Great Red Hope by ProQuest


Those who left for Russia were a mixed bunch. Some were revolutionary idealists, others were just professionals or factory hands swayed by Soviet advertisements in the American press promising fat paychecks and proletarian utopia "Over there, you are building for tomorrow," wrote a Denver miner to the AngloAmerican newspaper, Moscow News, "Let us come and help." Lefty intellectuals like George Bernard Shaw and New York Times journalist Walter Duranty nudged vulnerable compatriots eastward with their fawning encomia of Marxian industrial strength. "In the great financial storm that has burst upon us," said Shaw, speaking on national American radio, "your own ship is sinking and the Russian ship is the only big one that is not rolling heavily and tapping out SOS on its wireless." In 2008, as America again appears to be crumbling, we hear similar recommendations from the cognoscenti.On reaching Russian soil, the Americans were greeted as heroes. Red propagandists saw the new arrivals as intrepid forerunners of the imminent worldwide revolution. At first, the foreigners reveled in their elevated status. They introduced the receptive natives to the delights of baseball and jazz. "Americanski beisbol" proved, briefly, to be a Soviet sensation. The state press admired the game's "grace and complexity" and official leagues were soon established. The Stalin Auto Plant in Moscow urged its workers to "Play the New Sport of Baseball." [Tim Tzouliadis] even describes a photograph of two teams, the Moscow Foreign Workers Club and the Gorky Auto Workers Club, though sadly this image is not reproduced in the book.A number of them came to Russia to work in a Ford factory, building American cars to bring down the bourgeoisie. The Soviets, specialists in doublethink, had a typically paradoxical attitude toward Henry Ford: on one hand, he was an arch-capitalist and enemy of the people; at the same time, though, he was also, as the leading proponent of mass mechanization, a genius of ju

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