Submitter: Russia is a big topic in the news right now, so I’m sure there are people looking for books about it. My public library has a massive section on Russian history and politics…nearly all of it from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The biggest gem was this book predicting that the USSR would be destroyed in a nuclear war with China. Even the books about earlier Soviet history are hopelessly out of date. In the past 25 years, we’ve gained access to all kinds of sources that weren’t available during the Cold War. Go update your Russian history sections now, comrades!
Holly: But it’s historical! Just kidding.
Submitter: This book should have been weeded when it was a few years old, but has incomprehensibly lingered in my library branch for 20 years. Published in 1989, this book about the Cold War was written during the Cold War. There is no historical perspective and even this account is incomplete. If you look at the end of the chronology you’ll see that one of the major events of the Cold War is omitted.
Most perplexing to me is that this book didn’t just slip through the cracks… a librarian looked at it two years ago, and noted that it was unique in our library system. I’d like to remind everyone that it’s okay to weed last copies. The accuracy and currency of our collections demand it.
Holly: I know some libraries have a “last copy” policy that prevents them from weeding last copies. If a particular library’s mission is to be an archive, that’s fine. Otherwise, I agree – I’d weed this one if it were in my library too.
What to do when the Russians come
A survivor’s guide
Completing our trifecta of red scare material, here is a great book describing how you too can survive the occupation of the Soviets. This particular book needs to be in an archive since it really does capture the hysteria of the cold war. (Did you notice one of the author’s name?) I wonder if these guys thought about a second edition after 1989?