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May 2003

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American Diplomacy has received the following from the Penn State University Press, USB 1, Suite C, University Park, PA 16802. (814) 863-0524; FAX (814) 863-1408:

New Book Demonstrates How Cultural Exchange Programs Helped to Raise the Iron Curtain

Cultural Exchange and the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain, by Yale Richmond

"Yale Richmond records a highly significant chapter in Soviet-American relations during the final decades of Communism. He provides us with a deftly written, accurate, and thoughtful account of the cultural exchanges that were such important channels of influence and persuasion during those years. His book covers the whole spectrum—from scholars and scientific collaboration to fairs and exhibits. We should be grateful that he has undertaken this task before memories fade."

-Allen H. Kassof, former Executive Director, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), 1968-1992

Some fifty thousand Soviets visited the United States under various exchange programs between 1958 and 1988. They came as scholars and students, scientists and engineers, writers and journalists, government and party officials, musicians, dancers, and athletes—and among them were more than a few KGB officers. They came, they saw, they were conquered, and the Soviet Union would never again be the same. "Cultural Exchange and the Cold War" describes how these exchange programs (which brought an even larger number of Americans to the Soviet Union) raised the Iron Curtain and fostered changes that prepared the way for Gorbachev's "glasnost," "perestroika," and the end of the Cold War.

This study is based upon interviews with Russian and American participants as well as the personal experiences of the author and others who were involved in or administered such exchanges. "Cultural Exchange and the Cold War" demonstrates that the best policy to pursue with countries we disagree with is not isolation but engagement.


Yale Richmond, now retired, spent more than forty years in government service and foundation work, including thirty years as a Foreign Service officer in Germany, Laos, Poland, Austria, the Soviet Union, and Washington, D.C.

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