from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A domestic cat of a large breed developed in France from a Burmese breed, having a long cream-colored coat with dark ears, face, tail, and legs, white paws, and blue eyes.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A medium size semi-longhair
domestic cat breedoriginating in Burma.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Birman stuck to his views and drew further scorn later that decade by predicting that Mikhail Gorbachev would lack the will to make the far-reaching economic reforms that were the only way to save the Soviet political system.
For this apostasy, these Western elites ostracized and criticized Birman, saying that his views were by definition biased because he was an emigre.
An occasional contributor to this newspaper, Birman was especially critical of the CIA and most Western experts for trusting too much in Moscow's official claims.
Perhaps because he had served as a director of planning in Soviet factories, Birman had a profound distrust of Soviet statistics and believed its economy was smaller and could support far less nonmilitary consumption than nearly all Sovietologists in the West believed at the time.
Birman, who died on April 6 at age 82, was a Russian economist who emigrated to the U.S. in 1974 and predicted the collapse of the Soviet economy.
Birman's insight that the Soviet Union was far weaker than it seemed from its military prowess was implicitly adopted by Ronald Reagan when he famously predicted in 1982 that "freedom and democracy will leave Marxism and Leninism on the ash heap of history."
Two men who were right about the Cold War and the great debates of the 20th century—William Rusher and Igor Birman—recently died and deserve more notice than they've received.
In a 2003 essay, "The Failure of the American Sovietological Economics Profession," John Howard Wilhelm recounted the debate between Birman and the CIA, concluding that "Given what has happened and what we now know, Birman clearly did get it right."
That dismissal was unfair to Birman's scholarship, but it also had profound implications for U.S. policy during the last decades of the Cold War.
Bill Rusher and Igor Birman dared to challenge the liberal establishment.