NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
History called on Harry Truman to unite the Western world against Soviet communism, but first he had to rally Republicans and Democrats behind America’s most dramatic foreign policy shift since George Washington delivered his farewell address. How did one of the least prepared presidents to walk into the Oval Office become one of its most successful?
The year was 1947. The Soviet Union had moved from being America’s uneasy ally in the Second World War to its most feared enemy. With Joseph Stalin’s ambitions pushing westward, Turkey was pressured from the east while communist revolutionaries overran Greece. The British Empire was battered from its war with Hitler and suddenly teetering on the brink of financial ruin. Only America could afford to defend freedom in the West, and the effort was spearheaded by a president who hadn’t even been elected to that office. But Truman would wage a domestic political battle that carried with it the highest of stakes, inspiring friends and foes alike to join in his crusade to defend democracy across the globe.
In Saving Freedom, Joe Scarborough recounts the historic forces that moved Truman toward his country’s long twilight struggle against Soviet communism, and how this untested president acted decisively to build a lasting coalition that would influence America’s foreign policy for generations to come. On March 12, 1947, Truman delivered an address before a joint session of Congress announcing a policy of containment that would soon become known as the Truman Doctrine. That doctrine pledged that the United States would “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The untested president’s policy was a radical shift from 150 years of isolationism, but it would prove to be the pivotal moment that guaranteed Western Europe’s freedom, the American Century’s rise, and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.
Truman’s triumph over the personal and political struggles that confronted him following his ascension to the presidency is an inspiring tale of American leadership, fierce determination, bipartisan unity, and courage in the face of the rising Soviet threat. Saving Freedom explores one of the most pivotal moments of the twentieth century, a turning point when patriotic Americans of both political parties worked together to defeat tyranny.
MSNBC host Scarborough (Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day) delivers a brisk and informative look at the development of the Truman Doctrine. In 1947, Great Britain, which had been economically devastated by WWII, informed the Truman administration that it couldn't provide much-needed financial aid to Greece and Turkey. Secretary of State George Marshall and his top deputy, Dean Acheson, recognized the importance of providing humanitarian assistance to the two countries, which the Soviet Union wanted to add to its sphere of influence. If that happened, Marshall and Acheson argued, other countries in the Middle East and Western Europe might soon follow. The broader rationale behind their recommendation for U.S. intervention was accepted by President Truman, even though it meant transforming "America's conception of itself and its role in the world" and becoming "an active participant in the political affairs of other nations." Though that role is now commonly accepted, Scarborough expertly details the behind-the-scenes politicking that made it happen, paying special attention to the role of Republican senator Arthur Vandenburg, who charted a new, internationalist direction for his party. Though it breaks little new ground, Scarborough's vivid account will appeal to readers who long for a new era of bipartisanship in American politics.
Not sure how it’s “garbage”
Solid book about an underrated and often misunderstood president. Regardless of one’s personal opinions towards Scarborough or Truman, this book has something to offer for those out there still open-minded enough to forgo the political dogma and propaganda of BOTH political parties.
Truman made several costly errors..nothing new here.
I like Scarborough but he toes the Establishment line here and writes a “meh” book on Truman glossing over several costly errors. A better book is “A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman and The Birth of Modern China, 1949” by Keith Peraino.
Come on man!$