2020 Recap…a bit late


As I am sure you can tell, I haven’t done a lot of blogging here this past year, and even less in the last few months of 2021. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been getting stuff done! Here’s a bit of what’s been going on in my life!

I’m still working full-time — and in an office. COVID or not, I am an “essential” worker in an “essential” industry, so 5 days a week I clock in at the office. Although it doesn’t always feel like it, I am fortunate that at a time when so many peoples lives have been completely disrupted or destroyed, my life has remained more or less the same.

One of the main reasons I haven’t been very active on here is that I have been aggressively trying to complete the first draft of my manuscript — a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the right to self-determination in Nagorno-Karabakh. Sadly, due to a combination of factors, I am nowhere near as close to being finished as I had hoped I would be. Among the issues I have struggled with are a lack of time to write and research (I work full-time); the lack of an editor, since the comrade-editor who was helping me bailed and I can’t easily afford to pay an editor; the closure of McNally Robinson’s self-publishing service; etc. At this point, I am not sure what I want to do with my manuscript: publish it here or on Academia.edu, shelve it for now, I don’t know. Self-publishing a nonfiction book without the assistance of an editor, a publisher, or even a friend, while working full-time, is proving to be more difficult than I had initially anticipated.

Another reason I haven’t been very active here is that I have been experimenting with different websites (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Goodreads, Reddit, etc.). None of these have really worked for me: I am too wordy for Twitter, I don’t like recording myself for YouTube, I dislike most people on Facebook and Goodreads, and while Reddit isn’t ‘bad’, there is almost too much happening on there, and it can feel a bit socially overwhelming for me.

Although I haven’t been writing very much, I definitely haven’t stopped reading (or buying books). In total I read 58 nonfiction books in 2020 (see below). So far, as of this writing, I have read 11 nonfiction books in 2021 (see below). I’m still trying to diversify what I read (less Nagorno-Karabakh and Central Asia, more Africa, Latin America, and other subjects). I’ll be posting some reviews here soon!

Reading List (2020):

  1. By-Passing Capitalism — B. Shirendyb
  2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley — Malcolm X
  3. The Iran-Iraq War — Pierre Razoux
  4. Faisal I of Iraq — Ali A. Allawi
  5. The Development of Socialist Yugoslavia — M. George Zaninovich
  6. Neocolonialism: Methods and Manoeuvres — Vasily Yakhrushev
  7. Law, Morality, and Man: The Soviet Legal System in Action — A. Vengerov and A. Danilevich
  8. People’s Control in Socialist Society — Victor Turovstev
  9. The Forge Glows Red: From Blacksmith to Revolutionary — Tom McEwen
  10. My Uncle Joe: By Stalin’s Nephew — Budu Svanidze
  11. A History of Pakistan, 1947-1958 — Y. V. Gankovsky
  12. How the National Question was Solved in Soviet Central Asia — R. Tuzmuhamedov
  13. The Making of Nagorno-Karabagh: From Secession to Republic — Levon Chorbajian
  14. The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World: From the Archaic Age to the Arab Conquests — G.E.M. de Ste. Croix
  15. Tim Buck: A Conscience for Canada — Oscar Ryan.
  16. The Caucasian Knot: The History and Geopolitics of Nagorno-Karabagh — Levon Chorbaijan, Patrick Donabedian, and Claude Mutafian
  17. The Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: Causes and Implications — Michael P. Croissant
  18. Contested Territories and International Law: A Comparative Study of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and the Aland Islands Precedent — Kamal Makili-Aliyev
  19. Demystifying Kashmir — Navnita Chadha Behera
  20. Stalingrad: The City that Defeated the Third Reich — Jochen Hellbeck
  21. Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan — Artemy M. Kalinovsky
  22. Dispatches from the People’s War in Nepal — Li Onesto
  23. Red Peak: A Personal Account of the British-Soviet Pamir Expedition — Malcolm Slesser
  24. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since WWII — William Blum
  25. Social and Economic Change in the Pamirs (Gorno-Badakhshan, Tajikistan) — Frank Bliss
  26. At the Crossroads: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute and the Communist Party of India, 1959-1963 — Ouseph Varkey
  27. Yemen in Crisis: The Road to War — Helen Lackner
  28. Gomulka: His Poland, His Communism — Nicholas Bethel
  29. Joe Zucken: Citizen and Socialist — Doug Smith
  30. Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World —  Alexandre A. Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush
  31. A Marxist Model of Social Change: Soviet Central Asia, 1917-1940 — R. R. Sharma
  32. Burmese Labyrinth: A History of the Rohingya Tragedy — Carlos Galache
  33. The Falklands War: An Imperial History — Ezequiel Mercau
  34. The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the U.S. is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil — Dan Kovalik
  35. War is a Racket — Smedley Butler.
  36. Lady Death: The Memoirs of Stalin’s Sniper — Lyudmila Pavlichenko
  37. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life — Jon Lee Anderson
  38. The Establishment of National Republics in Soviet Central Asia — Arne Haugen
  39. Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist — Harry Haywood
  40. Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in the South Caucasus: Nagorno-Karabakh and the Legacy of Soviet Nationalities Policy — Ohannes Geukjian
  41. The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: A Legal Analysis — Heiko Kruger
  42. Self-Determination of Peoples: A Legal Reappraisal — Antonio Cassese
  43. All My Life: An Autobiography — Rev. A. E. Smith
  44. Crisis in the Philippines: The Making of a Revolution — E. San Juan
  45. Greece, 1941-49: From Resistance to Civil War, the Strategy of the Greek Communist Party — Vlavianos Haris
  46. The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia — Adeeb Khalid
  47. Tajikistan: A Political and Social History — Kirill Nourzhanov and Christian Bleuer
  48. Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia: A Legal Appraisal — Tim Potier
  49. The Making of Informal States: Statebuilding in Northern Cyprus and Transdniestria — Daria Isachenko
  50. Discordant Neighbours: A Reassessment of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-South Ossetian Conflicts — B. George Hewitt
  51. The October Revolution and the East — Yu. M. Ivanov
  52. Afghanistan: A History from 1260 to the Present — Jonathan L. Lee
  53. The Chagos Islanders and International Law — Stephen Allen
  54. A History of The Ogaden (Western Somali) Struggle for Self Determination — Mohamed Mohamud Abdi
  55. Empire of the Sikhs: The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh —  Patwant Singh and Jyoti M. Rai
  56. Another View of Stalin — Ludo Martens
  57. The Armenians — John M. Douglas
  58. Red, Black, White: The Alabama Communist Party, 1930-1950 — Mary Stanton.

Reading List (2021):

  1. Private Property and the Origins of Nationalism in the United States and Norway: The Making of Propertied Communities — Erik Magnus Fuglestad.
  2. Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics — V. M. Molotov.
  3. Understanding Ethnopolitical Conflict: Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia Wars Reconsidered — Emil Souleimanov.
  4. Relations with Turkey, the Karabakh Conflict, and Armenia’s Future — Levon Ter-Petrossian
  5. The Origins of Ethnic Conflict in Africa: Politics and Violence in Darfur, Oromia, and the Tana Delta — Tsega Etefa.
  6. The International Politics of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict: The Original “Frozen” Conflict and European Security — ed. Svante E. Cornell.
  7. The Politics of Ethnic Separatism in Georgia and Russia — Julie A. George
  8. The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 — Terry Martin
  9. Crime, Class and Corruption: The Politics of the Police — Audrey Farrell
  10. Nkrumaism and African Nationalism: Ghana’s Pan-African Foreign Policy in the Age of Decolonization — Matteo Grilli
  11. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union — Francine Hirsch

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