The Donkey, the Carrot, and the Club: William C. Bullitt and Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1948

By Michael Cassella–Blackburn | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
The Donkey, the Carrot,
and the Club

As a prelude to negotiations in the first year of Soviet–American relations, Litvinov stayed a few days after recognition to try to secure an agreement with Bullitt and Morgenthau on some of the outstanding issues. The first attempt at resolving the Russian debts and American loan was the closest the United States and the Soviet Union ever got toward finalizing the recognition agreement. Litvinov wanted to pay 7 percent interest on the loan, of which 2 to 3 percent would be applied to the debt; Morgenthau wanted 10 percent, with 6 percent going toward servicing the debt. Partly because the State Department had not yet prepared its plan for debts and credits the talks failed. Because the State Department could not as yet seriously negotiate the mechanism for paying debts or giving a loan, Litvinov and Bullitt decided to issue a joint statement to the press indicating that negotiations had not broken down, but would carry on at a later date when the new Soviet ambassador arrived.1 Thus began a year of fruitless talk between the Soviet Union and the United States. The issues were trivial but not the ideas behind them.

Before Litvinov departed on November 25, he gave what would be for Bullitt and the East European Affairs department a hint of what was in store for the future relationship. In a speech before the National Press Club, Litvinov denied the existence of any connection between the Soviet Union and the American Communist Party. Moreover, he told the audience, the recognition documents did not directly name the Comintern, and the Soviet Union would not be held respon-

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The Donkey, the Carrot, and the Club: William C. Bullitt and Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1948
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Origins of the Cold War 11
  • Chapter 3 - Mission to Moscow 35
  • Chapter 4 - Living the Life of a Radical 63
  • Chapter 5 - Recognition of the Soviet Union, 1933 91
  • Chapter 6 - The Donkey, the Carrot, and the Club 117
  • Chapter 7 - Fear and Loathing in Moscow 147
  • Chapter 8 - The Revenant in Paris 177
  • Chapter 9 - At War 203
  • Chapter 10 - Bullitt, History, and the Postwar Order 231
  • Chapter 11 - Conclusion 257
  • Bibliographical Essay 265
  • Bibliography 269
  • Index 281
  • About the Author 289
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