After the Cold War, the American self-image became that of the "sole superpower." We were the only 800-pound gorilla in the world, and therefore we could do what we pleased without having to worry about any other country's ability to stop us. Russia, under Putin, is reasserting itself as the second weighty gorilla in the room.
She was little more than 5 when she first felt the ebonies and ivories. This was an easy thing to do because her family possessed a piano. It was crammed into the one-room apartment in Moscow where she, her parents and her two siblings arranged their cots around their other significant piece of furniture, a round table.