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The return of the empires by Maurizio Molinari

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Born in Rome into a family of Jewish origin, Molinari studied at Harris Manchester College of the University of Oxford and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the University of Rome La Sapienza graduated in political science in 1989 and in history in 1993. He has been a journalist since 1984, where his first collaboration dates back to La Voce Repubblicana (press organ of the Italian Republican Party), professional journalist since 1989.

Molinari lives in Milan, has been married since 1994 (when he worked at L’Indipendente) to Micol Braha, an Italian-Libyan Jew. The couple have four children, all born in New York.
His latest essay “The return of empires” arrives in bookstores for Rizzoli on 2022 October 18th.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the moment of rupture of the international order resulting from the end of the Cold War. The conflict triggered by Vladimir Putin in the heart of Europe accelerates a change that upsets the world in which we live, brings out in a brutal way how there are four great actors on the planet, whose characteristics and capacities are so superior to the rest of the international community that they can dust off, as Maurizio Molinari proposes, the definition of empires, real or potential. Russia, the European Union, the United States and the People’s Republic of China: a game between old and new great powers, each with an identity, a historical genesis, interests and a very peculiar horizon, engaged in a challenge for global leadership that no longer has only economic and diplomatic connotations, but also military.

Maurizio Molinari, who has always been an attentive observer of international politics and a profound connoisseur of the dynamics taking place, helps us to understand what outcomes this comparison can have, explaining to us, also with the instrument of maps, the extent of the changes we are witnessing and the threat that hangs over the security of all of us, Europeans in the first place. Because the conflict in Ukraine is not only the return of war in the Old Continent, but offers a dramatic representation of the challenge between democracies and autocracies, which only a careful analysis like the one offered in these pages can allow us to fully understand.

In the awareness that those to come will be difficult years of growing tension, to face a threat that everyone, leaders and public opinions, have the duty to understand in order to then defuse.
The war that did not exist now exists. Putin’s Russia is attacking from multiple fronts, including Crimea.

The US and NATO are ready to defend Ukraine’s independence and Europe’s borders. The war that does not exist. An exclusive reportage, written by journalist Maurizio Molinari. From Donetsk to Lugansk, passing through Kiev, an odyssey between trenches, battles and checkpoints, militiamen with a human face. The goal, to observe the true face of war: without prejudice or rhetoric, but with the spirit of those who seek the truth.

To say Russia for many is to say Vladimir Putin. For more than fifteen years he has been in charge of a country of enormous size, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific, the most powerful man in the world. And that’s not all. With an aggressive and unscrupulous political-institutional strategy, which on several occasions has seemed far from the standards of Western democracies, it has become one of the main players on the contemporary geopolitical scenario.

But what are the deep reasons for this success? What is the secret of such unchallenged power? According to Maurizio Molinari, Putin has worked hard to reconstruct Russian identity, renewing a wealth of symbols, values and ideals that have remained buried for centuries. Aware of the weight of tradition, Putin was able to manage the public memory of the October Revolution to his advantage. at the same time strengthening the role of the Orthodox Church, to which it has guaranteed a new social space. In short, he dusted off an ideology and a mission. And from these premises, the Director makes us understand in documented and illuminating pages, that we must necessarily start if we want to understand something more about today’s Russia and our present, from the war on terrorism in Chechnya to the conflict with Ukraine for the annexation of Crimea from the anti-NATO military doctrine to the current intervention in Syria, which stirs the ghosts of a cold war placed too quickly in the archives of history.


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