Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Esther Kingston-Mann

Second Advisor

Timothy Hacsi

Third Advisor

David Hunt


October 1929 through December 1933 was a very significant period for Soviet-American relations. During this time, the United States government transformed its position on relations with the Soviet Union from non-recognition to recognition in 1933. A major contributing factor for this change was the beginning of the Great Depression when the U.S. economy went from an era of great prosperity to one of economic crisis and massive unemployment. People desperately searched for relief and answers within the U.S. political, social and economic system; as well as from an unlikely alternative, the Soviet Union's policies and communist system.

During this transitional period, the Soviet Union changed from political adversary to cooperative partner in world affairs. Both the mainstream and alternative media sources recorded the events of the period while providing unique perspectives of the issues. With these factors in mind, this thesis investigates how the U.S. media portrayed Soviets, communism, and the Soviet Union during the years preceding U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union.

This thesis analyzes four media sources: the more mainstream Boston Globe, and three rarely researched non-mainstream media sources, the Chicago Defender, the Catholic World, and the Catholic Worker following the Stock Market Crash of 1929 through December 1933. The Globe, Defender, and the World were researched throughout this entire period - the Worker was researched from its establishment in May 1933 to December 1933. The articles within these sources analyzed included issues involving the Soviet Union, communism, US-Soviet relations, and social justice.


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