By William L. O'Neill
This publication chronicles the fight between non-Communist leftists and liberals over American kin with the Soviet Union from 1939 during the Nineteen Fifties. Few now care as passionately and as violently as humans did then approximately Soviet-American relatives. It used to be a time while buddies turned enemies, and others solid unusual alliances, all within the identify of commitments that at the present time appear distant. A greater World inspires these instances and their offerings, and explains why those long-ago battles nonetheless arouse such deep emotions today—and should.
american citizens who have been pro-Soviet with out being contributors of the Communist party—“progressives” as they known as themselves—had a wide emotional funding within the Soviet Union. From 1935 to 1939 actually hundreds of thousands joined the “Popular entrance” of pro-Soviet firms. O’Neill takes us throughout the surprise of the Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939, during the revival of the preferred entrance spurred by means of govt and company aid after Russia entered the warfare opposed to Hitler. He lines the isolation of the anti-Stalinists, the increase and fall of Henry Wallace, and the eclipse of progressivism. And he explores the transferring allegiances of intellectuals as they struggled, frequently with one another, to persuade the process public debate, with long-lasting effects for American mind, tradition, and morals.
As O’Neill observes in his creation, “More than any of my different books A greater World encouraged correspondents to ship me probing or reflective letters.” It was once this reaction, besides the intense severe debate spurred through preliminary book of this quantity, that makes the book’s carrying on with value transparent. The dream of accomplishing a greater international via radical violence by no means dies, and the willingness of apologists to grasp to utopian visions persists. so long as it does, the teachings of this publication must be to be had to us.
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Extra resources for A Better World: Stalinism and the American Intellectuals
THE RADICAL PHASE OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING (1917–1955) Social engineering, in its radical version, became a reality only after the First World War, and the succession of revolutionary breakthroughs which followed it. The war was itself the motor for what might be considered accelerated social engineering. But it is difficult to distinguish what was a by-product of military requirements from what was an intentional and conscious process (as social engineering is supposed to be). SOCIOPOLITICAL ENGINEERING 25 The war did, however, establish the preconditions in which radical or “utopian” social engineering could take place.
IMAGINING THE COMMUNIST FUTURE: THE SOVIET... 17 Delighted with the speed with which agricultural collectives were formed, Mao in 1958 launched the Great Leap Forward, initially an attempt to catch up and surpass the capitalist West but soon turning into a drive to carry China in one fell swoop from socialism to communism (Manning 2011). Initially, the talk was of “technological revolution,” with huge investment planned for big industrial and infrastructural projects but complemented by small-scale projects such as electric power generators and backyard steel furnaces.
It encapsulates a vast set of issues, ranging from modernization to revolution, dictatorship and social utopias. It also includes a wide range of actions, ranging from welfare policies to ethnic cleansing. For this reason the debate on social engineering has often tended to focus on the theoretical aspect, rather than on the actual historical results. It has also focused primarily on the experience of social engineering in two dictatorships (Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union). This chapter would like to provide a broader comparative overview, and also to address the topic as a general element of contemporary modernity.
A Better World: Stalinism and the American Intellectuals by William L. O'Neill