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Alexander Gumberg and Soviet-American Relations

1917–1933

Born in Russia in 1887, Alexander Gumberg immigrated to the United States in 1903. He returned to Russia in 1917 as an American businessman sympathetic to the progress of Russia's Revolution. After the Bolshevik seizure of power on November 7, Gumberg became a secretary, translator, and adviser to the American Red Cross Commission and the Committee on Public Information. Through him a Soviet-American dialogue formed despite the lack of official relations. Gumberg advised congressmen who hoped to establish diplomatic ties between the two countries. He helped American publicists, publications, and institutions which sought to present a favorable, or at least balanced, picture of Soviet Russia. Gumberg did not seek to start a revolution to change the world, or to alter the morality of man. He did contribute quietly to a better understanding between the future superpowers when their normal ties had been broken.

About the Author

James K. Libbey is assistant professor and academic counselor for social studies with the Learning Laboratory at Eastern Kentucky University.

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