March 19 – Why Are We Always Wrong About Russia?

Ms. Suzanne Massie, Author of Trust but Verify: Reagan, Russia and Me

DATE: March 19, 2014
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Buchanan Alumni House, University of Maine
Event is Free and Open to the Public – No Registration Required

Co-sponsored by the School of Policy & International Affairs (SPIA) and UMaine Phi Beta Kappa

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Abstract: On February 28th the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that the Russia military exercises near Crimea were most likely a bluff and that nothing of note would happen in the next 24 hours. On March 1st Russian troops took control of Crimea. This is just the latest incident in a long chain of misunderstandings of Russia and its foreign policy. If you would like to understand why so much analysis of Russia misses the mark and get a much better understanding of Russia and its foreign policy, you are invited to come to this talk. After the presentation there will be an opportunity to buy autographed copies of Suzanne Massie’s latest book: Trust but Verify: Reagan, Russia and Me.

About the speaker: Suzanne Massie has been involved in many aspects of study and work in the Soviet Union/Russia for 38 years. Her outstanding ability as an interpreter of Russian culture and bridge builder between the Russian and American people has been acknowledged by both countries. In Russia she has been the subject of a documentary film, is the winner of a prestigious literary prize and is an active participant in the cultural and social concerns of the city of St. Petersburg. In the United States her books: Trust but Verify: Reagan, Russia and me, Land of the Firebird, Pavlovsk, The Living Mirror, Journey and Nicholas and Alexandra, on which she worked with her former husband Robert K. Massie, have been read by millions. She has worked in the development of art exhibitions with many of the foremost art museums of both the United States and Russia including the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum. She has lectured widely in the United States before academic, military, business, government, religious, public affairs, civic and cultural groups. In both countries she is often interviewed by the press, television and radio. She has been consulted by many members of Congress and the Senate and from 1984-88 advised President Ronald Reagan, meeting with him 21 times during the critical years of the ending of the Cold War.

A fellow of the Harvard Russian Research Center (now the Davis Center) from 1985-97, she has also served on the Board of the International League for Human Rights. In 1991 she was appointed as the only lay member of the Permanent Episcopal-Orthodox Coordinating Committee which has involved bi-annual discussions in Russia and the United States with hierarchs of the church, including Patriarch Aleksy II, giving her a unique perspective on the life and role of the Orthodox Church in Russia today.

The tri-lingual Ms. Massie is the daughter of a Swiss diplomat. Born in New York, she graduated from Vassar College, and also studied at the Sorbonne and the Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Paris. She now lives in Maine where she spends time with her husband, Seymour Papert, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a tragic accident in 2006. She divides her time between their log home and writing studio in Deer Isle and their house in East Blue Hill which is a replica of Pushkin’s summer home in Russia.