Viktor Lushchak, Ph.D. student, Government Organization «The Institute of the World History of NAS of Ukraine», Kyiv, Ukraine
The perception of the Soviet Union in American public opinion wasn’t permanent and changed depending on a number of factors – ideological and allied, Soviet propaganda, the Red Army movement, breaking international agreements. Relations between the US and the USSR which was built within the anti-Hitler coalition was perceived by American society and liberal politicians as a model for cooperation in peacetime. Among the higher-level politicians who had a stable vision of the USSR as an ally and a partner, there was the vice-president of the United States H. Wallace.
In the article, the author has attempted to identify the main causes of the distorted Wallace’s perception of the Soviet Union on the basis of which he made plans for the post-war US-Soviet cooperation. The reasons that influenced the aberration of the perception by H.Wallace of the Soviet Union include the informational isolation of the USSR, the effectiveness of Soviet propaganda, and an idealistic worldview. The deep differences in the value system of the Soviet dictatorship and Western democracy were falsely perceived by H.Wallace as insignificant differences. It is worth noting that a similar image of the USSR dominated during the period of Wallace’s vice-presidency in the minds of a significant part of Americans.
After the presidential election of 1944, H.Wallace was removed by political methods from the possibility of influencing US foreign policy. He remained committed to the positive image of the USSR after the death of Roosevelt in conditions of growing US-Soviet tension. The author concluded that this was one of the main reasons for the collapse of his political career and the formation of a generally negative image of H.Wallace in American political history.
Keywords: an image of the USSR, Soviet Asia, economic interdependence, economic nationalism.
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