Reactions to The Repatriate: Love, Basketball, and the KGB by Tom Mooradian


In sharing his life behind the Iron Curtain, Tom Mooradian’s book is a must read for today’s generation to fully grasp the terror that cloaked the subjected peoples of the decadent Soviet Union. I’ve known the author since Tom excelled in academics in the classroom and as an All-Star basketball player at Detroit Southwestern High School.

When Tom left for the Soviet Armenian republic in 1947, I was certain Tom’s opinionated comments would eventually earn him a one-way ticket to a Siberian slave labor camp.

But my old classmate survived, thanks to his basketball skills and willingness to teach the game to Soviet athletes. Like his ancestors who survived the Turkish massacres of 1915 and their subsequent enslavement by the Kremlin dictators of the now vanquished Soviet Union, Tom Mooradian’s freedom is a story that needs to be read by those who now question if the Cold War even existed and if a global nuclear conflict was a threat to humankind.

Mitch Kehetian
Macomb Daily Managing Editor, Retired



That’s what I said when I put down your manuscript and stepped out-doors on my sun-drenched lawn and realized I was back home, in Hawaii, and not with you in Copenhagen, where we landed from Moscow, or in Moscow itself, which I too left, 50 years ago.

You brought them all back, raw and graphic memories of the Soviet Union we both knew, which now is no more, and is so different from the sunny Hawaii I knows now. What a contrast.

That’s what I meant when I said “fascinating.”

Everybody smiles here. Everybody we saw on the sidewalks of the Soviet Union stared glumly ahead of them, instantly suspicious if they caught you looking at them.

Fear was everywhere. In America fear is nowhere, comparatively. If anything, we’re cocky.

Your story is of a world that’s gone, thank God. You have brought it back to life, for us to look back on, with horror.

Roy Essoyan
Foreign Correspondent, Retired

Modern press about Tom Mooradian:

New life coming for former Detroit High School Mitch Kehetian
The News Herald, May 21, 2015

My Weekend with Author Tom Mooradian Sam A. Stevens
Taking on a World of Words, October 25, 2014

AABA Presents Book and Breakfast Event
Legal News-Macomb October 17, 2012

From James Dean to Stalin: the tragedy of the Armenian repatriation Hazel Antaramian Hofman, August 17, 2012

Tom Mooradian presents lecture at University of California, November 9, 2011

Tom Mooradian on ‘Love, Basketball, and KGB’ in Watertown
Armenian Weekly, March 25, 2011

Mer Doon Winter/Spring 2010 March 12, 2010 (page 14)

Author Mooradian Speaks to Students
Hye Sharzhoom, December, 2009

Audio of Book Talk at MSU Extension Service’s
“Meet the Author” Luncheon on 4.21.2009

Review: The Repatriate: Love, Basketball, and the KGB Barlow Der Mugredchian
Hye Sharzhoom, March 2009 (page 3)

Interview with Ned Apigian of WHFR-FM’s program:
“Then and Now” on 11.29.2008

Author tells tale of love, hoops, and the USSR Pat Murphy
Observer Eccentric, December 7, 2008

The Repatriate Reveals True Life Behind Iron Curtain Betty Apigian Kessel
The Armenian Weekly November 22, 2008

The Repatriat by Tom Mooradian Mitch Kehetian
The Macomb Daily September 22, 2008

How Basketball Saved Tom Mooradian’s Life Mitch Kehetian
The Armenian Reporter  September 6, 2008 (page C4)

New Book Recounts an American’s Experience in the Soviet Union
Asbarez August 22, 2008 

Detroit PSL basketball teams

1960’s Press

Tom Mooradian created quite a stir in the press upon his return to the United States in the 1960’s.  You can click on the images of the newspaper articles below to get the full story:

Detroiter Ends 13-Year Lark
The Detroit News, August 5, 1960

Mystery Man Back in US George Bick
The Detroit News, circa August 1960

Terror Still On in Russia Mitch Kehetian
The Detroit Times August 21, 1960

Back From Soviet Exile
Newspaper Unknown, August 3, 1960