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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding events in Finland, December 5, 1939|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, Anna Louise Strong compliments Roosevelt on her successes in going up against the Dies Committee, and assures her that the country appreciates it, and that Roosevelt "can be leader-in-chief of American youth" whenever she desires. She comments on how much her husband, Joel Shubin, had enjoyed conversing with Roosevelt. Strong notes Roosevelt's feeling that men like Earl Browder were "agents" of the Soviet Union because of speeches given in Moscow alongside Soviet officials, and shares her husband's comment that, by that standard, Roosevelt's speeches at youth conferences have made many young Latin American delegates "agents of Yankee imperialism" .
Strong comments on how the news from Finland had surprised her, saying that "it upset me terribly". But now she suspects that the reports of bombings against civilians are untrue. She shares a comment by Constancia de la Mora, who expresses joy that Finland is being helped by the Soviet arrival, and claims to know that false stories are being "manufactured". Strong herself thinks she sees evidence of collusion by the newspapers to limit access to the truth. She doesn't trust the State Department, and relates to Roosevelt information received from her literary agent, alleging that diplomatic staff have prevented both the President and Cordell Hull from seeing accurate reports from Spain. Strong believes that "Britain is trying to involve us against the USSR through our sympathies with Finland". She raises several points to show that Finland is dominated by British interests, and suggests that British Tories and Nazis cooperated to build airfields in Helsinki that will allow them to strike jointly at Leningrad, Moscow, and other major Russian cities .
Strong emphasizes that it is time for her to turn away from Europe and to focus on her "American material". She fears that the war is distracting from important issues in America, and asks Roosevelt for any recommended books on the United States that would give "a bird's-eye view of the last eight years". She intends to use the President's writings extensively, and is looking for "something which gives in simple language the basic philosophy of the New Deal". She concludes by asking Roosevelt how much she believes the New Deal philosophy will be impacted by the war.
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
Russo-Finnish War, 1939-1940
World War, 1939-1945
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0396|
|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 4/18|
|Physical Description||2 leaves; 27.5 x 21.5 cm.|