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{ Category Archives } Latvian Institute

More than just a monument (2001)

When I first visited Soviet-occupied Latvia in 1978 as a tourist, I was told it was best not to go near “The Monument.” There it was, this massive, imposing object with a soaring obelisk topped by bronze female figure, standing tall in the heart of Riga, and we tourists from America were told it would […]

The Ongoing Latvian Saga (Nov 2010)

Back in 2008 I edited the revised and expanded translation of Uldis Germanis’ legendary history of Latvia, “The Latvian Saga”. Since Germanis had written the book in 1959 from Sweden and the story stopped with the Soviet occupation of Latvia during World War II, I wrote several additional chapters for this new edition to bring […]

Chopping wood, making politics (Oct 2010)

I have concluded that Latvia is the best place in the world to chop wood. I can’t prove it, but that doesn’t diminish my intense passion, conviction, and addiction to the art of slamming an axe into a load of logs and turning it all into firewood. If you sit at a keyboard or tap […]

Tweeting for Votes in Latvia (Sept. 2010)

The one thing you can’t say about voters in Latvia is that they lack for information. As we approach election day on October 2nd, Latvia’s 1,514,936 eligible voters have been talked at, written to, snail-mailed and e-mailed, pamphleted on the street, and proselytized on the airwaves. They’ve been told how to vote and who to […]

It’s the Economy… (Sept.2010)

Back in 1992, Bill Clinton won the U.S. presidential election because his top campaign advisor James Carville made everyone in the Clinton campaign repeat one sentence every morning when they woke up: “It’s the economy, stupid”. This was an internal campaign theme intended to remind everyone that the number one priority of the election and […]