Blog Books Eastern Europe Featured Non-Fiction


Now out from Zed Books. Available here.

A quarter of a century after the fall of communism, novelist and journalist John Feffer returned to Eastern Europe to track down the hundreds of people he spoke to in the initial atmosphere of optimism as the Iron Curtain fell. Aftershock is the sensational account of that journey. Revealing the broken dreams of a remarkable cast of characters, this is the epic story of a region that against great odds is still fighting for a brighter future.



Marta Figlerowicz, Boston Review, February 28, 2018: “In Aftershock, the novelist, journalist, and political scholar John Feffer attempts to view these stories from a middle distance: a point of view broader than a participant’s, if also less aerial than a professional historian’s. Through interviews with Eastern Europeans from all walks of life—politicians, activists, academics, blue-collar workers, clerks, and Ikea managers—he pieces together an affective and cultural history of post-communism. Aftershock gives its reader a panoramic view of the fantasies and hopes through which recently post-communist societies interpreted their ongoing transformations to themselves.”


Paul Hockenos, International Politics and Society, February 23, 2018: “A searching, analytical work that tries to make sense of where the former East bloc countries are today and why they arrived there. The lucid, gripping narrative is a joy to read.”

Paul Rosenberg, Salon, January 21, 2018: “Feffer’s book is so important. Compared to the rest of the world, Eastern Europe is a relative success—and the same can be said about America, even after the election of Donald Trump. If the first half of Aftershock can be read as a warning of what might befall us in the years ahead, then the second half can be read as an inspiration about what we can do to prevent it.”




‘John Feffer is our 21st-century Jack London.’
Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

‘John Feffer brings to this story a traveller’s eye, a rich store of experiences, and a wise perspective. His thoughtful book is a reminder that few nations, anywhere, easily throw off the heritage of tyranny.’
Adam Hochschild, author of Spain in our Hearts and King Leopold’s Ghost

‘Both a merciless political history and a compassionate political psychology of central and eastern Europe’s post-Cold War transformation.’
Miklos Haraszti, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Belarus

‘An essential account of our post-liberal times.’
Padraic Kenney, author of A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe, 1989

‘A brisk, vivid and wide-ranging survey of a region in the grip of neoliberalism. As Feffer makes clear, this is hardly just a book about Eastern Europe, as the challenges there now seem to be spreading throughout the world. Feffer’s sense of the future evinces both pessimism of the mind and optimism of the will.’
Lawrence Weschler, author of Vermeer in Bosnia and Calamities of Exile

‘A breath-taking whirlwind tour through the transformations of eastern Europe over the past 30 years. With its account of the travails of contemporary capitalism, it is also astonishingly relevant for understanding pressing political problems in the United States as well.’
David Ost, author of The Defeat of Solidarity: Anger and Politics in Post-Communist Europe

Books Featured Non-Fiction

Crusade 2.0

My latest book, Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War against Islam, will be published this March by City Lights Press. You can order it here. Next book event: Firedoglake Book Salon, August 4, 2012

Some background information

In his offical response to the attacks of September 11th, George W. Bush invoked the Crusades, tapping into a centuries-long history of fear and aggression. The West’s longstanding perception of Islam as a threat has taken on new and more complex implications in the twenty-first century, as years of migration and resulting demographic shifts have brought the “enemy” within Western borders. Virulent opposition to the planned construction of an Islamic center near the 9/11 attack site in New York City reveals much about the intensity of public sentiments simmering just below the surface. As the United States and countries across Europe struggle with a resurgence of unexamined fear and antagonism, often directed against their own citizens, the imperative for better understanding could not be greater.

Crusade 2.0 examines the resurgance of anti-Islamic sentiment in the West and its global implications. John Feffer discusses the influence of three “unfinished wars”–the Crusades, the Cold War, and the current “war on terror.” He presents a timely, concise, and provocative look at current events in the context of historical trends and goes beyond a “clash of civilizations” critique to offer concrete ways to defuse the ticking bomb of Islamophobia.

Some advanced praise:

“John Feffer’s Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War Against Islam offers a brief but effective exposé of a social cancer that continues to grow exponentially, in America and Europe, threatening the the security and civil liberties of Muslims and the principles and values of Western democracies.” —John L. Esposito, author of Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century and The Future of Islam

“John Feffer’s illuminating and important new work, Crusade 2.0, sheds light on the disturbing phenomenon of Islamophobia in America with a clear-eyed view of history, meticulous research, and persuasive arguments. This accessible and informative book shows how fear-mongering, when married to ignorance and selfish political agendas, not only threatens to marginalize entire communities of innocent people but also undermine the core values of pluralism, tolerance and fairness that define America.” —Wajahat Ali, author of The Domestic Crusaders and lead author of Fear Inc., The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America produced by Center for American Progress

“If you want to understand the particular madness of America’s twenty-first century, you need to read John Feffer’s account of how Washington launched “crusade 2.0,” including two invasions and occupations of Muslim lands and a Global War on Terror sporting aptly named Hellfire missiles aimed directly at the Muslim world. Add in the injection of fear of Islam directly into the American bloodstream and the rise of Islamophobia as domestic political red meat, and you have a truly American nightmare. Feffer is its Homer and this is our sad Odyssey.” —Tom Engelhardt, director of, author of The United States of Fear

Books Featured Non-Fiction

All Over the Map

All Over the Map: The Best of World Beat

Now available at Smashwords for $4.99

And at Barnes and Noble.

Foreign policy analyst John Feffer looks at global affairs in the Obama era. This collection of more than 125 Foreign Policy In Focus columns covers war, peace, terrorism, global economics, culture, democracy, and the environment. It critically analyzes what’s happening all over the map, from the financial crisis to the Arab Spring, and offers specific recommendations for Washington policymakers

Books Non-Fiction

North Korea/South Korea – U.S. Policy and the Korean Peninsula

War is looming on the Korean peninsula. North Korea has declared that it possesses nuclear weapons. The United States is tightening an economic noose around the country in an attempt to force a regime change. The Bush administration is also keeping a military option on the table, a prospect that terrifies all the countries of East Asia, particularly South Korea. A terrifying spiral of tensions has resulted. The aggressive stance of the U.S. government has hardened North Korea’s position and threatened rapprochement between North and South. North Korea, meanwhile, is desperate to develop a deterrent that will prevent the Bush administration from following the Iraq scenario with a campaign of aerial bombing.

Books Non-Fiction

Power Trip: U.S. Unilateralism and Global Strategy After September 11

John Feffer, Editor

In Power Trip , editor and Foreign Policy In Focus advisory committee member, John Feffer, collects the work of leading legal, geopolitical, and cultural analysts in one comprehensive volume.

Books Non-Fiction

Living in Hope: People Challenging Globalization

Praise for Living in Hope

“Living in Hope is an Inspiring collection of stories about people who are creating economic alternatives on the ground. Their work and their lives are a sign of hope for us all.”

Books Non-Fiction

Europe’s New Nationalism: States and Minorities in Conflict

Co-editor, with Richard Caplan

In the short period since the end of the Cold War, Europeans have witnessed the rebirth of nationalism as a harrowing threat to stability on the continent. The collapse of Yugoslavia, the newly-won independence of the Baltic states, the unification of Germany, the bloody civil wars in Bosnia, and Georgia, Chechnia’s abortive attempt at independence, and state-sanctioned xenophobia in France all attest to the rapid expansion of nationalist fervor in Europe.

Books Non-Fiction

State of the Union 1994: The Clinton Administration and the Nation in Profile

Co-editor with Richard Caplan

This look at the first months of the Clinton administration, published in cooperation with the Institute for Policy Studies, is the first of an annual series. The collection of 14 essays written by such authorities as Barry Commoner and Ralph Nader evaluates the administration’s record in key policy areas as it relates to the institute’s progressive philosophy. The report card they present is strongly critical of the administration’s inability to follow through on the promise of change offered throughout the 1992 campaign, with little allowance for the uncooperative Congress Clinton has thus far had to confront. Perhaps future editions will offer more balance. Excellent graphs and charts clarify spending and demographic points. Recommended for strong political science collections.

Jill Ortner, SILS, Univ. at Buffalo, NY

Click here to buy State of the Union 1994 used.

Books Non-Fiction

Shock Waves: Eastern Europe After the Revolutions

“Feffer examines each country’s unique conditions and dissident movements, yet shows how all the dissidents are linked.”

Utne Reader

Click here to to buy Shock Waves.

Books Non-Fiction

Beyond Detente: Soviet Foreign Policy and U.S. Options

“This is a report prepared for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization. Aimed at the informed general reader, the book argues that the recent shifts in Soviet foreign policy under Gorbachev result from domestic imperatives. Whether or not this positive trend in the cycle of detente is sustained depends on timely American responses to Soviet overtures. A generally balanced treatment; readers will especially benefit from Feffer’s concise and informative discussion of domestic sources of Soviet external relations. Rapidly transpiring events in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have dated portions of the book–an occupational hazard for works of this type. Still, a useful addition for larger international affairs collections.”

Cleveland R. Fraser, Furman Univ., Greenville, S.C.

Click here to to buy Beyond Detente.