Last week one of my “to do” tasks for this trip to Russia was successfully completed: I spent an hour in a recording studio of Radio St Petersburg’s Chanel Five speaking to Professor Andrei Leonidovich Bassoevich about the edition of my Russia in the Roaring 1990s published here in November 2021 and more generally about the cycles of friendship-enmity in Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe over the past half century.
Bassoevich has been the presenter of this show for the past twenty years. He has a distinctive way of interviewing and of lightening the style of the broadcast by insertions of music and other sound tracks relevant to the subject at hand.
Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. He chose this third career of 'public intellectual' after finishing up a 25 year career as corporate executive and outside consultant to multinational corporations doing business in Russia and Eastern Europe which culminated in the position of Managing Director, Russia during the years 1995-2000. He has publishied his memoirs of his 25 years of doing business in and around the Soviet Union/Russia, 1975 - 2000. Memoirs of a Russianist, Volume I: From the Ground Up was published on 10 November 2020. Volume II: Russia in the Roaring 1990s was released in February 2021. A Russian language edition in a single 780 page volume was published by Liki Rossii in St Petersburg in November 2021: Россия в бурные 1990е: Дневники, воспоминания, документы.
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3 thoughts on “Radio St Petersburg: an appearance on “The History Club””
Excellent. A very interesting and enjoyable talk. The songs and speech fragments are a nice touch. Fascinating to hear Brezhnev speaking at Helsinki, although a little sad to notice the slurring. It was a beautiful speech – I love those words: “The outcome of the prolonged negotiations is such that there are neither victors nor vanquished, neither winners nor losers. It has been a victory of reason. Everyone has won: the countries of East and West, the peoples of socialist and capitalist States, whether parties to alliances or neutral, whether large or small. It has been a gain for all who cherish peace and security on our planet.” Of course these are the words we still hear constantly today from that most reasonable of world leaders, President Putin. Your story about the US-USSR Trade Council representatives attending the dinner on the occasion of Brezhnev’s birthday followed by the recording of your singing Happy Birthday was really very moving. Professor Bassoevich has a very pleasant voice and “animated” manner of speaking, and you’re not so harsh on the ears yourself, Doctor Doctorow. Lovely to hear Vasily Gerello at the end there as well. Thank you!
Excuse me, by “words from President Putin we hear today” of course I mean sentiments. If only they could be reciprocated.
Very nice podcast. With all the discussions of current events and predictions for the future going on all around us, it is refreshing to take a deep breath and a look back at history.
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