Louis Menashe
New Academia Publishing, 2018
278 Pages, 24 Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9995572-0-4 Paperback
ISBN 978-0-9995572-1-1 Hardcover
Price: $26.00 Paperback
$38.00 Hardcover

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About the Author

Louis Menashe’s previous book, Moscow Believes in Tears: Russians and Their Movies, was awarded “Outstanding Academic Title” by Choice, the publication of the American Library Association, in 2011. He was also an Associate Producer for two award winning PBS documentaries on Gorbachev and Sakharov, the experiences of which are described in this current memoir.  He is Professor Emeritus, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, where he taught Russian History and Film and Contemporary World History and published widely in those areas. Dr. Menashe has been a consultant to the Film Division of the Museum of Modern Art and ABC Television and is a longtime contributor to, and Associate Editor of, the distinguished film magazine, Cineaste. He was drawn to radical politics, fashioning himself a “scholar-activist” for whom an understanding of Russian, particularly Soviet Russian history, and a quixotic quest for a socialist America seemed to complement each other. He lives with his wife, Sheila, in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, not far from Little Odessa by the Sea (also known as Brighton Beach).

About the book

A captivating lifetime of personal and professional experiences by an American historian, film specialist and documentary filmmaker in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia. The author’s experiences as a radical in the turbulent 1960s, and his eventual disenchantment offer some precedents and perspectives to all those on the Left, Center or Right interested in the fluctuations of American politics. The vivid log of hopes and disillusions is related in a candid, non-academic style, and set against a panorama of history and politics in the late 20th century.


“A self-described scholar-activist, Menashe weaves together political, intellectual, and cultural currents of leftist life, and draws a vivid picture of people and places, life-changing adventures, the intellectual and political challenges of graduate school during the Cold War, encounters with key Russian literary and political figures, and much more. Then comes the crash, the Soviet Union’s end. As in all failed love affairs, Menashe retains some sweet memories. The reader will taste them long after reading the Memoir.”

—Carole Turbin, Professor Emerita, History and Sociology, SUNY/Empire State College.