Books and Reviews
Two decommissioned nuclear missiles – one Soviet, one American - coexist coexist peacefully in the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum. The taller of the two, a Soviet “RSD-10,” the other, an American “Pershing.” These missiles will never again be targeted at their countries’ enemies.
Today, they are only exhibits illustrating the conclusion of a treaty on the elimination of intermediate and short range missiles (INF), signed during the years of Perestroika.
If you look closely, you can see a small family group in the photograph near the Soviet missile. If not for the treaty, this family would never have come to be.
Since childhood, American Justin Lifflander dreamed of becoming a spy. Who better for an American to spy on if not the Russians? Thus he learned Russian, and after graduating from college in the hopes of applying his newfound knowledge Lifflander took a job at the American embassy in Moscow…as a school bus driver. His “career” took off when he joined a group of American inspectors monitoring Soviet compliance with the conditions of theINF Treaty inat a Soviet missile plant located in the Udmurtian city of Votkinsk.
Here, in the birthplace of Tchaikovsky, Lifflander met and fell in love with a Russian translator. En route to their happy ending, they had to overcome as many obstacles as Reagan and Gorbachev faced in concluding the Treaty. Forgotten were the childhood dreams of “spy” Justin. Most importantly, as understood by the wise cat Kuzia, despite their differences the Americans and Russians are more alike than they realize.