With Sochi taking center stage in the Winter Olympics, there has been a renewed focus on U-S-Russian relations.
A local author and former adviser to President Reagan has just written a book on the subject…
Her home is also a veritable tribute to Russian history and culture.
When you step into author and historian Suzanne Massie’s Blue Hill home, you step into centuries of Russian history and culture.
Massie is regarded by many as someone who helped end the cold war.
“And I did feel that if we could understand each other as people, and the culture better, we might be able to avoid a war. I decided that I had to see President Reagan,” said Massie.
US-Senator William Cohen from Maine helped set up some meetings at the White House.
“And I went back channel to see if I might be able to talk them into perhaps taking up the cultural exchange again, which is very dear to my heart, about getting to know people. And I broke that deadlock. I’m very proud of that. And they did say yes. And that was the first agreement that Gorbachev and Reagan signed together,” said Massie.
That’s the subject of her new book “Trust But Verify.” In it, she talks about what she hoped would become a beautiful friendship between the US and Russia following the Cold War.
“Well it didn’t turn out that way,” said Massie.
She sees the Sochi Olympics as a perfect example of the deterioration of US-Russia relations.
“Why suddenly is everything bad being reported? I mean suddenly if the toilets go wrong, it’s being reported. Everything is bad. And nobody thought this way about the London Olympics. And the fact that we want them to fail, that tells me that we sure have a long, long way to go,” said Massie.
She hopes that America will again make an effort to understand Russia from a more personal, cultural standpoint, and that’s the focus of the décor in her home.
“I think you learn a lot about a people by seeing exactly what they do with their hands and what what they think is beautiful,” said Massie. “There’s always more to learn. And that’s exactly the truth about Russia.”
“Trust But Verify: Reagan, Russia and Me” is now available on amazon.com.
For more information visit trustbutverifybook.com