Unpopular Opinions
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Unpopular Opinions

I Won’t Stop Listening to the Russians

Photo by Roger & Renate Rössing (cropped)

Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich kept a bag packed at all times and was prepared to flee at a moment’s notice should he suddenly fall out of Stalin’s favor. He had been on thin ice before, and it almost cost him his career and freedom.

Fast-forward to the 1980s, when Americans were introduced to comedian Yakov Smirnov, who may have been the most cheerful Russian the world has ever seen. His…

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