Diplomat DeWitt Clinton Poole arrived for a new job at the United States consulate office in Moscow in September 1917, just two months before the Bolshevik Revolution. In the final year of World War I, as Russians were withdrawing and Americans were joining the war, Poole found himself in the midst of political turmoil in Russia. U.S. relations with the newly declared Soviet Union rapidly deteriorated as civil war erupted and as Allied forces intervened in northern Russia and Siberia. Thirty-five years later, in the climate of the Cold War, Poole recounted his experiences as a witness to that era in a series of interviews.
Historians Lorraine M. Lees and William S. Rodner introduce and annotate Poole's recollections, which give a fresh, firsthand perspective on monumental events in world history and reveal the important impact DeWitt Clinton Poole (1885-1952) had on U.S.-Soviet relations. He was active in implementing U.S. policy, negotiating with the Bolshevik authorities, and supervising American intelligence operations that gathered information about conditions throughout Russia, especially monitoring anti-Bolshevik elements and areas of German influence. Departing Moscow in late 1918 via Petrograd, he was assigned to the port of Archangel, then occupied by Allied and American forces, and left Russia in June 1919.
DeWitt Clinton Poole Jr. (1885-1952) had a long government career that included work for the State Department and intelligence agencies. He also directed the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he founded the journal Public Opinion Quarterly, and was a founder of the National Committee for a Free Europe. Lorraine M. Lees is a professor of history at Old Dominion University and the author of Keeping Tito Afloat: The United States, Yugoslavia, and the Cold War and Yugoslav-Americans and National Security during World War II. William S. Rodner is a professor of history at Tidewater Community College and the author of Edwardian London through Japanese Eyes: The Art and Writing of Yoshio Markino, 1897-1915.