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The Lady Who Warmed Up the Cold War | The Daily Beast - July 14, 2017 |

In forming his perceptions of the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan had a friend--a well-dressed, attractive, Russian-speaking, fifty-year-old woman whose ideas about what was happening in Moscow and Leningrad made a bigger impression upon the president of the United States than the reporting and analysis of the Central Intelligence Agency. Her name was Suzanne Massie. She was a writer and author, not an established Soviet scholar. She first met the president on January 17, 1984, when National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane brought her into the Oval Office to give Reagan a report on a recent visit to the Soviet Union. They hit it off immediately.

The setting was hardly intimate. Reagan was flanked by several other senior officials, including McFarlane, Vice President George Bush and Reagan's three top White House aides, Michael Deaver, James Baker and Edwin Meese. Nevertheless, as Massie proceeded to describe the mood in Moscow, she focused directly on the president as though he were the only person in the room. Whatever she did worked. Reagan was by nature so remote and impersonal that even distinguished visitors sometimes left wondering if he knew their names--and yet on this occasion, Reagan forged some sort of bond with Massie.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 26th, 2022 at 11:31:52 AM EST
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