The Rise and Fall of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

By Robert Underhill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 22. RUSSIA: THE ENIGMA

“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a
riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

—Winston Churchill, October 1, 1939

_________________________

The land commonly called Russia was in those days more formally the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Soviet Union, inheritor of the Russian Empire, was a patchwork of heterogeneous republics and was the largest state on earth, covering more than one seventh of its land surface and consisting of a population somewhat in excess of 201,000,000 persons. While St. Petersburg (or Leningrad) had served as capital from 1712 to 1918, Moscow was once again the capital, and its rule extended from the Baltic and the Black Seas to the Pacific Ocean, and from the Arctic Ocean to the borders of China, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. Western borders of the USSR touched on the frontiers of Finland, Norway, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania. In a broad sense, the USSR consisted of four distinct zones of climate and vegetation: the arctic zone being a tundra region, the central zone an area densely forested and having a humid continental climate, the southern zone consisting mostly of fertile steppes with rich black-earth soils, and the Central Asiatic republics mainly vast hot, arid deserts.

Serfdom was the nature of peasant labor for centuries throughout Europe and Asia. In the Middle Ages, it developed in France, Italy, and Spain, later spreading to Germany, before spreading into Slavic lands early in the 15th century. Serfdom in early Russia took different forms,

-153-

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The Rise and Fall of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Table of Contents xiii
  • Foreword 1
  • Chapter 1- Europe after the First World War 3
  • Chapter 2- America’s Great Depression 11
  • Chapter 3- Franklin Roosevelt- The Early Years 17
  • Chapter 4- FDR- Emerging Politician 23
  • Chapter 5- Seizing the Crown 27
  • Chapter 6- Advisors and Aides 31
  • Chapter 7- FDR- First Media President 39
  • Chapter 8- Supreme Court Imbroglio 43
  • Chapter 9- Europe’s War–1939 53
  • Chapter 10- Third Term 59
  • Chapter 11- Lend Lease 69
  • Chapter 12- Intervention or Isolation 77
  • Chapter 13- Barbarossa 91
  • Chapter 14- Troubled Waters 101
  • Chapter 15- Americana 1941 109
  • Chapter 16- The Labor Front 113
  • Chapter 17- From Marriage to Alliance 119
  • Chapter 18- Empire of the Rising Sun 127
  • Chapter 19- Atlantic Charter 133
  • Chapter 20- Enter the Scientists 141
  • Chapter 21- Undeclared War 1941 147
  • Chapter 22- Russia- The Enigma 153
  • Chapter 23- Japan- Expansion and Perfidy 161
  • Chapter 24- Infamy 171
  • Chapter 25- FDR- A Reckoning 179
  • Bibliography 195
  • Notes 199
  • Index 209
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