World: Soviet Portrait of America

TO the ordinary Soviet citizen, the U.S. is a country that, as Novelist Konstantin Simonov recently wrote in Pravda, "willy-nilly occupies a vast amount of space in our consciousness." There are only a few ways, however, in which Russians can satisfy their hunger for information about American lifestyles firsthand: examining the few consumer products available in hard-currency shops, attending occasional educational fairs sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency, and thumbing through the cultural exchange magazine Amerika, which is popular despite a limited circulation of 55,000. The vast majority of reports about the...

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