cymru: Silver Heraldic Lion with blue tongue facing left (Default)
[personal profile] cymru
[livejournal.com profile] pernishus, [livejournal.com profile] leiacat

I was reading _Strange History_ and one of the vignettes was on how to spot a Communist. It got me to wondering, did the USSR ever publish that sort of nonsense with titles like "How to Spot an American" or "How to Spot a Capitalist"?  If so, could y'all point me at a copy?

Date: 2016-08-12 05:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pernishus.livejournal.com
Sorry -- nothing comes immediately to mind. I remember on my first visit to the USSR (under Brezhnev, back in 1972) one was occasionally told that it was obvious one was a westerner from one's shoes.... Leiacat may well be better informed on this topic than I am.

Date: 2016-08-12 05:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pernishus.livejournal.com
I did find this -- google translate will probably give you the flavour of it -- http://lib.rin.ru/doc/i/194392p.html

Date: 2016-08-12 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cymrullewes.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2016-08-12 02:26 pm (UTC)
ext_85396: (Wisdom/Zen)
From: [identity profile] unixronin.livejournal.com
One assumes that Western operatives sent to the USSR would be properly provided with locally sourced clothing to eliminate obvious cues like Western shoes. For other details, I think we were wondering whether the USSR had anything as ridiculous as the US idea that adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance was a foolproof Com-mew-nist detector because them goldurn pinko Commies would be unable to bring themselves to say the word god without their heads figuratively exploding.

There is on the other hand the means by which many American spies of other covert operatives in Nazi Germany were caught simply by watching them eat. European or British natives would eat with their knife in their right hand and their fork in their left; but Americans could be relied upon to forget and cut their meat up first, then transfer their fork to their right hand and eat with the fork alone. Nobody who grew up in Europe would do that.

Date: 2016-08-23 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
I do wonder if there was as much fear in the USSR about Americans/westerners. There were a fair number of villains in the US who were Russians of great power and evil, but a writer claimed that the same was not true in reverse - the Americans were portrayed as dupes or corporate lackeys. ("Dupe" doesn't mean ineffective - one can be duped into doing amazing things that one wouldn't do if one were wiser.) So: there were no American Ivan Dragos (was the claim I saw presented).

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