Strong, Anna Louise

(1885–1970)
   Strong was an early apostle of the Soviet experiment. After being disappointed by the failure of the American progressive movement, she went to Russia in 1921 and worked as an unabashed apologist for Joseph Stalin for the next 28 years. In 1935 she was appointed by Stalin as the editor of the English-language Moscow News. Strong was in it for more than the ideology; she was richly paid for her articles on Soviet politics and culture. She was also an agent of the NKVD with the code name “Lira,” presumably for her support of Moscow’s active measures. In February 1949 Strong was arrested in Moscow by the MGB as an American spy. After several days in the Lubyanka, she was deported to the United States. She apparently had been arrested because of her travels in Yugoslavia and China. Moscow may have believed that she was forging contacts between Titoists and Maoists.
   In the mid-1950s, Strong was forgiven and traveled to Moscow. Finding the Soviet Union too tame, she settled in China, where she wrote glowing reports of the great proletarian Cultural Revolution before she died at age 85.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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