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America's Secret War against Bolshevism: U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920 Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0807849583 ISBN-10: 0807849588

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (February 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807849588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807849583
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A well-researched account of the dilemma faced by Woodrow Wilson in fashioning a policy toward the Bolshevik Revolution. (Choice)

Carefully researched, clearly written, and provocative. (Slavic Review)

Foglesong's provocative book is among the pioneers in this bold new American scholarship. (Journal of American History)

About the Author

David S. Foglesong is assistant professor of history at Rutgers University.

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By pnotley@hotmail.com on February 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is important book which shed much light on the origins of the cold war and will probably do much to hurt Wilson's reputation. Based on 128 sets of private and governmental papers, coming from archives from three countries, Foglesong's book show a story of deceit and self-deception. Wilson has sometimes been seen as sympathetic to the cause of Russian freedom; indeed he has been sometimes seen as sympathetic to the Bolsheviks(for example by Richard Pipes, in The Russian Revolution). Quite false, for Foglesong shows how Wilson combined his trademark moralism, no less sincerely believed in for being trite and shallow, with working with reactionairies and militarist whites to crush the revolution.
Foglesong starts off with a chapter on Wilson's illusions in Mexico, during which American officials sought to use Japanese agents to poison Pancho Villa. The next chapter looks at the origins of American Anti-bolshevism; Foglesong looks at it a melange of Wilson, Lansing and the American elite's salon style anti-socialist chatter, its nativists prejudices, and its smug puritanism. We go on to see how this influenced American Anti-Communist propaganda, with its fatuous anti-atheism and its fear of racial equality. A passage on the State Department's susceptibility to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and choice comments from Lansing and Hoover are, as they, well worth the price of reading alone. But this is only the beginning. The United States completely failed to recognize that Russia had no choice but to leave the war; bullying the desperate Provisional Government was the last thing it needed and helped make its collapse inevitable. Wilson and Lansing supported the Cossack Kaledin, unaware that the cause of his Volunteer Army was hopeless.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kenton W. Main on June 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
David Fogelsong has combined meticulous research with an easy-to-read writing style that accomplishes exactly what every well-crafted book should accomplish. By taking the reader deep into the seamy side of World War One politics, Fogelsong makes the reader question just about everything conventional wisdom preaches about the superior morality of the Woodrow Wilson presidency.
Naming the players on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Professor Fogelsong backs his conclusions with documented archival materials. He reveals for the first time precisely what political maneuverings took place when the allies decided that Bolshevism should be totally eradicated from the face of the earth. The intrigue of spy networks and the expenditure of millions of American dollars in this effort do not necessarily pale by today's standards when one considers these actions actually set the standard by which the American government operates today. Fogelsong repeatedly proves the correlation in this book which begs the question, "Why does America continue to send her sons (and daughters) into harms way and spend less on them than on the behind-the-scenes political posturing?"
With this book, David Fogelsong has proven what many eastern Europeans steadfastly believe..."Where there ever was, or is now trouble in the world, there was, or is now, Great Britain." That the United States of America became, hesitantly at first, but later a willing accomplice in the intervention in the Bolshevik Revolution, set the bar at a new height which future administrations would continue to raise. Based on David Fogelsongs text the reader must conclude that Soviet-style thinking about America's efforts in Russia between 1917 and 1920 would indeed be reason enough for the Cold War.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ima Pseudonym on March 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few outside the historical research community are even aware the US and other Allied nations were involved in Russian/Soviet affairs just after the Bolshevik revolution. At best it's a historical footnote. At worst, the history of this event has been intentionally neglected to preserve the image that the US has never lost a war.

It's time we acknowledge our attempt to destabilize the fledgling Soviet regime just after it took power during the latter stages of World War I. Given these events, later Soviet fear regarding the intentions of the US and other Western democracies is understandable. We'd tried to interfere in their affairs once, why wouldn't we try again?

Read the book and understand why America's actions haven't always been as clean and above board as its citizens have been led to believe.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful By El Cutachero on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Though those like myself who have long studied Wilsonian meddling and moralistic posturing during the Mexican Revolution will not be surprised by the revelations in this book, I must admit it is a bit dry and I have yet to finish it but I have dipped into it enough. ... Woodrow Wilson was one of the biggest pious fakes ever to serve in the White House. His saintly reputation still prevails long after the messianistic image of John F. Kennedy has crumbled with the revelation of his philandering. But being a secret libertine and hedonist is far from being a moralistic racist who will "teach lesser breeds to elect good men" as Wilson said in regard to Mexico.
These superior attitudes were the basis of the prejudiced policies toward Huerta in Mexico, the Indian head of a mongrel nation (sic) and toward Lenin, offspring of the Mongol hordes of old. No matter that, however bad they were, they were not attacking their neighbors but their own citizens and that was then thought to be internal business by most people. The US public opinion in those days was sorely divided on intervention in Mexico and mostly opposed, so why would Wilson expect any public support for open intervention in faraway Russia when he could not muster support for open intervention in a country next door?
No matter that the Russian social and economic system had collapsed of its own weight and that was the Russian's concern. Wilson and the allies were going to set things right by any means necessary, including open armed invasion, and clandestine and open aid to Lenin's enemies.
Every time the US has tried to pacify or set things right in modern times by clandestine or open means it has been a failure. Laos, Cambodia, Guatemala, Bosnia, wherever. As long as there is innate social injustice and maldistribution of the national output there will be unrest. And throw in racial and ethnic factors and it is even worse, the Balkans and the Middle East.
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