The Special Russian Way: The Origin and Evolution of Russian Perceptions about the United States

  • Nikolai Zlobin
Part of the The CERI Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (CERI)


When I was a student at a Moscow elementary school, one of my class duties involved the preparation of so-called political information for my classmates. Political information took up 10 minutes of our daily class time and was devoted to global events of the past 24 hours. My tasks were: to make a list of the daily presenters and to remind them about it the night before; to supply the information if someone fell sick; and finally, to make sure that 90 percent of the news was devoted to exposing “American imperialism.”


United States Political Culture Russian Society Religious Pluralism Public Sentiment 
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    One amusing but typical example of the persistence of stereotypes is a magnum opus prepared in the years of perestroika by a large collective of leading Americanists and published under the editorship of Yevgeny Primakov, G. Arbatov, and others: Современные Соединенные Штаты Америки: Энциклопедичеокий справочник (Moscow: Political Literature Publishing House, 1988). In it, the chapter devoted to the Communist Party of the United States is longer than the space devoted to the rest of the political parties combined, including the Democratic and the Republican, (pp. 94–101). American foreign policy is described as unambiguously aggressive, militaristic, and conducted in bad faith (pp. 262–271), the economy is described as constantly in crisis (pp. 136–140), and the mass media are characterized as having a “propaganda complex” (p. 404).Google Scholar
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    The Eurasian idea has once again begun gaining popularity in Russian society. Its intellectual elaborator has become the “Eurasia” party, with Alexander Dugin at the helm. See A. Dugin, Евразийский путь как национальная идея (Moscow: Arktogea-Center, 2002). It contends, in part, that “Russia either has a Eurasian future or none at all. Our task is to comprehend and triumphantly solidify around the world the Russian Eurasian truth” pp. 15, 17.Google Scholar
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© Tony Judt and Denis Lacorne 2005

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  • Nikolai Zlobin

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