Long out of print, here is the complete text of the above book through the first six chapters. These chapters cover Dewey’s visit to Soviet Russia in the summer of 1928. They were originally published as separate articles in the magazine New Republic in November and December of the same year—the versions in the book are the same as those in the magazine except for two additional footnotes.
The chapters covering Dewey’s visits to Mexico, Turkey, and China are not included here. Dewey’s footnotes are numbered and marked “–Dewey.” Non-Dewey footnotes are asterisked and marked “–Editor.” Some of the facts in the non-Dewey footnotes were obtained from Prof. William W. Brickman’s introduction and footnotes to the later Columbia Teacher’s College edition.
Dewey’s footnotes are numbered and marked “–Dewey.” Non-Dewey footnotes are asterisked and marked “–Editor.” Some of the facts in the non-Dewey footnotes were obtained from Prof. William W. Brickman’s introduction and footnotes to the later Columbia Teacher’s College edition.
A few words about the content of Dewey’s book follow.
Lenin coined a phrase for the Western intellectuals who parroted Soviet propaganda: “useful idiots.” That phrase spoken for, what shall we call the intellectuals who praised what was true? Though Dewey was a “useful idiot,” believing the lies told by Soviet intellectuals, he could also be an accurate reporter of what actually was happening. In both cases he was full of praise.
As is clear from Dewey’s gushing text, he arrived in Leningrad eager to admire the creation of what he calls a “collectivistic mentality.” To that end he excused, at times even admired, the methods of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. Evil means to an evil end.
The Bolsheviks returned Dewey’s admiration. As Dewey’s books appeared in the West they published Russian translations, even during the Russian civil war brought on by the revolution when their resources were scarce. “Dewey’s ideas were apparently judged as crucial to the revolution as any weapon in the arsenal of the Red Army.” – writes Paul Kengor in Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, though in Dewey’s case he was as much fellow duper as one duped. And Robin Eubanks writes in Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon:
Dewey praised the collusion of school and state. The prime lesson to be learned — in reverse — from Dewey’s Impressions of Soviet Russia is that school and state must be kept entirely separated in a free society. (For an elaboration of this idea see Free the Schools.)
Now for Dewey’s book. To make searching easier all six chapters are on this one webpage. You can just scroll down or else click on one of the following to go right to a particular chapter: