The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 320
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The significance of Mr. Bailey's narrative lies not in the
breadth of his treatment-from the American Revolution to the
Korean War-but in his revelation of American misconceptions
regarding Russia. Friendship for the young Republic was not,
as so many Americans believed, the motive behind certain
Russian actions. Self-interest was the dominant consideration
when Catherine refused England's request for 2o,ooo Russian
soldiers to crush the rebellious colonists, when the Russian fleet
anchored at New York and San Francisco during the Civil War,
and when Alaska was sold to the United States. Throughout the
nineteenth century the Tsars were anxious to see the United
States grow strong enough to challenge the commercial and naval
supremacy of their archenemy, England.
Yet it was the growth of America that by the end of the nine-
teenth century brought her into direct contact with the Russian
Empire and resulted in the beginning of conflict between these
two states. The accession of the Bolsheviks certainly did not
contribute to a rapprochement, and today distrust and outright
hostility dominate the relations between the "Giant of the West"
and the "Giant of the East."
Although Mr. Bailey deliberately devotes little space to recent
events, he shows a clear comprehension of them. He indicates the
essential correctness of Roosevelt's policy toward the Soviet
Union during the war; Russian friendship had to be maintained
at all costs. But shortly before his death, President Roosevelt
found continued cooperation becoming more difficult. Mr. Bailey
rejects the view frequently expressed by pseudo-liberals and
fellow-travellers that had Roosevelt lived, United States relations
with Russia would have been entirely different. The author
places the blame for the estrangement between Americans and
the Communists exactly where it belongs: on the leaders in the
Kremlin. Cooperation with the West "would kill a substantial
part of their reason for existence."
For our future relations with Russia Mr. Bailey suggests the
following brief program. We must continue to learn all we can
about the Russians and at the same time supply them by every
means possible with information about ourselves. We must im-
prove our own democratic system and show our enthusiasm for
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/370/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.