Books I Will Be (re-)Reading While Writing My Own

It’s already a pretty big list, so I won’t be taking nominations for more. I hope to write reviews of all of them as they’re (re)read.

  • The Return (Daniel Treisman) – the best Russian politics books out there. 5/5
  • Armageddon Averted (Stephen Kotkin) – TBR (to be read)
  • Putin (Chris Hutchins, Alexander Korobko) – TBR, but has to be good as it quotes me.
  • Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives (Stephen Cohen) – 5/5
  • Virtual Politics (Andrew Wilson) – too much PoMo, but solid. 4/5
  • Drug, Sex and Libel in the New Moscow (Mark Ames, Matt Taibbi, Edward Limonov) – TBR, for the lulz.
  • From the First Person (Putin) – all Western journalists would benefit from reading this series of telling interviews. 5/5
  • The Oligarchs (David E. Hoffman) – TBR
  • Popular literature with satires of politics/economics including Metro 2033 and works by Pelevin.
  • The New Cold War (Edward Lucas) – to remind myself of hack enemy talking points. 1/5
  • Vekhi (anthology) – key book from 1909 that informs current Kremlin ideology.
  • Putin’s Comeback (Chen Xiaomeng) – TBR, can’t say I’ll read all or even most of it, as it exists only in Chinese and my Chinese isn’t that good, but it will sure make a refreshing change from Western harping.

Obviously these are just the books, I’ll be looking over tons of papers and news articles too.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Mark Sleboda says
  2. What about Lucus newest book Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West that like his last book has got rave reviews on Amazon.

  3. It’s already a pretty big list, so I won’t be taking nominations for more.

    Thanks. 🙂

  4. “Drug, Sex and Libel in the New Moscow (Mark Ames, Matt Taibbi, Edward Limonov)”

    Well, they should know….

    I cannot believe that this merry band of de-humanists, exploiters, and flimflammers are now promoting themselves internationally as credible journalists and new-wave muckrakers. Bunch of self serving thugs hoodwinking the public and covering up their own dubious backrounds. They are pretenders no better than the corruption they claim to investigate.

    • Moscow Exile says

      I tend to agree. Only very occasionally did a piece of investigative journalism appear in the Exile, the rest of it seemed to consist of juvenile oh-aren’t-we-brave-and-shocking to publish such stuff about Russian whores, politicians, nightclubs, bars and restaurants and their clientelle, these places being categorized according to their prices, ease of access and the ease of finding therein a partner for casual sex.

      Ames spent a lot of time describing in detail in lengthy, two-page articles those whom he had picked up and fucked in one-nighters, constantly mocking the mores of whichever unfortunate, naive Russian female that had been overwhelmed by his “charms” and who had been the subject of hie lecherous attentions. He made no secret of the youth of these “dyevs” whom he relentlessly seduced.

      As regards libel in Russia, on his return to the USA after the closure of the Exile, Ames stated that he and his partners would never have been able to publish what they had if there had indeed been libel laws in Russia.

      In my experience, the most devoted readers of Exile were Russian juveniles who eagerly awaited each issue in order to brush up their dirty English.

      All this I can only just about forgive because of the fact that the Exile was responsible for having Harding of the Guardian exposed as the plagiarist and crap journalist that he is.

      • I never thought Ames was that good a writer. His single stroke of genius was to do his thing in 1990s Russia. If he’d stayed in America, he’d be one of a large number of indistinguishable shock scribblers, sunk in obscurity.

  5. Cedrick Delaney says

    My fave Mark Ames article is the one where he boasts, in his 30s no less, of fucking a 15-year-old (search for the word “pervometer”):

    My face article about Mark Ames is the one written by a former associate of his who accuses him of being a rapist:

    • Ames, yes… but he’s small fry compare to Taki’s Magazine Editor, Jim Goad (aged 50).

      He is an outspoken advocate of beastiality. He openly boasts of spreading peanut butter on his genitals and having dogs fellate him.

      He also enjoys sexual liasions with the mentally ill. While married to an insane woman who was dying of cancer, he sought comfort in the arms of an even crazier woman – herself widely known around Portland for publicly fellating dogs. He ended this relationship by crushing her eyesocket (“bitch-beating” he calls it), and was subsequently sent to prison.

      Upon release from prison, he immediately began a relationship with yet another insane woman. A custody battle over their dogs ensued.

      You can read about much of it here:

      He can also be seen here (around 15:35) sadistically tormenting a homeless prostitute:

      Between prison and Taki, he worked in the pornographic industry. He wrote an article about preteen sexuality for Vice magazine, after which he was let go. At Takimag he wrote an article about a preteen gang-rape victim, referring to her with the phrase: “teeny-tiny turkey twat.”

      It was widely viewed that the “American Conservative” magazine failed because it didn’t appeal to young people. Curiously, the radical far-right fringe has decided to invest in Jim Goad. While he is clearly interested in young people, it would appear that young people these days are more interested in Obama than beastiality, pedophilia, and racism.

  6. Moscow Exile says

    In its twilight days the Exile featured lengthy articles where Ames simply described in crude detail how he had picked up “dyevs” and seduced them. He made no secret of the very young age of some of these girls and in his articles he was often ridiculing their naivity. For a while he lived in Moscow near where I live and one of his seduction venues was a small local eatery eatery called the American Bar (its now a pelmeni house). I used to keep my eyes open for his presence whenever I was near the place to check out the age of his latest conquest. Never caught sight of him though. He was a criminal for sure and should have been apprehended for seduction of minors.

  7. Breitbart's Ghost says

    Andrew Breitbart also went after Ames for having sex with Moscow girls, so you know that Ames must have been a really awful guy. Breitbart was a truth-teller who was murdered because he knew too much:–the—-eXile—-Who-Created-the–False–Koch-Brothers-Conspiracy-Theory

    • Breitbart truth teller Lol! He was part of the Kosher conservative mob with his flop Obama reveal with some lame ass speech Obama gave at a student rally at Harvard.

      I had to thank him though inadvertently when he tried to pin the Norway massacre to Belarusian and Russian intelligence in one of his Big Piece articles that was removed but now restored with the comments removed linking Brevik to a former colonel of Belarusian special forces stationed in Holland Valery Lunev that shoots itself in the foot by revealing that he converted to Islam after marrying a relative of President Dudaev . Pan-Turkist, connected to radical branch of the Grey Wolves underground. Fluent in Arabic and Farsi. and Executive Director of Far West, LLC that seems to be some private front company used by western and Russian intelligence based in Dubai with operation in the former Soviet Union.–The-Belarus-Russian-Chechen-Connection–And-The-CIA

      I actually tried to contact the website twice that writes about Far West Gulf referenced in the Breitbart article but did not get a response.