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There is a still point in the turning world and at its centre is the historian Norman Stone, who has never stopped tilting at creaky old windmills and fighting the battles of his beloved 1980s—“the most interesting decade of the last century,” he claims in this blunderbuss of a book. It is rare nowadays to read the classic triumphalist narrative of the collapse of communism presented as a victory for the west led by the forces of conservatism, one of whose distinguished high priests was, of course, Stone. But this is a deeply old-fashioned book that might have been written…

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