Jokes for the DDCI

On a lighter note, a small selection of Soviet jokes from the recently declassified CIA documents, “Soviet Jokes for the DDCI” (deputy director of central intelligence). I’m not sure if I heard numbers two and three; the rest are familiar in some variation. The stuff’s undated – I’d venture 1987. That year or a little earlier, I heard the one about “no tracks, no tracks” from a classmate.

The one about badmouthing Reagan in front of the Kremlin was already 40 years old in 1987 – an earlier version had “Truman is scum.” The joke about people lining up to shoot Gorbachev has to do with his “anti-alcohol” campaign, begun in May 1985 with the best intentions but extremely unpopular because of its unintended consequences such as vodka lines and sugar shortage.

But why translate so few jokes and so late, or any at all?

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