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Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War

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A personal journey through some of the darkest moments of the cold war and the early days of television news Marvin Kalb, the award-winning journalist who has written extensively about the world he reported on during his long career, now turns his eye on the young man who became that journalist. Chosen by legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow to become one of what came to A personal journey through some of the darkest moments of the cold war and the early days of television news Marvin Kalb, the award-winning journalist who has written extensively about the world he reported on during his long career, now turns his eye on the young man who became that journalist. Chosen by legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow to become one of what came to be known as the Murrow Boys, Kalb in this newest volume of his memoirs takes readers back to his first days as a journalist, and what also were the first days of broadcast news. Kalb captures the excitement of being present at the creation of a whole new way of bringing news immediately to the public. And what news. Cold War tensions were high between Eisenhower's America and Khrushchev's Soviet Union. Kalb is at the center, occupying a unique spot as a student of Russia tasked with explaining Moscow to Washington and the American public. He joins a cast of legendary figures along the way, from Murrow himself to Eric Severeid, Howard K. Smith, Richard Hottelet, Charles Kuralt, and Daniel Schorr among many others. He finds himself assigned as Moscow correspondent of CBS News just as the U2 incident--the downing of a US spy plane over Russian territory--is unfolding. As readers of his first volume, The Year I Was Peter the Great, will recall, being the right person, in the right place, at the right time found Kalb face to face with Khrushchev. Assignment Russia sees Kalb once again an eyewitness to history--and a writer and analyst who has helped shape the first draft of that history.


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A personal journey through some of the darkest moments of the cold war and the early days of television news Marvin Kalb, the award-winning journalist who has written extensively about the world he reported on during his long career, now turns his eye on the young man who became that journalist. Chosen by legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow to become one of what came to A personal journey through some of the darkest moments of the cold war and the early days of television news Marvin Kalb, the award-winning journalist who has written extensively about the world he reported on during his long career, now turns his eye on the young man who became that journalist. Chosen by legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow to become one of what came to be known as the Murrow Boys, Kalb in this newest volume of his memoirs takes readers back to his first days as a journalist, and what also were the first days of broadcast news. Kalb captures the excitement of being present at the creation of a whole new way of bringing news immediately to the public. And what news. Cold War tensions were high between Eisenhower's America and Khrushchev's Soviet Union. Kalb is at the center, occupying a unique spot as a student of Russia tasked with explaining Moscow to Washington and the American public. He joins a cast of legendary figures along the way, from Murrow himself to Eric Severeid, Howard K. Smith, Richard Hottelet, Charles Kuralt, and Daniel Schorr among many others. He finds himself assigned as Moscow correspondent of CBS News just as the U2 incident--the downing of a US spy plane over Russian territory--is unfolding. As readers of his first volume, The Year I Was Peter the Great, will recall, being the right person, in the right place, at the right time found Kalb face to face with Khrushchev. Assignment Russia sees Kalb once again an eyewitness to history--and a writer and analyst who has helped shape the first draft of that history.

59 review for Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    A trip down memory lane for those of us who have served in Moscow. UpDK, Intourist, MFA -- these are all acronyms that are met with dread and humor by Americans who have served in the Soviet capital. Marvin Kalb writes with honesty and self-deprecating wit. He tells the fascinating story of his first years as a CBS reporter, ending up with the assignment of his dreams (or nightmares, if one considers Madame Borisovna and the cramped rooms at the Metropol). His administrative travails aside, I'm A trip down memory lane for those of us who have served in Moscow. UpDK, Intourist, MFA -- these are all acronyms that are met with dread and humor by Americans who have served in the Soviet capital. Marvin Kalb writes with honesty and self-deprecating wit. He tells the fascinating story of his first years as a CBS reporter, ending up with the assignment of his dreams (or nightmares, if one considers Madame Borisovna and the cramped rooms at the Metropol). His administrative travails aside, I'm a bit jealous that he was able to have so much personal contact with the Soviet leadership, and was in on so many big stories (the blown Paris Summit, U-2, Khrushchev's eroding position, the Sino-Soviet split, etc.). By the time I got there in the late 1970s, it was the Brezhnev era, and Soviet leaders did not deign to meet with foreigners unless it was absolutely necessary. I'm now looking forward to reading Kalb's earlier books (Eastern Exposure, The Year I was Peter the Great). What a fascinating career.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    An amazing read—I wish it were longer. I grew up listening to and watching many of the correspondents described in this book. It was a treat to read about their careers as well as Mr. Kalb’s early days. I didn’t want it to end—which is for me always a good recommendation.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gary Evins

    Excellent Memoir. Puts you solidly in the Times and technology.

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    Michael D Benway

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    Stephen Geis

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    Paul Caponigri

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    Emitom

  59. 4 out of 5

    Hessah

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