Did the US Try to Assassinate Lenin in 1918?Historians in the News
tags: Soviet Union, Russian Revolution, anticommunism
THE LENIN PLOT
The Unknown Story of America’s War Against Russia
By Barnes Carr
In a famous speech shown on Russian television in 1984, President Reagan spoke directly to the Soviet people. “Our governments have had serious differences,” he declared. “But our sons and daughters have never fought each other in war.” Just over two decades later President Obama said almost the same thing when he was trying to “reset” relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
It is one of the myths the United States has maintained about its relationship with Russia. Most Russian history textbooks contain at least a brief mention of the invasion by American forces (along with the British and French) of northern Russia in 1918, after the Bolshevik Revolution. But one would be hard pressed to find anything about this conflict in official United States documents, or even American military history books, which makes Barnes Carr’s entertaining new study, “The Lenin Plot,” a welcome corrective.
It is obvious why the American venture has been practically written out of history, though nearly 600 soldiers were killed or went missing in action. The war was a humiliating failure and not entirely legal. President Woodrow Wilson, supposedly a pillar of moral rectitude, and his pious secretary of state, Robert Lansing, lied about American involvement. Then they conspired in a cover-up.
The story is vividly told by Carr, who has unearthed some fascinating new archival sources to add to a sparkling narrative.
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