The Leonard Lopate Show

The Final Days of the Soviet Union

Monday, June 02, 2014

The narrative that the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War was linked to the triumph of democratic values over communism has persisted in American public discourse for decades, but a prize-winning historian says the collapse didn’t have much to do with the United States.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Art of Soviet Cooking

Friday, September 20, 2013

Anya von Bremzen, a James Beard Award-winning writer, describes life in the USSR. Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where 18 families shared one kitchen. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is about feasts, famines, and three generations of her family, and how, in the USSR, every edible morsel was packed with emotional and political meaning.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

Monday, May 13, 2013

Leslie Woodhead reveals how the music of the Beatles played a major role in waking up an entire generation of Soviet youth, opening their eyes to 70 years of bland official culture and rigid authoritarianism. In How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin, he writes about how, in the USSR, music fans risked repression to hear the Beatles, and the Beatles and the bands they inspired helped break down the walls of Soviet culture.

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The Takeaway

Reports from Russia, 20 Years After Communist Uprising

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Twenty years ago, the communist Soviet government in Russia launched a coup against then-President Mikhail Gorbachev. Their attempt to oust the Western-leaning president failed, but lead to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. just a few weeks later. How much has the former Soviet state changed in the last two decades?


The Takeaway

The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 30 Years Later

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Today marks thirty years since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. On December 24, 1979, the Soviet 40th army was ordered to deploy in Afghanistan by then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.  Of course, today’s anniversary resonates not just with Russians and other members of the former Soviet Union, but also with Americans after the recent announcement of 30,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan.  To remind us of the events of 30 years ago, Kira Fomenko from the BBC Russian service joins us.


The Takeaway

Defending the Honor of Joseph Stalin

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The grandson of infamous dictator Joseph Stalin has hauled a Russian newspaper into court alleging they defamed the reputation of the former Soviet leader. The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was in the courtroom; he joins us with the details.