RED STAR RISING
In the spring of 1943, a political earthquake struck the U.S. State Department. It emanated from a conversation Harry Hopkins had with wealthy Joseph Davies, ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1938. Still living in the White House with his new wife, Hopkins retained his role as Roosevelt's most trusted assistant and presidential spokesman within the government and the Washington establishment. Hopkins told Davies the president was extremely worried about Josef Stalin's reaction to the news that there would be no second front in France in 1943, only diversionary attacks on Sicily and Italy. The president feared Stalin might sign a separate peace with Hitler once he had expelled German troops from Soviet soil, leaving the British and Americans to face the full might of the Wehrmacht's 200-plus divisions when the Western allies invaded Europe.
Davies rushed to the Russian embassy to see Maxim Litvinov, the Soviet ambassador, who was delighted to stoke the president's fears. A consummate actor, Litvinov said he was "almost despon