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ASSIGNMENT RUSSIA
by MARVIN KALB

in conversation with AMBASSADOR EMERSON

The chilliest years of the Cold War marked the entrance of
a young man who would go on to become one of America’s
preeminent diplomatic correspondents. Handpicked by the
legendary Edward R. Murrow to join the ranks of an esteemed news network, Marvin Kalb takes readers back to his first days as a journalist, and what also were the first days of broadcast news.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Marvin Kalb, the award-winning journalist who has written extensively about the world he reported on during his long career, now turns his eye on the young man who became that journalist. Chosen by legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow to become one of what came to be known as the Murrow Boys, Kalb in this newest volume of his memoirs takes readers back to his first days as a journalist, and what also were the first days of broadcast news.

Kalb captures the excitement of being present at the creation of a whole new way of bringing news immediately to the public. And what news. Cold War tensions were high between Eisenhower's America and Khrushchev's Soviet Union. Kalb is at the center, occupying a unique spot as a student of Russia tasked with explaining Moscow to Washington and the American public. He joins a cast of legendary figures along the way, from Murrow himself to Eric Severeid, Howard K. Smith, Richard Hottelet, Charles Kuralt, and Daniel Schorr among many others. He finds himself assigned as Moscow correspondent of CBS News just as the U2 incident--the downing of a US spy plane over Russian territory--is unfolding.

As readers of his first volume, The Year I Was Peter the Great, will recall, being the right person, in the right place, at the right time found Kalb face to face with Khrushchev. Assignment Russia sees Kalb once again an eyewitness to history--and a writer and analyst who has helped shape the first draft of that history.

Kalb witnessed and interpreted many of the defining events of the Cold War. In Assignment Russia he ultimately finds himself assigned as Moscow correspondent for CBS News just as the U-2 incident--the downing of a U.S. spy plane over Russian territory--is unfolding. Kalb brings alive once again the tension that surrounded that event, and the reportorial skills deployed to illuminate it.

Like The Year I Was Peter the Great, the first volume in a series of memoirs narrating his earlier life, Assignment Russia brings us Kalb once again as an eyewitness to history--and a writer and analyst who has helped shape the first draft of that history.

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MARVIN KALB

Author

Marvin Kalb is a nonresident senior fellow with the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He focuses on the impact of media on public policy and politics. He is also an expert in national security, with a focus on U.S. relations with Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. Kalb’s distinguished journalism career spans more than 30 years and includes award-winning reporting for both CBS and NBC News as chief diplomatic correspondent, Moscow bureau chief, and anchor of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Kalb went on to become founding director of Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Kalb is the Murrow professor emeritus at Harvard and hosts The Kalb Report at the National Press Club.

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AMBASSADOR JOHN EMERSON

in conversation

John B. Emerson is vice chairman of Capital Group International, Inc. He has 19 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. He most recently served as the United States ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2015, John was awarded the State Department’s Susan M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to one non-career ambassador, and in 2017 he was awarded the CIA Medal and the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service award.

Prior to accepting the ambassadorial posting, John was president of Private Client Services for the Capital Group Companies. Before joining Capital, he was deputy assistant to President Clinton where he coordinated his economic conferences, served as the president’s liaison to the nation’s governors, and led the administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement and the extension of China s MFN trading status. Additionally, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Before working in the Clinton White House, John served as Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney, and was a partner in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg, and Phillips.