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2Early Russian Connections

Russians are more famous for their poetry than their industry.—BILL KELLER, New York Times, 1991

AT A TIME WHEN the United States and the USSR were threatening to destroy each other, physicians from the two hostile countries shared the helm of IPPNW. The organization could not have come into being had I not cultivated a Russian connection in the preceding fifteen years.

The connection began in an improbable way, when I made a guess based on a pair of shoes. The place was India, the year 1966; the occasion was the Fifth World Congress of Cardiology. I was about get on an elevator at the Ashoka Hotel in New Delhi when a short, brisk, well-attired man approached. As I tried to place him, I happened to glance down ...

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