James P. Goodrich, Indiana's

James P. Goodrich, Indiana's "Governor Strangelove"

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This monograph is a study of the life of James P. Goodrich, Indiana's Republican governor during World War I, who, following his retirement as governor, became an advocate of establishing diplomatic and trade relations with the Soviet Union at a time when America's official policy was one of hard-line nonrecognition. Six months after his retirement, a famine devastated Russia from the Volga region to the Ukraine. Unexpectedly, Goodrich was asked by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover to travel to Russia with an open mind to assess the extent of the catastrophe. His four trips to Russia (1921-25) made Goodrich into an enthusiastic admirer of the long-suffering Russian people and a harsh critic of the inefficient Communist economic system. Based upon his tours of the country, his meetings with ordinary Russians, and such Soviet leaders as Chicherin, Dzerzhinsky, Kamenev, Radek, Rykov, Krassin, Sokolnikov, Zinoviev, Litvinov, Trotsky, and Stalin, Goodrich came to the conclusion that the Russian Revolution was a permanent event with which the West had to come to terms sooner or later. Optimistically - in reality too optimistically - he concluded that Russia, as a result of V. I. Lenin's New Economic Policy, was embarking upon the road to capitalism. His recommendation, which he offered calmly and unemotionally to Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, was that America should extend diplomatic recognition and encourage trade. Practically the only occasion in his entire lifetime when he agreed with a Democrat was in 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt exchanged ambassadors with the Soviet Union, an action that substantially vindicated Goodrich. One of the most intriguing aspects of his career is that much of what Goodrich was saying about the U.S.S.R. seventy years ago has recently come to pass.governor was thoroughly disillusioned with public life and had no interest in seeking further public office. ... for having pardoned 662 criminals during his first two and a half years as governor, whereas governors Ralston and Marshall had onlyanbsp;...

Title:James P. Goodrich, Indiana's "Governor Strangelove"
Author:Benjamin D. Rhodes
Publisher:Susquehanna University Press - 1996-01-01


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