“History does not repeat, but it does instruct,” argues historian Timothy Snyder, the author of several history books also published in Estonian, in his latest book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.
I was consumed with concern after having read two books published in 2016, one of which was only recently translated into Estonian: firstly, Sir Richard Shirreff’s War with Russia, and immediately after that Leo Kunnas’s diptychon Sõda 2023 Taavet and Sõda 2023 Koljat.
I am writing this review of the Estonian edition of this book in Tbilisi and just yesterday I read a BBC article about the export of Islamic extremism to Sweden. Why do I mention this? The article said that one of the reasons behind the formation of ghetto-like migrant districts and the spread of radical Islam is chronic underfinancing and undermanning of the police. This is also one of the recurring arguments in Tania Kambouri’s book. Many reforms for increasing the efficiency of police work she suggests were implemented in Georgia during President Mikheil Saakashvili’s tenure—for example, carrying body cameras and creating a modern working environment. There is certainly much in this book that would ring a bell with the police officers of the Republic of Estonia.
Despite the very good relationship between Estonia and Finland, cracks occasionally appear in their communication. Naturally, I do not mean the fields of culture, trade or everyday contacts, but politics.
Publishing Nikolai Reek’s (1890–1942) works on military science in the series on the history of Estonian thought is a worthwhile project since it is the first time that a professional member of the armed forces writing about military subjects has been placed on the same level as other Estonian thinkers. This book will therefore hopefully help more people to understand that being a serviceman is about more than just shooting and digging ditches—which are still necessary—and that the position is also a serious science, depending on one’s rank and specific duties.
“I could never have imagined that it is possible to have someone killed for 100 dollars in Baghdad ten years after Saddam Hussein was overthrown,” admitted an Iraqi to a correspondent of The Independent. Chaos and the constant inability to do something about it is the focus of The Rise of Islamic State.