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The U.S.S.R. was America's best enemy

The U.S.S.R. was America's best enemy

I never stood a chance against Russia.

It was the early 1980s and Robert Massie had just published his riveting "Peter the Great" biography; Warren Beatty had produced his magisterial "Reds"; and the ABC TV network broadcast "The Day After," a movie about a Soviet nuclear strike that millions of high schoolers across the land, myself included, were encouraged to come together to watch.

All this was somehow supposed to turn me against our great enemy, but instead, I was seduced. Russia — this land of despotic czars, earth-shattering revolutions and missiles targeted our way — seemed a pretty happening place.

Back then,...