Canada in the Soviet Mirror

Canada in the Soviet Mirror: Ideology and Perception in Soviet Foreign Affairs, 1917-1991

J.L. Black
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 481
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7ztg5
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  • Book Info
    Canada in the Soviet Mirror
    Book Description:

    This is an original, thoroughly researched account of the image of Canada in Soviet writings - political, jounalistic and academic - over the entire course of Soviet history. A study of the role of ideology in Soviet foreign affairs, the book traces the influence of an adjusting Marxist-Leninist "lens" on policy formulated by the Kremlin and also, explicitly, on a public discourse rigidly controlled by government. This public image has been collated with private opinion documented in recently opened Russian archives. Canada clearly served a larger purpose in Soviet foreign policy than was previously assumed. Uniquely Canadian issues and participants helped shape Soviet policy, sometimes in very strange ways. Both story and reference text, Canada in the Soviet Mirror will interest readers in Soviet and Canadian studies, journalism, and popular culture.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8093-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. FOREWORD
    (pp. x-xi)

    IT IS ALWAYS USEFUL to see ourselves as others see us. It reminds us that our own view of the outside world is usually not based on objective empirical data, but is influenced by our own cultural lens, our political agenda, and our intuitive preferences. This book is about the Soviet lens; and it is about Canada and Canadians as they were perceived in Moscow. While informing readers about the Russian perception of the outside world, it will also hold Canada up to a new type of mirror.

    The differences between Canadians and Russians are well-known. They have always lived...

  6. GLOSSARY
    (pp. xii-xiv)
  7. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)

    ONE CAN FIND REFERENCES to Canada, or to the territory now known as Canada, in Russian writings as early as the eighteenth century, when great expeditions were organized in St. Petersburg to seek a northeastern passage to India. Projects to chart the waters between Russia’s Far East, Japan and North America, and to establish trading settlements on the Pacific coast of North America, also drew the attention of Russians to Canada. Long-time competition between the Russian-American Company, founded in 1799 to exploit and administer Russian America (from Alaska to California), and the Hudson’s Bay Company, was a central characteristic of...

  8. I THE VIEW FROM REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA
    • 1 FRIENDLY ALLY TO IMPERIALIST ENEMY, 1914-1921
      (pp. 13-36)

      THERE WERE COMPLICATIONS in the diplomatic relationship between Russia and Canada during the First World War because the bulk of the Russian immigration to Canada had been so recent. According to a report drawn up in 1918 by Consul General A.S. Likhachev, who in 1914 replaced Nicholas de Passek, 100,971 Russians had moved to Canada by 1911. The “majority of the emigrants made their way to Canada, not for the purpose of settlement, but only for temporary work,” he said, revealing incidentally a reason why his government regarded most emigrants still to be subjects of the tsar, a status that...

    • 2 THE FIRST CRISIS IN CAPITALISM, 1921-1930
      (pp. 37-78)

      DIPLOMATIC CONTACTS between the governments of Canada and the USSR, both novices in questions of international relations, were sparse in the 1920s. In July 1921 Canada’s government under Conservative Arthur Meighen adhered to an Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement signed on 16 March, thereby offering de facto recognition to the new Soviet republic. In August, Wilgress and Col. H.J. Mackie were nominated to the British Trade Commission in Moscow. Wilgress had returned to Canada with a Russian wife in October 1919, only to be sent to Bucharest, Romania, with yet another Canadian Trade Commission. Mackie, a Conservative member of parliament, had sponsored...

  9. II THE STALIN ERA
    • 3 THE “FASCISTIZATION” OF CANADA, 1930-1939
      (pp. 81-120)

      POLICIES MADE INFAMOUS by Stalin were not so much the ideological aberrations that Soviet and some Western literature later claimed them to be. The carefully manipulated war scare of 1927 helped him persuade the CPSU Central Committee to sacrifice the New Economic Policy for a Five-Year Plan of heavy industrial construction. The elimination of all remnants of capitalism in the countryside was ideologically necessary, and prompted resolutions the next year to collectivize agricultural land.¹ Industrialization and collectivization were well underway by the end of 1929. But neither policy originated with Stalin; they were accepted by the Party during an earlier...

    • 4 IMPERIALIST ENEMY TO FRIENDLY ALLY, 1939-1942
      (pp. 121-146)

      WHEN THE NAZI-SOVIET non-aggression pact was announced, the Comintern paid a high price in international prestige and organizational unity. Although its sections remained loyal, thousands of individual Communists in Europe and North America left their national parties in protest. The Communist Party of Canada was ambushed along with the others by the Soviet Union’s apparently sudden turnaround on Germany. When, on 10 September 1939, Canada’s Parliament decided to declare war against Germany, Tim Buck wired Mackenzie King to pledge the full support of his Party against the fascists and in support of Poland. Shortly after Soviet troops crossed the Polish...

    • 5 FRIENDLY ALLY TO IMPERIALIST ENEMY, 1943-1946
      (pp. 147-182)

      DETAILS OF CANADIAN PUBLIC SUPPORT for the USSR and its war effort continued to appear inPravda.The CPSU official organ announced that 12,000 people had attended yet another meeting of the Canadian Aid to Russia Fund in Montreal on 20 January. Attending the Montreal gala were Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Eleanor Roosevelt (the keynote speaker), Adélard Godbout, the Premier of Quebec (who had defeated the stridently anti-Soviet Duplessis in 1939) and the Soviet ambassador. Soviet sources quoted King as saying that “in this war all the Allied countries consider themselves to be friends for a long time,” and that...

    • 6 WHO RULES CANADA? THE SECOND CRISIS IN CAPITALISM, 1947-1956
      (pp. 183-232)

      SOVIET ANGER AT CANADA in 1946-47 was but a minor symptom of the emerging Cold War. In the USSR this period saw a complete reassessment of CPSU relationships with foreign Communist Parties, those in East and East Central Europe in particular. The process of rethinking international Communism culminated during meetings in the Polish town of Szklarska Poreba, 22-27 September 1947, when the Information Bureau of Communist and Workers’ Parties was established. The Cominform, as the organization soon came to be called, had nine founding Parties—from the USSR, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy and France. It held only...

  10. III POST-STALIN
    • 7 NEARLY NEIGHBOURS: PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE, 1956-1967
      (pp. 235-262)

      KHRUSHCHEV’S STARTLING ATTACK on Stalin’s personality cult and reign of terror, delivered in his not so “secret” closing speech at the 20th CPSU Congress in February 1956, was so riveting that an almost equally surprising foreign policy reassessment was obscured. Khrushchev lifted the severe restrictions imposed on Soviet foreign policy-makers by Stalin’s rigid “them vs. us” perspective on the world. Stalin had gladly embraced the idea of collective security in the early 1930s and welcomed Western allies against fascism in 1941, but he judged such associations to be temporary. His belief that war was inevitable as long as capitalism existed...

    • 8 A HANDSHAKE ACROSS THE POLE: THE USSR AND TRUDEAU, 1968-1984
      (pp. 263-294)

      IN 1968 SOVIET SCHOLARS, journalists and officials discovered another non-Communist white knight at the top of the Canadian political scene, Walter Gordon not having made it quite that far. From the moment that he came to office in April 1968, Pierre Elliot Trudeau would remain the darling of Soviet writing on Canadian federalism, English-French tensions and Canadian-American relations. Soviet authorities were aware that he had visited the USSR in 1952 as a delegate to the World Federation of Trade Unions, an international organization supported in part by Soviet funds, and that he had been strongly criticized by the Catholic Church...

    • 9 INTO THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY, 1985-1991
      (pp. 295-332)

      THE FINAL SIX YEARS of the 75-year long Russian revolutionary experiment have been written about in great detail. Mikhail Gorbachev’s introduction of perestroika (reconstruction) and glasnost’ (openness) earned him many honours and admirers abroad. The same policies led directly to the demise of the USSR itself and earned him the approbation of a wide cross section of his own fellow-citizens, especially Russians.¹ This is not an appropriate place in which to examine closely the way in which Gorbachev’s program of reconstruction altered the USSR. The introduction of self-financing methods in the economy (Law of the State Enterprises, 1987), the gradual...

  11. LOOKING BACK: AN IDEOLOGICAL DREAM DASHED ON THE ROCKS OF REALITY
    (pp. 333-338)

    AFTER A VISIT TO THE USSR in 1935, Frank Scott, Professor of Law at McGill University, warned that the CPSU’s ideologically driven propaganda about the West would delude Soviet citizens and harm them to a greater degree than would the truth. By locking both people and state into single-minded views, the governing elite would deprive themselves and their subjects of the means to truly comprehend the world in which they existed—their own and ours. Scott was right.

    The Leninist assumption that the masses had to be “awakened” by political agitators armed with a “scientific” ideology with which to explain...

  12. A WORLD ON SOURCES
    (pp. 339-341)

    IN THE SUMMER OF 1984, under my direction, the Institute of Soviet and East European Studies at Carleton University initiated a long-term project under the rubric, “Soviet Perception of Canada.” The project was funded by two consecutive grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The original plan had three closely related objectives: to prepare a list of all books, articles from periodical literature, chapters in books, and dissertations written in the USSR about Canada (Soviet translations of Canadian authors were included); to gather and provide summaries of feature pieces on Canada carried in Russian-language newspapers...

  13. SOVIET NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES AND PERIODICALS
    (pp. 342-343)
  14. NOTES
    (pp. 344-449)
  15. INDEX OF NAMES
    (pp. 450-457)
  16. INDEX OF SUBJECTS
    (pp. 458-466)