Reluctant Cold -Warrior

The Soviet bloc's abstention on the Declaration of Human Rights, after all her effort as well as that of others to find language that would be acceptable to the Soviet group, confirmed anew for her the difficulty of dealing with the Russians. She was not prepared to say that agreement was impossible and certainly she was not resigned, as some Americans were, to the inevitability of war, but she no longer believed, as she did at the beginning of her career as an American representative to the United Nations, that at the heart of Soviet aggressiveness were insecurity, fear, and a misunderstanding of U. S. intentions that genuine dialogue with her Soviet colleagues might help to overcome. Real communication, she found, was impossible, no matter how hard she tried.

A letter that she received from Harry Hopkins just before she left for the London General Assembly and her first encounter with the Russians represented the view of many of Roosevelt's New Deal associates about the breakup of Big Three unity.

I cannot say I am too happy about the way the atom bomb is being handled. In fact, I think we are doing almost everything we can to break with Russia which seems so unnecessary to me. 1

Her run-in with Vishinsky in London over the issue of forced repatriation gave her a taste of how difficult it was to reconcile the outlooks and interests of East and West; yet she thought that with patience, firmness, and a willingness to look at Russia's economic and security needs without self-righteousness a harmonization of interests might in time be achieved. When, during the quick trip that she made to occupied Germany after the London meetings,

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Eleanor: The Years Alone


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