The 1997 book The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski identified Ukraine as the “geopolitical pivot on the Eurasian chessboard” whilst thoroughly analysing the Russian, American, and European implications for the future… which has now arrived.
In the first article of this series on the Russia-Ukraine War, the prophetic TV series Years and Years (2019) was examined for its predictions relevant to the current crisis. In complementary fashion, this second article presents the insightful and prescient analysis of perhaps the most influential diplomat, political scientist and geostrategist of the 20th century: The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997), by Zbigniew Brzezinski. For aside from the Years and Years ‘prophecies’ of a war between the two nations, as well as its wider ramifications, the breaking news of Russia’s intent to invade Ukraine in mid-late February 2022 recalled to mind Brzezinski’s seminal book.
A compilation of my notes from the book: Plagues and Peoples, by William H. McNeill (1976); complimented by my summarizing sub-headings.
As quoted by the Lancet behind the front cover of this book,
Professor McNeill is an American historian with a sound grasp of epidemiological principles.
As McNeill points out himself in this book (which can be seen immediately in the notes to follow), historians systematically gloss-over the significance of epidemic disease.
In choosing to read Plagues and Peoples third in my sequence of pandemic-themed books, I identified it as the one most complimentary to Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year: for while the latter is “the prototype of all accounts of great cities in times of epidemic”, the former has to be one of, if not the most substantial attempts at a historicalinterpretation of epidemics (—which is quite distinct from an epidemiological interpretation of history, I would add).
This article features a selection of quotes from the book Homo Deus, each accompanied by my notes, comments, and references to related media.
Part 1 of this article series features my expansion of Ncaps 01-15 for the book Homo Deus (as discussed in the Introduction, which also includes the full list), as a basis for identifying points of significance and referencing a variety of relevant media. Themes covered in Part 1 include Biotechnology, War, Terrorism, Progress, Death, Elixir of Life, Drugs, Pleasure, and Cyborg.