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White King and Red Queen: How the Cold War Was Fought on the Chessboardby Daniel Johnson
Synopses & Reviews
"An intriguing study of the unique role played by chess in the Cold War examines the significance of the game as a symbol of Soviet power from the Russian Revolution, to a seminal 1945 match between the Americans and Soviets, to the epic 1972 contest between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, to the collapse of the Soviet Union."
Daniel Johnson — journalist, editor, scholar, and chess enthusiast who once played Garry Kasparov to a draw in a simultaneous exhibition — is the perfect guide to one of historyand#8217;s most remarkable periods, when chess matches were front-page news and captured the worldand#8217;s imagination.
The Cold War played out in many areas: geopolitical alliances, military coalitions, cat-and-mouse espionage, the arms race, proxy wars — and chess. An essential pastime of Russian intellectuals and revolutionaries, and later adopted by the Communists as a symbol of Soviet power, chess was inextricably linked to the rise and fall of the and#147;evil empire.and#8221; This original narrative history recounts in gripping detail the singular part the Immortal Game played in the Cold War. From chessand#8217;s role in the Russian Revolution — Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky were all avid players — to the 1945 radio match when the Soviets crushed the Americans, prompting Stalinand#8217;s telegram and#147;Well done lads!and#8221;; to the epic contest between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972 at the height of dand#233;tente, when Kissinger told Fischer to and#147;go over there and beat the Russiansand#8221;; to the collapse of the Soviet Union itself, White King and Red Queen takes us on a fascinating tour of the Cold Warand#8217;s checkered landscape.
About the Author
DANIEL JOHNSON was the op-ed editor and literary editor of the London Times and is a regular contributor to Commentary, the New Criterion, and the American Spectator. A former foreign correspondent, he covered German politics at the time the Berlin Wall fell.
Table of Contents
From Baghdad to St. Petersburg — The recreation of the revolution — Terror — The opium of the intellectuals — The
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History and Social Science » Politics » General