American-Soviet Medical Society.

Alternative names

Hide Profile

The Society was founded in New York City in 1943 to keep American physicians informed of Soviet medical advances and to improve relations between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; published the American-Soviet Medical Review; disbanded in 1949.

From the description of American-Soviet Medical Society records, 1942-1987 (bulk 1943-1948). (National Library of Medicine). WorldCat record id: 50124790

The society was founded in New York City in 1943. Its major objective was to keep American physicians informed of Soviety medical advances and to improve relations between the United States and the USSR. As a result of the Cold War, it was disbanded in 1947. Robert Lincoln Leslie was the business manager of the society and a prominent society leader.

From the guide to the Papers of the American-Soviet Medical Society, 1943-1949, (History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine)

The American-Soviet Medical Society to Exchange Medical Information, known informally as the American-Soviet Medical Society, was founded in New York City in 1943. The society's major objective was to keep American physicians informed of Soviet medical advances, believing that these advances had not been adequately publicized in the United States. In addition, like other national organizations (such as the National Council on Soviet-American Friendship (to which many of the leaders of the society also belonged), the American-Soviet Medical Society sought to improve relations between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As the wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union transformed itself into a cold war, however, membership plummeted and the Society ran out of funds; it was disbanded in 1949.

The American-Soviet Medical Society maintained an extensive collection of Soviet medical periodicals in its library and loaned its collection of Soviet medical films to groups and individuals around the country. It also published a journal, the American-Soviet Medical Review, in which the work of Soviet physicians was publicized and published in translation. Historian Henry E. Sigerist served as its chief editor. The Society also distributed and promoted some of Sigerist's publications; it held the copyright to his Medicine and Health in the Soviet Union.

Prominent among the American-Soviet Medical Society's leaders was its business manager, Robert Lincoln Leslie. Most accounts of his life relate that Leslie was born in New York of a Lithuanian mother and a Scottish father in 1885 and that he earned a medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1912 before going into business. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) records acquired by the National Library of Medicine in 1991 under the Freedom of Information Act, however, suggest that Leslie was born in 1891 of Lithuanian parents and that he never earned a medical degree. However, these records are incomplete, encompassing only a few hundred pages of a seven-hundred-page file on Leslie.

As business manager, Leslie oversaw the American-Soviet Medical Society's finances, suscriptions to the Review, and the circulation of its films. A good friend of Sigerist's, Leslie also arranged to have the Society promote Sigerist's books. Like other Americans who held liberal or leftist political beliefs at that time, Leslie and the Society were investigated by the FBI throughout the 1940s for signs of overt Marxism and disloyalty. However, according to the Library's incomplete copy of Leslie's file, no evidence linking the society or Leslie to illegal acts was ever uncovered.

After the Society ceased to exist, Leslie went on to start the Composing Room, a graphic-arts concern, and became a prominent businessman. Papers relating to his printing business are found in the New York City Technical College library. Leslie died in 1987. In addition to the biographical information in this collection on Leslie, researchers may also wish to consult an oral history interview between Leslie and the National Park Service relating to Leslie's service with the Public Health Service on Ellis Island. A copy of the transcript of the interview is located with the oral history collections of the National Library of Medicine.

From the guide to the American-Soviet Medical Society Records, 1942-1987 (bulk 1943-1948), (History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Cannon, Walter B. (Walter Bradford), 1871-1945. Papers, 1873-1945, 1972-1974 (inclusive), 1881-1945 (bulk) Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Wortis, Joseph, 1906-1995. Soviet medicine and psychiatry papers, [1940-1960] New York Academy of Medicine
creatorOf American-Soviet Medical Society Records, 1942-1987 (bulk 1943-1948) History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
creatorOf American-Soviet Medical Society. American-Soviet Medical Society records, 1942-1987 (bulk 1943-1948). National Library of Medicine
creatorOf Papers of the American-Soviet Medical Society, 1943-1949 History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
referencedIn Papers, 1873-1945 (inclusive), 1881-1945 (bulk) Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
referencedIn Heiman, Jacob. Heiman/Kalisher papers, [1920-1960] New York Academy of Medicine
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Cannon, Walter B. (Walter Bradford), 1871-1945. person
associatedWith Greenberg, Sarah K. (Sarah Koslow), 1891- person
associatedWith Heiman, Jacob. person
associatedWith Leslie, Robert L., 1885- person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Mudd, Stuart, 1893- person
associatedWith Sigerist, Henry E. 1891-1957 person
associatedWith United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation. corporateBody
associatedWith Wortis, Joseph, 1906-1995 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
USSR
New York
United States
USSR
United States
Subject
Motion Pictures as Topic
Societies, Medical
Motion pictures
Publishing
Information services
International cooperation
Organization
Medicine
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1942

Active 1987

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jt3t4x

Ark ID: w6jt3t4x

SNAC ID: 59774237