Russia Upside Down: An Exit Strategy for the Second Cold War

PublicAffairs. Sept. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781541768628. $30. POL SCI
Weisberg (creator of the television show The Americans) puts forth an argument that both the United States and Russia are contributing to a new Cold War that benefits neither country and prevents the two major powers from aiding one another. Weisberg begins by briefly summarizing his pre-Hollywood career, including a stint in the CIA; he spends some time expounding on his initial feelings toward the former Soviet Union and how they changed during his career. The following chapters are an exploration of current Russian political and social realities. Weisberg concludes by proposing clear avenues that each nation could follow to ease tensions and become global partners, or at least not adversaries. For the United States, these include joining Russia in fighting terrorism, ending sanctions against Russia, and halting human-centered espionage programs (which goes for Russia too); Weisberg bases this last suggestion on his experience in the CIA and the time he spent in St. Petersburg studying Russian. For Russia he suggests lowering the volume of its paranoia, withdrawing support from far-right leaders of other nations, and opening communication across internal political parties.
VERDICT Fans of The Americans, readers interested in U.S.–Russia policy, and anyone wishing to learn more about the topic will enjoy this insightful, thought-provoking book.
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