The world today with its challenges (be they terrorist, nuclear, ecological or epidemiological), its crises (the Middle East, Ukraine), its big players seeking power or revenge (China, Russia), its has-beens in search of a new destiny, like Europe searching for its own identity… This world was born from the matrix created by the fall of the USSR and the deceptive triumph of American superpower. François Heisbourg, Chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, uses examples, mostly drawn from his own experience, to explain how today’s world was born. The world’s transformations are part of everyone’s experience, but the secret histories that preceded or accompanied them are much less so: they help us understand the “how and why” of the circumstances we all face today.
Every topic is introduced with an anecdote, most of them previously unpublished, many of them secret.
To name a few: how World War III was avoided during the Cuban crisis thanks to one Soviet naval officer’s cool head; how the bomb attack in the rue Marbeuf devastated Paris even though all the information came out the day before; how the author stopped the delivery of Exocet missiles during the Falklands War; how the American Mata Hari worked her magic in Mitterrand’s France, etc.
François Heisbourg is a special advisor to the Foundation for Strategic Research, and is chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. His previous books were La fin du rêve Européen and Après Al Qaida.