You’ve drawn an interesting parallel here, Svetlana, between the McCarthy period and the #MeToo campaign. Yes, the KGB was very real, and there were clear instances of them wanting to infect western communications. McCarthy, unfortunately, was under the spell of Joel Cohen who believed in “take no prisoners,” which went on for 5 years until individuals like Edward R. Murrow and Dashiell Hammett stood up to them. They were bullies, obviously, but fervent bullies believing in their cause. If there hadn’t been such an avalanche of support in the beginning, including J. Edgar Hoover, it might not have gotten so overblown, destroying hundreds, possibly thousands of lives. Unfortunately, like what we’re seeing today, once the “avalanche” builds momentum, the herds must stampede. Loved your background story growing up. Every Russian friend of mine describes something similar, especially the officials wandering the black markets on weekends, getting their cigarettes and eggs. Thanks for this.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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