Frank Thoms

Frank Thoms

After twenty-five years in the classroom teaching Marxism, Russian History, and Soviet Communism, I first traveled behind the Iron Curtain in October 1985. After seven more trips, the last to the new Russia, three years after the fall of Gorbachev and Communism, I began writing about my insights into the Russian people––and my insights into being with them.

From 1986–1991, I taught English in four Soviet schools in three cities, Leningrad, Moscow, and Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan. Twice I was selected as a US–Soviet exchange teacher, and twice I taught in schools on my own. 

My detailed accounts of these encounters offer an inside look at the Russians, their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and fears. These stories offer a perspective on a people who are now engaged in massive demonstrations in support of Alexander Navalny, who Putin has arrested and imprisoned. Navalny has exposed Putin for who he is, corrupt beyond corruption. The Russian people across the country are saying enough is enough.

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Behind the Red Veil

"Frank Thoms’s Behind the Red Veil is not only a souvenir from the USSR but to a great extent an insight into what Russian schools feel deep inside. When Frank appeared at my school, he did not feel, look, or smell like a teacher. His teaching and learning was the Klondike of new experience, both for him and me."
— Mikhail Baushev, Former teacher at School Nº185

"An interesting and insightful perspective of an American educator's experience within the Soviet education system. Thoms manages to write his story with warmth and wisdom. A delightful read."
— Pavel Kozhevnikov, Lecturer of Russian Language and Cultures, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs