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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to her father Sydney Strong regarding her arrangements with Trotsky, December 14, 1922|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to her father written the day after his departure from Moscow, Anna Louise Strong begins by informing him about an interview she'd had with "Litvinoff... about the Disarmament Conference". She describes Litvinov as a "tired, sincere, direct man" who was saddened at the conference's failure, since he believed that it could have sparked a worldwide disarmament movement that "militarist nations" would have found hard to resist. She begins to describe the events surrounding the conference, which took place at Reval, before referring her father to the story she'd written for publication .
She informs her father that she and Trotsky had agreed on an arrangement for her to visit Trotsky several times a week to teach him English. She considers it a great opportunity to make connections and stay informed about events in Russia. Trotsky had originally proposed trading her Russian lessons for English lessons, but she insisted it would be a waste of his time to teach her Russian, and he refused to enter into a "one-sided arrangement". She was able, however, to convince him of the advantages she'd have simply by being able to converse with him, and Trotsky added to this the offer of the use of an automobile anytime she needed to drive somewhere in Moscow. Strong notes that Trotsky had asked many questions, primarily about her experiences in the labor movement in Seattle and how different elements in the labor movement interacted across the United States. She reports that "I told him that I was not especially concerned with any possibilities of revolution in the United States, as that seemed to me to be too remote to be practical politics; but that I was much concerned that the people of the United States... would not lend their money and their sons to put down European revolutions by the aid, possibly, of African troops." She tells Trotsky that she writes for "general American audiences, who ought naturally to sympathize with what the Russian people were trying to do, and with future revolts in Germany against conditions there." She notes the importance of getting factual information about Europe (particularly Russia) into the hands of Americans, and tells Trotsky that, if there is anything he feels Americans need to know, he ought to inform her so that she can use it .
Trotsky immediately comments that he thinks American farmers have been frightened by claims that Russian agriculture will become a competitor if Russia's economy improves. He tells Strong that the truth is the opposite: with capital to invest, Russian industry would expand and Russian farmers would be able to sell food internally, whereas without an improving industrial economy, they will be forced to compete for European customers and drive down prices for American exporters .
Strong concludes by telling her father that job offers keep appearing for her when she needs them, which may delay her return home. She is anxious, however, to come home and tour the country lecturing, to give her "a chance to see the plain folks of America and meet some of the progressive leaders".
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.
"Litvinoff" is Maxim Litvinov (1876-1951), who served as unofficial ambassador to the U.K. in 1917, and acted as a prominent diplomat Soviet Union throughout the 1920s and 1930s, negotiating international agreements, most notably "Litvinov's Pact" in 1929. He would later be the Soviet Union's ambassador to the League of Nations from 1934 to 1938, and its ambassador to the United States from 1941 to 1943.
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Correspondence
Strong, Sydney, 1860-1938--Correspondence
Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Travel--Soviet Union
|Geographic Coverage||Soviet Union|
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0380|
|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 3/16|
|Physical Description||1 leaf; 35 x 21 cm. 1 leaf; 28 x 21 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.|