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Nixon vs. Khrushchev — The 1959 Kitchen Debate

It was undoubtedly one of the most unorthodox – and therefore memorable – settings for a major political debate. On July 24th, 1959, the United States opened the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow. The Soviets and Americans had agreed to hold exhibits in each other’s countries as a cultural exchange to promote […]

Khrushchev Visits America – A Cold War Comedy of Errors, Act II

In September of 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States on an unprecedented goodwill trip spanning several days, thousands of miles and which was covered by a huge press corps. In stark contrast to the finely orchestrated tours and campaign stops that are common nowadays, the visit was a series of flubs and […]

Khrushchev Visits America – A Cold War Comedy of Errors, Act I

Amid the descent of the Iron Curtain, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and the conflict in Vietnam lies one of the more bizarre moments of the Cold War – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s goodwill tour of the United States that began on September 15, 1959. While some may have heard of Khrushchev’s failed attempt to […]

Money for Secrets: Making a Deal with a KGB Agent

Benedict Arnold. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Mir Jafar. All of these individuals have something in common: they all betrayed their countries. Even with the passage of time, an air of notoriety still clings to their names. Defection occurs in all countries and is fueled by the desire for money, power, or fame. Defection can also […]

Nettling the New Guard—PNGed out of Singapore

Singapore’s story of economic success under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew has catapulted the nation to the status of a role model for development. After expulsion from Malaysia, the nascent republic entered into an era of rapid economic transformation, eventually becoming a major business hub for Asia and the world. While the city-state leverages […]

Siberia and Samizdat: Moscow’s Underground During Communism

Long regarded as a monolithic entity where any dissension was ruthlessly suppressed by the KGB, Western audiences often ignored the intellectual culture of the Soviet Union. However, this viewpoint dismisses the underground scene of Soviet dissidents who played a critical role in speaking out against and documenting the abuses of the regime. Whether through human […]

Negotiating the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT)

Due to rising concern about radioactive fallout from increasingly big nuclear tests underwater, in space, in the atmosphere and underground, as well as concern over the burgeoning arms race between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, the US, UK, and USSR decided to negotiate a test-ban treaty. These concerns became more pronounced after the United States […]

We Don’t Give a Dam — The Feud Over Financing the Aswan High Dam

Egypt’s agriculture has always depended on the water of the Nile; the river’s perennial floods, while critical in replenishing the fertile soil, constantly threatened to wash away a season’s harvest. The Aswan High Dam was built to regulate the river’s flooding as well as to create hydroelectric power and a reservoir for irrigation. Its planning […]