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The Cold War that developed between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II, defined the second half of the 20th century. In these years, the two so-called superpowers competed to win the hearts and minds of the world, all the while trying not to destroy all of humanity with the atomic weapons they had stockpiled en masse. Yet after decades of bitter confrontation, American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev were able to bring the Cold War to an end in just a few years. Given that Moscow has once again emerged as a focal point in American politics, we’d be wise to learn what we can from the end of the Cold War. On this episode of The Road to Now, we are honored to share our interview with a man who was, in fact, in the room where it happened- Ambassador Jack Matlock.
Ambassador Jack Matlock began working for the US Foreign Service in 1956 and served as Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1981 to 1983, and to the Soviet Union from 1987 until his retirement in 1991. He is the author of multiple books on US-Russian relations and is currently a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University, where he teaches classes that draw a connection between history and the current geopolitical climate. You can learn more about Ambassador Matlock and his work on his website: http://jackmatlock.com/
A special thanks to the Department of History and the Department of Political Science and International Relations at MTSU for supporting the live podcast, and to Susan Myers-Shirk and Kelle Knight for helping us make the event a success. We are also grateful to John Merchant of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry and his students Colin Bell, Logan Eley, and Caleb King for recording the event.