Why Study Russian

Why did We Study Russian?

Twenty years ago in the United States the answer to this question was obvious. With the United States and the Soviet Union enshrined as the two antagonistic super-powers, news stories about Russian-related topics were on the front-page every day. The government was willing to support research and learning related to our most feared enemy, and students were fascinated by the Soviet enigma.

For a good history of the cold war, you can look at CNN's Cold War and PBS's RedFiles

When it came to figuring out what to do with a hard-won knowledge of Russian, however, the situation was more complicated. Of course, there were a certain number of jobs available at Government agencies and in universities and colleges, but in reality prospects for making use of Russian in most professional contexts were extremely limited.

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