Profiles Interviews

Foreign Service Officer Jack Matlock

Owen Johnson interviews Jack Matlock, a specialist in Soviet affairs during some of the most tumultuous years of the Cold War.

Headshot of Jack Matlock in wireframe glasses and open-necked shirt, smiling

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Jack Matlock

I always found living in Moscow exhilarating, in the sense that what we were trying to do . . . and to influence what was going on, was so important.

Jack Matlock served for 35 years as a career diplomat, including tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991.

Now retired, he is the author of several books including Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended, Superpower Illusions, Autopsy on an Empire; and a handbook to the thirteen-volume Russian edition of Stalin’s Collected Works.

He is also a historian and linguist, and teaches at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs.

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