Next week Creating Chaos will begin shipping as a trade paperback, both from Amazon and into book distribution, so that it can be ordered from any bookstore.
Up to now it has had only limited reviews but in the interest of transparency I’m going to share them, with a few comments.
First off, one of my friends who is very much involved with contemporary politics was an early reader and described it in two words…”its scary!”. I thought that was pretty accurate, I constantly had a similar reaction when researching the book.
The next review came up on goodreads and it wasn’t very favorable – you can read it here.
The reviewer felt there was simply too much of the Cold War era before it moved into contemporary matters…it was too backward looking and not enough forward looking.
Why am I sharing a negative review on my own blog you ask?
Because it is true that the book has a lot of Cold War history in it, the point being that one of its major themes is that current events reflect a major role reversal between the US and Russia – a role reversal that is being totally missed in all the media coverage of current political events and all the erudite news show commentary.
Its the simple point is that Russia (read Putin) studied American political warfare tactics and has made them his own – executing them far more successfully than the US did. While I apparently failed in not setting that up clearly enough in the introduction to the book, its vitally important to the overall story and to contemporary events.
And now the first professional publishing industry review is up, from Kirkus. Kirkus is known for being quite clinical in their reviews and they bring a certain amount of fear and trembling to authors. As an illustration, their review of Shadow Warfare described my writing as “grim and yet trenchant”. Their Creating Chaos review may be found at:
I rather liked it and thought it was quite accurate – and then I got to the last line, which summed up my exposition of Russian political warfare against the West and specifically America. The reviewer’s conclusion was that although some might find the charges startling, my presentation of them was both balanced and matter- of-fact. Which is great, love it.
But then it concluded that the book was so far from being sensational that my prose and tone were “plodding”. Well OK, I admit to being obsessively factual, I think it goes back to a graduate history course I took – the professor was adamant that he was grading on facts and analysis, not prose. I’m blaming it on the curse of higher education. This is why I don’t get calls from the media, clearly I’m not news talk show material – but I used to be fun at parties, honest.
However I do think that is about the fullest disclosure you are going to get from any author on their newest book
Beyond that, and in respect to the goodreads review, I’ve invited my friend Deb Galentine to do some guest articles for this blog. Deb has done some wonderful research on the most contemporary, real life, tactics being used in social media warfare – both by Russian actors and by our own domestic political groups.
She’s the sort of person that gets tweeted by Russian oligarchs and their girlfriends, which means she is very current and very insightful. And much more lively, I’m looking forward to her articles – and you should be as well.