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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding the impact of the New Deal on the 1940 election, April 5, 1939|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, Anna Louise Strong warns her of the dangers posed to the New Deal. She begins by urging the investigation of the Associated Farmers of California, first through public hearings before the LaFollette Committee and subsequently through a prosecution by the Department of Justice. She feels that nothing short of a "spectacular" effort will receive the necessary attention from nine-tenths of the rural newspapers. Strong claims that people are being "beaten up and jailed" for distributing information about the Wagner Act, and that the only "ray of light" in rural California is the Federal Farm Security Administration -- "a little bit of America in the blackest fascism I have ever seen." She is anxious for the President to take action, as she believes there is ample evidence that big business in the state is complicit in crime and "many cold-blooded murders" .
Strong warns Roosevelt that the truth of what's happening is being hidden from the President. She specifically mentions John Steinbeck, who had been scheduled to show the President around rural California for a day, but whose tour was cancelled when it was discovered what he would be showing the President. (Strong also mentions that Steinbeck "has just issued with Harcourt Brace a tremendous novel 'Grapes of Wrath'" which she begs Roosevelt to read.) She warns Roosevelt that the public is unaware of the intimidation tactics employed by local officials, citing a case where a sheriff threatened to convict an F.R.A. official on false charges of rape if the official formed a labor camp in the area. Strong says that "the Associated Farmers is spreading rapidly into other states" and fears that "it will have a complete fascist control of the western states by the next election." Strong hopes to stay in the United States, rather than return to Moscow, if she can find an opportunity to publish her ideas about "what the New Deal has offered to the people -- a chance to preserve their American democracy." She concludes by offering her assistance to the Roosevelts in any way she can be useful.
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.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945 as the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (as well as being the niece of an earlier American president, Theodore Roosevelt). In the 1930s, she had become a prominent advocate for the New Deal and the African-American civil rights movement. During World War II, she became an advocate for the United Nations, and later served as the United States' delegate to the U.N., chairing the commission that composed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Correspondence
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962--Correspondence
New Deal, 1933-1939
|Geographic Coverage||United States|
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0388|
|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 4/17|
|Physical Description||2 leaves; 28 x 20 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.|