Grace Kennan Warnecke's Memoir, "Daughter of the Cold War"

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with author Grace Kennan Warnecke discussing her new memoir "Daughter of the Cold War," whose life story pulls back the Cold War's Iron Curtain.

5/29/18 #2145






"Grace Kennan Warnecke is the author of a compelling book called Daughter of the Cold War. Good to see you Grace. Good to be here. I was just saying, before we got into this interview on air, you've led an amazing life. I have. Born in? Riga, Latvia. Yeah. And describe your childhood. My childhood's hard to describe, because with constant motion, it changed all the time. By the time I was 12, I spoke five languages. I spoke English, Norwegian, German, Portuguese, and Russian. I never went to the same school twice till I was in the 11th grade. Because? Because my father was in the Foreign Service. Tell everyone who your father...? My father was a... later became a well-known Ambassador to the Soviet Union. That's right. George Kennan, who formulated the containment policy, which was our policy towards Russia for over 50 years. Yeah, so it's interesting. You are an expert on, and care deeply about, US-Russia relations? I never considered myself an expert, but maybe I am. Well you know it well! I do know it well. Yeah. And why is that relationship so critically important to, not just the US, Russia, but the world? Well because we're among the largest countries in the world. We're in that group. And for many years, when it was the Soviet Union... the Soviet Union was a very powerful and large country. And we were the two major... China was just starting up. That's right. They weren't considered part of "the group" really. You went to public school in the Soviet Union? I went to public school in Moscow. Describe that. It was a regular public school, where we... Regular? Well there were no other foreign children, the embassies did not allow them, it was wartime. It was just you? And we got there because our previous post had been Portugal, they couldn't get us back to the United States, so I was the only foreigner in the whole school, except for the daughter of a Chinese communist who seemed to live there full-time. Hmm. And when I started, I didn't speak a word of Russian, I was 12 years old and I was just put in school, and the first day, at that point, it was single sex education. So it was all girls. The first day they all shoved around me, putting me in a corner, and lifted up my skirts because they wanted to see what American underwear looked like. Did they think that...? Woah, hold... what? That really happened? It was... yes. I was... Did they think you were some sort of spy? No they didn't. We were allies. It was World... Oh... you know, put that in context for us. Yeah. So... Explain that for..."