In a presidential debate before the 2012 election, Barack Obama called attention to a remark that his opponent, Mitt Romney, had made a few months earlier. Romney had said that Russia was the biggest geopolitical threat to America. “The 1980s are now calling,” Obama joked, “to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War’s been over for twenty years.” Just a few years later, it was Obama’s fellow Democrats who were warning us that Russia was a dire threat to American democracy, whereas most of Romney’s fellow Republicans dismissed their concerns. Whatever your politics, one thing is clear: Americans are not done with Russia yet.
Russian culture and politics remains foreign to most of us, though. Our guests today on Christian Humanist Profiles want to help us understand them, using the work of Nobel Prize-winning Soviet defector Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as a kind of case study. David P. Deavel and Jessica Hooten Wilson’s new edited collection is called Solzhenitsyn and American Culture. It’s out now from Notre Dame University Press.