New Books Network

The Baltics are about to be thrust onto the world stage. With a ‘belligerent’ Vladimir Putin to their east (and ‘expansionist’ NATO to their...

The Baltics are about to be thrust onto the world stage. With a ‘belligerent’ Vladimir Putin to their east (and ‘expansionist’ NATO to their west), Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are increasingly the subject of unsettling headlines in both Western and Russian media. But how real are these fears, subject as they are to media embellishment, qualification and denial by both Russia and the West? What do they mean for those living in the Baltics – and for the world?

In The Shadow in the East: Vladimir Putin and the New Baltic Front (I. B. Tauris, 2020), Aliide Naylor takes us inside the geopoltitics of the region. Travelling to the heart of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania she explores modernity in the region that birthed Skype, investigates smuggling and reports of troop movements in the borderlands, and explains the countries’ unique cultural identities. Naylor tells us why the Baltics matter, arguing persuasively that this region is about to become the new frontline in the political struggle between East and West.

Aliide Naylor is  a freelance journalist focusing on Russia and eastern Europe, her writing has appeared in The Guardian, New Statesman, POLITICO Europe, frieze, Vice, among others. Naylor has travelled to all corners of the Baltic states and has also lived in both St. Petersburg and Moscow, where she served as Arts Editor at The Moscow Times.


Steven Seegel is professor of history at University of Northern Colorado.