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Russia, China and Ryan dominate Clancy's new book
(CNN) -- In Tom Clancy's new novel, "The Bear and the Dragon," there is no presidential campaign going on. It's a world where Jack Ryan is president, Russia and China are at odds, and the shadow of history is always present.
Clancy, in fact, described himself as "practically addicted" to history during an interview Tuesday on CNN.
"My wife will tell you I'm practically addicted to the History Channel," Clancy said. "And I read a lot of history."
He drew the Chinese-Russian conflict in the new book both from recent and not-so-recent events, he said.
"There's been historical conflict between China and Russia for well over 1,000 years," Clancy noted. "People forget that the Mongols came all the way to the Baltic Sea and all the way to where St. Petersburg is today ... And the Russians have a good sense of history and they remember that.
"More recently, there's been border conflicts in the Amur River region where Russia and China meet (in the north)," he continued. "So there's been rivalry there, and the principal reason is China has a lot of people and not enough space and the Russians have not too many people and a lot of space."
"The Bear and the Dragon" is Clancy's 12th novel. All are distinguished by detailed plots, international espionage, and more military hardware than you can shake an army at. Ryan, a CIA agent-turned-president, has been the hero of several of them.
Clancy's books are regular bestsellers and continue to sell tens of millions of copies, despite the end of the Cold War, which provided the plot mainsprings for his early work.
Even with the world's changed political situation, however, Clancy sees no shortage of story material.
"Certainly, we live in a different world ... for the first time in all of known human history, we live in a world absent of the likelihood of superpower conflict," he said. "Now we live in a world in which there are superpowers, but we're not butting heads all the time. That's a very good thing for the world."
But, he added, "There's still a few bad guys out there."
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