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Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy by Andrei Tsygankov
ISBN: 0230614183
ISBN13: 978-0230614185
Author: Andrei Tsygankov
Book title: Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy
Other Formats: azw rtf azw mobi
Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2009 edition (June 17, 2009)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1613 kb
Size ePub version: 1290 kb
Size fb2 version: 1912 kb
Category: Social Sciences

The book explains why the US-Russia post-9/11 partnership did not endure. Washington backed away from its initial commitment to a new level of cooperation with Moscow in addressing issues of terrorism, energy security, political instability and weapons proliferation. Much of America’s policy is shaped by an ambition to remain the only world’s superpower and by activities of interest groups with the agenda of isolating Russia from the Western world. Although these groups do not dictate the official policy, their influence has been notable. The book analyzes the negative role playedbyRussophobia and formulates a different approach to Russia in the post-Cold War world.


Books reviews
Eyalanev
Many Americans may not appreciate what is really going on - not in Russia, the bogey-man of the West, but in the United States. Professor Tsygankov who is teaching at a California University has written numerous interesting and eye-opening books.
Mojar
This book sheds light on problems in US - Russian relations. The Cold War itself was a product of imagined "Russian threat" - and it perpetuated with the help of Russia-haters. As we can see today they still influence American foreign policy toward Russia. All books by Andrey Tsygankov are must read for anyone who wants to understand Russian foreign policy.
Kezan
An analysis like Andrei P. Tsygankov's book was sorely needed. However, I am not sure that Tsygankov will fully reach with this text what he seemingly wanted to attain - namely, an effective, noted and, above all, consequential critique of US attitudes towards Russia during the last decade. Tsygankov has, to be sure, done a great deal of investigative work. He details many episodes that illustrate well where US policy or opinion makers have gone wrong. The book's chapters deal with, among other topics, the Chechen wars, democracy promotion, and energy policies. It is also important that this interpretation comes from a Russia-born political scientist who lives in the US and knows American discourse and politics well. Tsygankov's deep knowledge of both, Russian affairs as well as camps and trends in US politics, adds considerable value to this analysis.
Yet, already the title of the book indicates where Tsygankov may be defeating his purpose. By way of classifying most of US-American critique of Russia as "Russophobia", Tsygankov goes, at least in terms of the concepts and words that he uses to interpret these phenomena, a bit too far. Tsygankov asserts that Russophobia is a major intellectual and political trend in US international thought and behaviour. He also tries to make the reader believe that there exists a broad coalition of political commentators and actors that form an anti-Russian lobby in Washington.
It is true that there is a lot to be criticised and improved in Western approaches towards post-Soviet Russia - and towards the non-Western world, in general. US behaviour vis-à-vis, and American comments on, Russia, for the last 20 years, have all too often been characterized by incompetence and insensitivity regarding the daunting challenges and far-reaching consequences of the peculiarly post-Soviet political, cultural and economic transformation. Often, Russian-American relations have been hampered by plain inattention among US decision and opinion makers - a stunning phenomenon in view of the fact that Russia has kept being and will remain a nuclear superpower, for decades to come. The hundreds of stupidities that have been uttered on, and dozens of mistakes in US policies towards, Russia needed to be chronicled and deconstructed. Partly, Tsygankov has done that here with due effort, interesting results and some interpretative success. Yet, Tsygankov does not only talk about failures and omissions regarding Russia. He also speaks of enemies of the Russian state in the US, and their supposed alliances as well various dealings.
Certainly, there is the occasional Russophobe in Washington and elsewhere, in the Western world. Among such personage, there are even some who are indeed engaged in an anti-Russian political lobbying of sorts. However, the circle of activists who truly deserve to be called "Russophobes" largely contains immigrants from the inner or outer Soviet/Russian empire. These are people who have their own reasons to be distrustful of, or even hostile towards, Russia. After the rise of Vladimir Putin and the Russian-Georgian War, many of them, I suspect, feel that they have always been right, in their anti-Russian prejudices. In any way, this is a relatively small group of people who are more interested in the past and worried about the future of their newly independent nation-states than they are concerned about the actual fate of Russia herself.
Among those who are interested in Russia there are many, as Tsygankov aptly documents, who have recently been criticizing the Russian leadership harshly. Some of them have, in doing so, exerted influence on Western governments and public opinion. And partly such critique was, indeed, unjustified, unbalanced or/and counterproductive. But is that enough to assert that there is an "anti-Russian lobby"? What would such a lobby gain from spoiling US-Russian relationships? Who pays these lobbyists, and for what? Who, apart from a few backward-looking East European émigrés, is sufficiently interested in a new fundamental Russian-Western confrontation so as to conduct the allegedly concerted anti-Russian campaigns that Tsygankov appears to be discovering, in his book?
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