Posted by: Christian | January 31, 2009

Lazy Publishers

January 2009:

The great gamble

Where have I seen this before?

May 2001 edition of a book originally published in English in 1990:

Why create a new book cover when there is a perfectly good one that is already out there?

Ahmed Rashid called Gregory Feifer’s new book “a brilliant and timely new history of the Soviet War.” I’m sure it’s great, and I will check it out when I can. But for the publisher to rip off the cover from the single greatest peice of war literature out of Afghanistan since Lady Sale’s account of the First Anglo-Afghan War is pretty lame.

The photo? It belongs to Stuart Franklin, who works with Magnum. It was taken in 1989 as the soviets withdrew through the Salang Pass. I’m sure he’s OK with being paid twice.

More info on the books here:


  1. Ha–that’s pretty funny. To be fair the 1990 edition looks different.

    I’ve got both books on my nightstand right now, just finished Great Gamble. It is something you can probably wait on; almost entirely based on interviews with Russians, so a lot of individual perspectives but not a whole lot of synthesis of them.


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