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Quaker Travels, Fellow Traveler? Wroe Alderson’s Visit to Russia during the Cold War

By Mark Tadajewski

Abstract

This paper was published as Journal of Macromarketing, 2009, 29 (3), pp. 303-324. It is available from http://jmk.sagepub.com/content/29/3/303. Doi: 10.1177/0276146709334305Metadata only entryThis article will add an important detail to our knowledge of Wroe Alderson’s life, namely his journey to Russia at the height of the cold war and the subsequent intelligence gathering efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following Alderson’s return from Russia in 1955. It does this by situating the text (AFSC 1956) that resulted from the journey in its historical context, connecting the trip to Russia with the Quaker value system that motivated the expedition. These values are, in turn, related to the files of the FBI via a brief review of the relevant volumes of FBI files that referred to the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)—the group that Alderson traveled to Russia with. Using the Quaker publication coauthored by Alderson that details the journey to Russia, this article reconstructs the arguments found in that text. Finally, the author examines why Alderson attracted the attention of the FBI. His characteristic willingness to critique the assertions of a party of Soviet individuals with whom he met, as well as support for Alderson from an unknown Quaker associated with the FBI, would ensure that his credentials as an American patriot were never in danger

Topics: FBI, macromarketing, politics, Wroe Alderson
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0276146709334305
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8664
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