Crash Bag, Vol. 66: Destroyed in Seconds

It seems like everyone who went to college had that one professor who really made a profound impact on his or her own life. I had, like, nine. And one of those was Gordon Smith, a political science professor at South Carolina. If you go there, or know someone who does, I can’t recommend Dr. Smith enough as a professor.

Dr. Smith is one of the leading American leading scholars of Russian politics, and his career dates back long enough that he was a visiting professor at Leningrad State law school in the 1970s, where one of his students was the young Vladimir Putin. One of the advantage to taking a class on Russian foreign policy from someone who’d been to the USSR as much as Dr. Smith had is that his lectures are dotted with colorful and relevant anecdotes, such as this one.

On the night the Soviet Union fell, Dr. Smith’s phone rang. It was a colleague from Moscow.

“Gordon,” he said. “You’ll never guess where I am right now.”
“Well, where are you? Are you okay?”
“I broke into the Kremlin. And there’s nobody here.”

This has nothing to do with baseball, except I’m getting a fall-of-the-Soviet Union vibe about the Phillies right now.

Thanks again to Justin Klugh for filling in last week, but I’m back now and I’m ready to answer some questions. Continue reading…