A pedestrian study of diplomatic and ideological relations between America and Russia which may have a scholarly contribution to make for those who would understand the roots of ideological cleavage today, but which the general public would find tough going. In superficial structure one can trace the diplomatic history- a not very enlightening one with America's genius for sending uninstructed, ill-prepared diplomatic representatives- from the first failure Francis Dane, in 1780 to the ill-starred Ambassador Francis in 1917. At intervals through these years, literary, political and ideological writers indicated that the American myth had taken root. At times- as when Jefferson and Alexander I interchanged letters regarding Russian constitutional reform -- and again, at the time of closest contact and sympathy, when emancipation of the serfs in Russia coincided with emancipation of the slaves in the United States -- the two countries were drawn together. Now and then a diplomat appeared who was really concerned in understanding Russia- Andrew White was one. But the real impact was made on the one side by a writer such as Herzen or Chernyshevski, and on the other by Henry George or Geore Kennan. Not a book for snap judgment, but for scholarly study.