This is a lively, readable, and informative account of life in Moscow by the wife of a Canadian military attaché who witnessed the last days of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War
Janice Cowan was trained by the Canadian government for her role in Moscow. She and her husband went to spy school in Canada to learn how to gather intelligence for her country. She put this into practice as they lived and traveled in the former Soviet Union. She was in the thick of events during the coup against Gorbachev in 1991, and the attempted coup against Yeltsin in 1993. In her account of this experience, she offers fascinating insights into spycraft in the nineties as well as lively anecdotes and stories about the role of an 'official wife'. Janice Cowan traveled widely, visiting many cities in Russia and learning about many of the now-independent countries. She took a job on an independent English-language Moscow newspaper which gave her the inside track on politics while Russia was emerging from the ruins of the Soviet Union. This book is a unique story, told from a unique viewpoint, of a key period in Russian history. It offers a rare inside look into the world of contemporary Canadian diplomacy abroad.