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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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If I remember correctly, it had no by-line. I think there was no by-line at all. Certainly it wasn't mine. He was a very, very charming fellow by the way, a delightful Scotsman, and he gave me this chance to write this and I was very proud of it because it appeared almost exactly as I'd written it the next day in the Times. But that really, that one rather glamorous exception, was the only real newspaper work that I did at any time during any of my stay overseas. But I was doing a lot of traveling, of course, during the Oxford vacations, as well, as I've said before, I've done a lot of traveling with my father and then later with my brother and his friends and at Oxford I did a lot of traveling, too. So by the end, by the time I came home to America permanently in 1936, I had really traveled very widely, in Europe, in the summer of '36, having gone out with an Oxford friend, another American Rhodes Scholar named Walter Chudson to Russia, and having covered really almost every country in Europe except the Eastern European fringe countries.


Could you just speak a bit about your impressions of Russia in 1936?


In the summer of '36. This was the summer of the trials. Well, I felt that it was just about the most intensely interesting country of all that I had visited because it was a country where everything from the organization of society to the actual physical development was new. It was a fascinating experience to see this totally different kind of society from ours. And one found that one could talk with surprising freedom to people in the trains or in stores or even in apartments. I spoke no Russian at all. I still don't. My friend Chudson, who is now connected with the U.N. Economic Council, did speak a little Russian, and I spoke some German and a fair amount of French and obviously English, and with those languages we really could converse quite a lot with people. And nobody can

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