America Faces Russia: Russian-American Relations from Early Times to Our Day

America Faces Russia: Russian-American Relations from Early Times to Our Day

America Faces Russia: Russian-American Relations from Early Times to Our Day

America Faces Russia: Russian-American Relations from Early Times to Our Day

Excerpt

Several years ago an American diplomat who had recently returned from Moscow remarked that the more he read of Russia's past the less he found new in her present. This challenging thought lay behind my decision to write a book on Russian-American relations. There are few if any subjects more important today than our dealings with the Soviet Union, and there are few if any comparable problems about which there exists as much popular misunderstanding. It is to be hoped that a clearer comprehension of our relationships with the Russians in the past will enable us to deal more intelligently with them in the future.

In essence this book is a broad survey of Russian-American relations from earliest contacts to recent times. The story is largely concerned with diplomatic problems, and the emphasis, in line with the theme that I have developed in other public opinion studies, is on the American attitudes toward such problems. Some slight attention is paid to the influence of Russian literature on the American mind, but none at all to Russian music, ballet, opera, and theater. The latter have been culturally influential, but they either were relatively unimportant in shaping public attitudes toward Russia or they came so late that those attitudes were already definitely shaped by other factors.

Many of the stereotypes that we as a people formed about the . . .

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