Conclusion: A Counter-Narrative to Stereotype
Of course, Michale was not the only one to realize the power of stories in the Cold War. In fact, the US and the USSR used stories to create a patriotic narrative about themselves, and a derogatory narrative about their opponent. However, Michale's work in creating human-to-human connections through storytelling served as a counter to the derogatory stories that were shared by each of the states about one another - her goal was to break down barriers, not reinforce them.
Undoubtedly, Michale did this, even accomplishing this goal before she travelled to the Soviet Union for the first time in 1984 — this is evidenced by her ability to gather thousands of letters for her original visit. Past this, she continued to achieve her vision by cultivating a passion for storytelling and cultural understanding in the children and adults she trained: those that went to the Soviet Union in the delegations she participated in were representatives of America — the children she visited wanted Americans “not to hate [them],” and to “be their friends”. Beyond this, her exuberance spawned the formation and the heart of Accent on Understanding, that would continue her work in facilitating cultural understanding, despite using slightly different techniques.