The Traditional and Instinctive Russian Sense of Insecurity

There were few places on earth less pleasant in winter than the Soviet capital; [US Ambassador to the Soviet Union George] Kennan calls the time [spent sick] “these unhappy days,” and associates his five-part telegram with “an eighteenth-century Protestant sermon.” For a year and a half, he wrote thirty years later, still exasperated, “I had done little else but pluck people’s sleeves, trying to make them understand the nature of the phenomenon with which we in the Moscow embassy were daily confronted and which our government and people had to learn to understand if they were to have any chance …