It looks like a number of new folks have begun to follow this blog based on David Boylan and my work with the Wheaton names. That work is ongoing in several respects, tracing links to New Orleans, to Dallas, to Mexico City and even to Lee Oswald (important but not as much so as I would have once thought). But its a work in progress with much slogging and speculation; when and if it firms up sufficiently we will certainly share the parts of it which appear to prove in – at least to us.
In the meantime, I continue to follow the current events that are evolving so rapidly in geopolitics, especially in regard to Russia’s actions under Putin. I have to admit to being more than a little disappointed in the amount of attention and discussion Creating Chaos has received. Its done reasonably well in library placements and poorly in general sales and readership. But even with some nice reviews – such as the following – its gotten little attention even within the JFK community.
Click to access lob76-creating-chaos.pdf
That may be because its simply too balanced and not nearly sensational enough to be competitive in the book market. Certainly its not going to please everyone and it is definitely novel in attempting to characterize and discreetly define levels of political warfare – definitively enough so that one could actually establish a form of defense condition levels similar to the “Defcon” system. On the other hand I seriously doubt that anyone in the current administration wants to highlight exactly what state of geopolitical warfare really exists at present.
Most specifically, in regard to contemporary events, Creating Chaos develops the evolution of President Putin’s current strategy and even points out particular regions of stress which present him with major opportunities. Certainly the Ukraine and Crimea are one such area, and his actions there illustrate his longer term game plan and his rather amazing tactical expertise. I may detest Putin personally but clearly the US is doing little more than following along ineffectually behind his moves at the moment.
If you do have Creating Chaos I would urge you to reread Chapter 12 / “Beacheads”. In addition to the Ukraine, there are a number of other areas where Putin can easily apply limited military force to great gain, areas virtually unknown to most Americans – including Moldavia and its Transnistria and Trans-Diester regions. If we see signs of new Russia moves there, it will suggest Putin has been enabled enough by his Ukrainian and Crimean successes to start pushing back to gain political and actual access control over more than one former Soviet Republic.
I would just add, for anyone considering one of your books that, after having read several, I would highly recommend them. Even in one case where the subject was one that I already had a considerable amount of background knowledge about, I gained several new insights. All of those I’ve read so far have stood up to scrutiny very well, at least in terms of my own fact checking / cross referencing of these things, and are very thoroughly researched.
Anyone with a serious interest in the history of the post-WWII world and how it has shaped out current situation will find these books very interesting indeed.
(and I am definitely not getting paid for this review!!)
By the way – could I just ask. I have Creating Chaos on my Christmas list but I am also thinking that I could do with learning a lot more about the strand in American history and society represented by the nationalist / anti-integration / Christian right wing strands (these may not be correct terms – my apologies if so). These areas are not one touched on at all in most British / European history syllabuses, indeed there is relatively little coverage over here of American history in general. I suspect these are important in understanding the current position, however, which otherwise can seem incomprehensible to European eyes. Would I be right in thinking ‘The Aweful Grace of God’ would be a good introduction to that whole milieu or would there be a different way into that for a beginner in that area? Thanks
First, thanks for the kind words! As for myself, I freely admit that every area which I have written about has produced multiple revelations for me – and they were all topics which I felt I was reasonably familiar with when I began each project. That was a bit surprising to me as I lived through most of the decades I’ve written about, was always and avid reader of political and military news beginning at the age of ten or so (Time, Life and Newsweek were in our house weekly) and that I focused on American history in my undergraduate degree. And during my college years, virtually any one my age had a strong interest in following American history in the making.
On your question, there are actually several strands that relate to the nationalist / anti-integration and Christian right wing. Some of them are purely economic, some of them racial/racist. The former do get a lot of attention in American history, mostly in regard to our political history. However what Stu Wexler and I learned in our work on the MLK assassination was that there was a strain of what represented itself as Christian belief which had become embedded in the ultra right. This strain was a good deal deeper than the conservative, Old Testament oriented doctrine that drove and still drives much of the political religious right in American politics – it was is far more racist at heart, covertly evangelical and fundamental apocryphal. It has also proved quite confrontational and violent.
We do explore that thread, and how it managed to embed itself into anti-integration and terror activities of various Klans (and later Christian oriented militia groups) in The Awful Grace of God>. However my friend Stu took his research and writing much more deeply in regard to that subject in his book America’s Secret Jihad. If you have an interest in this topic and the King assassination I would recommend The Awful Grace of God. However if you really want to delve even more deeply into the radical religious aspect, including its most contemporary appearances, I would recommend America’s Secret Jihad.