- Historic Sites
America & Russia
February 1960 | Volume 11, Issue 2
The fatal flaw in all this was the American dream that once Russia cleared out its past, its future would lie a democratic one like our own. What couldn’t Russian man accomplish, on free soil amid space and natural resources so comparable to ours? The rest is recent history. The Soviets’ refusal to make men free struck many Americans as a personal betrayal. It made of Russia’s oldest friend the Soviets’ major enemy, the more determined as we saw the misuses to which human faith and aspiration had been put. Perhaps we had hoped for too much in a chill and divided world. But at least we had seen some counterpart between ourselves and the Russians, our not-so-remote fellow citizens of great occasions on the globe. And one does not need to swallow H. G. Wells’s dictum whole—that war is the result of bad history teaching—to see that a little good history teaching, preferably on both sides, might not be amiss in our own times.