Alternative Paths: Soviets and Americans, 1917-1920 by David W. McFadden

By David W. McFadden

Among 1917 and 1920--from the Bolshevik Revolution to the definitive assertion of yank competition to Bolshevik Russia--Soviets and american citizens sought for how one can influence significant interactions among their international locations within the absence of formal diplomatic family. in the course of those years, wide-ranging discussions happened on a number of critical concerns, from army collaboration and financial kinfolk to the great payment of political and army disputes. whilst, large debates came about in either international locations in regards to the nature of the relatives among them. As McFadden exhibits during this pathbreaking publication, in accordance with learn in Soviet information in addition to formerly unused deepest collections and executive information within the usa and nice Britain, a stunning variety of concrete agreements have been reached among the 2 international locations. those incorporated persevered operation of the yankee pink pass in Russia, the move of conflict fabrics from the Russian military to the americans, the sale of strategic provides of platinum from the Bolsheviks to the USA, and the exemption of a couple of American organizations from Soviet govt nationalization decrees. quite a few vital diplomats and politicians have been concerned about those negotiations. McFadden bargains a well timed reevaluation in a post-Cold battle period.

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This included reading of reports from abroad, as well as developing policy memoranda and personal reports for Lansing and screening mail and requests for personal interviews for those outside the Department. 12 State Department Counselor Frank Polk was in a particularly advantageous position. Not only did he have the ear of Lansing, but he was close to Colonel House as well, and his right-hand man, Gordon Auchincloss, was House's son-in-law. 13 Polk tended to play a confidential and cautious role.

Trotsky distinguished carefully among the various Allies from the beginning. He always viewed the United States (as did Lenin) as the most potentially friendly to (or at least tolerant of) Bolshevik power. He adopted a strategy designed to appeal to the United States, obtain assistance against the 22 The Soviet-American Context Germans if necessary, and forestall full-scale American support for Allied intervention. S. and British representatives who met with Trotsky, including General William V.

76 The long-range political goal remained diplomatic recognition, but in the short run more pragmatic aims were the reduction of assistance to counterrevolution or intervention. In either case, the Soviets believed that economic ties would assist political breakthroughs. 77 Lenin was vehement at times in his insistence that economic and political discussions needed to be separated for tactical reasons, and that the details of economic proposals needed to be pursued on their own merits, if there was any hope of achieving later political breakthroughs.

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