When The Red Storm Broke

To a Russia in revolution, America sent rival groups of amateur diplomats. The calamitous results of their indecision still afflict us

In the early days ot November, 1917, a wiry, abbreviated man bearing on his face the expression of a determined ferret and in his pocket an important commission from President Woodrow Wilson, stopped off in London at the Savoy Hotel, then noisy with officers on leave from the western front and a banjo band straight from Dixie. He soon heard disconcerting news. “Vague word of a strange new Russian disturbance called Bolshevik” (so he was to recall in his memoirs) had begun to permeate London. “Petrograd became silent.