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A Strange, Poignant Tale Well Told
on October 11, 2002
The cold war defined the first 27 years of my professional life as an aerospace engineer. I left that profession with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and visited Moscow not long afterward. This story is a sort of elegy for the USSR, and was to some degree prescient. Like "Barley", I too am fond of Russians and things Russian, and I greatly enjoyed the scenery of Moscow and Leningrad. Viewing it brings back vivid memories of my visit there, the colleagues I met, and the persistent sense I had of one tremendous chapter of history having just closed, and the next but dimly apprehended.
I have assembled a kind of personal "Cold War Archive", and this has an honored place in it along with "Smiley's People", & etc. It is a dandy story well told, not the usual "chase'm around and shoot'm up" action spy "thriller" of which we are all so tired. I give this four stars only because I believe the 5 star award in this category has been permanently retired with "Smiley's People".