Glossary

Cold War: The Cold War, often dated from 1945–1991, was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc, dominated by the United States with NATO and other allies; versus powers in the Eastern Bloc, dominated by the Soviet Union with the Warsaw Pact and other allies.

Communism: A revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. This movement, in its Marxist–Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the "socialist world" (socialist states ruled by communist parties) and the "western world" (countries with capitalist economies).

KGB: The commonly used initialism for the Russian: Committee for State Security. It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1917 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time. The KGB has been considered a military service and was governed by army laws and regulations, similar to the Soviet Army or MVD Internal Troops. While most of the KGB archives remain classified, two on-line documentary sources are available

Ronald Regan: The 40th President of the United States, in office from 1981-1989. During his Presidency, Reagan pursued policies that reflected his personal belief in individual freedom, brought changes domestically, both to the U.S. economy and expanded military, and contributed to the end of the Cold War. Termed the Reagan Revolution, his presidency would reinvigorate American morale and reduce the people's reliance upon government.

Sleeper: A sleeper agent is one who has infiltrated into the target country and 'gone to sleep', sometimes for many years. That is, he or she does nothing to communicate with his or her sponsor nor any existing agents, nor to obtain information beyond that in public sources. They can also be referred to as 'deep cover' agents. They acquire jobs and identities—ideally ones which will prove useful in the future—and attempt to blend into everyday life as normal citizens. Counter-espionage agencies in the target country cannot, in practice, closely watch all of those who might possibly have been recruited some time before.

USSR/Soviet Union: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics abbreviated to USSR or the Soviet Union, was a constitutionally socialist state that existed between 1922 and 1991, ruled as a single-party state by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital. A union of 15 sub-national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized.

Timeline

The Americans

Learn a bit more about the history and setting of 'The Americans' through our timeline of the Cold War.

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Quiz

The Americans

How do you think you'd fare as a Soviet KGB officer living in America? Could you act as a convincing American?

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