RUSSIA: The Kremlin's Huckster

In the Politburo sits a jaunty little Armenian who dreams (almost heretically) of a U.S.S.R. clattering with the newest U.S.-style consumer gadgets. He is Anastas Mikoyan, an Old Bolshevik and, like most Armenians, a born salesman. In 1936 he visited the U.S. and was bowled over by its beehive trade in consumer goods, sparked by innovation, advertising, packaging. Back home he planned a great advertising crusade to teach the people to want and use new products. "We should not surrender before the old custom of living on borsch and mush," he said....

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