American Film Propaganda in Revolutionary Russia
During the war the American propaganda organization conducted widespread operations abroad and in this country.
By Dr. James D. Startt
Senior Research Professor in History
To the truism that modern wars are fought with words as well as weapons must be added “images,” especially moving picture images. Moreover, the fact that motion pictures were used as vehicles of propaganda in this century’s world wars comes as no surprise. At the time of World War I, when propaganda in its modern forms came of age, film was leaping forward as a popular mass medium of entertainment and journalism. Films had appeared as vehicles of war journalism in the turn-of-the-century wars, but they were all limited conflicts.1 World War I, by comparison, was a total war, and that made propaganda, in all of its possible forms, an imperative dimension of warfare.
During the war the American propaganda organization, the Committee on Public Information (CPI or Compub), conducted widespread operations abroad and in this country. Its international work, however, has attracted little scholarly notice.2 The CPI carried on one of its most vigorous overseas campaigns in Russia, yet its activities in that vast land have been neglected by historians. As extensive records in the National Archives and elsewhere show, the CPI dispersed printed materials by the hundreds of thousands in Russia after the United States entered the war. Those records also show that the CPI made creative use of films in its Russian operation, but that part of its work has gone largely unheralded.3 Its use of motion pictures, however, represents a fascinating effort to employ the film medium as an instrument of propaganda, and it is the purpose of this article to inquire into the why and how of its use and to consider the question of its significance. Since film was part of a multifaceted operation, an explanation of why the CPI became active in Russia is the logical starting point.
The Case for American Propaganda in Russia
From the beginning of the war, all the major belligerents created propaganda organizations to unify and mobilize their own populations and to influence those beyond their borders. As the war acquired a character of totality, the effort to control and influence civilian populations grew in importance, as did the need to inspire a nation’s own fighting forces and to demoralize those of enemy countries. For these reasons, upon the entrance of the United States into the war in 1917, President Wilson ordered the formation of the Committee on Public Information and appointed George Creel, a liberal journalist and ardent Wilson supporter, to head it.
Creel called the CPI’s work “a vast enterprise in salesmanship, the world’s greatest adventure in advertising.”4 Any comprehensive study of its operations confirms the truth of that claim, for the CPI saturated this nation with its material and extended its foreign outreach across Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia. Prevailing circumstances conditioned that work in all instances, but in Russia it faced the challenge of operating amid swirling currents of revolution. Just a month before the American entrance into the war, Russia experienced its first revolution of 1917 with the toppling of the tsarist regime. After months of maneuvering and confrontation by various forces within that country, a second revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, occurred in October, establishing a Communist regime in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) and Moscow. The Bolsheviks, however, had to fight a two-and-a-half-year civil war to gain control of and spread their revolution across the remainder of the old imperial Russia. The revolutionary state of affairs in Russia had a great impact on all the major warring nations. They perceived the fate of Russia as crucial to their own hope for victory or fear of defeat. For this reason, both the Allied and Central Powers tried to influence and guide events and persuasions in Russia for the remainder of the war.
News of the end of the tsarist regime and the establishment of a Russian Republic headed by a Provisional Government on March 15, 1917, at first exhilarated the Western Allies. The United States, then drifting even closer to entering the war, greeted the fall of the tsarist autocracy as “a political upheaval in the old American spirit; republican, liberal, antimonarchial,”5 and it became the first nation to extend official recognition to the new Russia. When the United States entered the war a month later, pressure mounted immediately for it to become involved in Russian affairs by means of economic or military assistance. Pressure also grew for the United States to inaugurate a publicity campaign in Russia.
At that time, the Allies thought the Americans might succeed where they had failed. As Russian morale deteriorated in February 1916, the British decided to initiate official propaganda in Petrograd under the direction of Hugh Walpole and Harold Williams and in Moscow under Bruce Lockhart. By June of 1917, however, they informed our State Department: “The United States is the best situated country from which to organize a counter-propaganda. The Germans have been able to make the Russian people somewhat suspicious of the aims of the French and English.”6 In fact, after the failure of the Gallipoli campaign (1915–1916) and the shock of the Irish Easter Uprising of 1916, Russian confidence in the British waned, thus allowing German and Russian antiwar propaganda more opportunity for exploitation.7 Accordingly, the British believed the time had come for the introduction of American propaganda into Russia. The object was to mobilize an effective counter to German propaganda and to encourage the Russians to remain in the war. Another objective, the need to counter Bolshevik anti-American and anti-Allied propaganda, would be added later.
Although Secretary of State Robert Lansing was emphatic in agreeing with the British assessment, President Wilson wanted more information before acting and decided to send a goodwill mission to Russia.8 Headed by the distinguished statesman Elihu Root, its purpose was to spur on the Russian war effort and to appraise the situation there. The mission’s subsequent report urged the Wilson administration to wage a propaganda campaign in Russia. When George Creel analyzed the report for Wilson, he concluded that the work should be “done well and done quickly.” He also recommended that the State Department should not be involved in the work as the report had suggested it was a job for the CPI.9
American publicity operations, therefore, began in the summer of 1917 and lasted until March 1919. At first they were meager and makeshift, conducted as an adjunct assignment at our various diplomatic posts in Russia. They gained momentum in the fall of 1917, when the CPI was able to undertake its campaign there. Edgar Sisson headed its Russian organization at first, but throughout most of 1918, the main period of its activity, Arthur Bullard was in charge of the operation. He was a brilliant liberal journalist with previous experience in Russia, and he is central to any understanding of our publicity operation there. Bullard was a committed internationalist who admired President Wilson, sympathized with the cause of democracy in Russia, and believed in making democratic ideology a component of our propaganda in that troubled country.
Others agreed that ideology should be included in the campaign. In particular, Charles Edward Russell, a prominent member of the Root mission, made an influential case for appealing to the Russian democratic impulse. He went directly to the President about the matter. “The Russian army is now nothing but a reflex of the Russian people,” he argued. “The trouble is that at the present the average Russian sees nothing in the war that appeals to the soul in him. The war was made by the Czar; that mere fact prejudices the average Russian against it.” Neither did he believe that the typical Russian felt an obligation to the Allies or to the pledge made by the old regime to the Allies. The Russians, however, did acknowledge the “duty of a democrat to fight for democracy.” “I write to beg therefore,” Russell concluded, “that the education campaign carried on by this country in Russia be carefully directed along these lines. . . . [and addressed] to the Russian’s passion for democracy.” If the Russians could be convinced that their revolution was in peril, they would willingly continue to fight.10 To this Wilson responded, “I deeply appreciate your letter. It runs along lines of my own thought, only you speak from knowledge and I have thought by inference, and you may be sure that I will do my best to act along the lines it suggests.”11 Commenting on Russell’s appeal, Wilson told Creel, “Here is a very important letter which I wish you would read and inwardly digest. It seems to me to hit very near the heart of the subject it is concerned with.”12 The effort to keep Russia in the war and to counter German propaganda would now include an ideological component.
The Logic and Deployment of Film Propaganda
As our propaganda campaign in Russia got under way in the second half of 1917, the idea grew of making films an integral part of the operation. Some advocates of using motion pictures took their case to President Wilson. P. A. Strachen, who had been connected with various theatrical enterprises, prepared a ten-page memorandum on the subject for the President. “MOTION PICTURES, having become the medium of international expression and speaking a universal language, have in this instance, possibilities for extending the political power and prestige of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, at the same time acting as an educational and political guide to the millions of Russians, whose ideals, under their new form of democratic government, are as yet in the formative stage,” he argued. “MOTION PICTURES can show these people the manifold advantage of a democratic government, particularizing on the progress made, along political and industrial lines.” Strachan had in mind a “monster picture” composed of parts from existing relevant films to counter “Kaiser Wilhelm’s plans for world domination” and to serve as an instrument for “visualizing American progress.” A message from President Wilson to the Russian people could introduce the film, which would feature scenes of American cities, industries, resources, and military preparedness. The finale should be a cartoon of the United States and Russia together fighting “the hydra-headed monster, Prussianism” with the caption, “HANDS ACROSS THE SEA.”13 Strachan’s spirited appeal did not stand alone.
When the Root mission returned, it also urged that film be used in conjunction with other instruments of propaganda. George Creel assessed the mission’s report for Wilson, and he too recognized the potential of using motion pictures in Russia. Although he raised questions about most of the suggestions the report advanced regarding the means to use for propaganda in Russia, he advised Wilson that employing films for this purpose was a “proper and necessary activity.”14
Some individual members of the mission also made the case for film propaganda to Wilson. Charles Edward Russell pushed for the use of film in his appeal to Wilson. Along with printed matters, he said that film “relating the struggle for democracy elsewhere, picturing the heroes of democracy and their sacrifices and leading up to the present struggle as the final battle in a long conflict” would be the most useful medium to employ.15 Another member of the Root mission, John R. Mont, reported to Secretary Lansing: “The reason why we called particular attention to American films is the fact that the Russians themselves whom we consulted expressed to us the strong desire that large use be made of American films. They deem it very important that we acquaint the Russian civil and military population with American life and that we bring vividly before them America’s part in this War and that we seek to assure them that America has identified herself with them in the great struggle.”16
There was, of course, a convincing logic behind these appeals for using the film medium. Motion pictures were popular in Russia even before the war, and to a war-weary people and to combat troops they would be entertaining as well as instructional. They could be shown over and over again, and by rewriting captions they could be made fully intelligible to educated Russians. Moreover, films could overcome the high illiteracy rate in Russia and engage the masses by having speakers read the captions. Consequently, when the CPI began its operations in Russia in November 1917, films were prominent among the materials it publicized and distributed.
Working inside Russia could never be considered an easy task, but during the time of the CPI’s operation, conditions tested the most determined of men. Its activities began at the very time of the Bolshevik Revolution and would be caught up in the awesome swings of the subsequent civil war. When the Provisional Government fell, no one knew if the Bolsheviks would even permit the operation. As Russia then tumbled deeper into revolution, Bullard wrote from Moscow that “any newspaper or oratorical or cinematic campaign intended to influence the course of events here in the next few months is like shooting arrows at a thunderstorm.” It is interesting to note that even at this point Bullard had misgivings about propaganda aimed simply at keeping Russia in the war. “I have felt from the first,” he said, “that all our propaganda . . . ought to be aimed at creating an impression of permanency. Constructing the basis for future friendship with Russia should be the focus of our efforts. The one great task for all who wish to make the world safe for democracy is to prevent a rapprochement between the imperialistically-minded. The diplomatic nightmare of the future is a new Dreikaiserbund—with perhaps a Mikado thrown in.”17 Regardless of exactly what the main focus of its operation might be, the CPI opened its Petrograd office in November 1917.
It began its work under the tight military control of the Bolsheviks’ Red Guard. But even under those circumstances, Edgar Sisson found it possible to begin the publicity campaign, and Bullard was able to continue it after assuming command when Sisson returned to the United States on March 4. In fact, during the winter of 1917–1918, the CPI conducted its business without serious interference from the Bolsheviks, even after they raided and closed down the British operation late in December. The CPI made an extraordinary effort to circulate its printed material during those winter months. It managed to distribute over three million posters, handbills, and pamphlets publicizing Wilson’s Fourteen Points message of January 8.18 No wonder that for this and other work through the printed media President Wilson sent his “congratulations . . . on great work done splendidly.”19 Film propaganda, however, was another matter.
Sisson arrived in Russia anxious to expose the Russians to properly selected American films. Meanwhile, Creel collected and sent him two shipments totaling a half million feet of film, but the shipments never arrived.20 Due to the civil war that had erupted in Finland, they never moved beyond Sweden. Fortunately, the CPI’s Guy Croswell Smith, who had arrived in Russia several months earlier bringing with him some film at the request of the State Department, contacted Sisson. Smith came carrying a few reels of motion pictures, mainly one film entitled Uncle Sam Immigrant and another called The Presidential Procession in Washington. These would have to suffice. Uncle Sam Immigrant was retitled All for Peace, and a large Petrograd theater was hired and bedecked with American flags. A gala opening evening complete with a large orchestra playing “The Star Spangled Banner” was arranged for the American ambassador, his staff, members of our military mission, and others. The films were shown for a fortnight and then were sent traveling.21 Beyond this CPI personnel showed a few other films that they somehow managed to secure, but no concerted film effort could be made.
Circumstances never allowed the use of film propaganda to develop beyond this meager start at this stage in the CPI’s Russian campaign. In March the Russians signed a separate treaty with Germany at Brest-Litovsk and exited from the war as the Germans occupied the Ukraine. Fearing for their safety, the CPI’s Washington office ordered Bullard and his staff out of Russia in May. They left just as the major hostilities of civil war between the Bolsheviks and anti-Bolshevik forces got under way. Creel, however, wanted the CPI’s Russian operations to continue and ordered it to resume its efforts almost five thousand miles to the east at Vladivostok in Siberia.
Bullard had already begun to prepare for the bureau’s shift to Siberia in April by dispatching two of his able assistants, Malcolm Davis and William Adams Brown, Jr., across the Trans-Siberian Railway to Omsk and other cities farther east. When the situation grew dangerous in these Siberian cities, he ordered them to Harbin in Manchuria. These two resourceful men exceeded the broader purpose of their journey, to survey the conditions in Siberia as a potential for publicity work there, and actually initiated that work. Before departing for Harbin, they began circulating materials by the tens of thousands in Omsk, Irkutsk, Chita, and a few other communities along the Trans-Siberian line.22 So even before Bullard arrived in Siberia, it is clear that the CPI had every intention of continuing its Russian work there.
Before going to Siberia, Bullard returned to the United States, conferred with CPI headquarters, and recruited additional personnel.23 Increasingly, he contemplated the value of film propaganda. When he sailed for Japan en route to Siberia in August, he had two men with him, H. Y. Barnes and George Bothwell, to head his designated Motion Picture Section, and a shipment of over a quarter of a million feet of film was assembled to follow.24 Crossing the Pacific he reflected,
“The most interesting work [while in the United States] was learning something about the Motion Picture Industry. They [motion pictures] are a very important means of propaganda everywhere, but especially so in a land of illiterates like Russia.”25
CPI activities in Manchuria and Eastern Siberia were already under way. In the summer of 1918 Wilbur H. Hart had been sent to China to survey the field for film distribution, and he pushed on into eastern Siberia to make a preliminary appraisal of how to make the most effective use of motion pictures there.26 Malcolm Davis and William Adams Brown had worked their way to Harbin, Manchuria, by July. They found a consignment of films awaiting them there and immediately began to show them in Harbin’s theaters and then at several other communities along the Chinese Eastern Railroad as far as the Russian border.27 Much more film and equipment was needed for a major effort to be made, and Bullard arrived early in September ready to make that effort a central feature of the propaganda campaign in Siberia.
Whether conducted by means of the print or film medium, that campaign had to struggle against severe difficulties. No semblance of order had existed in eastern Siberia since the fall of the Provisional Government ten months earlier. At one time or another in 1918, nineteen different groups claimed legitimate authority in Eastern Siberia. The area was a nest of rumors and alive with Bolshevik, German, and Japanese propaganda. Bolshevik agitators were busy across the land, and the arrival of Russian refugees fleeing the Reds in the west heightened unrest. The food shortage was serious; famine, possible. A Czech force estimated at fifty thousand to seventy thousand men fighting its way across the Trans-Siberian Railway further complicated matters. Then, shortly before Bullard arrived, ten thousand American troops landed at Vladivostok as part of the Allied interventionist forces.28 Those in charge of publicity would have to explain the presence of American troops there as part of whatever else they did.29 Communications and transportation throughout Siberia were precarious, and there was a great competition for those facilities that functioned at all. Supplies, working space, and the Russian personnel upon whom the CPI personnel depended were scarce. In addition to these circumstances, they knew that they would have to confront the fact of Siberian weather in the months ahead, something that could affect and disrupt their production and distribution of materials.
Nevertheless, Bullard established the CPI base in Vladivostok and began the campaign in earnest. Soon the CPI was active not only in and around Vladivostok but also westward across Siberia to Irkutsk, Omsk, and then on to Ekaterinburg, thousands of miles away on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains. Working amid the dangerous political tides sweeping through Siberia and overcoming problems of scarce resources, poor and crowded rail lines, and hardly adequate working facilities, the CPI operation managed to produce and circulate a Daily Bulletin, a weekly publication called the Friendly Word, and various pamphlets and handbills. No less impressive was its film enterprise.
It took additional determination and imagination to make film propaganda succeed. The existing motion picture houses were in poor condition or closed. Their equipment was in need of repair, and there was little hope of replacing it. Film exchanges had almost disappeared from the area. Space for a film laboratory and makeshift facilities needed for making Russian titles and captions was found only after weeks of searching and negotiations with local authorities. Running water and a sewage system were essential for the film laboratory to function, but they were almost unknown in Vladivostok. When the CPI staff managed to build a water and sewage system of their own, it remained at the mercy of city authorities who could turn off the water supply at will. Equipment for composing the Russian titles did not exist and had to be improvised. Chemicals and materials for the operation were imported from Japan and usually arrived damaged. Bullard employed about thirty local workers to help in the production, but “only one in the whole bunch ever saw a motion picture before.” Much of the credit for overcoming these difficulties belongs to George Bothwell. Although Bullard observed he was “as temperamental as an opera singer,” he had a genius for directing the technical elements of the film operation.30
The ability of the CPI personnel to make films a vital component of their propaganda campaign represents a remarkable achievement of technical improvision. No one else was successful in producing either motion pictures or film captions under such adverse circumstances. The British tried it in Archangel, and both the YMCA and the Red Cross attempted it in Vladivostok. All failed.31 Once operating, however, the CPI produced about twenty-five hundred feet of film captions daily and managed to adapt various still and some motion pictures for local viewing. The converted films were shown in and around Vladivostok in various theaters and schools. Local assemblies (the zemstvos) and local economic institutions (co-operative societies) supported the effort and eased the problems of distribution. When the films were taken to towns and villages in the region, the CPI staff supplied projectors, generators, and speakers who were needed to read the film captions since many people in the audiences were illiterate.32 In this manner, the film operation proceeded and grew. Plans were under way to expand it across Siberia when the entire campaign ended in March 1919.
The Films and Their Purpose
The purpose behind using motion pictures as vehicles of propaganda can be detected by considering the films shown. They included dramas, comedies, scenic films, war pictures, newsreels, and educational pictures.33 Among the dramas were some of the popular silent films of the era, The Conquest of Canaan, The Deemster, The Isle of Regeneration, Thais, The Witching Hour, and The White Raven.34 They were offered for their entertainment value and to attract audiences to the CPI’s other film presentations. These old melodramas were known for their beautiful photography and their human, often romantic, appeal. Several depicted German sabotage efforts, typical of the genre of anti-German films that played upon American emotions during the war. The Eagle’s Eye and Inside the Lines exemplified pictures of that type.35 Numerous short and frivolous comedy films were shown, but only their titles are known. Among them, aside from Mutt and Jeff, can be found none of the popular war comedies then attracting large audiences in the United States.36 The CPI used these brief, humorous pictures as they did dramas–to add balance to their programs and to heighten their entertainment value. The real grist of their programs was in the more serious war and educational films and in newsreels.
The CPI used them to combat German propaganda that urged Russians to abandon a pointless war, encouraged more extreme revolution in that land, and belittled the American war effort. Bolshevik propaganda ran along similar lines and added the theme of American capitalists’ designs in keeping Russia in the war.37 Reassurance of American strength, its contribution to the war effort, and the democratic spirit promoted in the CPI films countered such German and Bolshevik propaganda. First among these films were the two CPI-produced feature-length pictures, Pershing’s Crusaders and America’s Answer. They demonstrated U.S. strength in many ways by depicting homefront cooperation, production line efficiency, military training, the enthusiastic reception of American troops arriving in large numbers in France, and the movement of these troops toward the front. The messages in these films were simple and repeated. No doubt was left about the U.S. commitment to the war, the efficiency of its contribution to the Allied cause, or about the worthiness of that cause. Throughout, they stressed the American democratic spirit, the massive strength of the nation’s war effort, the basic goodness of American men and women, and as the captions made clear, their devotion to the cause of freedom.38
The messages conveyed by these two films were repeated and reinforced in a number of others. Remaking the Nation, a CPI-contracted picture filmed at Camp Sherman that portrayed army training, was frequently used in the CPI programs as were a number of Signal Corps films. The latter included The 1917 Recruit, Soldiers of the Sea, Torpedo Boat Destroyers, Submarines, The Spirit of 1917, Lumberjacks, Fire and Gas, Gold of the Sea, and Messengers of Mercy.39 They all supported the themes of American strength and preparation. Beyond this, CPI personnel had a large store of newsreels to show, including the CPI’s own Official War Review and various numbers of the Pathé Weekly and Universal’s Animated Weekly. These newsreels offered no “bad” news, showed the American “unconquerable spirit,” and convincingly portrayed the firm foundations of American strength at home, its mobilization, and its implementation on the battlefield in France.40 As Bullard’s associate Malcolm Davis explained: “The impression which we were trying to make was that America was with the Allies, and for them, heart and soul, and that she was throwing into every fight every bit of strength and resource that she could make effective, a fact which was making the ultimate triumph of the Allied arms sure. The motion pictures, consequently, counted at the right time as a corrective to any German propaganda of Allied defeat.”41 Indirectly, of course, as they portrayed American strength and Allied unity and suggested defeat of the Central Powers, so they conveyed the message of democracy triumphant. Such positive representations might strengthen the democratic cause in Russia.
This democratic message became more pronounced in the films presented as time and events proceeded. After Russia withdrew from the war, Bolshevik anti-Allied and anti-American propaganda spread the idea that the Allies and Americans were concerned about Russia only for self-interested, exploitative reasons. It claimed, for instance, that the United States wanted to annex the Kamchatka peninsula on Russia’s far eastern coast and, along with Japan, receive economic privileges in Siberia.42 The Bolsheviks also championed their own cause. Consequently, the content of the CPI’s films increasingly encouraged an opposite perspective, one that countered such ideas and accented the worthiness of the democratic cause.
These “educational” films promoted a positive image of Americans and the American way of life. From the first, Bullard requested CPI materials that would convey “graphically to the Russian people a definite consciousness of America and the American people.”43 In this case and afterward, he fixed his attention on building the foundation for lasting and friendly Russian-American relations. “In contrast to some of our Allies,” he wrote from Siberia, “our government is playing a long-term game. It has had faith–in spite of all present unpleasantness–in the eventual triumph of popular government in Russia.” Anti-American charges still circulated in Siberia, and with the defeat of Germany they centered on the idea that Americans were “out after commerce and trade concessions.” Bullard admitted that he felt there could be no “regeneration of Russia without the reestablishment of foreign trade relations,” and this probably meant there would be an increase in American “trade and industry in Russia.”44 In his opinion, however, they were matters to be addressed by the consular corps and the War Trade Board.
He wanted to concentrate on portraying American achievement to Russians as a means of demonstrating the standard of life democracy made possible. Depicting democracy in this manner would counter rumors circulating about American greed, and it would help to establish compatible Russian-American relations. “It is up to us,” he stressed, “to put across her [America’s] democratic idealism, her passion for ever improving public education, her striving to improve the living and working conditions of her people.”
Our improved industrial and agricultural processes, our giant machinery, etc., are without doubt an important part of our life. But in our job here I think we should emphasize our progress in municipal government factory legislation for the protection of our workers, our experience in improved political methods, . . . city planning, the use of schoolbuildings as “Community Centers,” the growth of Public Libraries, etc., The Russians have heard a lot about the keen competition of our commerce, the dizzying efficiency of our industry, but next to nothing about the real democracy of our people, which [is] ever eagerly striving to make our life not only more prosperous but also more free and full and fine. It all boils down pretty well to my slogan that our job here is to raise the political standard of living of these people. . . . These poor devils don’t know what to demand of their government. They don’t know what a “good road” is and never dream of expecting the Government to furnish them. It never occurs to the peasant to think that he has a “right” to a good school in his village. . . . He pays his taxes sullenly, but does not realize that the revolution means that the money is still his and that he should receive an equal value.45
To convey the workings of democracy, the CPI personnel utilized a variety of films. Many of the newsreels produced during the war could be shown for this purpose, but the most valuable pictures that specifically addressed the desired themes were scenic and educational ones. Among those presented were films featuring American cities (e.g., Baltimore, New York, and Seattle) and American resorts, markets, urban parks, and natural scenery. Films such as Columbia River Highway, Water Dams in Idaho and Irrigation, and Water Power conveyed a sense of democratic achievement.46 Educational films describing American agriculture and industry were especially important, and the CPI staff made maximum use of them, not only in their own programs but also in the free distribution of them to Zemstvo organizations, cooperative societies, and schools. Bullard urged CPI headquarters in Washington to send more films of this sort, ones that would stimulate Russian productivity and raise the standards of their life.
He was anxious, moreover, to make the impact of these films more effective. He wanted films with more close-ups. The Russian peasants, he said, “would get better results from an agricultural picture if it were much more elementary, giving each scene a longer time on the screen and giving frequent closeups of all implements used.” He wanted agricultural pictures of the simplest kind and pictures specially made to demonstrate fundamental procedures and farm equipment. “A picture of a tractor pulling 40 plows,” he said, “does not get across with an audience which has never seen a tractor.” His film division made the most of the education films they had on hand, but he reported that the need existed for many more of them produced with the Russian peasant in mind. “There is a great demand for such films and there is little which I can see in motion picture propaganda which would be more profitable,” he reported to Washington.47
Obviously Bullard and his associates wanted to maximize the effectiveness of film propaganda. There is, however, no evidence that they attempted to provide background music during the showing of the motion pictures as was routine in presenting silent films in the United States. Although some musicians were among the near-destitute refugees gathered at Vladivostok, the fact that narrator-readers had to be employed for most presentations would have made musical accompaniment awkward. Nevertheless, the CPI made one interesting effort to combine music and film toward the end of its life in Siberia. That experiment was made after Charles Philip Norton became acting director of CPI’s Russian operation in December 1918. Serious illness and hospitalization had forced Bullard from his post, and he wanted Norton as his successor.48 Norton was the publicity director for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and he impressed Bullard as “the breeziest Westerner you ever saw and ONE live wire” as well as someone who understood publicity.49 His wife accompanied him, and her presence is worth noting. She was a singer of some stature in the United States and had a great enthusiasm for the value of music in penetrating cultural barriers. Together they launched a series of benefit film-concerts, or “motion picture entertainments” as they were also called, in and around Vladivostok.
These were spirited presentations. Mrs. Norton perfected their organization and performed in them. She was joined by the military band of the Thirty-first Infantry Regiment, which was part of the American Expeditionary Force sent to Siberia; personnel from the cruiser USS Brooklyn, then harbored at Vladivostok, who provided a small orchestra and a violin quartet; and a few others who volunteered their services. The concerts were well advertised and were presented to overflowing audiences in the “Hut,” a YMCA facility near the harbor. They opened with a rousing overture followed by selections by the violin quartet or a violin solo, and then various vocal solos and duets with piano accompaniment. Interspersed between the musical offerings were popular American films such as Thais, The Isle of Regeneration, and The Deemster. Advertisements for the last of these films promised “wonderful photography, beautiful exterior and interior scenes, maritime adventures, spectacular fights, an escape down an ivy-clad wall of a castle, prison scenes, the land of exile, . . . [a] burning ship at night, the return of the fugitives, [and] the lovers reunited.”50 The film-concerts were presented in the evenings, but there were special appropriately designed afternoon productions for children. On one occasion, the CPI ventured into the far outskirts of Vladivostok for a showing in a poor workingman’s village where such entertainment was rare. All the proceeds from these concerts went to the benefit of the children of the area.51 No wonder that “Amerikanka Compub,” as the organization came to be known, gained in popularity as a result of these presentations with their blend of classical and lighter Russian and American music and exciting films. They received appreciative responses, and indeed, they were good entertainment. But did they have propaganda value?
The CPI personnel left no doubt about how they felt that question should be answered. In their final reports on the subject they argued that now that the war was over, the purpose of the CPI in Siberia was to “win the hearts of the people [there] and to disseminate knowledge of American democracy and its methods of progress.” Indications of the perceived success of these film concerts run throughout these reports. “Within a month this new phase of the ‘Compub’ work was a household topic in Vladivostok,” the explanation ran.
The effect dissolved suspicion of American motives [e.g., greed or to gain commercial advantage], as far as the “Compub” was concerned. Its other propaganda gained in power, expanding American influence. Press and public were outspoken in their grateful praise. . . . The remarkable effect of music upon this people . . . [makes it] highly desirable to include this form of propaganda in any future publicity work among the Russians.52
Written at the time when the CPI in Siberia was preparing to terminate its work there, these rather self-congratulatory reports spoke repeatedly of using entertainment as part of the “applied psychology” involved in disseminating the ideas they hoped to promote.53 The CPI group, in fact, had made that a consideration since they first made films an integral part of their Russian work.
As an episode in the history of American propaganda during World War I, the employment of film as an instrument of publicity in Russia is revealing. Like others involved in American film propaganda during the war, the CPI’s Russian personnel perceived that motion pictures were capable of communication of great force. Increasingly they used the medium of film as an integral part of their total propaganda effort and in the process tried to increase its effectiveness as an instrument of publicity. Moreover, the manner in which they employed the films shows that they anticipated the next generation of propagandists in appreciating the value of entertainment in motion picture propaganda.54 Most of all, they found that films could be used to communicate the messages they wished to disseminate among both literate and illiterate audiences.
A pro-democratic element came to dominate these messages. Although Russia’s exit from the war and the eventual collapse of the Central Powers helps explain its growth, there was also another reason, really a hope, that elucidates it. As Bullard put it, “to have an ideal government you must have some ideal material.” He explained his thinking in this way to his successor: “It all boils down pretty well to my slogan that our job here is to raise the political standard of living of these people.” With that comment he had in mind the need he perceived to raise the people’s vision and expectations regarding government and its responsibilities. The lack of demand by the people of Siberia for good roads, good schools, and good government disturbed him. So he concluded, “If we can give these people a picture of what an American taxpayer expects in the way of returns on his ‘investment’ we will have done something very valuable indeed.”55 Increasingly, he became interested in education as the only solution for Russia’s myriad of problems ranging from Bolshevism to illiteracy to the country’s many-sided backwardness. “This was . . . [the subject] on which we could always interest people in our American propaganda,” he wrote after departing from Siberia.56 Political partisans, teachers, peasants, all were fascinated by the idea of public education, and Bullard viewed it as the key to everything else–e.g., land reform, effective local government, stable central government, and economic regeneration and development. He contended that Russia had been undergoing a fundamental revolution for years, one that education and public opinion would ultimately determine. Accordingly, his commitment to placing the workings of institutions in a free and democratic society foremost in CPI propaganda and stressing education can be understood. The motto for our relations with Russia, he concluded, should be “Education, the road to Democracy.”57 American film propaganda in Russia was used with this end in mind.
Was the response to this employment of film favorable? The answer to this question is hampered by lack of record and by the fact of the eventual Bolshevik victory in the civil war and the control of life and opinion it entailed. It is impossible to make any long-range assessment of the use of American film propaganda in Russia. Interestingly, however, some indication of its short-term impact can be gleaned from the paper trail. Sometimes an effort was made to gather audience opinion of the film programs. Unfortunately, only one summary of these reactions could be found. This is a report written by one of CPI’s Russian assistants for a program shown in the large village of Shkotovo. It was presented there in the High Foundation School to an audience of 345, composed of 95 adults and the remainder students and other youths. The program consisted of films of American cities and life, one of Odessa included for comparison with cities in the United States, and several newsreels featuring end-of-the-war events in the West. In summarizing the notes left in response boxes afterwards, the Russian assistant reported, “Never the notes complained.” The responses were appreciative and favorable, despite one that read, “your film good for the devil.” It is interesting to note that the assistant reported that the majority of people had previously seen and enjoyed cinemas.58 The CPI was able to take advantage of that fact. Nevertheless, because of its singularity, this reported response, though worthy of note, does not encourage generalization.
More important was the response of various civic organizations to the American film effort. In this case the record is clear. The Vladivostok and other Zemstvos and various cooperative societies in the area valued American films, especially the educational programs. They were anxious to have them. When informed by the Vladivostok Zemstvo of this experiment with motion pictures, the local Zemstvos of the area even sent money to help with the expense of showing films in their districts. The reports following the showing of these films, Bothwell claimed, “were simply great.” He reported that the villagers had a keen interest in American agriculture and asked “no end of questions” about it following the showing of the films.59 Bullard also reported positive responses to these films and said there was a “great demand” for them, and Norton concurred in that judgment.60
The responses to the films that Bothwell, Bullard, and later Norton received encouraged them in believing in the strength of a Russian democratic impulse. It was a fragile impulse, and the Russian concept of popular power was too rooted in autocracy to allow it to grow at the time. Within the limits of what was possible, the use of motion pictures of all kinds helped the CPI members in Russia to maximize their outreach. Nevertheless, their hopes for postwar democracy in Russia, reflecting President Wilson’s progressive international vision as they did, were illusory rather than realistic.
- Films were used in portraying the Anglo-Boer War, the Boxer Rebellion, and the Spanish-American War. See Raymond Fielding, The American Newsreel 1911–1967 (1972), pp. 29–36; David H. Mould, American Newsfilm, 1914–1919: The Underexposed War (1983), pp. 7–8; and Elizabeth Grottle Strebel, “Primitive Propaganda: The Boer War Films,” Sight and Sound (1976–77): 45–57.
- The standard works on the CPI leave much room for deeper and broader inquiry into its international work. Stephen Vaughn’s Holding Fast the Inner Lines: Democracy, Nationalism, and the Committee on Public Information (1980) deals only with the CPI’s Domestic Section. James R. Mock and Cedric Larson’s Words That Won the War: The Story of the Committee on Public Information (1939) and George Creel’s How We Advertised America: The First Telling of the Amazing Story of the Committee on Public Information that Carried the Gospel of Americanism to Every Corner of the Globe (1920) featured greater coverage of the CPI’s Domestic Section than its Foreign Section, and their treatment of the latter can be described as an overview. Creel’s book, like his earlier and more complete but lesser known, Complete Report of the Chairman of the Committee on Public Information (1920) is limited to a few selected records of the CPI’s overseas operations and altogether neglect other primary sources. His works are valuable but far from comprehensive, and they fail to satisfy retrospective curiosity on the subject.
- For example, Kevin Brownlow’s classic study, The War, the West, and the Wilderness (1979), provides engaging information on the film as propaganda during the war but allows the subject to lapse in the case of American propaganda in Russia. It devotes only two lines about difficulties encountered in Moscow and Petrograd to the subject, and its more extensive coverage to American operations in Siberia is devoted entirely to the Photographic Section of the Signal Corps attached to the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia, whose job it was to record by film rather than to propagandize by film. (See “The Russian Intervention,” in part I, pp. 164–171). Michael T. Isenberg’s excellent and otherwise useful study, War on Film: The American Cinema and World War I, 1914–1941 (1981) emphasizes how the subject of war was portrayed during the war but not the uses made of that portrayal. Harold D. Lasswell’s classic study Propaganda Technique in World War I (1927; reprint, 1971) virtually overlooks film as propaganda in his discussion of American propaganda techniques in Russia. Richard Wood’s Film and Propaganda in America: A Documentary History, Vol. 1, World War I (1990) contains only a single document pertaining to the CPI’s work in Russia, a letter by Edgar Sisson (pp. 444–446). Two other quite useful studies for the subject of World War I films in general, Craig W. Campbell’s Reel America and World War I: A Comprehensive Filmography and the History of Motion Pictures in the United States, 1914–1920 (1985) and Larry Wayne Ward’s The Motion Picture Goes to War: The U.S. Government Film Effort During World War I (1985) concentrate on the production and description of films and related matters. They do not directly engage the subject of the present inquiry.
- Creel, How We Advertised America, p. 4.
- George Kennan, Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin (1961), p. 18.
- Enclosed in Robert Lansing to President Wilson, June 8, 1917, in Arthur S. Link, ed., The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, 64 vols. (1966–1991), 42: 464 (hereinafter cited as Wilson Papers).
- R. H. Brace Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent (1932; reprint, 1950), p. 149. It can be noted here that the British made films a part of their propaganda effort in Russia. Using portable film projectors mounted on trucks, they gave shows to over 100,000 Russian troops in April-May 1916 alone. They were well received during the period of Russian success in the offense of 1916, but by 1917 “they served merely to increase the number of deserters.” Ibid., p. 185, and Keith Neilson, “‘Joy Rides’?: British Intelligence and Propaganda in Russia, 1914–1917,” The Historical Journal (1981): 894.
- Robert Lansing to Woodrow Wilson, June 8, 1917, Wilson Papers, 42: 463.
- “Plans for American Cooperation to Preserve and Strengthen the Morale of the Civil Population of Russia,” synopsis and critique, enclosed in George Creel to Woodrow Wilson, June [Aug.] 20, 1917, Wilson Papers, 43: 526–530.
- Charles Edward Russell to Wilson, Nov. 10, 1917, ibid., 44: 557–558.
- Wilson to Russell, Nov. 10 1917, ibid.
- Wilson to Creel, Nov. 10 1917, ibid.
- “Motion-Picture Publicity: It’s [sic] Relation to Aiding the Work of the Industrial Commission Which Has Been Sent to Russia,” memorandum, P. A. Strachan to President Wilson, June 17, 1917, box 7, Charles Edward Russell Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC (hereinafter, Russell Papers, LC).
- Creel said the quality of posters was uncertain and that of Russian speakers was problematic. He thought distributing pamphlets and leaflets had no “merit at all.” The British had tried it and had “muddled the situation.” Creel was interested in a news service and in the use of films. Critique enclosed in Creel to Wilson, Aug. 20, 1917, Wilson Papers, 43: 526–530.
- Charles Edward Russell to Wilson, Nov. 7, 1917, Wilson Papers, 44: 558. See also a memorandum, “Publicity and Recomments,” n.d., Vol. 8, Russell Papers, LC.
- John R. Mott to Robert Lansing, Aug. 22, 1917, Wilson Papers, 44: 67. As mentioned previously (note 7), the British used films in their Russian propaganda earlier. There is, however, no evidence to suggest that the British experience with motion pictures in that instance influenced the American decision to make film propaganda part of their Russian operation.
- Arthur Bullard to Mr. Wright (counselor at Petrograd), Oct. 11, 1917, box 6, Arthur Bullard Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University (hereinafter Bullard Papers, PU).
- “Report of Edgar Sisson on Installation of Committee of Public Information Service in Russia,” pp. 6–7, May 29, 1918, ibid.
- COMPUB (Washington) to COMPUB (Moscow), Mar. 6, 1918, folder “Bullard-Sisson Rus. Cables,” CPI 17-A2, Records of the Committee on Public Information, Record Group 63, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC (hereinafter, records in the National Archives will be cited as RG __ , NARA).
- George Creel to Wilson, Dec. 27, 1917, Vol. 1, George Creel Papers, Manuscript Division, LC.
- “Report of Edgar Sisson on Installation of Committee of Public Information Services in Russia,” p. 9, and Edgar Sisson, One Hundred Days: A Personal Chronicle of the Bolshevik Revolution (1931), pp. 180–183.
- Malcolm Davis, “Report of Work in Connection with the Siberian Department of the Russian Press Division of the Committee on Public Information,” pp. 1–2, n.d. [May 1919], folder “Davis-Harbin-Russian-Correspondence,” CPI 17-A2, RG 63, NARA.
- Bullard’s group included George Bakeman, Otto Glaman, and Graham Taylor, who had left northern Russia with Bullard. They were joined by Dr. Joshua Rosett, Franklin Clarkin, Edwin Schoonmaker, Robert Winters, George Bothwell, Sid Evans, Prof. William Russell, William Carnes, Lem A. Dever, Dennis Haggerty, H. Y. Barnes, and Phil Norton (Creel, How We Advertised America, p. 380).
- Edgar Sisson to Bullard, Sept. 6, 1918, folder “Bullard Cables-Russian Expedition,” CPI 17-A2, RG 63, NARA.
- Bullard to Mrs. Bagg, Aug. 28, 1918, box 8, Bullard Papers, PU.
- Untitled report, n.d. [Sept. 1918], folder “Reports,” CPI 27-B2, RG 63, NARA.
- Malcolm Davis to Arthur Bullard, “Report of Siberian Activities,” p. 8, n.d. [Jan.–Feb. 1919], Bullard Papers, PU.
- The Czech Corps or Czech Legion was composed of men from Czech populations living in the former Russian Empire as well as Czech prisoners and deserters from the Austro-Hungarian army. They formed a separate detachment in the old Russian army. Although their number was frequently cited as 60,000 or 70,000, George Kennan estimates that it was considerably less, between 40,000 and 50,000. Kennan, Russia and the West, p. 70. Orlando Figes places the number lower yet, at about 35,000, in his recent study, A People’s Tragedy: A History of the Russian Revolution (1997), p. 576. The exact number of American troops sent to Vladivostok is also open to some question. Although often cited as 7,000, it is probably higher. Gen. William Graves, who commanded the force, gave a total figure of 8,016 plus three support companies in his America’s Siberian Adventure, 1918-1920 (1931), pp. 34 and 55, and President Wilson informed the Senate that there were approximately 10,000 men in the force, about 8,000 “effectives” and some “auxiliary” troops. See Wilson to the President of the Senate, July 22, 1919, Wilson Papers, 61: 579.
- Although historians have displayed a keen interest in the American intervention, they have generally overlooked the CPI’s involvement there or simply mentioned it in a nondescript manner. See, for example, William S. Graves, American Siberian Adventure (1931); N. Gordon Levin, Jr., Woodrow Wilson and the World Politics: America’s Response to War and Revolution (1968); Clarence Manning, The Siberian Fiasco (1951); Frederick Lewis Schuman, American Policy Towards Russia Since 1917 (1928); and Betty Miller Unterberger, America’s Siberian Expedition, 1918–1920: A Study of National Policy (1956). Unterberger, however, did make a direct reference to the CPI’s work in Siberia in a later conference paper, “Woodrow Wilson and the ‘Acid Test’ of Soviet-American relations,” Southern Historical Association meeting, Houston, TX, 1985. In his study, Soviet-American Relations, 1917–1920, George Kennan devotes an entire chapter to the CPI and provides a penetrating account of Arthur Bullard. See Russia Leaves the War (1956), pp. 190–208. Kennan, however, limits those comments to CPI’s work in Northern Russia in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution and deals with other matters in his coverage of the Siberian intervention. The role of the CPI has also failed to attract the interest of historians debating American motives for intervention. See, for example, Christopher Lasch, “American Intervention in Siberia: A Reinterpretation,” Political Science Quarterly 77 (1962): 205–223; Eugene P. Trani, “Woodrow Wilson and the Decision to Intervene in Russia: A Reconsideration,” Journal of Modern History (1976): 440–461; and Betty Miller Unterberger, “President Wilson and the Decision to Send American Troops to Siberia,” Pacific Historical Review (1955): 63–74.
- Bullard to Sisson, Sept. 11, 1918, folder “Bullard-Glaman-Aug.-Sept. 1918,” CPI 17-A2, RG 63, NARA, and a Bullard report, “The Situation in Siberia,” pp. 11–12, Oct. 6, 1918, box 6, Bullard Papers, PU.
- Bullard to Sisson, report, “Re Films,” p. 4, n.d. [Dec. 1918], RG 63, NARA.
- “Report of George S. Bothwell, Director of Film Division, American Committee on Public Information, Russian Division, Vladivostok, Siberia,” Report No. 1, pp. 3–4, and No. 2, p. 1, n.d. [Jan. 1919], CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA; Malcolm Davis, “Report of Work in Connection with the Siberian Department of the Russian Press Division of the Committee on Public Information,” pp. 1-2, CPI 17-A2, RG 63, NARA; Malcolm Davis, “Report of Siberian Activities,” pp. 12–13, Bullard Papers, PU; and Bullard, report, “Re Films,” pp. 2-3, RG 63, NARA.
- Although the number of films varied over time, when the operation terminated the films on hand included: twenty-nine dramas, thirty-eight comedies, nineteen scenic films, fourteen war pictures, seven reels of the War Review, thirty-three numbers of Pathé’s Weekly, and twenty-eight numbers of the Universal Animated Weekly. (Bothwell, Report No. 2, pp. 4–5, CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA.)
- Because of their romantic qualities, most of these films were favorably reviewed. See, for instance, reviews in The New York Times Film Reviews, 1913–1968 (1970) of The Conquest of Canaan, Thais, and the White Raven, in Vol. 1, pp. 3, 25, 26, and 99. The Isle of Regeneration was reviewed by Motion Picture News, Feb. 20, 1915, p. 48.
- The Eagle’s Eye, a film produced with government approval, was a serial film portraying Germans plotting to blow up the Lusitania and preparing a culture of infantile paralysis germs to infect horseflies to be turned loose upon innocent civilians. Some American theater managers refused to show the series for fear of offending German Americans in their audiences. See Moving Picture World, Feb. 23, 1918, p. 1065, and Mar. 9, 1918, p. 1344. See also Isenberg, War on Film, pp. 183–184, and Campbell, Reel America and World War I, p. 94. Inside the Lines was tamer. It featured a German Secret Service effort to destroy the British fleet at Gibraltar. See Moving Picture World, Sept. 7, 1918, p. 1464, and Campbell, Reel America and World War I, p. 178.
- The comedies the CPI had available at the end of 1918 were: Eight Bells, All For Her, Colonel Heeza, His Day Out, His Golden Romance, It’s a Great Life, Oh! What a Day, Recruit, Some Baby, Aeroplane Elopement, Ambitious Ethel, Back to Balkans, Crazy Cat Cook, Decoy, Faith of Sunny Sim, Good and Proper, Guilty Ones, Jack a Hall Room Hero, Jarr & Love’s Young Dream, Jack Hires a Stenographer, Jarr and the Lady’s Cup, Jarr and the Lady Reformer, Jarr Takes a Night Off, Kernel Nut the Footman, Kernel Nut the Janitor, Leak, Money-Maid-Men, Mutt and Jeff, On Ice, Pipe Dreams, Prize Winners, Rare Boarder, Seeing New York with John Dough, Speed, Tale of a Monkey, War Correspondents, Wedding Promise, and What’s the Use. (Bothwell, Report No. 2, pp. 4–5, CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA.)
- CPI correspondence and reports abound with references to this German and Bolshevik propaganda. For the former, see also John W. Wheeler-Bennett, The Forgotten Peace: Brest-Litovsk, March 1918 (1939), p. 32; and for the latter see also Figes, A People’s Tragedy, pp. 417–418, and Arthur Bullard, The Russian Pendulum (1919), p. 79.
- America’s Answer and Pershing’s Crusaders, Signal Corps Historical Films, Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, RG 111, Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch, NARA.
- Creel, Complete Report of the Chairman, p. 47, and Bothwell, Report No. 2, pp. 4–5, CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA.
- Isenberg, War on Film, pp. 73-74.
- Malcolm Davis, report, “Work in Russia—Siberian Activities,” in Creel, Complete Report of the Chairman, p. 239.
- Bullard, The Russian Pendulum, p. 185. Reference to “German agents” trying to demoralize the Siberian population frequently also appears in CPI records through the fall of 1918. See, for example, excerpt from a Malcolm Davis letter to his father, in S. P. Davis to M. E. Lyons (a CPI secretary), Nov. 13, 1918, folder “Davis-Harbin-Russian-Correspondence,” CPI 17-A2, RG 63, NARA, Jan. 25.
- E. T. Weeks to Mr. Churchill, Jan. 25, 1918, folder “E. T. Weeks, Russian Expedition,” CPI 15-A 1, RG 63, NARA.
- Bullard to Phil Norton, Dec. 25, 1918, box 7, Bullard Papers, PU.
- Bothwell, Report No. 2, pp. 4-5
- Bullard, report “Re Films,” p. 3.
- At Norton’s request, Bullard remained director of the Russia Compub after leaving Vladivostok and Norton became acting director.
- Bullard to Sisson, Aug. 14, 1918, folder “Bullard Reports,” CPI 17-A2, RG 63, NARA.
- Program “Sunday’s American Cinema–Concert Program,” n.d, and a notice, Jan. 24, 1919, CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA.
- Statement, No. 406 “Golos Primoria,” Feb. 2, 1919, ibid.
- [Charles Philip Norton], “Report on Vladivostok Musical Club,” pp. 3–4, 8, n.d. [Jan.-March, 1919], CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA, and Malcolm Davis, “Report on Siberian Activities,” p. 13, n.d. [Jan. 1919], box 7, Bullard Papers, PU.
- See, in particular, [Norton], “Report on Vladivostok Musical Club,” p. 1, CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA.
- For example, entertainment content is mixed with serious matter in the classic Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will.
- Bullard to Phil Norton, Dec. 25, 1918, box 7, Bullard Papers, PU.
- Bullard, The Russian Pendulum, p. 229.
- Ibid., p. 247.
- N. Tilicheieff, “The Zemstvos Scientific-Educational Cinema,” n.d., CPI 27-B1, RG 63, NARA.
- George Bothwell, memo, Jan. 18, 1919, in Creel, Complete Report of the Chairman, p. 245, and Bullard, report, “Re Files,” pp. 3, 7–8, RG 63, NARA.
- Bullard to Sisson, n.d., folder “Bullard Cables Dec. 1918,” and [Charles Philip Norton], “Report on the Vladivostok Musical Club,” p. 1, n.d., [Jan.–Mar. 1919], CPI 27-B1, both in RG 63, NARA.
Originally published by Prologue 30:3 (Fall 1998), the United States National Archives and Records Administration, to the public domain.