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It is all too easy now to dismiss what a profound enigma and anxiety the Soviet Union was for ordinary Americans from the 1950s to the 1990s. Terkel's complex archive suggests how understanding and trust could be established between these two seemingly contrary societies even in some of the most heated moments of the Cold War. This ability to get beyond the simple cliches of the Cold War is never better demonstrated then when Terkel reads one of Anton Chekhov or Leo Tolstoy's stories, talks with a famous Russian artists such as Marc Chagall, meets with dissident journalists such as Vitaly Korotich and talks about Russian history with great historians like Harrison Salisbury.

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