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The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce

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Karl Marx famously wrote in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon that history repeats itself, “first as tragedy, then as farce.” The Cold War, waged between the United States and Soviet Union from 1945 until the latter’s dissolution in 1991, was a great tragedy, resulting in millions of civilian deaths in proxy wars, and a destructive arms race that diverted money from social spending and nearly led to nuclear annihilation. The New Cold War between the United States and Russia is playing out as farce—a dangerous one at that. The Russians Are Coming, Again is a red flag to restore our historical consciousness about U.S.-Russian relations, and how denying this consciousness is leading to a repetition of past follies.

Kuzmarov and Marciano’s book is timely and trenchant. The authors argue that the Democrats’ strategy, backed by the corporate media, of demonizing Russia and Putin in order to challenge Trump is not only dangerous, but also unjustified, misguided, and a major distraction. Grounding their argument in all-but-forgotten U.S.-Russian history, such as the 1918-20 Allied invasion of Soviet Russia, the book delivers a panoramic narrative of the First Cold War, showing it as an all-too-avoidable catastrophe run by the imperatives of class rule and political witch-hunts. The distortion of public memory surrounding the First Cold War has set the groundwork for the New Cold War, which the book explains is a key feature, skewing the nation’s politics yet again. This is an important, necessary book, one that, by including accounts of the wisdom and courage of the First Cold War’s victims and dissidents, will inspire a fresh generation of radicals in today’s new, alarmingly farcical times.

In The Russians are Coming, Again, Jeremy Kuzmarov and John Marciano present an excellent and well-researched effort to remind liberal America of how awful the Cold War was and how it was based on a cynical exaggeration of a largely fictional ‘Russian threat.’ Their warning against creating a new Cold War with post-communist Russia is well worth considering.

—David N. Gibbs, University of Arizona; author, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia

The Russians Are Coming, Again describes horrific genocides, mass assassinations, and merciless wars, both hot and cold, mostly carried out by U.S. operatives, hidden from us for many decades. A rich read about a brutal history.

—Michael Parenti, author, The Face of Imperialism and Profit Pathology and Other Indecencies

In the wake of President Trump’s ties to Russia, and alleged Russian attempts to tamper in U.S. elections through computer hacking and the public release of confidential material, the Democratic Party has taken an increasingly hostile stance toward Russia. A second Cold War could potentially be in the making, and authors Jeremy Kuzmarov and John Marciano argue persuasively that nothing good can come of a such a conflict—not for American democracy, the American people, the world at large, or even the Democratic Party itself. Thought-provoking and disconcerting, The Russians Are Coming, Again is highly recommended reading for public and college library political science collections.

—Midwest Book Review

Jeremy Kuzmarov, formerly Jay P. Walker Assistant Professor of American History, University of Tulsa, will begin teaching at Tulsa Community College in the fall of 2018. He is the author of Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation-Building in the American Century and The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs, as well as numerous articles and reviews in professional journals, popular magazines, and newspapers.

John Marciano, Professor Emeritus at SUNY Cortland, is an antiwar and social justice activist, scholar, and trade unionist. He is author of The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration? and Civic Illiteracy and Education: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of American Youth, as well as, with William L. Griffen, Teaching the Vietnam War.

Publication Date: May 2018

Number of Pages: 240

Cloth ISBN: 978-1-58367-695-0

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-58367-694-3

eBook ISBN: 978-1-58367-696-7