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Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization Hardcover – November 24, 2020
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“Saving Freedom speaks to our national crisis here and now. Joe Scarborough tells the American miracle of how Harry Truman, a 'strange little man' from Missouri, pulled together Republicans and Democrats to confront Soviet communism and establish America as a global power. As Joe reminds us in this wise history, American greatness begins with unity and good values." -- David Ignatius, associate editor and columnist, The Washington Post, and bestselling author of eleven novels
"In an earnest, engaging new book, ‘Saving Freedom,’ Joe Scarborough, the eponymous host of MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ shows readers why and, most important, how Truman set a precedent for all his successors...its rediscovery of the politicians’ role in the Cold War comes at just the right time.” -- New York Times
"Bold and highly readable." -- Washington Post
“As someone who sat in Harry Truman’s seat in the US Senate, I have read every book written about him. I thought the subjects had all been covered. I was wrong. This book explores, in depth, the broad reach of Truman’s revolution in US foreign policy. If you want to understand why isolationism harms America’s national security, read this book. The Truman Doctrine ushered in the dominance of the United States in the world and the containment of communism, but this book is even more important as a cautionary tale about the fraying of America’s alliances with freedom-loving nations.” -- Claire McCaskill, former United States senator
“Joe Scarborough’s Saving Freedom is a wonderful examination of a pivotal moment in world history, and a perfect lesson for this tumultuous moment in America. Scarborough illuminates how, at a moment of existential peril for Western democracy, farsighted and skillful presidential leadership built the transatlantic architecture that has sheltered seven decades of peace and prosperity. It is a story for the ages, beautifully told.” -- Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and NBC News political analyst
“Scarborough’s eerily timely book is Saving Freedom, a fluently written and engaging account of the Democrat Truman in 1947 winning over sceptical Republicans in Congress to end 150 years of American isolationism and unite the west against the Soviet Union.” -- The Guardian
About the Author
Joe Scarborough is a New York Times bestselling author, a Washington Post columnist, the creator of Morning Joe, and a former United States congressman. He has been named to the “Time 100” list of the world’s most influential people.
- Publisher : Harper; First Edition/First Printing (November 24, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062950495
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062950499
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.97 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #47,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Scarborough's writing style is refreshingly concise, lucid, and fast-paced. He humanizes the individuals who played important roles in Truman's administration. In addition, the author draws on solid primary and secondary sources to trace the origins of the Cold War and describe Truman's foreign policy initiatives. Furthermore, Scarborough provides enough background information about Truman to enlighten those may not be familiar with his military service, limited formal education, failed attempt at running a business, and early forays into politics.
This a timely and enlightening look at how government can work when skillful and patriotic individuals are at the helm. Truman was clever enough to know when the time was right to promote his agenda. He refused to bow to outside pressure when he felt morally obligated to make certain decisions, and remained humble yet resolute throughout his tenure. Truman had his share of flaws. He was not a great orator and many believe that America's participation in the Korean War was misguided and costly. Although Truman left the White House with a ridiculously low approval rating, prominent historians have praised the former haberdasher from Missouri for his vision, integrity, and ability to work across the aisle. Scarborough convincingly makes the case that Truman's actions helped shape America's leadership in the world for much of the twentieth century.
- Truman : " ... I never had any doubt
that it (atomic bomb) should be used." P79
- Scarborough, with admiration, says Truman's mind was uncluttered by equivocation and paralyzing doubt..." There is such a thing as being too intellectual in your approach to a problem. The man who insists on seeing all sides of it often can't make up his mind" p82. ,OMG!!
(At least I'm glad more people understand education for police increases a policeman's appreciation of the fact that ambiguity is common in life and critical to conflict resolution. I wouldn't hire either Truman or Scarborough as a policeman)
One final quote that Scarborough relies on for support for Truman's greatness. Churchill's "Truman more than any other man .... saved civilization". What was in Churchill's mind on this could justify a book. However, please remember Hitler was done when Truman became President. Defeat of the Nazi's was more important than getting Stalin out of Greece.
Use of the bomb, which Scarborough glosses over, turned out to be much more controversial and problematic than Churchill realized. Many view use of the bomb not just unjustified and horrific , but actually wrecked our relationship with the Soviets and launched the Cold War.
Joe could be more helpful if he wrote a book about these topics
I’m sure everyone reading this review are familiar with Truman’s first few months in office after succeeding Franklin Roosevelt in April, 1945. Truman found out - at long last - about our development of an atomic bomb. Truman was very clear about the bomb being yet another weapon-of-choice against the Japanese. He later said he had no doubt in using the two bombs to help facilitate Japanese surrender. (If you’re really interested in that time period, please check out A J Baime’s excellent work, “The Accidental President: Harry S Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World”.) Scarborough’s book sort of picks up where Baime’s book ends.
Scarborough looks at how Stalin took advantage of a dying Franklin Roosevelt when they met at Yalta in February, 1945 to discuss the coming post war reorganization of Germany and Europe. Winston Churchill was there, too, but the general assumption was that the post war world would have 2 major influences - the United States and the Soviet Union. Truman stepped into the role of Stalin’s adversary.
Truman also recognized that the US couldn’t return to its isolationist roots. We had to have a place at the world table and not hide behind the expose of oceans, separating us from Europe and Asia. We had to get involved in the post war world.
Scarborough’s book is a great read for an armchair historian.