• History Myths

      Why did the Soviet Union collapse? I was told that President Reagan's U.S. military buildup forced the Soviets to spend more on their own military than their communist economy could afford, and that led to collapse.

      But in my syndicated column this week, I argue that widely accepted history may be wrong. Thaddeus Russell, author of "A Renegade History of the United States" claims:

      "As a matter of fact, in general American military intervention has increased anti-Americanism and hardened repressive regimes. On the other hand, American popular culture -- what was often called the worst of our culture in many cases -- has actually done more for liberation and our national security than anything that the 82nd Airborne could do."

      It is possible that American music, especially Rock and Roll and jazz, plus American commercial goods like brand name clothing and Coca-Cola, had more influence than the military buildup. Full column here.