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Title:The Listening Post: The United States State Department and the Soviet Union, 1928-1932
Author(s):Keagle, William Roy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Widenor, William C.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
History, United States
History, Modern
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Abstract:In the absence of formal diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union, the U.S. State Department set up a "listening post" within the Consulate in Riga, Latvia. to keep abreast of developments in Russia. Under Robert F. Kelley, the Division of Eastern European Affairs recruited and trained a small group of Foreign Service Officers as specialists in Russian language, history and culture. This group of scholars manned the Russian Information Center in Riga, reading everything published in Russia they could obtain, interviewing travelers and refugees coming out of Russia, keeping abreast of publications on Russia in the West, and sharing information with other friendly governments, especially the British and the Germans. Their reports enabled the Division of Eastern European Affairs to build impressive files of historical and current information. This study is based primarily on those State Department files in the National Archives, focusing on living conditions, the political power structure, the first Five-year Plan, and the collectivization of agriculture.
The work of these Russian specialists is analyzed in terms of ideology, objectivity, comprehension of Soviet realities, and accuracy of perceptions and interpretations. The prevailing ideology in the State Department is also examined, using the papers of Herbert Hoover, Henry L. Stimson, and William Castle, an interview with Robert F. Kelley before his death, and secondary sources.
The work of the Division of Eastern European affairs compares very favorably with the work of current scholars. Their insights and interpretations stand the test of time. Unfortunately, their contribution was limited by the rigid idealogy of the Hoover Administration.
Issue Date:1992
Description:334 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9305574
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1992

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