UnknownThe Economist, which alerted us to Cambridge’s decision not to publish Karen Dawisha’s latest book, reviewed the volume in question, Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who owns Russia? in November. The book has been published, in USA only, by Simon and Schuster. The New York Review of Books also reviewed it in their issue of 18 December, and now the TLS weighs in in the 6 February issue. The reviews allude to Cambridge University Press’ decision not to publish the book, and the TLS allows that that was probably a wise decision even though there have been some changes to UK libel law recently. The book is obviously explosive, laying bear as it does the way a clique has spirited state funds away into private pockets. To criticize Karen Dawisha for not proposing a solution, as does the TLS reviewer, seems a little tough. Isn’t what she’s done enough? After all she does identify and delineate the problem with full backup. She doesn’t have to do everything does she — why not ask her to solve the politics of global climate change, or of the middle east?

“Prior restraint”, about the libel implications and a publisher’s “duty” to publish, relates.

I hope that Professor Dawisha’s courage in going ahead with this project leads only to the best of results.

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