American Tourism in the Soviet Union & What It Can Tell Us About U.S.-Russia Relations Past and Present w/ Sean Guillory
On this edition of Parallax Views, the SRB Podcast's Sean Guillory returns to discuss his new documentary podcast series Teddy Goes to the USSR. This new series chronicles American tourism to the USSR during the Cold War through the story of Teddy Roe's visit to the Soviet Union. In doing so the series offers a window into how people from different cultures view each other in light of Otherizing and getting a better understanding of the lived experiences of everyday people in the USSR.
Among the topics we cover in this conversation:
- Who Teddy Roe is, how he ended up visiting the USSR in 1968, and his connection to U.S. politics and Congress
- Racism and the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. during the Cold War and the Soviet response to it; Soviet anti-racist ideology
- Consumerism in the Soviet Union and the misunderstandings about it based on American metrics; the Soviet Dream and the American Dream
- KGB surveillance of American tourists
- Why American wanted to visit the Soviet Union during the Cold War and why Soviets welcomed tourism; American soft power and U.S. tourists in the USSR
- How different were everyday people in both the U.S. and the Soviet Union from each other (or how similar were they to each other)?
- Soviet humor, comedy, and satire
- The burden of the Cold War and the shadow it casts over the U.S. and Russia today
- How the Teddy Goes to the USSR series came about; how Sean ended up finding out about Roe's story and contacting him
- The taboo allure of the Soviet Union to Americans during the Cold War
- And much, much more!