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Rethinking Russia: US-Russia relations

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New Old Frenemies: How Russia and the U.S. Have Been Influencing Each Other 


Amidst the deepening confrontation between Russia and the U.S., Rethinking Russia sat down with the professor of the European University in St. Petersburg, Ivan Kurilla, to discuss his new book “Frenemies” and the way of how Russia and the U.S. have been influencing each other throughout history.       

Rethinking Russia: “Frenemies” — what do you want to convey with the title?

Ivan Kurilla: This title is an attempt to point out to the fact that Russia and the U.S. have been both very intertwined and sort of interdependent throughout history. I mean Russia and America were both friends and ideological opponents.  This slightly contradicts the perception that we have little in common.

RR: Your book reminds a sort of a historical chronicle portraying prominent cultural and political figures and celebrities who contributed to the development of U.S.-Russia relations.  

I.K.: Yes, the most part of the book presents personal histories, although there are some stories, where historical figures are secondary. Throughout my scholarly experience (studying documents and monographs) I came across many amazing personal stories. Usually, they are included only in the footnotes of an academic research paper. It is difficult to include them in an academic book.  But because I collected so many stories and they were so exciting, I cannot help using them. Eight years ago I presented these stories in my personal blog at the Live Journal platform and in Facebook.


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