By Marcus Golding The fall of the Soviet Union is usually understood from two angles. One argues that the Soviet state could not keep up with the United States’ military superiority and, therefore, collapsed under economic strain. The other perspective suggests that western Europe and the U.S., and specifically the administration of President Ronald Reagan […]
By Aden Knaap, Harvard University The protagonist-narrator of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s 2015 novel The Sympathizer has a thing for squid. (Think less calamari, more American Pie.) The bastard son of a Vietnamese maid and a French priest, he discovers at the age of thirteen that he has a peculiar fetish for masturbating into gutted squid, […]
By Jonathan C. Brown Fidel Castro had two political assets that enabled him to stay in power for a half century. He possessed the knack of turning adversity into an asset and he knew his enemies, particularly the anti-communist politicians of Washington, D.C. His guile and skill became evident early on as he established his […]
By Clay Katsky Those who watch the television show The Americans share a secret with its protagonists: they are not a quintessential American couple living in the suburbs of D.C.; they are, in fact, spies for the Soviet Union. Set against the backdrop of a resurgent Cold War in the early 1980s, this serialized spy […]
Today we often associate hybrid or genetically modified corn with agricultural monopolies, big business, and capitalism, in the early Cold War some feared that the rise of hybrid corn would sow the seeds of Communism in the United States.
While the smallpox virus has been eradicated for decades, smallpox continues to attract popular and scholarly attention today. One of the main topics is the debate between the WHO, the United States, and Russia on whether to destroy the last remaining live smallpox virus stockpiles.
In July 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 went down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. In October 2015, Russian passenger plane KGL9268 plummeted to the earth over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 passengers and crew. In this region of the world, the mysterious destruction of aircraft is not an entirely new occurrence.
Every popular American spy novel and film of the past half-century has had to contain a Russian character, usually in the form of a femme fatale or a burly, deep-voiced brute. Is there a strong historical basis for this? Did the US and Soviet Union conduct espionage as extensively as the movies would make us believe? The short answer is “yes.”