One Year: 1986

Season 3: Episode 7

The Man From Fifth Avenue

The stranger-than-fiction story of a mysterious American who starred in a Soviet propaganda film.

Advertisement

Episode Notes

Episode Notes

After Joe Mauri gets evicted from his New York apartment, he becomes a star in the USSR, the subject of a documentary about the injustices of capitalism. But this Cold War icon was using the Soviets just as much as they used him.

This episode of One Year was produced by Evan Chung, Sam Kim, Yana Pashaeva, Sophie Summergrad, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin.

Derek John is senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director.

Sources for This Episode

Books

Andronov, Iona. Русская любовь янки Джо: мемуарные рассказы, Спорт и культура - 2000, 2011.

Mickiewicz, Ellen, Split Signals: Television and Politics in the Soviet Union, Oxford University Press, 1988.

Satter, David. Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union, A. A. Knopf, 1996.

Articles

A Soviet journalist charged Thursday that the CIA was…,” United Press International, July 14, 1983.

Anderson, Jack and Les Whitten. “Communist Air Gains for 1980s Cited,” Washington Post, Nov. 20, 1975.

Andronov, Iona. “Letters to the editor,” Washington Post, Dec. 23, 1975.

Barringer, Felicity. ” ’Homeless’ New Yorker: Postscript in Soviet,” New York Times, Aug. 11, 1986.

Boorstin, Robert O. “Guest of Soviet Back With Plea for More Homes,” New York Times, Sept. 1, 1986.

Boorstin, Robert O. “New Yorker in a Russian’s-Eye View of the City,” New York Times, April 9, 1986.

“Con Man From Fifth Avenue,” New York Daily News, Aug. 14, 1986.

Cooney, John E. “Soviet Newsman Here is Less Than Objective in His Reports Home,” Wall Street Journal, Aug. 29, 1979.

Dorfman, Ron. “Media bias hinders relations,” Columbia Record, March 21, 1987.

Duggan, Dennis. “A ‘Homeless’ Man With Places to Go,” Newsday, Aug. 14, 1986.

Duggan, Dennis. “New York Diary: Mauri: I’m No Cheat, No Commie,” Newsday, Sept. 4, 1986.

Fisher, Franklin. “Just a patriot, he says,” New York Daily News, Sept. 2, 1986.

Fulman, Ricki. “Council hits eviction of jobless man,” New York Daily News, April 5, 1985.

Fulman, Ricki. “Hope for tenant in eviction fight,” New York Daily News, April 9, 1985.

Geist, William E. “About New York; Tenants vs. Owners: A New West Side Story,” New York Times, Aug. 3, 1985.

Gordy, Margaret. “The Neighbors Won’t Welcome Him Home,” Newsday, Sept. 2, 1986.

” ‘Homeless’ American in Russia reveals he has job, home,” United Press International, Aug. 11, 1986.

Hopkins, Ellen. “The Dispossessed,” New York, May 13, 1985.

Kandel, Bethany. “Unknown New Yorker Becomes Celebrity in Soviet Union,” Associated Press, Aug. 2, 1986.

Keller, Bill. “Political Prisoners: The Sakharov List,” New York Times, Dec. 28, 1986.

Kerr, Peter. “Million Join Hands Across U.S. to Aid the Homeless and Hungry,” New York Times, May 26, 1986.

Krajicek, David J. “Poor excuse: ‘Homeless’ Yank back from USSR,” New York Daily News, Sept. 1, 1986.

“‘Li’l Abner’ Next at Municipal Opera,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 30, 1963.

“Man From Fifth Avenue Returns to United States,” Associated Press, Aug. 31, 1986.

“Melody Fair Presents ‘Wish You Were Here,’” Frontier Herald, July 4, 1961.

Milligan, Susan. “Landlady slams Joe; says his name is on lease,” New York Daily News, Sept. 3, 1986.

Newspaper: Evicted ‘Man From Fifth Avenue’ Has Two Homes,” Associated Press, Aug. 12, 1986.

“Newspaper: Moscow’s ‘Man From Fifth Avenue’ Could Make 35K,” Associated Press, Aug. 11, 1986.

Olsen, Ken. “ ‘Man From Fifth Avenue’ Big Hit in Moscow,” Associated Press, Aug. 6, 1986.

Palmer, Thomas. “From 3 cases, a question: Is the press too gullible?,” Boston Globe, Aug. 15, 1986.

Parshall, Gerald. “An Amerikanski superstar,” U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 25, 1986.

“Professional Help,” Wall Street Journal, Aug. 12, 1986.

Remnick, David. “America: Love It Or Loathe It,” New York Times Magazine, June 6, 1993.

Ross, Barbara. “2 abodes? Say it ain’t so, Joe,” New York Daily News, Aug. 12, 1986.

Ross, Barbara. “Snow job on Sovs,” New York Daily News, Aug. 9, 1986.

Ross, Barbara. “Yank in Sov could be 1 home less,” New York Daily News, Aug. 14, 1986.

“Soviet Visitor Defends Himself As a Patriot, Not a Traitor,” Associated Press, Sept. 2, 1986.

Soviets accuse U.S. of breeding killer mosquitoes,” United Press International, Feb. 3, 1982.

Taubman, Philip. “Through a Soviet Lens: Gomorrah on Hudson,” New York Times, April 7, 1986.

The Great Pretender,” Time, Aug. 25, 1986.

The man who starred in a Russian documentary about…,” United Press International,  Sept. 1, 1986.

Trehub, Aaron. “The homeless: down and out in the USSR,” Christian Science Monitor, May 19, 1988.

White, Michael. “Defective defector angers New York: ‘Jobless’ New Yorker Joseph Mauri’s visit to Soviet Union,” the Guardian, Aug. 13, 1986.

“‘Wish You Were Here’ at Muny Opera,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, July 30, 1961.

Zarakhovich, Yuri. “Love in the Time of Cold War,” Time, June 20, 2004.

Advertisement

About the Show

The people and struggles that changed America—one year at a time. In each episode, host Josh Levin explores a story you may have forgotten, or one you’ve never heard of before. What were the moments that transformed politics, culture, science, religion, and more? And how does the nation’s past shape our present?

The third season of One Year covers 1986, a year when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, the mystery of Al Capone’s vaults got solved, and a sea lion named Herschel caused chaos in Seattle.


All episodes

Host