A short newsletter this week, with a link to a longer article on my website . . .

I’ve been following: far too much Twitter lately. In the aftermath of the US election I began following people of like mind – who had used the hashtag #dontnormalizethis within a day or so of the election. It is so interesting but a little too engrossing.

However, there are some consistently insightful people there that I totally recommend following – especially:

Sarah Kendzior, a journalist from Missouri [flyover country] whose specialist subject is autocrats

and Masha Gessen, a Russian migrant to the US who writes for the New York Review of Books, knew Putin personally and had grandparents who lived under German and Russian dictatorships.

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I’ve been reading: Neville Shute Novels from the 20’s and 30’s.

My Dad’s favourite author and one I re-read every 15 years or so [long enough to forget important plot details]. I don’t have the paperbacks anymore but found the Kindle compilation of 22 of his novels for around $3.50 – a steal. He writes about things he’s interested in – flying and sailing especially, and how people operate under pressure of war or duress. Not all the books are successful but the best ones are engrossing. He’s a great storyteller – though his early 20th Century social attitudes are occasionally very cringe-making.

The unforeseen bonus was that his early novels in the mid 20’s give quite a bit of social observation on the boom that ended in 1929, and of the beginnings of fascism especially in Italy. Mussolini had a dedicated following too.

I’ve been writing: a strategy for dealing with Donald Trump should he ever be inaugurated. I know – it’s nuts. But I see these people on the front line in the US being hopelessly distracted as the journalistic and academic processes that made them successful are turned against them. You just know that their cortisol levels are way too high, so I wanted to cut to the chase.

Thanks for reading! Don’t hesitate to pass this on if you find it enjoyable.

Cheers

Jill