Years of Estrangement: American Relations with the Soviet Union, 1933-1941

Years of Estrangement: American Relations with the Soviet Union, 1933-1941

Years of Estrangement: American Relations with the Soviet Union, 1933-1941

Years of Estrangement: American Relations with the Soviet Union, 1933-1941

Excerpt

America's relations with the Soviet Union from recognition in 1933 to the extension of Lend-Lease assistance to Moscow in 1941 lacked the dramatic developments of the subsequent wartime alliance and ensuing cold war. Consequently, historians have concentrated on the post-1941 period and neglected earlier relations except for the origins of recognition and the Lend-Lease decision. I have focused on the earlier period because it was a germinal stage in the molding of American attitudes and the shaping of Franklin D. Roosevelt's diplomacy toward the Soviet Union. Events of the 1930s were also very influential in shaping Joseph Stalin's attitudes toward Roosevelt and United States policy. Although there is very little available documentation on Soviet policy toward the United States, I have tried to assess Stalin's objectives and tactics, using the documents published by the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR, American documents concerning official discussions with Soviet officials, and secondary assessments of Stalin's diplomacy.

In his direction of America's relations with the Soviet Union, Roosevelt revealed his strengths and weaknesses as a diplomat while he sought friendly, cooperative relations with the Kremlin. The president's decision to extend recognition and Lend-Lease, as well as his unsuccessful efforts . . .

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