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Americans believed the Soviet Union was cut off from the West. Nothing went in. And very little came out. Yet, tens of thousands of Americans visited their Cold War rival annually. What did they find behind the Iron Curtain? Teddy Goes to the USSR, a new six-part podcast series follows one such American, Teddy Roe, to shine light on Soviet tourism, police surveillance, consumerism, race, and everyday life through his extraordinary three-month trip to the Soviet Union in 1968.
 
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Teddy Goes to the USSR explored American tourism, KGB surveillance, consumerism, race, and daily life through Teddy Roe’s trip to the USSR. And many of Teddy’s observations were inevitably informed by the Cold War and American tropes. So, what to make of Teddy’s journey and what it says about Soviet life? In this final episode, TGU host Sean Guillo…
 
American tourists expected few chances to meet Soviet people. You’d only see what Soviet officials wanted to show you. Touring the USSR, many assumed, was nothing more than a front row seat at a big show. And real Soviet life was hidden under layers upon layers of propaganda. So, if you wanted to see the truth of Soviet life—avoid officials and see…
 
Teddy had few “official” meetings in the USSR. A factory here. A collective farm there. Maybe a school or two. And there was one question Teddy’s hosts always asked: “Why are you still lynching Blacks?” American racism was a global issue during the Cold War. And pointing to it was a strike at America’s Achilles heel. Soviet media devoted a lot of t…
 
Like many Americans, Teddy judged the USSR through a consumer lens. What could Soviets buy? How much? And what was up with those long lines and shortages? Teddy wasn’t very impressed. Yet, the “standard of living race” was a front in the Cold War like any other. And Soviet communism was losing. But things were never so simple. By the late 1960s, So…
 
Teddy assumed the KGB would monitor his travels around the Soviet Union. In Kiev, Teddy discovers that someone went through his luggage. And half-century later he learns his suspicions were correct. The KGB wrote a report on him, complete with excerpts from his diary. What was in this report? What did the KGB hope to learn from Teddy? And what was …
 
Teddy Roe took an extraordinary trip to the USSR in 1968. For three months, he travelled from one end of the USSR to the other. Most Americans at the time believed the USSR was their greatest enemy. Teddy was among tens of thousands who toured the Soviet Union. Why did Americans want to travel there? Why did the Soviets want them to come? What just…
 
Coming May 30! Americans believed the Soviet Union was cut off from the West. Nothing went in. And very little came out. Yet, tens of thousands of Americans visited their Cold War rival annually. What did they find behind the Iron Curtain? Teddy Goes to the USSR, a new six-part podcast series follows one such American, Teddy Roe, to shine light on …
 
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