The Daily Beast

‘The Americans’ Creator: Being in the CIA Made Me Empathize With the KGB

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Joseph Weisberg’s book Russia Upside Down started with a lecture he never gave. The Americans showrunner worked briefly in the CIA, where his fascination with, and research about, Russia began. However, the lecture would be on counterintelligence, which wasn’t his field of expertise.

Instead of throwing away his Russia notes for the canceled class, he decided to write a book about it. And his stance is clear: Russia is not as bad as we think it is.

“I read this book by a guy who had been a KGB officer and his book was about him and his friends [in the] KGB,” he tells Molly Jong-Fast on this bonus episode of The New Abnormal. “And they sounded exactly like me and my friends from the CIA.”

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