- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (February 28, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807849588
- ISBN-13: 978-0807849583
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
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#1,637,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1344 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > International & World Politics > Russian & Former Soviet Union
- #2105 in Books > Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > Political Ideologies
- #2617 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Communism & Socialism
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America's Secret War against Bolshevism: U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920 2nd Revised edition Edition
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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")
A well-researched account of the dilemma faced by Woodrow Wilson in fashioning a policy toward the Bolshevik Revolution. ("Choice")
A well-researched account of the dilemma faced by Woodrow Wilson in fashioning a policy toward the Bolshevik Revolution.--Choice
An interesting and scholarly study of American foreign policy during the Woodrow Wilson administration."The Russian Review
Carefully researched, clearly written, and provocative, America's Secret War against Bolshevism is a welcome addition to the literature dealing with Wilsonian foreign policy, the American intervention in Russia, and early relations between the United States and the Soviet Union in general.--Slavic Review
Foglesong adds significantly to our knowledge. . . . This is solid academic history.--American Historical Review
Based on his extensive research in primary documents, Foglesong's book combines major themes of previous scholarship into his own subtle, complex, and original thesis regarding U.S. and Allied military intervention in Russia in 1918.--Lloyd E. Ambrosius, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Now that it's over, America's war against that thing called Bolshevism is ripe for examination from interesting new perspectives. Woodrow Wilson started it all off, and his ambivalence in the conflict that matured into Cold War is full of surprises. Highly readable, Foglesong's cautious and meticulous research brings to light long ignored exploits of American covert action.--Peter Grose, author of Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles
Foglesong's provocative book is among the pioneers in this bold new American scholarship.--Journal of American History
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Top customer reviews
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.
Wilson rightly saw Bolshevism as a menace to the world, and Foglesong recalls the president's reasoning as to why. Wilson thought that intervention in Russia passed a cost-benefit analysis, but there was a tension between his general foreign policy belief in self-determination and wisely making an exception in the case of what would ultimately metastasize into world Communism. The author covers all of the reasons for intervention and the methods, economic and intelligence as well as military, used.
The president was hemmed in by factors such as American public opinion and the possible response of the Germans at the close of World War I. However, troops were ultimately sent to Siberia and North Russia. Foglesong recalls the role that the British, Japanese, and Czechs played in the intervention, describes the trajectory of events before the ultimate withdrawal of Allied troops, and offers his opinion on the efficacy of the operation.
President Wilson was correct in believing that the end of the Bolshevik regime was inevitable, but the Soviet government killed millions, forced the rest of the population to "live" in terror, and remained a purulent blight on the earth for most of the rest of the century. Winston Churchill was, as was often the case, foresighted and called for greater intervention.
While it would have been worth it to strangle Communism before it really got established, it is understandable to see how the war-weary Western nations in 1918 and 1919 might not have agreed. "America's Secret War Against Bolshevism" is a definitive account of this little-known episode in the history of the twentieth century.
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. Wilson and Lansing constantly used secrecy and subversion, keeping the American public in the dark. The state department was contemptous of the left-wing Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) the winner of the elections to the Constituent assembly and, as Geoffrey Swain has provocatively argued, the only group who could have possibly stopped the Bolsheviks. Instead Americans on the scene talked of favoring a "military dictatorship," and shed no tears when the SRs were overthrown by Admiral Kolchak, whose gross inadequacies as a leader have to be read in the invaluable monograph by Jon Smele to be believed. The Americans used food as a weapon, used the defeated Germans to prevent the Soviets from reoccupying the Baltic States, and indulged in further illusions about the incompetent and brutal Iudenitch.
Foglesong writes in a dry matter, but he is well worth reading. In the end he is quite successful in showing that far from making the world safe for democracy and for open diplomacy, Wilson's activities were a major stage in the creation of "secret wars." Quite unsuccessful the first time, the same methods of secrecy, rhetorical support for democracy, hard support for vicious, reactionary and incompetent rulers would be used again and again in the future.