It is a major political issue in less important countries how many minutes and seconds the president of the US talked to their president in the hallway at G7. In Spain, for example, people are going nuts today, calculating the length of time Pres. Biden gave to Pedro González in the hallway and trying desperately to figure out what it all means.
This is why Putin hates America. He wants to be the person everybody lines up to talk to at the G7. He perceives it as extraordinarily unfair the US should play that role. Once you understand that, everything he does becomes very clear.
And by the way, I Married a Communist is really not about politics. The whole point of the novel is that the main character’s Communistic ideas are a result of his personal pathologies. And his downfall is less a result of McCarthyism than of him being a gigantic prick.
Folks, did you know that Niall Ferguson is married to Ayan Hirsi Ali? I had no idea. Usually, the spouses of famous, big thinker types are there to facilitate the careers of the famous big thinkers. And here they are both famous big intellectuals. Fascinating.