|Senior Associate and Director of Russian and Eurasian Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation
|United States Secretary of Defense
Former President of Texas A&M University
|Director for Asia Studies
Council on Foreign Relations
Nice tribute to Russian culture in the president's speech to Moscow college students:
"I speak to you today with deep respect for Russia's timeless heritage. Russian writers have helped us understand the complexity of the human experience, and recognize eternal truths. Russian painters, composers, and dancers have introduced us to new forms of beauty. Russian scientists have cured disease, sought new frontiers of progress, and helped us go to space.
"These are contributions that are not contained by Russia's borders, as vast as those borders are. Indeed, Russia's heritage has touched every corner of the world, and speaks to the humanity that we share. That includes my own country, which has been blessed with Russian immigrants for decades; we've been enriched by Russian culture, and enhanced by Russian cooperation."
This appeared in the Dec 18 issue of US News & World Report:
"Why not get ahead of the geopolitical curve and study Russian? Though it has never been a top foreign language among American students, Russian did grow in popularity during the Cold War. And the wealth of Russian history and literature has always made learning the tongue rewarding enough for many. Now, a resurgent and more nationalistic (though post-communist) Russia is again doing some muscle flexing, albeit much more modestly than in the past. American students currently rank Russian eighth on a list of foreign languages that interest them. But with Russia widely pegged as a re-emerging great power and taking a tough line against a range of American policiesâ??mastering the tongue of the Kremlin could well come to regain some cachet. And, if not, you still could read Dostoevski in the original form, not to mention order a vodka in Moscow with a certain grace."