument against democracy. (Location 824)

Solving this problem of succession is the precondition of establishing a modern state. (Location 828)

Weber defined two mechanisms that would allow a burst of charisma to become durable institutions: (1) through custom, as for example in a monarchy where the eldest son succeeded the father; or (2) through law, as for example in a democracy where regular voting allows parliaments and rulers to be replaced. (Location 829)

During self-inflicted catastrophes of this kind, a certain kind of man always finds a way to blame a woman. (Location 834)

it was best not to speak of actual threats, since discussing actual enemies would reveal actual weaknesses and suggest the fallibility of aspiring dictators. (Location 842)

Russia’s real geopolitical problem was China. (Location 845)

The West was chosen as an enemy precisely because it represented no threat to Russia. (Location 847)

in 2010 Russia was allowing American planes to fly through Russian airspace to supply American forces in Afghanistan. (Location 850)

In 2012, American leaders believed that they were pursuing a “reset” of relations with Russia. (Location 852)

In winter 2011 and spring 2012, Russian television channels and newspapers generated the narrative that all who protested electoral fraud were paid by Western institutions. (Location 856)

after Putin’s return to the office of president in May 2012, the Russian state was transformed in ways that corresponded to Ilyin’s proposals. (Location 874)

A new FSB unit was named after Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka (predecessor of the GRU, NKVD, KGB, and FSB). (Location 878)

At the moment of Ilyin’s reburial, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church was a man who had been a KGB agent in Soviet times. (Location 913)

In Mikhalkov’s 2014 film Sunstroke, he had ethnic Russians sentenced to death by a female Jewish secret police officer, thereby suggesting that any unjust killing was done by people who might be considered alien by nationality or gender. (Location 937)

By claiming that political opposition was sexual and foreign, Putin had already located all responsibility for Russian problems beyond the Russian redeemer or the Russian organism. (Location 945)

Writing as its future president, he described Russia not as a state but as a spiritual condition. (Location 949)

That politics begins from “friend or foe” is the basic fascist idea, formulated by the Nazi legal theorist Carl Schmitt and endorsed and propagated by Ilyin. (Location 954)

The American political strategist Paul Manafort, at work on a plan to increase Russia’s influence in the United States, was dispatched to Kyiv to help Yanukovych. (Location 978)

In 2013 and 2014, Russia would try to transform Yanukovych from a servile client into a powerless puppet, (Location 987)

The politics of eternity requires points in the past to which the present can cycle, demonstrating the innocence of the country, the right to rule of its leader, and the pointlessness of thinking about the future. (Location 995)

Putin’s monastic friend Tikhon Shevkunov maintained that “he who loves Russia and wishes it well can only pray for Vladimir, placed at the head of Russia by God’s will.” (Location 1000)

At some point Volodymyr married the sister of the Byzantine emperor, a political coup that required his conversion to Christianity. (Location 1012)

Christianity did not prevent parricidal, fratricidal, and filicidal warfare, because it did not provide a succession principle. (Location 1014)

the succession from father Volodymyr to son Yaroslav took seventeen years, and was complete only after ten sons of Volodymyr were dead. (Location 1020)

In 2013, Russia began to seduce or bully its European neighbors into abandoning their own institutions and histories. (Location 1024)

Were the European Union or the United States to disintegrate during Putin’s lifetime, he could cultivate an illusion of eternity. (Location 1026)


A state with a principle of succession exists in time. A state that arranges its foreign relations exists in space. (Location 1037)

Yet history never ends, and alternatives always emerge. (Location 1043)

In the 1930s the United States was an empire, in the sense that a large number of its Native American and African American subjects were not full citizens. (Location 1063)

With Soviet economic backing, Germany invaded and defeated France in 1940. (Location 1072)

In postwar Europe, the United States subsidized economic cooperation in order to support the political center and undermine the extremes and thus, in the long run, create a stable market for its exports. (Location 1083)

Germans accepted a proposition from neighboring France, and along with Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Italy established a European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. (Location 1101)

Europe was a soft landing after empire. (Location 1106)

This “return to Europe” was a reaction to the lesson of 1918 and 1945: that without some larger structure, the nation-state is untenable. In 1993 the EU began to sign association agreements with east European states, beginning a legal relationship. (Location 1117)

What the EU had not done by 2013 was extend to territory that had been within the original borders of the Soviet Union as established in 1922. (Location 1125)

Ukraine was the axis between the new Europe of integration and the old Europe of empire. (Location 1127)

An imperial power does not recognize the political entities that it encounters in what it regards as colonial territories, and so it destroys or subverts them while claiming that they never existed. (Location 1132)

Lacking unified armed forces and convincing institutions of foreign policy, the EU depended upon law and economics for diplomacy as well as internal functioning. Its implicit foreign policy was to persuade leaders and societies who wished for access to European markets to embrace the rule of law and democracy. (Location 1149)

The EU’s vulnerability was the European politics of inevitability: the fable of the wise nation. (Location 1152)

Lacking serious education in their own imperial pasts, and lacking the comparative knowledge that would allow them to see patterns, Europeans settled for a falsehood. (Location 1163)

The EU never attempted to establish a common historical education for Europeans. (Location 1173)

Left. Hungarian and Greek leaders began to see Chinese and Russian investment as an alternative route to the future. (Location 1182)

Because failure had to be presented as success, Russia had to present itself as a model for Europe, rather than the other way around. This required that success be defined not in terms of prosperity and freedom but in terms of sexuality and culture, (Location 1188)

Rather than monopolizing law, the Russian state under Putin monopolized corruption. (Location 1204)

Putin was beginning to imagine a reverse integration in which European states would become more like Russia, which would have meant the end of the EU. (Location 1216)

European integration was a means of transporting the idea of the rule of law from places where it functioned better to places where it functioned worse. (Location 1221)

Not to join Eurasia, Putin said, would be “to promote separatism in the broadest sense of the word.” (Location 1252)

Putin could control the state but not reform it. So foreign policy had to take the place of domestic policy, and diplomacy had to be about culture rather than security. (Location 1260)

As Russians knew, Gumilev was the modern exemplar of Eurasian thought. (Location 1272)

the years in the Gulag left their mark. Gumilev saw the inspirational possibilities in repression, and believed that the basic biological truths of life were revealed in extreme settings. (Location 1295)

Gumilev therefore advanced three basic elements of modern antisemitism: the Jew as the soulless trader, the Jew as the drinker of Christian blood, and the Jew as the agent of an alien civilization. (Location 1317)

Even as Europe integrated, there were marginal thinkers of the far Right who preserved Nazi ideas, celebrated national purity, and decried economic, political, and legal cooperation as part of some global conspiracy. (Location 1333)

Dugin’s European contacts allowed him to bring Nazi concepts home to Russia. (Location 1345)

The authors of the manifesto dreamed of a militarized totalitarian Russia that permanently mobilized the entire population and promised nothing but sacrifice: (Location 1458)

They presented the EU as an existential threat to Russia, since it enforced law and generated prosperity. Russian foreign policy should therefore support the extreme Right within EU member states until the EU collapses, (Location 1466)

An intellectual task of the Izborsk Club was to produce the narratives that transported any such facts towards oblivion. (Location 1471)

One of Russia’s long-range bombers, a Tu-95 built to drop atomic bombs on the United States, was renamed “Izborsk” in honor of the club. (Location 1475)

The Tu-95 “Izborsk” would be used to bomb Syria in 2015, creating refugees who would flee to Europe. (Location 1478)

In Russia’s “managed democracy,” Rodina was meant to draw votes away from the communist party towards a group trusted by Putin. (Location 1486)

Glazyev helped his master maintain Russian kleptocracy by changing the subject from prosperity to values, to what Putin called “civilization.” (Location 1498)

Beginning in 2013, the principles of Eurasia guided the foreign policy of the Russian Federation. (Location 1500)

The Russian policy to destroy the EU took several corresponding forms: the recruitment of European leaders and parties to represent the Russian interest in European disintegration; the digital and televisual penetration of public discourse to sow distrust of the EU; the recruitment of extreme nationalists and fascists for public promotion of Eurasia; and the endorsement of separatism of all kinds. (Location 1517)

a basic principle of his Eurasian civilization: when the subject is inequality, change it to sexuality. (Location 1526)

RT became the media home of European politicians who opposed the EU, (Location 1531)

Because Britain and France had no modern history as nation-states, an exit from the European Union would be a step into the unknown rather than the comfortable homecoming promised by nationalism. (Location 1537)

Aymeric Chauprade, her advisor on foreign policy, promised his Russian audience that the Front National would destroy the European Union if it came to power. (Location 1548)

Trump’s contribution to global heterosexuality was to bring a beauty pageant to the Moscow suburbs, or rather to look on as Russians did so. In principle he was the organizer; in fact he was paid twenty million dollars to oversee the work of his Russian colleagues. (Location 1559)

a pattern of relations between Russians and Trump that was by then long established: Trump was paid so that his name could assist Russians who knew something about money and power. (Location 1561)

Among the many instances of contact between the Trump campaign and prominent Russians was a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016, in which a Russian lawyer, briefed by the chief prosecutor of the Russian Federation, offered the Trump campaign materials about Hillary Clinton. (Location 1572)

In April 2015, Russian hackers took over the transmission of a French television station, pretended to be the Islamist terrorist group ISIS, and then broadcast a message designed to frighten French voters. (Location 1585)

Although no actual irregularities were reported, roughly a third of Scottish voters gained the impression that something fraudulent had taken place. (Location 1602)

About a third of the discussion of Brexit on Twitter was generated by bots— and more than 90% of the bots tweeting political material were not located in the United Kingdom. (Location 1619)

Brexit was a triumph for Russian foreign policy, and a sign that a cyber campaign directed from Moscow could change reality. (Location 1623)

Britain had never been a state that had decided to support others, but a collapsing empire whose statehood was rescued by European integration. (Location 1630)

The only escape from the alternatives of inevitability and eternity was history: understanding it or making it. (Location 1668)


Nations are new things that refer to old things. It matters how they do so. (Location 1688)

To think historically is to see how something like Ukraine might be possible, just as something like Russia might be possible. To think historically is to see the limits of structures, the spaces of indeterminacy, the possibilities for freedom. (Location 1694)

After 1569 on the territory of today’s Ukraine, the eastern Christian traditions of Rus were challenged by western Christianity, which was in the midst of fertile transformations. (Location 1706)

At the end of the eighteenth century, the Russian Empire partitioned the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth out of existence, with the help of Prussia and the Habsburg monarchy. (Location 1737)

when Poland and Bolshevik Russia signed their peace treaty at Riga in 1921, the lands that Ukrainian activists saw as theirs were divided: (Location 1762)

the nation-state was difficult and in most cases untenable. (Location 1765)

European history turns on colonization and decolonization. (Location 1773)

Joseph Stalin understood the Soviet project as self-colonization. (Location 1774)

In 1954, the Crimean Peninsula was removed from the Russian Soviet Federative Republic of the Soviet Union and added to Soviet Ukraine. (Location 1783)

This was an early example of the Soviet politics of eternity: legitimating rule not by present achievement or future promise but by the nostalgic loop of a round number. (Location 1788)

Though Soviet policy had been lethal to Ukrainians, Soviet leaders never denied that Ukraine was a nation. (Location 1797)

The senseless poisoning of 1986 prompted Ukrainians to begin to speak of the senseless mass starvation of 1933. (Location 1811)

Unlike in Russia, in Ukraine the new class of oligarchs formed themselves into durable clans, none of which dominated the state for more than a few years at a time. (Location 1817)

Both Russia and Ukraine missed an opportunity for economic reform in the relatively good years before the world financial crisis of 2008. (Location 1818)

So long as the rule of law functioned at the heights of politics, there was always hope that it might one day extend to everyday life. (Location 1827)

Manafort helped him to pursue a “Southern strategy” for Ukraine reminiscent of the one that his Republican Party had used in the United States: emphasizing cultural differences, making politics about being rather than doing. (Location 1831)

Yanukovych was certain to win, after which he could tell Europeans and Americans that he had saved Ukraine from nationalism. (Location 1842)

In the oligarchical Ukraine of the twenty-first century, reporters gave their fellow citizens a chance at self-defense. (Location 1850)

Ukrainians after 1991 had come to take for granted that political disputes would be settled without violence. (Location 1856)

Among the representatives of older generations who came to the Maidan to protect the students were the “Afghans”— veterans of the Red Army’s invasion of Afghanistan. (Location 1865)

people came to the Maidan not for moments or hours but for days, weeks, and months, their own fortitude suggesting a new sense of time, and new forms of politics. Those who remained on the Maidan could do so only because they found new ways to organize themselves. (Location 1906)

The Maidan brought four forms of politics: the civil society, the economy of gift, the voluntary welfare state, and the Maidan friendship. (Location 1909)

Kyiv is a bilingual capital, something unusual in Europe and unthinkable in Russia and the United States. (Location 1911)

In Ukraine, language is a spectrum rather than a line. Or, if it is a line, it is one that runs inside of people rather than between them. (Location 1915)

The philosopher Volodymyr Yermolenko wrote, “Europe is also a light at the end of a tunnel. When do you need a light like that? When it is pitch dark all around.” (Location 1928)

The political and social activity of the Maidan from December 2013 through February 2014 arose from temporary associations based upon will and skill. (Location 1931)

A visitor would be surprised to find deep order amidst apparent chaos, and realize that what seemed at first like extraordinary hospitality was in fact a spontaneous welfare state. (Location 1942)

As the philosopher Yermolenko put it: “We are dealing with revolutions in which people make a gift of themselves.” (Location 1957)

the French philosopher Albert Camus and his idea of a revolt as the moment when death is chosen over submission. (Location 1959)

Posters on the Maidan quoted a 1755 letter by the American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” (Location 1960)

If Ukrainians could solve Ilyin’s riddle of law by invoking Europe and solidarity, surely Russians could too? (Location 1969)

Rossiia Segodnia, or Russia Today. Its aim was to dissolve the Russian state media’s pursuit of news as such into a new pursuit: of useful fiction. (Location 1988)

Getting one’s own history wrong is essential to eternity politics. (Location 1995)

On January 9, 2014, the Russian ambassador to Ukraine informed Yanukovych that Ukrainian riot policemen would be given Russian citizenship after the coming operation to crush the Maidan. (Location 2019)

When the Yanukovych regime introduced the Russian-style dictatorship laws of January 16, 2014, this suggested massive violence to come. (Location 2023)

By early February 2014, it appeared Moscow no longer aimed to maneuver Yanukovych and Ukraine into Eurasia. Instead, Yanukovych would be sacrificed in a campaign to provoke chaos throughout the country. (Location 2027)

A memorandum that circulated in the Russian presidential administration in early February 2014, apparently based on the work of Girkin, anticipated the change in the course of Russian policy. (Location 2040)

The proposed tactic was to discredit both Yanukovych and the opposition by violence, while invading southern Ukraine and destabilizing the Ukrainian state. (Location 2044)

Even as Russian troops were mobilizing to invade Ukraine and overturn its government, Lavrov presented Russia as the victim. (Location 2058)

snipers hidden near the Maidan shot and killed about a hundred people, most of them protestors, a few of them Ukrainian riot policemen. It was unclear what (if any) part of the Ukrainian government was involved in these shootings. (Location 2078)

He fled his garish residence, leaving behind a trove of documents (Location 2081)

a signature of Russian foreign policy: the cyber campaign that would accompany a real war. (Location 2090)

Beginning on February 24, 2014, some ten thousand Russian special forces, in uniform but without insignia, moved northward through the Crimean peninsula. (Location 2096)

The association of democracy with gay Satan was a way to make law and reform foreign and unthinkable. (Location 2118)

By invading a country that had engaged in complete nuclear disarmament, Russia offered the world the lesson that nuclear arms should be pursued. (Location 2142)

What could be more eternal than the campaign against Sodom? (Location 2172)

These people beat and humiliated Ukrainian citizens who were seeking to protect the building. (Location 2178)

a new variety of fascism, which could be called schizofascism: actual fascists calling their opponents “fascists,” blaming the Holocaust on the Jews, treating the Second World War as an argument for more violence. (Location 2196)

Russians educated in the 1970s, including the leaders and war propagandists of the 2010s, were instructed that “fascist” meant “anti-Russian.” (Location 2206)

Foreign Minister Lavrov’s Foreign Policy Concept, invoked to justify the invasion of Ukraine, repeated the principle that a state might intervene to protect anyone that it defines as a member of its own culture. This was the argument that Hitler had used (Location 2227)

About a hundred German citizens also came to fight in the company of the Russian army and Russian paramilitaries, as did citizens of a number of other European countries. (Location 2257)

Russia’s war in Ukraine created training grounds for terrorism. (Location 2258)

These utterances were not logical arguments or factual assessments, but a calculated effort to undo logic and factuality. (Location 2281)

the extraordinary thing was how little the war swung popular opinion towards radical nationalism, far less than in the invading country. (Location 2305)

Yanukovych’s flight to Russia placed Ukrainian citizens and lawmakers in an unusual situation: a head of state, during an invasion of his country, sought permanent refuge in the invading country. (Location 2316)

As in the politics of eternity, facts and continuities disappear, replaced by jumps from point to point. (Location 2350)

Stalin and Brezhnev were not receding into the past, but cycling back into the eternal present. (Location 2383)

The Russian war against Ukraine was something more profound: a campaign of eternity against novelty. (Location 2388)


He who is deceived is turned into a thing. —MIKHAIL BAKHTIN, 1943 (Location 2393)

Black milk of daybreak we drink in the evening we drink in the evening we drink in the morning we drink and we drink we dig a grave in the air, there’s room for us all —PAUL CELAN, 1944 (Location 2394)

Kleptocracy made the political virtues of succession, integration, and novelty impossible, and so political fiction had to make them unthinkable. (Location 2398)

Vladimir Surkov showed how eternity could animate modern media. While working for Putin, he wrote and published a novel, Almost Zero (2009), that was a kind of political confession. (Location 2400)

If the only truth was the absence of truth, the liars were honorable servants of Russia. (Location 2404)

As Ilyin had done, Surkov invoked familiar biblical verses in order to invert their meanings. (Location 2413)

This is the opposite of the plain meaning of the biblical passage Surkov was citing: hope, faith, and love are the trinity of virtues that articulate themselves as we learn to see the world as it is. (Location 2415)

The first thing we learn when we see from the perspective of another is that we are not innocent. (Location 2418)

Russia’s deputy minister of communications, Alexei Volin, described their career path: “They are going to work for The Man, and The Man will tell them what to write, what not to write, and how this or that thing should be written. And The Man has the right to do it, because he pays them.” (Location 2424)

RT, Russia’s television propaganda sender for foreign audiences, had the same purpose: the suppression of knowledge that might inspire action, and the coaxing of emotion into inaction. (Location 2430)

RT wished to convey that all media lied, but that only RT was honest by not pretending to be truthful. (Location 2438)

The propaganda worked at two levels: first, as a direct assault on factuality, denying the obvious, even the war itself; second, as an unconditional proclamation of innocence, denying that Russia could be responsible for any wrong. (Location 2448)

Putin’s aim was not to fool Ukrainians but to create a bond of willing ignorance with Russians, who were meant to understand that Putin was lying but to believe him anyway. (Location 2461)

As the reporter Charles Clover put it in his study of Lev Gumilev: “Putin has correctly surmised that lies unite rather than divide Russia’s political class. The greater and the more obvious the lie, the more his subjects demonstrate their loyalty by accepting it, and the more they participate in the great sacral mystery of Kremlin power.” (Location 2462)

Putin’s direct assault on factuality might be called implausible deniability.* (Location 2465)

Western journalists are also taught to report various interpretations of the facts. The adage that there are two sides to a story makes sense when those who represent each side accept the factuality of the world and interpret the same set of facts. (Location 2472)

“I am lying to you openly and we both know it” is not a side of the story. It is a trap. (Location 2475)

Western editors, although they had the reports of the Russian invasion on their desks in the late days of February and the early days of March 2014, chose to feature Putin’s exuberant denials. And so the narrative of the Russian invasion of Ukraine shifted in a subtle but profound way: it was not about what was happening to Ukrainians, but about what the Russian president chose to say about Ukraine. A real war became reality television, with Putin as the hero. (Location 2476)

The point was to create the ambience of a television drama of heroic locals taking unusual measures against titanic American power. (Location 2490)

The absence of insignia was not meant as evidence, but as a cue about how Russian viewers were supposed to follow the plot. It was not meant to convince in a factual sense, but to guide in a narrative sense. (Location 2493)

Real soldiers pretending for dramatic reasons to be local partisans can use partisan tactics, thus endangering real civilians. As a tactic of war, this might be called reverse asymmetry. (Location 2495)

Eternity takes certain points from the past and portrays them as moments of righteousness, discarding the time in between. (Location 2507)

In that age of empire, regions inhabited by people other than the colonizers were “new” from the colonial perspective. “New” meant that the region had not always belonged to the empire. (Location 2522)

The Russian coups in Ukrainian regional capitals in March and April mostly failed. (Location 2541)

Yet this did not mean that they supported Russian rule or changes of regime by outside forces. (Location 2545)

Kharkiv and Odessa were areas that Russians regarded as centers of Russian culture, and Dnipropetrovsk was a hub of the two countries’ shared military-industrial complex. (Location 2549)

The politics of eternity consumes the substance of the past, leaving only a boundless innocence that justifies everything. (Location 2562)

the Vostok Battalion, composed largely of Chechens, crossed into Ukraine from Russia. On May 26, its men, together with volunteers from Russia, stormed the Donetsk airport. (Location 2569)

Some of the Chechens killed in Vostok were replaced by Ossetians, who seemed to think that they had been sent to fight the United States. (Location 2584)

In the terminology of partisan war, this was the shift from “positive” to “negative” mobilization: if no one wants to fight for the partisan cause as such (positive motivation), then a partisan commander creates conditions in which the enemy kills civilians (negative motivation). (Location 2592)

Over and over, Ukrainian citizens who joined the separatists in summer 2014 said that it was the death of women, children, and the aged from artillery that inspired them to take up arms. (Location 2600)

It is hard to resist lies for which one has already killed. (Location 2608)

In a frozen conflict, Russia occupies small parts of a nearby country (Moldova since 1991, Georgia since 2008, Ukraine since 2014), and then presents its own occupation as an internal problem that prevents its neighbors from having closer relations with the European Union or NATO. (Location 2611)

The idea of a global conspiracy of Masons is fascist. (Location 2626)

In this fog of stupefaction, a Ukrainian attack on Russian territory would have been a political disaster. And so the information war determined the conditions of the war on the ground. (Location 2643)

Around you is simply war, where both sides are shooting, and no one spares the civilian population.” (Location 2668)

A crucial Russian weapons system delivered from Russia and deployed by Russian soldiers was anti-aircraft batteries. These changed the course of the war in May and June 2014. (Location 2689)

At 1: 20 p.m., Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was struck by hundreds of high-energy metal projectiles released from the explosion of a 9N314M warhead carried by a missile fired from that Russian Buk launcher at Snizhne. (Location 2699)

Denying the obvious only suggests it; defeating the obvious means engaging it from the flanks. (Location 2710)

Girkin then added a fourth version, claiming that Russia had indeed shot down MH17— but that no crime had been committed, since the CIA had filled the plane with corpses and sent it over Ukraine to provoke Russia. (Location 2729)

Russian media accounts were impossible not only as journalism but also as literature. (Location 2734)

Although there were certainly individual Russians who grasped what had happened and apologized, the Russian population as a whole was denied the possibility to reflect on its responsibility for a war and its crimes. (Location 2741)

Ignorance begat innocence, and the politics of eternity went on. (Location 2745)

the motorcycle tricks were mediocre and secondary. Most important was the long televised introduction, which brought fascist themes to millions of Russians. (Location 2751)

“Fraternal assistance” had been Brezhnev’s term for military interventions to sustain communist regimes in other countries. (Location 2806)

The “bike show” was exceptional only in its rehabilitation of a long-discredited European art form: the Nazi Gesamtkunstwerk, the total work of art meant to replace world with worldview, and history with eternity. (Location 2809)

Russian volunteers started their journey because of what they had seen on Russian television about the war in Ukraine. (Location 2818)

Like many of the soldiers of the Russian Federation sent to kill and die in Ukraine, these soldiers were members of non-Russian ethnic minorities, men whose deaths would not register in media markets. (Location 2833)

It pained her that her son was killed in a war that was not officially taking place. (Location 2847)

Since Moscow denied that Russian troops were in Ukraine, it interpreted this provision as requiring no action. Russian soldiers remained in Ukraine after the Minsk agreement, (Location 2882)

After the airport was finally taken by overwhelming Russian force in mid-February, Ukrainian prisoners of war were executed. (Location 2888)

the Buriats laughed at the Russian propaganda that denied their presence in Ukraine. Other propaganda they accepted as true. They saw their mission as it had been presented to them in the Russian media: to defeat “killers of children.” (Location 2899)

Russia’s war against Ukraine was called a “hybrid war.” (Location 2919)

The families of the dead and wounded were told that they would not receive benefits from the state if they spoke to the press. (Location 2952)

Given native kleptocracy and dependence on commodity exports, Russian state power could not increase, nor Russian technology close the gap with Europe or America. Relative power could however be gained by weakening others: (Location 2958)

In strategic relativism, the point is to transform international politics into a negative-sum game, where a skillful player will lose less than everyone else. (Location 2962)

Ukrainian society was consolidated by the Russian invasion. (Location 2969)

Putin pretended that China was an alternative; Beijing exposed Russia’s weakness by paying less for Russian hydrocarbons. (Location 2977)

It was Russia’s neighbor China, not the United States, that lacked natural gas and fresh water. By claiming that international law did not protect state borders, Moscow opened the way for Beijing, (Location 2983)

But the most important campaign undertaken to support the German extreme Right against the German center would be in public. It would exploit an anxiety that Russians and Germans shared, Islam, against the common enemy of Moscow and the AfD, Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Location 3001)

On September 8, 2015, the German government announced that it planned to take half a million refugees per year. By no coincidence, Russia began bombing Syria three weeks later. (Location 3005)

Russian bombs began to fall in Syria the day after Putin spoke. Russian aircraft dropped non-precision (“ dumb”) bombs from high altitudes. (Location 3009)

Russia supplied not just the refugees themselves, but also the image of them as terrorists and rapists. (Location 3014)

On January 17, the extreme-Right National Democratic Party organized a demonstration demanding justice for Lisa F. Although only about a dozen people appeared, one of them was an RT cameraman. His footage appeared on YouTube the same day. (Location 3027)

Like the image of a crucified boy, that of a raped girl was meant to overwhelm. (Location 3041)

Refugees from Syria, like refugees from Ukraine, were subsumed in a fiction of Russian innocence. (Location 3047)

During the 2017 electoral campaign, Russian-backed social media in Germany portrayed immigration as dangerous, the political establishment as cowardly and mendacious, and the AfD as the savior of Germany. (Location 3050)

Members of an older generation, participants in the Polish anticommunist opposition, found on the Maidan something that they never thought they would see again: solidarity across social classes and political parties. (Location 3056)

Crossing the line that divides public responsibility and private life was far more consequential than it appeared. The undesired exposure of private conversations was incipient totalitarianism, (Location 3065)

It is impossible to govern, even for the best of democrats, without the possibility for discreet conversations. The only politicians who are invulnerable to exposure are those who control the secrets of others, or those whose avowed behavior is so shameless that they are invulnerable to blackmail. (Location 3072)

By accepting that the private lives of public figures are the same thing as politics, citizens cooperate in the destruction of a public sphere. This quiet emergence of totalitarianism, visible in Poland during the tapes scandal of 2014, was also on display in the United States in 2016. (Location 3076)

In that second aircraft, elementary safety procedures had not been followed: the cockpit door had not been closed, denying the pilots their normal authority. (Location 3104)

Macierewicz understood that the search for meaning after death can be channeled into useful political fiction. (Location 3115)

A quarter century of efforts by historians to convey the horrors of Polish history was wasted in a matter of months: thanks to Macierewicz, the true history of Polish suffering was shrouded under nationalist lies. (Location 3126)

Macierewicz’s accusations of Russia were so outlandish that he seemed like the last person who could be a Russian agent. Perhaps that was the point. (Location 3130)

In 2016, Rohrabacher went to Moscow to collect documents that Moscow believed would help the Trump campaign. (Location 3149)

Macierewicz did not deny the facts that connected him to Moscow. Instead he treated factuality as the enemy. (Location 3152)

Other societies can yield to the same form of politics, after a shock and a scandal, as in Poland, or as a result of inequality and Russian intervention, as in Great Britain and the United States. (Location 3159)

In his study of Russian media and society, published in 2014, Peter Pomerantsev concluded with the reflection that “here is going to be there,” the West is going to be like Russia. It was Russian policy to accelerate this process. (Location 3160)

If the citizens of Europe and the United States joined in the general distrust of one another and their institutions, then Europe and America could be expected to disintegrate. (Location 3163)

the rule of law depends upon the beliefs that people will follow law without its being enforced and that enforcement when it comes will be impartial. The very idea of impartiality assumes that there are truths that can be understood regardless of perspective. (Location 3165)

The notion that Ukraine was perpetrating genocide was translated into English by RT, and then spread by certain people on the American far Right and the American far Left. (Location 3193)

Cohen served as the final link in the chain, bringing the slander into American media. (Location 3202)

Important writers of the British Left repeated the same Russian talking points. In The Guardian, John Pilger wrote in May 2014 that Putin “was the only leader to condemn the rise of fascism.” (Location 3229)

How were opinion leaders of the Left seduced by Vladimir Putin, the global leader of the extreme Right? Russia generated tropes targeted at what cyberwar professionals call “susceptibilities”: what people seem likely to believe given their utterances and behavior. (Location 3237)

At Putin’s presidential summit on foreign policy at Valdai in 2013, the Russian president had claimed that Russia and Ukraine were “one people.” Milne chaired a session of the 2014 summit, at Putin’s invitation. (Location 3249)

From a distance, they used their talents to drown a country in unreality; in so doing, they submerged their own countries and themselves. (Location 3255)

Far-Right politicians spread Russia’s messages, and left-wing journalists helped to bring them to the center. (Location 3259)

In July 2016, not long after the Brexit referendum, Donald Trump said, “Putin is not going into Ukraine, you can mark it down.” (Location 3263)

Russians supplied the political fiction, but Americans were asking for it. (Location 3279)

The older idea of plausible deniability, constructed by Americans in the 1980s, was to make claims in an imprecise way that allowed an escape from accusations of racism. (Location 3281)


The rise of Donald Trump was the attack by “these most deadly adversaries of republican government” that Alexander Hamilton had feared. (Location 3299)

Some Russians tried to alert Americans: Andrei Kozyrev, a former foreign minister, explained that Putin “realizes that Trump will trample American democracy and damage if not destroy America as a pillar of stability and major force able to contain him.” (Location 3304)

“Donald Trump, successful businessman” was not a person. It was a fantasy born in the strange climate where the downdraft of the American politics of eternity, its unfettered capitalism, met the rising hydrocarbon fumes of the Russian politics of eternity, its kleptocratic authoritarianism. (Location 3319)

First, Russians had to transform a failed real estate developer into a recipient of their capital. Second, this failed real estate developer had to portray, on American television, a successful businessman. Finally, Russia intervened with purpose and success to support the fictional character “Donald Trump, successful businessman” in the 2016 presidential election. (Location 3324)

Russians knew Trump for what he was: not the “VERY successful businessman” of his tweets but an American loser who became a Russian tool. (Location 3327)

Russian gangsters began to launder money by buying and selling apartment units in Trump Tower in the 1990s. (Location 3332)

The most notorious Russian hit man, long sought by the FBI, resided in Trump Tower. (Location 3333)

By the late 1990s, Trump was generally considered to be uncreditworthy and bankrupt. He owed about four billion dollars to more than seventy banks, of which some $ 800 million was personally guaranteed. (Location 3339)

After his 2004 bankruptcy, no American bank would lend him money. The only bank that did so was Deutsche Bank, whose colorful history of scandal belied its staid name. Interestingly, Deutsche Bank also laundered about $ 10 billion for Russian clients between 2011 and 2015. (Location 3341)

As Donald Trump Jr. said in 2008, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” (Location 3347)

The Russian offers were hard to refuse: millions of dollars up-front for Trump, a share of the profits for Trump, Trump’s name on a building— but no investment required from Trump. (Location 3349)

Sater arranged for people from the post-Soviet world to buy apartments using shell companies. (Location 3354)

Russia is not a wealthy country, but its wealth is highly concentrated. It is thus common practice for Russians to place someone in their debt by providing easy money and naming the price later. (Location 3356)

As a candidate for the office of president, Trump broke with decades of tradition by not releasing his tax returns, presumably because they would reveal his profound dependence on Russian capital. (Location 3357)

In the words of Felix Sater, writing in November 2015, “Our boy can become president of the United States and we can engineer it.” (Location 3363)

On the show, the world was a ruthless oligarchy, where an individual’s future depended upon the capricious whims of a single man. (Location 3370)

Trump outshone Republican rivals at debates thanks to years of practice at playing a fictional character on television. (Location 3373)

Fiction rested on fiction rested on fiction. (Location 3378)

Letting Trump win meant owning him completely. (Location 3384)

Intelligence is about seeing and understanding. Counterintelligence is about making that difficult for others. Active measures, such as the operation on behalf of the fictional character “Donald Trump, successful businessman,” are about inducing the enemy to direct his own strengths against his own weaknesses. (Location 3387)

In “The Hollow Men,” T. S. Eliot wrote that “Between the idea / And the reality / Between the motion / And the act / Falls the shadow.” (Location 3395)

In George Orwell’s 1984, the hero is told, “You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.” In the 2010s, the competition was not about physical objects that could be consumed, as during the cold war, but about psychological states that could be generated in the mind. (Location 3399)

Russia under Putin declared war not for cause but because the terms were favorable. (Location 3403)

A Russian parliamentarian said that the American secret services “slept through” as Russia chose the American president, (Location 3407)

The fictional character won, thanks to votes meant as a protest against the system, and thanks to voters who believed paranoid fantasies that simply were not true. (Location 3415)

In December 2014, the Izborsk Club published a series of articles on a new cold war directed against the United States, to be fought as an information war. It anticipated “filling information with misinformation.” The goal was “the destruction of some of the important pillars of Western society.” (Location 3433)

The Internet Research Agency also engaged about a hundred American political activists who did not know for whom they were working. (Location 3439)

Putin was admitting, with a wink, that Russia had defeated the United States in a cyberwar. (Location 3447)

American exceptionalism proved to be an enormous American vulnerability. (Location 3448)

If the target of a cyberwar is not a computer program but a society, then the attack surface is something broader: software that allows the attacker contact with the mind of the enemy. For Russia in 2015 and 2016, the American attack surface was the entirety of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google. (Location 3454)

Russia could do so without including any disclaimers about who had paid for the ads, leaving Americans with the impression that foreign propaganda was an American discussion. (Location 3465)

As researchers began to calculate the extent of American exposure to Russian propaganda, Facebook deleted more data. This suggests that the Russian campaign was embarrassingly effective. Later, the company told investors that as many as sixty million accounts were fake. (Location 3466)

People trust what sounds right, and trust permits manipulation. (Location 3469)

Though bots are less numerous than humans on Twitter, they are more efficient than humans in sending messages. (Location 3477)

After the election, Twitter identified 2,752 accounts as instruments of Russian political influence. Once Twitter started looking it was able to identify about a million suspicious accounts per day. (Location 3481)

Russian Twitter accounts suppressed the vote by encouraging Americans to “text-to-vote,” which is impossible. (Location 3485)

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards.” (Location 3491)

Russian trolls and bots also moved to support Trump directly at crucial points. (Location 3496)

After Trump’s victory, at least 1,600 of the same bots that had been working on his behalf went to work against Macron and for Le Pen in France, and against Merkel and for the AfD in Germany. (Location 3500)

In March and April, Russia hacked the accounts of people in the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign (and tried to hack Hillary Clinton personally). On July 22, some 22,000 emails were revealed, right before the Democratic National Convention was to be held. The emails that were made public were carefully selected to ensure strife between supporters of Clinton and her rival for the nomination, Bernie Sanders. Their release created division at the moment when the campaign was meant to coalesce. (Location 3508)

Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. was in personal communication with WikiLeaks, the proxy that facilitated some of the email dumps. WikiLeaks asked Trump Jr. to have his father publicize one leak (Location 3514)

Trump also aided the Russian endeavor by shielding it from scrutiny, denying repeatedly that Russia was intervening in the campaign. (Location 3517)

Thirty minutes after that tape was published, Russia released the emails of the chairman of Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta, thereby hindering a serious discussion of Trump’s history of sexual predation. (Location 3520)

As in Poland in 2015, so in the United States in 2016: no one considered the totalitarian implications of the selective public release of private communications. Totalitarianism effaces the boundary between the private and public, so that it is normal for us all to be transparent to power all of the time. (Location 3525)

Since Democratic congressional committees lost control of private data, Democratic candidates for Congress were molested as they ran for office. After their private data was released, American citizens who had given money to the Democratic Party were also exposed to harassment and threats. (Location 3530)

it was a foretaste of what modern totalitarianism is like: no one can act in politics without fear, since anything done now can be revealed later, with personal consequences. (Location 3533)

Once all that is taken for granted, the discussion shifts from the public and the known to the secret and the unknown. Rather than trying to make sense of what is around us, we hunger for the next revelation. (Location 3536)

when the difference between the public and the private collapses, democracy is placed under unsustainable pressure. In such a situation, only the shameless politician can survive, one who cannot be exposed. (Location 3539)

A work of fiction responds to revelation by demanding more. (Location 3541)

The drama of revelation of one thing makes us forget that other things are hidden. (Location 3547)

None of the ostensible seekers of truth who released emails over the internet had anything to say about the relationship of the Trump campaign to Russia. (Location 3549)

One success of Russia’s cyberwar was that the seductiveness of the secret and the trivial drew Americans away from the obvious and the important: that the sovereignty of the United States was under visible attack. (Location 3551)

As an operative in Ukraine between 2005 and 2015, Manafort used the same “Southern strategy” that Republicans had developed in the United States in the 1980s: tell one part of the population that its identity is at risk, and then try to make every election a referendum on culture. (Location 3565)

Right down to the last, Manafort showed the touch of a true Russian political technologist, not so much denying the facts as changing the subject to a spectacular fiction. (Location 3574)

Steve Bannon, whose qualification was that he had brought white supremacists to the mainstream of American discourse. (Location 3577)

Bannon’s extreme-Right ideology lubricated American oligarchy, much as similar ideas had in the Russian Federation. Bannon was a far less sophisticated and erudite version of Vladislav Surkov. (Location 3586)

Kushner failed to mention, after his father-in-law’s election victory, that his company Cadre held a weighty investment from a Russian whose companies had channeled a billion dollars to Facebook and $ 191 million to Twitter on behalf of the Russian state. (Location 3602)

As soon as Trump named foreign policy advisors, they fell immediately into conversations with Russians or Russian intermediaries about how Russia could harm Clinton and help Trump. (Location 3623)

One evening in May, while drinking at a London bar, Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton. The Australians told the FBI, which began an investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia. (Location 3629)

At the Republican National Convention, Page and another Trump advisor, J. D. Gordon, substantially weakened the section of the platform about the need for a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Location 3642)

A third foreign policy advisor was the retired general Michael Flynn. (Location 3644)

Barack Obama personally warned Trump not to name Flynn to a position of authority. Trump named him national security advisor, perhaps the most sensitive position in the entire federal government. (Location 3665)

Ross was in contact with the very center of Russia’s oligarchy, the family. (Location 3681)

In office, Tillerson oversaw a vast purge of American diplomats, a group whom Putin regarded as the enemy. In throwing the Department of State into chaos, Tillerson substantially reduced the American capacity to project either power or values. (Location 3686)

After a year in office, only the “unwitting” part seemed questionable. By then, Trump had convinced a number of leading American intelligence specialists that he was a Russian asset. As one of them put it: “My assessment is that Trump is actually working directly for the Russians.” (Location 3691)

The Trump administration made a mockery of congressional sanctions against Russia, declining to implement legislation and inviting the sanctioned director of a Russian intelligence agency to the United States. (Location 3697)

As president, the hoax had to protect itself from reality. (Location 3700)

It could not be said, however, that the FBI had treated Russian interference as a very high priority. (Location 3705)

Comey concluded two days before the election that the emails were of no significance, but by then the damage was done. (Location 3711)

More unusual still was that Trump used the occasion to share with Russia intelligence of the highest level of confidentiality, involving an Israeli double agent inside ISIS. (Location 3719)

The Russian effort succeeded because the United States is much more like the Russian Federation than Americans would like to think. (Location 3728)

Moscow was not trying to project some ideal of their own, only to use a giant lie to bring out the worst in the United States. (Location 3730)

In important respects, American media had become like Russian media, and this made Americans vulnerable to Russian tactics. (Location 3732)

After the financial crisis of 2008, the American local press, already weakening, was allowed to collapse. Every day in 2009, about seventy people lost their jobs at American newspapers and magazines. (Location 3736)

Trump got his chance in the second half of 2015 because American television networks were pleased with the spectacle he provided. (Location 3741)

Neither Trump nor his Russian backers spent very much money during the campaign. Television did the advertising for them free of charge. (Location 3744)

The internet is an attention economy, which means that profit-seeking platforms are designed to divide the attention of their users into the smallest possible units that can be exploited by advertising messages. (Location 3748)

News that draws viewers tends to wear a neural path between prejudice and outrage. When each day is devoted to emotional venting about supposed enemies, the present becomes endless, eternal. In these conditions, a fictional candidate enjoyed a considerable advantage. (Location 3750)

Though internet platforms became major American news providers, they were not regulated as such in the United States. Two Facebook products, News Feed and Trending Topics, purveyed countless fictions. (Location 3753)

The people who were in charge of Facebook and Twitter took the complacent position offered by the American politics of inevitability: the free market would lead to truth, so nothing should be done. (Location 3754)

The popular right-wing internet activist Jack Posobiec, who had himself spread the Pizzagate lie on Twitter, claimed that the American who fired the shots was an actor paid to discredit the truth. (Location 3767)

Russian platforms served content to American conspiracy sites with enormous viewership. (Location 3771)

Russians exploited American gullibility. (Location 3776)

Americans liked the site because it affirmed their own prejudices and pushed them just a bit further. It offered both the thrill of transgression and a sense of legitimacy. (Location 3783)

Trump’s candidate for national security advisor was serving as a conduit for a Russian influence operation in the United States. (Location 3789)

He did not see the Russian intervention, since he was the Russian intervention. (Location 3794)

In 1976, Stephen King published a short story, “I Know What You Need,” about the courting of a young woman. (Location 3794)

It knows much about us, but interacts with us without revealing that this is so. It makes us unfree by arousing our worst tribal impulses and placing them at the service of unseen others. (Location 3799)

It would help the cause of democracy if citizens knew more about Russian policy, and if the concepts of “news,” “journalism,” and “reporting” could be preserved on the internet. (Location 3801)

freedom depends upon citizens who are able to make a distinction between what is true and what they want to hear. Authoritarianism arrives not because people say that they want it, but because they lose the ability to distinguish between facts and desires. (Location 3803)

Democracies die when people cease to believe that voting matters. (Location 3805)

The essence of Russia’s foreign policy is strategic relativism: Russia cannot become stronger, so it must make others weaker. (Location 3811)

Because of the evident flaws in American democracy and the American rule of law, it was all the easier to intervene in an American election. (Location 3818)

The rule of law requires that the government control violence, and that the population expects that government can do so. The presence of guns in American society, which can feel like strength to some Americans, appeared in Moscow as a national weakness. (Location 3820)

Trump called for his supporters to exercise their Second Amendment rights against Hillary Clinton were she elected, which was an indirect but transparent suggestion that they should shoot her to death. (Location 3822)

Through 2015, the NRA had complained that American policy regarding Russia was too weak. Once the NRA’s involvement with Russia began, it said the opposite. (Location 3835)

Democracy depends upon the free exchange of ideas, where “free” means “without the threat of violence.” An important sign of the collapse of the rule of law is the rise of a paramilitary and its merger with government power. (Location 3839)

In 2016, the most obvious weakness in American democracy was the disconnect between voting and results. (Location 3840)

millions of Americans in territories (as opposed to states) have no vote at all. Puerto Rico has more inhabitants than twenty-one of the fifty American states, but its American citizens have no influence on presidential elections. (Location 3847)

Russia’s intervention in the 2016 U.S. election was not just an attempt to get a certain person elected. It was also the application of pressure to the structure. (Location 3858)

his argument from oligarchy was plausible in a political atmosphere where American voters came to believe that money counted for more than their own preferences. (Location 3867)

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 had required states with a history of suppressing the votes of African Americans to clear changes in their voting laws with the courts. Once the Supreme Court ruled that this was no longer necessary, American states immediately suppressed the vote of African Americans (and others). (Location 3870)

Barack Obama had won Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin in 2012. Trump won all three states by narrow margins in 2016, Wisconsin by only 23,000 votes. (Location 3878)

American race relations presented Russian cyberwarriors with an obvious target. (Location 3879)

On Barack Obama’s birthday in 2014, Russian students in Moscow projected a laser light show on the U.S. embassy building, portraying him performing fellatio on a banana. (Location 3887)

Russian leaders had occasion that year to observe as race opened a tremendous gap between the executive and legislative branches of the American government. (Location 3893)

This level of partisanship, where the enemy is the opposing party and the outside world is neglected, creates a vulnerability easily exploited by hostile actors in that outside world. (Location 3904)

As Republicans realized that Russia was attacking the United States, the fury of partisanship became the desperation of denial and then the complicity of inaction. (Location 3908)

After McConnell categorized the Russian attack as partisan politics, its scope expanded. A massive Russian bot offensive began right then. (Location 3915)

Moscow was attacking, and Congress declined to defend the country. The Obama administration might have acted on its own, but was afraid to deepen partisan divisions. (Location 3919)

While competing for the 2016 Republican nomination, Ohio governor John Kasich, who was knowledgeable about east European politics, was quick to associate Trump with Putin. (Location 3924)

Though Obama’s response to the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine was indeed very cautious, in 2016 Obama did at least recognize that Russian intervention in a U.S. election was a problem for the country as a whole. Even as Kasich and Rubio took a stand on Russian foreign policy, the crucial Republican legislators surrendered in advance to Russian cyberattack. (Location 3927)

Trump’s proposal to “make America great again” resonated with people who believed, along with him, that the American dream was dead. (Location 3933)

Rather than presenting a future with possibilities and hopes, they offer an eternal present with defined enemies and artificial crises. For this to work, citizens have to meet eternity politicians halfway. Demoralized by their inability to change their station in life, they must accept that the meaning of politics lies not in institutional reform but in daily emotion. They must stop thinking about a better future for themselves, their friends, and their families, and prefer the constant invocation of a proud past. (Location 3938)

At the top and throughout society, material inequality creates the experiences and the sentiments that can be transformed into a politics of eternity. (Location 3942)

In the 2010s, some of the best of them, in revealing projects such as the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, showed how unregulated international capitalism was creating sinkholes for national wealth. (Location 3954)

Much of the Russian national wealth that was supposed to be building the Russian state in the 2000s and 2010s found its way to shell corporations in offshore havens. Many of these were in America. (Location 3959)

Russians used shell companies to purchase American real estate, often anonymously. In the 1990s, Trump Tower was one of only two buildings in New York City to allow anonymous purchases of apartment units, an opportunity that the Russian mob quickly exploited. (Location 3966)

These mantras of inevitability provided the cover for the policies that made America more unequal, and inequality more painful. (Location 3975)

At the same time, the United States was very weak on the basic policies that stabilized middle classes elsewhere: retirement pensions, public education, public transport, health care, paid vacation, and parental leave. (Location 3980)

Since the 1980s, the tax rates paid by the top 0.1% of American earners fell from about 65% to about 35%, and for the top 0.01% from about 75% to below 25%. (Location 3985)

In the 2010s, the United States approached the Russian standard of inequality. Although no American oligarchical clan has as yet captured the state, the emergence of such groups in the 2010s (Kochs, Mercers, Trumps, Murdochs) was hard to miss. (Location 3997)

For many Americans, oligarchy meant the warping of time, the loss of a sense of the future, the experience of every day as repetitive stress. (Location 4006)

Exposure to inequality persuaded American teens to drop out of high school, (Location 4021)

Because the United States lacks a functional public health system, inequality has brought a health crisis, which in turn has accelerated and reinforced inequality. (Location 4025)

The factor that most strongly correlated with a Trump vote was a local public health crisis, especially where that crisis included high rates of suicide. (Location 4027)

the United States declared an opium war against itself, making normal life impossible for millions of people and normal politics much more difficult for everyone. (Location 4036)

For about a decade, opioids served as currency in that city, as they did among soldiers or mercenaries on both sides of the war in Ukraine. (Location 4053)

About half of the unemployed men in the United States have been prescribed pain medication. In the year 2015, some ninety-five million Americans took prescription painkillers. (Location 4055)

overwhelming the mu-receptors in our spines and brains, creating in us a craving for ever more. (Location 4062)

Persistent opioid use makes it harder for people to learn from experience, or to take responsibility for their actions. (Location 4064)

At the extreme of addiction, the world becomes a mute and isolated experience of pleasure and need. Time collapses into a cycle from this hit to the next one. The shift from the sense that everything is wonderful to the sense that everything is dark and foreboding becomes normal. (Location 4065)

Americans were prepared by drugs for the politics of eternity, (Location 4068)

Without inequality, without a sense that the future was closed, he could not have found the supporters he needed. The tragedy was that his idea of governance was to transform a dead dream into a zombie nightmare. (Location 4078)

A leader from the realm of fiction tells lies without remorse or apology, because for him untruth is existence. (Location 4081)

Trump governed just as he had run for office: as a producer of outrage rather than as a formulator of policy. (Location 4096)

The idea that German Jews were not part of the German people is how the Holocaust began. (Location 4114)

“The people” always means, as Trump himself put it, “the real people,” not the entire citizenry, but some chosen group. (Location 4116)

To sexualize the enemy was to make politics into biological conflict, and to trade the hard work of reform and freedom for endless anxious preening. (Location 4123)

In the minds of some of Trump’s supporters, the approval of the Holocaust and the endorsement of slavery were intertwined: in a major extreme-Right demonstration, in Charlottesville, Virginia, Nazi and Confederate symbols appeared together. (Location 4131)

The great American social thinker and historian W. E. B. Du Bois (Location 4140)

An eternity politician defines foes rather than formulating policies. (Location 4153)

People get the feeling of winning because they believe that others are losing. (Location 4164)

Trump was a loser since he could only win thanks to Russia; Republicans were greater losers since he had trapped their party; Democrats were still greater losers since they were excluded from power; and the Americans who suffer from deliberately engineered inequality and health crisis were the greatest losers of all. (Location 4165)

The politics of eternity converts pain to meaning, and then meaning back into more pain. (Location 4183)

The dark scenario for American democracy was the possible combination of some shocking act, perhaps one of domestic terrorism, with an election that was then held under a state of emergency, further limiting the right to vote. More than once Trump mused about such a “major event.” (Location 4212)

Politics is international, but repair must be local. (Location 4221)

Russian methods of rule appealed to America’s would-be oligarchs. As in Russia, the risk was that fascist ideas would consolidate oligarchy. (Location 4226)

To break the spell of inevitability, we must see ourselves as we are, not on some exceptional path, but in history alongside others. To avoid the temptation of eternity, we must address our own particular problems, beginning with inequality, with timely public policy. (Location 4227)

America will have both forms of equality, racial and economic, or it will have neither. (Location 4231)

# EPILOGUE (20—)

To experience its destruction is to see a world for the first time. (Location 4240)

To see our moment is to step away from the stories supplied for our stupefaction, myths of inevitability and eternity, progress and doom. Life is elsewhere. (Location 4241)

Inevitability and eternity are not history but ideas within history, ways of experiencing our time that accelerate its trends while slowing our thoughts. (Location 4242)

The virtues of equality, individuality, succession, integration, novelty, and truth depend each upon all the others, and all of them upon human decisions and actions. (Location 4245)

Thrown into a world we do not choose, we need equality so that we learn through failure but without resentment. Only collective public policy can create citizens with the confidence of individuals. As individuals we seek to understand what we can and should do together and apart. We might join in a democracy with others who have voted before, and will vote after, and in so doing create a principle of succession and a sense of time. With this assured, we might see our country as one among others, recognize the necessity of integration, and choose its terms. (Location 4248)

Final truth in this world is unattainable, but its pursuit leads the individual away from unfreedom. (Location 4253)

Total doubt about all authority is naïveté about the particular authority that reads emotions and breeds cynicism. (Location 4256)

If a vote truly represents a citizen, then citizens can give time to their state, and the state can give time to citizens. That is the truth of succession. (Location 4260)

That no country stands alone is the truth of integration. (Location 4262)

If citizens and residents are recognized by law, then other countries might also be recognized by law. Just as the state requires a principle of succession to exist over time, it needs some form of integration with others to exist in space. (Location 4264)

In conditions of distrust and isolation, creativity and energy veer towards paranoia and conspiracy, a feverish repetition of the oldest mistakes. We speak of freedom of association, but freedom is association: without it we cannot renew ourselves or challenge our rulers. (Location 4268)

When inequality is too great, the truth is too much for the miserable, and too little for the privileged. (Location 4270)

Communication among citizens depends upon equality. (Location 4271)

the collective data of inequality demand policy. If we do not know just how unequal the distribution of the world’s wealth is, or how much of it is hidden from the state by the wealthy, we cannot know where to begin. (Location 4272)

If we see history as it is, we see our places in it, what we might change, and how we might do better. We halt our thoughtless journey from inevitability to eternity, and exit the road to unfreedom. We begin a politics of responsibility. (Location 4274)

# Acknowledgments

“Information” in the digital sense is infinite, knowledge ever scarcer, and wisdom fleeting. (Location 4280)

Research on the Russian and Ukrainian aspects was supported by a Carnegie Fellowship. (Location 4284)

Jerzy Jedlicki (1930– 2018), who died as I was writing these final lines. He survived the worst of the tyrannies of the twentieth century and became an exemplar of an east European historiography that was both rigidly analytical and morally engaged. He was one of the few in Poland or elsewhere to be completely untouched by what I call here the politics of inevitability. (Location 4306)

# Endnotes

Notes are keyed to the first words of paragraphs. The body of the note clarifies the relationship between the sources and the text. This allows interested readers to check sources without burdening the main text with superscript numbers. (Location 4312)

In the endnotes a simplified version of the Library of Congress transliteration system is used. (Location 4317)

The problem of Christianity and fascism is a broad one. For background on Western cases, see Susannah Heschel, The Aryan Jesus (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2010); John Connelly, From Enemy to Brother (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2012); Brian Porter-Szűcs, Faith and Fatherland (New York: Oxford UP, 2011). (Location 4334)

The novels of Witold Gombrowicz, especially Ferdydurke, are good introductions to the problem of innocence. (Location 4444)

The Bolshevik Revolution For a convincing case study see Amir Weiner, Making Sense of War (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001). (Location 4511)

Marci Shore, The Taste of Ashes (New York: Crown Books, 2013). (Location 4513)

Paulina Bren, The Greengrocer and His TV (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2010). (Location 4515)

Christopher Miller, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016). (Location 4517)

For a valuable portrait of Yeltsin see Timothy J. Colton, Yeltsin: A Life (New York: Basic Books, 2008). (Location 4524)

For a measured introduction to the history of the end of the USSR, see Archie Brown, The Rise and Fall of Communism (New York: HarperCollins, 2009). (Location 4530)

Charles Clover, Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism (New Haven: Yale UP, 2016), (Location 4532)

To find his successor For the political and media backdrop, see Arkady Ostrovsky, The Invention of Russia (London: Atlantic Books, 2015), 245– 83. Approval ratings: David Satter, The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep (New Haven: Yale UP, 2016), 11. (Location 4535)

During Putin’s first two Terrorism and control: Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible (New York: Public Affairs, 2014), (Location 4540)

Hillary Clinton’s recollection: What Happened (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2017), (Location 4588)

Dambisa F. Moyo, Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (New York: Basic Books, 2012). (Location 4594)

A history that considers both decolonization and integration is Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (New York: Penguin Press, 2005). (Location 4705)

In history there was no era A useful French review is Patrick Weil, How to be French, trans. Catherine Porter (Durham: Duke UP, 2008). (Location 4717)

Rogozin on NATO: Artemy Kalinovsky, A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2011), 226. (Location 4725)

Karen Dawisha, Putin’s Kleptocracy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014). (Location 4727)

Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face (New York: Riverhead Books, 2013). (Location 4737)

On the Gulag generally, see Oleg V. Khlevniuk, The History of the Gulag (New Haven: Yale UP, 2004); Lynna Viola, The Unknown Gulag (New York: Oxford UP, 2007); Anne Applebaum, Gulag: A History (New York: Doubleday, 2003). (Location 4756)

Mark Mazower is one of the few Western scholars to see the significance of this German-Polish discussion: Governing the World (New York: Penguin Press, 2012) and Hitler’s Empire (London: Allen Lane, 2008). (Location 4784)

Polyakova et al., Kremlin’s Trojan Horses, (Location 4848)

The Shoah in Ukraine (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2008), (Location 4974)

Anne Applebaum, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (New York: Doubleday, 2017). (Location 4985)

On the last decades of Soviet Ukrainian history, see Serhii Plokhy, The Gates of Europe (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 291– 336. (Location 4987)

Referendum: David Patrikarakos, War in 140 Characters (New York: Basic Books, 2017), (Location 5118)

How Propaganda Works (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2016). (Location 5163)

Marci Shore, The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution (New Haven: Yale UP, 2018). (Location 5193)

Miller et al., “An Invasion by Any Other Name,” 17– 34. (Location 5337)

Weiss and Miller, “How We Know.” (Location 5342)

Karel C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2004). (Location 5370)

For more portraits of volunteers, see Walker, The Long Hangover, prologue, sic passim. (Location 5379)

On water as a precious resource: Steven Solomon, Water (New York: HarperCollins, 2010). (Location 5461)

Pomerantsev, Nothing Is True, (Location 5528)

Susceptibilities: Calabresi, “Hacking Democracy.” (Location 5641)

Warnings from Obama and Yates: Harding, Collusion, (Location 5749)

How Democracies Die (New York: Crown, 2018), (Location 5790)

Carol Anderson, White Rage (New York, London: Bloomsbury, 2017), (Location 5826)

Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation (New York: Penguin, 2017). (Location 5888)

Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2016), (Location 5899)

On the idea of zombies, see Shore, Ukrainian Nights. (Location 5905)

David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest, published in 1996, looked like prophecy two decades later. (Location 5912)