From Washington to Moscow: US-Soviet Relations and the Collapse of the USSR
Louis Sell is a retired Foreign Service officer who served twentyseven years with the US Department of State, specializing in Soviet and Balkan affairs. He is the author of Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, also published by Duke University Press.
First Visit to the USSR: Things Are Not as They Seem
As a nineteen-year-old student, the author made his first visit to the USSR. The chapter describes a brief detention at the Soviet border over a minor mistake in filling out an entry form, first impressions on arriving in Moscow, and the intense interest of their young Soviet guides—once older escorts had disappeared—in latest Western styles and pop culture. At Moscow State University, the author meets a young Russian student who describes the Beatles as his true politics. A brief, intense romantic relationship ends up being thwarted by time, distance, and encrusted security barriers.