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Adventures of a Young Reporter Covering Cold War Russia in Early Days of TV News – Any Relevance for Today?
Speaker: Marvin Kalb
Marvin Kalb’s recent book, Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War, is the newest volume of his memoirs and takes readers back to his first days as a journalist, and the first days of broadcast news. Kalb captures the excitement of being present at the creation of a whole new way of bringing news immediately to the public, and at a dark time when Cold War tensions were high between Eisenhower’s America and Khrushchev’s Soviet Union. Kalb occupied a unique spot as a student of Russia tasked with explaining Moscow to Washington and the American public. Assigned as Moscow correspondent of CBS News just as the U2 incident—the downing of a US spy plane over Russian territory—was unfolding, Kalb was an eyewitness to history—and as a writer and analyst who helped shape the first draft of that history.
Marvin Kalb is a nonresident senior fellow with the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He focuses on the impact of media on public policy and politics. He is also an expert in national security, with a focus on U.S. relations with Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. His other books include The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956—Khruschev, Stalin's Ghost, and a Young American in Russia; The Road to War: Presidential Commitments Honored and Betrayed; and co-written with Deborah Kalb, Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama. On December 16, 2020, the Silurians Press Club awarded Kalb the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. Kalb’s distinguished journalism career spans more than 30 years and includes award-winning reporting for both CBS and NBC News as chief diplomatic correspondent, Moscow bureau chief, and anchor of NBC’s "Meet the Press." Kalb went on to become founding director of Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Kalb is the Murrow professor emeritus at Harvard and hosts The Kalb Report at the National Press Club.
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