My childhood was disturbingly defined by the mood of two songs: Sting’s Russians and Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction. (Thanks, local radio DJs for playing the former ad nauseam; thanks, Mom and Dad for playing the latter ad nauseam.) I couldn’t quite tell what frightened me more: the nebulous evil known as The Russians, or the not-so-nebulous phenomenon known as Ronald Reagan repeatedly admonishing me to fear The Russians. Then in 1989, Mr. Gorbachev tore down that wall in Berlin and Ronald Reagan ended his tenure in the White House.

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