As the 2012 Russian presidential election approaches, Putin has put himself forward as a critical protagonist in Russia's historical narrative. We propose here to offer a portrait of the man from official biographical accounts, his numerous interviews and speeches, our personal interactions with individuals who have known and worked with him, and our participation in the annual Valdai sessions. These offer an image of Putin as a student of Russian history who is moving increasingly into the dangerous territory of writer, manufacturer and manipulator of history.
Twilight, by Dr. Seuss
Jake likes a girl. Her name is Bella.
Bella likes a different fella.
See this vamp? This is Ed.
Ed is pale. Ed is dead.
Ed saved Bella from a van.
Ed must be a special man.
Ed won't kill boys. He won't kill girls.
Ed gets fed on deer and squirrels.
This is James. He's a tracker.
He's a sort of vamp attacker.
James hunts Bella for a thrill.
Will Ed kill him? Yes, he will.
But James gave her a little bite.
Will she be a vamp? She might!
Edward fixes Bella's cut.
She won't be a vampire.
She becomes one. Read some more.
She's a vampire in book 4.
We’ve juiced up the entirely artificial copyright laws of the world to the point that if libraries weren’t already a centuries-old cultural institution, there’s no chance they’d ever be able to come into existence today.
But there may be hope for the humble globe. Bound atlases have stood up to digital encroachment much better than encyclopedias, because no screen can yet duplicate the tactile, immersive experience of exploring the Earth via paper maps. Globes have the same advantage, only in three dimensions.
I’ve been typing these last few paragraphs amid constant interruptions from my 4-year-old daughter, who can’t keep her hands off the globe at my side. “Are these mountains?” she wants to know, rubbing her fingers over the relief of the Andes. “Why does this red line stay in the same place when I spin the world?” she asks about the equator.