Frank Thoms

Frank Thoms

After twenty-five years in the classroom teaching Marxism, Russian History, and Soviet Communism, I first ventured behind the Iron Curtain in October 1985. I took seven more trips, the last to the new Russia three years after the fall of Gorbachev and Communism. When the Russians interfeared with our elections, I decided to write about my insights into the Russian people––and my insights into being with them.

I was fortunate to be invited teach English in four Soviet schools in three cities, Leningrad, Moscow, and Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, from 1986–1991. Twice I was a US–Soviet exchange teacher, and twice a teacher in schools on my own. I have written intimate accounts of my encounters, which offers an inside look at the Russians during the Gorbachev era, their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and fears.

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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