3The Sudden Cardiac Death Task Force: US-Soviet Collaboration

I don’t rule Russia. Ten thousand clerks rule Russia.—CZAR NICHOLAS IThere is nothing harsher and more soulless than a bureaucratic machine.—VLADIMIR LENIN

IT WAS SEVERAL YEARS before I had another encounter with Soviet society and its mind-numbing bureaucracy. In August 1972 I received an unexpected telephone call from the US State Department. The message was crisp. “Moscow has requested your medical consultation. Patient unknown. Expect to hear from the Soviet Embassy.” A call from the embassy two hours later was similarly unrevealing. All they would confirm was that the patient was female. Neither age, medical problem, nor the gravity of her illness was communicated by Moscow. ...

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