I thought the article was pretty near excellent. Serge Schemann is a newsman and has worked as an Orthodox Christian in the secular press, not as a cleric or theologian. There was a wisp of the secular newsman in parts of the article, but I attributed that to professional habit, not to his Orthodox heart.
I completely understood his wonder at his father's journal speaking to Russian readers. Our religion is Eastern, but we are Western people in every way but our religion. Russians are Eastern people and so is their religion. The abomination of communism was really a western virus that attacked the Eastern Russian people; the only reason it worked is that it was authoritarian and Russians love authoritarian political leadership. So, anyway, what could the Western life experiences of an Eastern religious(Orthodoxy) practitioner possibly say to Eastern people? That was Serge's question, in my estimation.
Well the answer is ALOT. This people were held in captivity to a Western religious, political and intellectual virus (communism) and when they emerged out from under it and rediscovered their Eastern faith as Eastern people, they were immediately infected with the Western virus of consumerism and secular entertainments.
So the experiences of a man who grappled with fighting these viruses in his own life as an Orthodox Christian, priest and theologian -- because the Western academy in which, as a theologian and author, was the millieu he found himself in in American academia and which was sympathetic at least and openly in favor of at worst toward the virus of communism -- this on the one hand and on the other, living in an increasingly consumerist, materialistic and secular Western society -- there really is alot of commonality there.
Plus, just as when we read the works of a truly Eastern, Eastern Orthodox; an Easterner reading the work of a Western Eastern Orthodox, there is the exotic factor which makes it more interesting for its otherness.