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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to her father Sydney Strong regarding her opinion of the Soviet Union, April 2, 1922|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to her father, Anna Louise Strong agrees with her father's suggestion that she might like to stay in the Soviet Union more or less permanently. She is hesitant to commit to that at the moment, however, and for that reason is not joining any "communist organization or anything that would be illegal in the United States". She admits the difficulty of learning the language, and suggest that she is "not thinking of becoming a real Russian as much as I am thinking of working towards some position of authority on Russian affairs for the English-speaking world." She is critical of her competition, describing the output of news correspondents visiting the Soviet Union as "sketchy surface articles and political guesses". The perceptions of some are that Russia's revolution is ending and capitalism will return, which cases writers like Arthur Ransome and Lincoln Steffens, once favorable to Russia, now to turn elsewhere .
Strong herself disbelieves this notion. She believes that the Soviet Union will continue to influence events in Europe and Asia--especially Asia, where Strong envisions the Russians offering "a loose federation...taking what she can get, an alliance here, a semi-incorporated 'free republic' there, a completely incorporated 'gubernia' elsewhere, with always large local powers". Strong comments that "the powers at Genoa will of course try to make a second China of her; but Russians have both sense and power, however poor they may be. China has sense, but not the power. Anyway, my guess is that Russia is going to count as much as any other country, in the next moves of history."
She feels that people like her, who are less idealistic and more practical in working for change, will be vital to coming events in Russia. She sees the Soviet Union as a good opportunity for reformers and activists. In Russia, she says, "you find a government willing to make free grants of anything in its possession, if only you will use them for the general good on a fair basis." While she does intend to travel to England soon, she hopes to return to Russia for several months. She tells her father that she wants to remain there long enough to make the right connections, so that a return will be possible in the future .
Strong feels more comfortable with Russians than she has elsewhere in her travels. She praises their "pleasant human friendliness" and their lack of "sex consciousness". She compares Polish drama, which concerns itself with "the finesse of a relationship between a man and a woman" with Russian drama, which are about "man's relation to mankind, and such relation as he may have to any woman is considered from the standpoint of what it does to his character and his work in the world." She notes admiringly the number of women engaged in serious work without anyone making "a fuss over it".
|Contextual Notes||Anna Louise Strong (1885-1970) was an American journalist and political activist throughout her life. After spending much of the 1910s working as a progressive advocate for child welfare, she became involved in the labor movement in Seattle, and through that movement increasingly identified herself with international communism. This advocacy, along with her work for the Seattle Union Record, connected her to the events surrounding the Seattle General Strike in 1919. Strong later left Seattle, and spent much of the 1920s and 1930s living in the Soviet Union, meeting with men such as Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, and writing books about her experiences for Western audiences in an attempt to build support for the USSR. During World War II, she continued to promote the cause of communism, although her support for the Chinese communist movement ultimately alienated her from the government in Moscow, limiting her to one visit to the Soviet Union in the final two decades of her life. She spent most of those years living in the People's Republic of China, befriending Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, and continuing to publish books and articles in support of communism until the end of her life.|
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Correspondence
Strong, Sydney, 1860-1938--Correspondence
|Geographic Coverage||Soviet Union|
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0379|
|Ordering Information||To order a reproduction or inquire about permissions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please cite the Order Number.|
|Repository||University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division|
|Repository Collection||Anna Louise Strong papers. Accession No. 1309-001. Box 3/14|
|Physical Description||3 leaves; 28 x 21.5 cm.|
|Digital Reproduction Information||Scanned from original text or image at 150 dpi saved in TIFF format, resized and enhanced using Adobe Photoshop, and imported as JPEG2000 using Contentdm software's JPEG2000 Extension. 2010.|