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The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe reveals how President Harry Truman defended democracy against the Soviet threat at the dawn of the Cold War. Harry Truman had been vice president for less than three months when President Franklin Roosevelt died. Suddenly inaugurated the leader of the free world, the plainspoken Truman candidly told reporters he, “felt like the moon, the star The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe reveals how President Harry Truman defended democracy against the Soviet threat at the dawn of the Cold War. Harry Truman had been vice president for less than three months when President Franklin Roosevelt died. Suddenly inaugurated the leader of the free world, the plainspoken Truman candidly told reporters he, “felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” He faced a hostile world stage. Even as World War II drew to a close, the Cold War was around the corner. The Soviet Union went from America’s uneasy ally to its number one adversary. Through shrewd diplomacy and military might, Joseph Stalin gained control of Eastern Europe, and soon cast an acquisitive eye toward the Balkans—and beyond. Newly liberated from fascism, Europe’s future was again at risk, its freedom on the line. Alarmed by the Soviets’ designs, Truman acted. In a speech before a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947, he announced a policy of containment that became known as the “Truman Doctrine”—a pledge that the United States would “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” In Saving Freedom, Joe Scarborough moves between events in Washington and those in Europe—in Greece, where the U.S.-backed government was fighting a civil war with insurgent Communists, and in Turkey, where the Soviets pressed for control of the Dardanelles—to analyze and understand the changing geopolitics that led Truman to deliver his momentous speech. The story of the passage of the Truman doctrine is an inspiring tale of American leadership, can-doism, bipartisan unity, and courage in the face of an antidemocratic threat. Saving Freedom highlights a pivotal moment of the Twentieth Century, a turning point where patriotic Americans worked together to defeat tyranny.


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The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe reveals how President Harry Truman defended democracy against the Soviet threat at the dawn of the Cold War. Harry Truman had been vice president for less than three months when President Franklin Roosevelt died. Suddenly inaugurated the leader of the free world, the plainspoken Truman candidly told reporters he, “felt like the moon, the star The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe reveals how President Harry Truman defended democracy against the Soviet threat at the dawn of the Cold War. Harry Truman had been vice president for less than three months when President Franklin Roosevelt died. Suddenly inaugurated the leader of the free world, the plainspoken Truman candidly told reporters he, “felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” He faced a hostile world stage. Even as World War II drew to a close, the Cold War was around the corner. The Soviet Union went from America’s uneasy ally to its number one adversary. Through shrewd diplomacy and military might, Joseph Stalin gained control of Eastern Europe, and soon cast an acquisitive eye toward the Balkans—and beyond. Newly liberated from fascism, Europe’s future was again at risk, its freedom on the line. Alarmed by the Soviets’ designs, Truman acted. In a speech before a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947, he announced a policy of containment that became known as the “Truman Doctrine”—a pledge that the United States would “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” In Saving Freedom, Joe Scarborough moves between events in Washington and those in Europe—in Greece, where the U.S.-backed government was fighting a civil war with insurgent Communists, and in Turkey, where the Soviets pressed for control of the Dardanelles—to analyze and understand the changing geopolitics that led Truman to deliver his momentous speech. The story of the passage of the Truman doctrine is an inspiring tale of American leadership, can-doism, bipartisan unity, and courage in the face of an antidemocratic threat. Saving Freedom highlights a pivotal moment of the Twentieth Century, a turning point where patriotic Americans worked together to defeat tyranny.

30 review for Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for the Future of Europe

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    There’s an interesting trend in the past 20 years or so, of authors of history and biographies taking their subjects and writing about selected parts of their lives. Former congressman and current “Morning Joe” pundit has done this with Harry Truman and the important foreign policy moves he made during his 8 years in office. His new book, “Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization”, begins basically after the end of World War 2, and recounts the beginning of a There’s an interesting trend in the past 20 years or so, of authors of history and biographies taking their subjects and writing about selected parts of their lives. Former congressman and current “Morning Joe” pundit has done this with Harry Truman and the important foreign policy moves he made during his 8 years in office. His new book, “Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization”, begins basically after the end of World War 2, and recounts the beginning of a Cold War with our former ally, the Soviet Union. 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Z.

    A favorite question that was asked by pundits and historians in 1989 revolved around who was responsible for the bringing down of the Berlin Wall, and two years later the collapse of the Soviet Union. President George H.W. Bush took credit for winning the Cold War, while others argued it was due to the Reagan presidency. In his new book, SAVING FREEDOM: TRUMAN, THE COLD WAR, AND THE FIGHTFOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION MSNBC “Morning Joe” host, Joe Scarborough argues that it was because of the policies A favorite question that was asked by pundits and historians in 1989 revolved around who was responsible for the bringing down of the Berlin Wall, and two years later the collapse of the Soviet Union. President George H.W. Bush took credit for winning the Cold War, while others argued it was due to the Reagan presidency. In his new book, SAVING FREEDOM: TRUMAN, THE COLD WAR, AND THE FIGHTFOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION MSNBC “Morning Joe” host, Joe Scarborough argues that it was because of the policies implemented by President Harry S. Truman which allowed the United States to become the lone superpower in the early 1990s. For those who are conversant with the events and personalities that dominated the foreign policy debate in the post-World War era Scarborough offers little that has not been written elsewhere. However, to the author’s credit he tells an absorbing story that created the foundation of American foreign policy that lasted for over seven decades. One of the books dominant themes is the idea that the United States should assume the mantle of world leadership because of the vacuum created by England’s financial distress and the socialist agenda of the Labour Party. This concept was the anti-thesis of American foreign policy since the founding of the republic and George Washington’s “Farewell Address” that called for “no entangling alliances” and became the basis of American isolationism. The Democratic Party had been open to world leadership dating to Woodrow Wilson’s concept of economic internationalism, but the 1920s saw a fundamental change brought about by Republican disengagement on the world stage. Scarborough argues it took men like George C. Marshall, Dean Acheson, George Kennan, and Harry Truman to confront Soviet expansionism along with Republican senator Arthur Vandenberg for the United States to accept the challenge and implement a policy of containment rather than pre-war appeasement when confronted by a threatening autocracy. Scarborough begins his argument with the situation that existed in Greece in 1946 and tries argues that aid to Greece and Turkey formed the basis of the Truman Doctrine discussed in the context of the history of American foreign relations. In doing so, Scarborough, for me at least has written a rendition of “Foreign Policy for Dummies” as he provides a series of broad surveys of foreign policy issues in each chapter to explain events. At times he goes a bit far exemplified by the unnecessary chapter dealing with Palestine. Scarborough at times can be somewhat verbose as he frames situations, for example, “Soviet ambitions were set in motion. Like a shark smelling blood in the ocean, Stalin was ready to move on British former colonies and clients.” Further, Scarborough has the annoying habit at the conclusion of a number of chapters resorting to a false sense of drama by asking superficial questions, I assume to enhance a sense of foreboding. I would suggest that he let the material playout, rather forcing the narrative. As I read the book, I got the feeling that the monograph was overly interspersed with speeches, whether Truman on the stump trying to gain support for aid to Greece and Turkey, speeches by Senators and House members in their respective committees or on the floor of the Senate and House chambers, and witnesses called before Congressional committees. At times I felt I was reading a book of speeches and dialogue linked by a narrative rather than a discussion that had great potential for insight and analysis. Further, when one examines Scarborough’s sources, he provides extraordinarily little. With no end notes or bibliography, he offers a short bibliographical essay that encompasses roughly sixteen secondary sources and the mention of the THE FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES (FRUS) series published by the State Department. Further he should pay more attention to critical details like his discussion of the Monroe Doctrine visa vie the Truman Doctrine as he leaves out the role of the British and their Foreign Secretary, George Canning. He may argue that the Truman Doctrine was the successor to the Monroe Doctrine, but he forgets that at the turn of the century Theodore Roosevelt instituted the Roosevelt Corollary. To Scarborough’s credit he writes in a noticeably clear and understandable prose. His discussion of the debate in Congress, newspapers, and the personalities involved reflects a command of the historical material, and his coverage of political negotiations and the preparation of the American people for the passage of the Truman Doctrine and its significance is well done. He stresses the reactionary and regressive nature of the Greek regime as an obstacle to obtaining Congressional aid and his analysis of Truman’s speech to Congress is dead on. But again, at times he is prone to overstatement. His key argument is strong that Truman engaged in one of the “greatest selling” jobs of any president as he convinced an isolationist leaning congress to support an internationalist policy. In the end we are left with a dichotomy; an incomplete narrative, but with a theme that seems to hold together in terms of the importance of the Truman Doctrine over the last seventy years or so. If there is a lesson to be learned from Scarborough’s monograph it is the importance of pursuing bipartisan approaches to major foreign policy issues and that politicians need to weigh issues in relation to their effect on American national security, not political polls, commentary of pundits on cable news, or the demands of an autocratic leaning president.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim Ogle

    Joe Scarborough brings a deft touch to his storytelling and analysis of Harry Truman’s foreign policy successes. He translates this well to the challenges that remain now for a new American administration. May Joe Biden be half as successful as Harry Truman! A great listen with extra bonus content. Thank you fir a job well done!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul Hart

    This is a brief work akin to Brian Kilmeade’s pop history, though Scarborough overtly ties historical events he’s recounting to present times. It’s a brisk read, fairly well written, but given the title its focus is unexpectedly narrow. Rather than a broader overview of US aid to Europe, the Berlin Airlift, etc this book focuses almost exclusively on the decision to provide military and economic assistance to Greece. While the topic is worth writing (and reading) about, Scarborough’s style leave This is a brief work akin to Brian Kilmeade’s pop history, though Scarborough overtly ties historical events he’s recounting to present times. It’s a brisk read, fairly well written, but given the title its focus is unexpectedly narrow. Rather than a broader overview of US aid to Europe, the Berlin Airlift, etc this book focuses almost exclusively on the decision to provide military and economic assistance to Greece. While the topic is worth writing (and reading) about, Scarborough’s style leaves a lot to be desired. He occasionally slips into first person, something that is not appropriate for this type of book, except perhaps in the introduction and acknowledgements sections. He also tries to tie the events of 1946-47 together with modern events to criticize the isolationism of the Trump administration, a transition which is awkward and doesn’t really work. To connect these eras Scarborough resorts to factual misstatements and declaring debatable propositions as incontrovertible facts. The two most glaring examples are his claim that Trump has no foreign policy achievements (the several peace deals he helped negotiate between Israel and Arab neighbors can be said to refute that assertion), and that his administration allowed the Russians to gain a foothold in Syria (a revisionist claim that whitewashes Obama’s dithering in 2013 after Assad used chemical weapons on his regime’s opponents, resulting in Russia's insertion of itself into the conflict). Thus, Scarborough could use a dose of humility and nuance in his way of thinking. Another issue with the book is the excessive use of quotations. Large sections are word for word recitations of documents, speeches, etc. that would have been better off as summaries or paraphrases. It seems the publisher told Joe that he needed a longer book if he wanted it printed, and so he took the 10th grade history paper route of excessive quotation paragraphs. The thing that really drags down the quality of this book, however, is that it has NO ENDNOTES! That’s right - there are no citations at all! This turns it into little more than a high school essay, and definitely drags it a rung below Brian Kilmeade’s and Bret Baier's pop history works. If Scarborough makes this one of a continuing series, I hope he fixes this long list of defects in his next work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    A good short book on how Harry Truman steered the United States through the end of the World War II in Europe and used the Atomic bomb twice on Japan to end the war in Asia. He then kept a strong eye on Stalin and the Iron Curtin. Joe Scarborough is very attached to Harry Truman and tells the reader why he thinks he’s a great president. Very interesting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    BOOKLOVER10

    In "Saving Freedom," Joe Scarborough focuses on President Harry Truman's foreign policy achievements. After FDR's death in 1945, Truman inherited an office that, at first, he felt unprepared to occupy. Quite a few Americans were weary of conflict and preferred to concentrate on domestic matters. However, President Truman was concerned that Stalin was sowing seeds that could result in the Soviet domination of Europe. Since Truman needed broad cooperation to implement his plans, he and his brillia In "Saving Freedom," Joe Scarborough focuses on President Harry Truman's foreign policy achievements. After FDR's death in 1945, Truman inherited an office that, at first, he felt unprepared to occupy. Quite a few Americans were weary of conflict and preferred to concentrate on domestic matters. However, President Truman was concerned that Stalin was sowing seeds that could result in the Soviet domination of Europe. Since Truman needed broad cooperation to implement his plans, he and his brilliant advisers concentrated on convincing Congress to prop up the economy of Greece, which was in ruins. In 1947, after numerous meetings and negotiations, Truman won over enough legislators to achieve his goal of assisting Greece. The mission of the Truman Doctrine was to promote democracy and contain the spread of Communism. 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    NYT review, by John Gans: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/24/bo... Excerpt: "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 — and cable news chatter — more than seven decades later. If the story of the 33rd president’s commitment, which at first aided only peoples in Greece and Turkey, is familiar, Scarborough’s focus on Truman and other elect NYT review, by John Gans: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/24/bo... Excerpt: "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 — and cable news chatter — more than seven decades later. If the story of the 33rd president’s commitment, which at first aided only peoples in Greece and Turkey, is familiar, Scarborough’s focus on Truman and other elected officials is not. By crediting wily politicians for America’s Cold War policy instead of the wise men in the government’s bureaucracy, Scarborough reminds readers that long telegrams like George Kennan’s and policy memorandums from the State Department don’t make successful doctrines; politicians do." Good review. Interesting-sounding book, of a President I have long admired. Especially compared to the last two!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave Mackler

    Eh, not so much. The writing style is not that of well know historians but then Joe S. is an entertainer with his morning show and bands. On the other hand reading the book provided interesting historical information about the significant events that took place on Truman's watch and how his personal decisions and actions affected so much of the world. I was unaware of the steps that took place that took place that resulted in Truman being Vice President in Roosevelt's last term and how Truman ha Eh, not so much. The writing style is not that of well know historians but then Joe S. is an entertainer with his morning show and bands. On the other hand reading the book provided interesting historical information about the significant events that took place on Truman's watch and how his personal decisions and actions affected so much of the world. I was unaware of the steps that took place that took place that resulted in Truman being Vice President in Roosevelt's last term and how Truman had then been isolated from Roosevelt during the short time prior to his death. The book is interesting in providing information and historical perspective but to greeter extent seems related to others in his administration as much as Truman. I did learn and have a new understanding of how important in our history the Truman administration was.

  9. 5 out of 5

    LuAnne Feik

    Under the guise of a Truman biography, SAVING TREEDOM serves as a US (written efficiently without periods throughout the book) foreign policy White Paper. Joe Scarborough documents how Britain passed the title, "global leader of Western democracy," to the United States, once and for all, after World War II. Along the way, he includes brief profiles to acquaint readers with some of DC's former key foreign policy players, such as Dean Acheson and Arthur Vandenberg. Isolation stopped being a US for Under the guise of a Truman biography, SAVING TREEDOM serves as a US (written efficiently without periods throughout the book) foreign policy White Paper. Joe Scarborough documents how Britain passed the title, "global leader of Western democracy," to the United States, once and for all, after World War II. Along the way, he includes brief profiles to acquaint readers with some of DC's former key foreign policy players, such as Dean Acheson and Arthur Vandenberg. Isolation stopped being a US foreign policy option 80 years ago. Even before the Truman Doctrine replaced the Monroe Doctrine, two oceans and a wall offered no protection from the new weapons of enemy aggression and a deadly virus. President Truman's prompt determination to protect Greece and Turkey from Stalin's intention to dominate the world provided a clearer foreign policy strategy than President LBJ's military effort on behalf of a faulty "domino theory," President Clinton's ineffective response to the Al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole, President George W. Bush's preemptive invasion of Iraq or President Trump's authorized assassination of an Iranian general. US leadership relies on the moral authority of values (honesty, the rule of law, justice and fair play, individual freedoms), economic strength and military power. President Truman's administration recognized Communism threatened individual liberties, Greece and Turkey needed economic support and the US military's job did not end in World War II. Furthermore, the US public needed to buy into and support this new responsibility. Recent events indicate the tent poles of US global leadership are not stable; they need constant upgrades. Racial discrimination, President Trump's distain for US institutions and the rule of law, as well as abandoning Kurdish and NATO allies, have undermined US moral leadership. A healthy economy requires a healthy population. And, although preparation for war remains the best guarantee of peace, evolving unmanned weapons, cyber and space warfare and methods of what Scarborough lists as "modern forms of aggression: infiltration, subversion, economic pressures, wars of nerves, aid to rebel groups" require new kinds of preparations. Nowadays, nimble motorcycles and weapon-laden fishing boats are as lethal as tanks. Even coastal and island military bases recognize their vulnerability to the rising ocean levels caused by climate change. In a letter to President Truman, South Dakota's Representative Francis H. Case challenged the US ability to defend freedom around the world. His observation, necessary today as well, pointed out no country is wise or rich enough to run the rest of the world. US military mistakes emphasize a global leader cannot go it alone. Plus, Washington needs diplomatic finesse to understand and accommodate the historic experiences, players and cultural differences involved in alliances. President Truman's agreement to partition Palestine and create a Jewish state set off forty years of conflict only curtailed to some extent by the Camp David Accords' diplomatic negotiations in 1979. As a former World War II pilot, Ambassador to the UN and head of CIA, President George H. W. Bush's military and diplomatic background prepared him to assemble the 1990 international coalition formed to retake Kuwait from Iraq. On the other hand, President Trump pulled out of the 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran and the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change. To be an effective "global leader of democracy", not just Western democracy, the US needs to engage and strengthen its population's will to defend the title. A new administration may be able to do just that by following Truman's example and defining what needs to be done. In today's world, that task requires the US to serve as an attractive moral alternative model to authoritarian governments, to aid people suffering from natural disasters and to provide diplomatic and military support to build coalitions that can prevent aggression and help settle international disputes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael O'Leary

    Saving Freedom: Truman, The Cold War, and The Fight For Western Civilization by Joe Scarborough is an interesting and in-depth look at Truman's presidency at the beginning of the Cold War. The book is not a biography but is an account of how Truman, through the Truman Doctrine created the world order that saw the US dominate all other world rivals. In his book, Scarborough points out that Truman had a keen sense of the past; he once said to his aides: “If a man is acquainted with what other peop Saving Freedom: Truman, The Cold War, and The Fight For Western Civilization by Joe Scarborough is an interesting and in-depth look at Truman's presidency at the beginning of the Cold War. The book is not a biography but is an account of how Truman, through the Truman Doctrine created the world order that saw the US dominate all other world rivals. In his book, Scarborough points out that Truman had a keen sense of the past; he once said to his aides: “If a man is acquainted with what other people have experienced at this desk, it will be easier for him to go through a similar experience. It is ignorance that causes most mistakes.” Over the years, I have read three other books about Harry S. Truman, and each book profiled his humble and determined leadership. As a country, we can learn a great deal from leaders like Truman especially during these trying political times. I highly recommend Scarborough's book to gain a better understanding of why America must regain its position as a world leader. From The Publisher: Harry Truman had been vice president for less than three months when President Franklin Roosevelt died. Suddenly inaugurated the leader of the free world, the plainspoken Truman candidly told reporters he, “felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” He faced a hostile world stage. Even as World War II drew to a close, the Cold War was around the corner. The Soviet Union went from America’s uneasy ally to its number one adversary. Through shrewd diplomacy and military might, Joseph Stalin gained control of Eastern Europe, and soon cast an acquisitive eye toward the Balkans—and beyond. Newly liberated from fascism, Europe’s future was again at risk, its freedom on the line. Alarmed by the Soviets’ designs, Truman acted. In a speech before a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947, he announced a policy of containment that became known as the “Truman Doctrine”—a pledge that the United States would “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” In Saving Freedom, Joe Scarborough moves between events in Washington and those in Europe—in Greece, where the U.S.-backed government was fighting a civil war with insurgent Communists, and in Turkey, where the Soviets pressed for control of the Dardanelles—to analyze and understand the changing geopolitics that led Truman to deliver his momentous speech. The story of the passage of the Truman doctrine is an inspiring tale of American leadership, can-doism, bipartisan unity, and courage in the face of an antidemocratic threat. Saving Freedom highlights a pivotal moment of the Twentieth Century, a turning point where patriotic Americans worked together to defeat tyranny.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Morrissey

    "Politics stops at the water's edge." The phrase rings hollow in 2020, especially as the Republican Party has morphed from principled isolationism to dangerous demagoguery. In the time of Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, and Arthur Vandenberg, though, the phrase very much rang true, and at no time more loudly than when America pledged its support to Greece and Turkey in the late 1940s. Joe Scarborough, of morning political show fame, has crafted a very readable take on Truman's, and "Politics stops at the water's edge." The phrase rings hollow in 2020, especially as the Republican Party has morphed from principled isolationism to dangerous demagoguery. In the time of Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, and Arthur Vandenberg, though, the phrase very much rang true, and at no time more loudly than when America pledged its support to Greece and Turkey in the late 1940s. Joe Scarborough, of morning political show fame, has crafted a very readable take on Truman's, and America's courageous stand against communism in Greece and Turkey. "Saving Freedom" contains a fair bit of platitudes and possesses a certain "ra-ra America" vibe, but the story shines through in the end. Moreover, Scarborough may not be a historian, but he takes the task of telling this story seriously, delving into the details of how Truman's administration arrived at the decision to aid Greece and Turkey, and how Congress came onboard amidst traditional American "go-it-alone"-ism. What makes Truman great is the man's simple decisiveness: no member of the East Coast aristocracy, he exuded Midwestern homespun common sense. And in the wake of World War II, common sense dictated that Eastern Europe would fall into the iron hands of Stalin if the US retreated into Fortress America. Through a bold decision and consummate partnership with Acheson, Truman not only saved Greece and Turkey, but developed a doctrine that would, at least initially, foil the USSR's plans for postwar domination. Republicans and Democrats alike came together in the anti-communist effort. Though later morphing into a dangerous witch-hunt, Truman's anti-communism was imbued by realpolitik. Senator Arthur Vandenberg, the leading Republican in the Senate, agreed with Truman's approach, shepherding Republicans along and pledging bipartisan support in the face of the Iron Curtain. If Donald Trump has shown how dangerous authenticity sometimes is, Truman is the ultimate antidote. Authentic in his own noble way, Truman shows that America is best led by leaders with an appreciation of history, an eye towards the wider world, and respect for the power of democracy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cary Giese

    The story of how the US became the essential nation! The British government informed the US on February 21,1947 that they no longer could support Greece and Turkey as those countries faced incursions by Russian backed insurgents. Lenin was planning to dominate those countries and add them to the Soviet hegemony. London was saying that they could no longer be the bulwark! US, it’s now up to you! This message started the national debate on the US role as the most prosperous and powerful country pos The story of how the US became the essential nation! The British government informed the US on February 21,1947 that they no longer could support Greece and Turkey as those countries faced incursions by Russian backed insurgents. Lenin was planning to dominate those countries and add them to the Soviet hegemony. London was saying that they could no longer be the bulwark! US, it’s now up to you! This message started the national debate on the US role as the most prosperous and powerful country post WWII. Truman had become president after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, so he faced this drastic change in policy without having been elected President by the people. His experience as a Senator and his reputation as being a straight talker helped him. Would congress back a plan to provide financial support and military advisors was the test question! Republicans especially were isolationist and wanted to avoid international entanglements. So were their voters. However, as Republican Senator Vandenberg had stated after Pearl Harbor, that “ended isolationism for any realist!” Vandenberg had also famously uttered the new political reality. “Politics stops at the waters edge.” The US could no longer feel protected by its oceans, both because of the changes in war capability, and by reality of what was to become the “Cold War” a term first used to explain this new reality by syndicated columnist Walt Lippmann in early 1947. Truman and bipartisan senators caused a bill to be passed to support Greece and Turkey after a Truman speech highlighting that the US had no choice but to protect democracies around the world! The Truman doctrine was born! The US would defend democracies! That policy has been effect for over 70 years! President Trump has unwisely and probably unknowingly stepped back from that commitment causing uncertainty to reign and making the prevalence of democratic governments in question. The debate must continue as our current policy is no longer clear, to our and the world’s peril!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Abbe

    Book #1 of hopefully at least 30 for 2021. Written in narrative form so easy to read. Does a nice job of telling the story surrounding the Truman Doctrine (why the British bail and ask the U.S. to support the governments of Greece and Turkey, the formation of the doctrine by the State Department led by undersecretary Dean Acheson, the creation of the speech itself, the committee and floor work of the legislation with a special emphasis on Truman's Republican ally in the Senate, what's happening Book #1 of hopefully at least 30 for 2021. Written in narrative form so easy to read. Does a nice job of telling the story surrounding the Truman Doctrine (why the British bail and ask the U.S. to support the governments of Greece and Turkey, the formation of the doctrine by the State Department led by undersecretary Dean Acheson, the creation of the speech itself, the committee and floor work of the legislation with a special emphasis on Truman's Republican ally in the Senate, what's happening on the ground in Greece before and after the doctrine is announced). Book is a great reminder of the break in foreign policy that the doctrine is. In the appendix at the end of the book Scarborough includes 3 key documents that serve as the core of his book: The State Department's position and recommendations after receiving word from Britain, the Truman Doctrine Speech, and the legislation. The book and these sources do a great job of showing how Truman has to address those who are very wary of America stepping in for Britain (those worried about the cost and how the money will be spent, those worried about America getting involved in another war, those who want America to retreat to its shores, those that still see Stalin and the USSR as an ally, those that see no threat to the U.S. itself, those that feel this is a problem that should be solved by the newly created United Nations). Definitely need to come back and re-read when thinking about creating a unit on American foreign policy and role in the world.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chad Manske

    Spoiler, but not spoiler, alert—the core and context of this new addition to Cold War history is the story behind the passage and application of the Truman Doctrine—the containment strategy at the dawn of the era in which tyranny worldwide would be challenged and free people the world over would be supported by post-WWII America. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe begins his work where Truman, a few months into his Vice Presidency under FDR, finds himself as President when Roosevelt passes, Spoiler, but not spoiler, alert—the core and context of this new addition to Cold War history is the story behind the passage and application of the Truman Doctrine—the containment strategy at the dawn of the era in which tyranny worldwide would be challenged and free people the world over would be supported by post-WWII America. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe begins his work where Truman, a few months into his Vice Presidency under FDR, finds himself as President when Roosevelt passes, in which he felt ‘like the moon, the stars, and all of the planets had fallen on [him]." As the uneasy WWII ally in the Soviet Union transitioned to number one adversary, ‘the strange little man’ that had been written off as a politician, crafts and leads the early struggle against communism. Acheson, Kennan, Gifford, Taft, Vandenberg and others play significant roles in the drama in which early battles involving Greece, Turkey and Israel would not only be won, but would put the USSR on notice in the Balkans and the rest of Europe for decades.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Brimmer

    I must say I had relatively low expectations of yet another "history" book written by a Republican, turns out Scarborough is no Bill O'Reilly. A little mawkish and overblown here and there Scarborough demonstrates a real understanding of the nuance between an actual popular movement for democratic socialism when Labor turned out Churchill, nationalism taking on a communist persona in Vietnam, indigenous and independent communism under Tito and the true horrors of Stalinist totalitarianism. This I must say I had relatively low expectations of yet another "history" book written by a Republican, turns out Scarborough is no Bill O'Reilly. A little mawkish and overblown here and there Scarborough demonstrates a real understanding of the nuance between an actual popular movement for democratic socialism when Labor turned out Churchill, nationalism taking on a communist persona in Vietnam, indigenous and independent communism under Tito and the true horrors of Stalinist totalitarianism. This is an author who paid attention and while a little too fawning of the Truman Doctrine is able to acknowledge its limits and failures in the decades that followed. These are minor quibbles, my real debate (and one I would love to have with him in person) with Scarborough is over the actual impact of US policy and military action in the eventual fall of the Soviet system. Overall a good outing, the GOP could use more minds like this.

  16. 4 out of 5

    MaryAnn Nocera

    As you read about this little slice of history and the development of policies that were drafted, you understand how vitally important they were at the time and for the future. NATO being just one. These policies so desperately needed were allowed their inception because of the astuteness and depth of understanding of Harry Truman and his interaction with the best political minds of the time. A great story about military and political leaders and the part they played to bring substance to a time t As you read about this little slice of history and the development of policies that were drafted, you understand how vitally important they were at the time and for the future. NATO being just one. These policies so desperately needed were allowed their inception because of the astuteness and depth of understanding of Harry Truman and his interaction with the best political minds of the time. A great story about military and political leaders and the part they played to bring substance to a time that could have turned tragic. Scarborough is a joy to read. He stimulates the mind. In the midst of serious narrative he interjects adjectives strategically placed that bring a smile in the midst of a serious interval. With my family, I had the pleasure of visiting the Truman library and the surrounding interests while visiting my parents south of St Louis.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bill Bow

    After reading Erik Larson's "The Splendid and the Vile" about Churchill during the Battle of Britain, and Chris Wallace's "Countdown 1945", I was ready for another post-war book. Sadly, Scarborough's book falls flat. it could be the subject matter, Truman is a cold fish but I also found the prose lacking, the major players all depicted without passion. it doesn't help that the book isn't as annotated as the other two I've mentioned. It also doesn't help that future Presidents would use the Truma After reading Erik Larson's "The Splendid and the Vile" about Churchill during the Battle of Britain, and Chris Wallace's "Countdown 1945", I was ready for another post-war book. Sadly, Scarborough's book falls flat. it could be the subject matter, Truman is a cold fish but I also found the prose lacking, the major players all depicted without passion. it doesn't help that the book isn't as annotated as the other two I've mentioned. It also doesn't help that future Presidents would use the Truman Doctrine as a means to justify intervention in SouthEast Asia ... the so-called "Domino Theory". I found the writing flat. Those other books made those trying times alive with nuance and detail, this one didn't do it for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    With just a few detours, Scarborough takes a deep dive into the Truman Doctrine, which addressed the growing conflict between the U.S. and Russia after WWII. . Greece and Turkey emerged as the next steps in the Soviet Union goal to spread communism and gain control of natural resources. Thus began the Cold War. Truman launched unprecedented efforts to keep Western Europe free from communism. This is written in an easy to read narrative. One of the more interesting detours was into the US recogni With just a few detours, Scarborough takes a deep dive into the Truman Doctrine, which addressed the growing conflict between the U.S. and Russia after WWII. . Greece and Turkey emerged as the next steps in the Soviet Union goal to spread communism and gain control of natural resources. Thus began the Cold War. Truman launched unprecedented efforts to keep Western Europe free from communism. This is written in an easy to read narrative. One of the more interesting detours was into the US recognition of Israel in 1949. Truman emerges as a thoughtful and decisive leader able to overcome partisanship in Congress to help shape US foreign policy for the rest of the 20th century and beyond.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marvin Beriss

    Good book, worth reading. Clearly written, easy to read. Offers a stark contrast to President Trump. I wonder if the compliment by Churchill, that Truman saved western civilization, was actually a compliment or a more or less sarcastic statement of relief. England successfully talked Truman and his key people into taking over England's self imposed historical burden, the Commonwealth, and protected its supply lines from Commonwealth countries. I'm an admirer of President Truman, and have always Good book, worth reading. Clearly written, easy to read. Offers a stark contrast to President Trump. I wonder if the compliment by Churchill, that Truman saved western civilization, was actually a compliment or a more or less sarcastic statement of relief. England successfully talked Truman and his key people into taking over England's self imposed historical burden, the Commonwealth, and protected its supply lines from Commonwealth countries. I'm an admirer of President Truman, and have always been impressed by his decisions and his rise to the Presidency. This book supports my view of him.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane Elfring

    This book covers a very narrow slice of time in the Truman administration but shows his ability to make important decisions in collaboration with Congress and his State Department officials. Scarborough doesn't sidestep the fact that the Truman Doctrine led to Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq but shows that it was necessary at the time to prevent the overthrow of Greece and Turkey. My criticism of the book relates to the many glaring proofreading errors that I found. It should have at leas This book covers a very narrow slice of time in the Truman administration but shows his ability to make important decisions in collaboration with Congress and his State Department officials. Scarborough doesn't sidestep the fact that the Truman Doctrine led to Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq but shows that it was necessary at the time to prevent the overthrow of Greece and Turkey. My criticism of the book relates to the many glaring proofreading errors that I found. It should have at least been put through spellcheck to catch many of the typos. I hope these errors will be corrected for a second printing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Scarborough thinks Truman may have been the best post war foreign policy president. Looking at his administration's accomplishments he is right. By appointing Eleanor Roosevelt to the delegation to the UN Conference Truman put a formidable woman who propelled Human Rights to the forefront with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Truman put forth the Truman Doctrine, was instrumental in starting NATO, instituted the Marshall plan among other foreign policy initiatives crucial to democracy. Scarborough thinks Truman may have been the best post war foreign policy president. Looking at his administration's accomplishments he is right. By appointing Eleanor Roosevelt to the delegation to the UN Conference Truman put a formidable woman who propelled Human Rights to the forefront with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Truman put forth the Truman Doctrine, was instrumental in starting NATO, instituted the Marshall plan among other foreign policy initiatives crucial to democracy. Though much of the book is historical context which average Americans should know, it is still a good read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Thomas (Tom) Baynham

    Truman is often perceived as an irrelevant president. Scarborough does a magnificent job describing the importance of Truman's presence during the end of World War II and following the death of FDR. Scarborough also helps the reader understand how a man with so little education, and a checkered political past, would help shape foreign policy for the next sixty years. This is the second book of Scarborough's I've read and I really like the way he addresses historical figures. There are some inter Truman is often perceived as an irrelevant president. Scarborough does a magnificent job describing the importance of Truman's presence during the end of World War II and following the death of FDR. Scarborough also helps the reader understand how a man with so little education, and a checkered political past, would help shape foreign policy for the next sixty years. This is the second book of Scarborough's I've read and I really like the way he addresses historical figures. There are some interesting parallels between Truman and Biden.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Coyle

    I personally believe the book is insightful and inspirational. It helps the readers understand what risks and sacrifices were taken during the vanguard against the growing communist threat. Pros -It brings a whole new point of view over some of the politicians it refers to. -Sticks to the historical timeline -A reader will learn a lot from this book Cons -Definitely, a slow read, to obtain all the information -Written for a select few audiences I would recommend this to any Cold War history lover, or t I personally believe the book is insightful and inspirational. It helps the readers understand what risks and sacrifices were taken during the vanguard against the growing communist threat. Pros -It brings a whole new point of view over some of the politicians it refers to. -Sticks to the historical timeline -A reader will learn a lot from this book Cons -Definitely, a slow read, to obtain all the information -Written for a select few audiences I would recommend this to any Cold War history lover, or to any Post World War Two history lover.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Taihee Song

    We learn from history, and we know history is repeating itself. Joe Scarborough did a remarkable work to recount the pivotal moment of postwar historic landscape to produce and shape the “Truman Doctrine”, which eventually influenced America’s foreign policy and commitment, becoming the defender of world freedom against the sprawling Soviet communism. It was a great read for me, as someone who loves to read history books, to learn about domestic & the West’s political landscapes of Harry Truman’s We learn from history, and we know history is repeating itself. Joe Scarborough did a remarkable work to recount the pivotal moment of postwar historic landscape to produce and shape the “Truman Doctrine”, which eventually influenced America’s foreign policy and commitment, becoming the defender of world freedom against the sprawling Soviet communism. It was a great read for me, as someone who loves to read history books, to learn about domestic & the West’s political landscapes of Harry Truman’s era.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Richard Young

    Give ‘em Hell Harry! Truman is the most effective president of the 20th century. He administration ended WW2, rebuilt Europe with the Marshall Plan, ended segregation in the Armed Forces, ushered foreign policy that lasted 70 years containing communism in Turkey and Greece accomplishing all with skills learned as a Senator. Scarborough tells Truman’s story well!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Saving Freedom is a book about the Truman Doctrine. I thought when I bought it, I would be buying a book on President Harry Truman's foreign policy. Other foreign policies are briefly mentioned, but I must say I was disappointed and that is basically why I gave this book a 4 star rating. The book is highly readable though and I do recommend it. Saving Freedom is a book about the Truman Doctrine. I thought when I bought it, I would be buying a book on President Harry Truman's foreign policy. Other foreign policies are briefly mentioned, but I must say I was disappointed and that is basically why I gave this book a 4 star rating. The book is highly readable though and I do recommend it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matt Thompson

    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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    J.P.

    The book itself was solid ... however, the title promises far more than a narrow look at Greece, Turkey and the Monroe Doctrine and it felt a bit thin even for the limited material when compared to something such as Warriors at Suez by Donald Neff - another narrow focus but more comprehensive volume of a similar crisis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence Grey

    Truman has always been one of my favorite Presidents and we could have used someone like Truman over the last four years! This was a recap of what Truman did to fight the spread of communism but thought Scarborough didn’t really do a good job in presenting the material as the book was somewhat boring but of course free from the local public library and the curbside pickup

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rick Ferris

    I greatly enjoy what I call targeted biographies. You can know the basics about a president by reading a life biography but to go in depth about specific events it is bios like this that provide the in depth information. Joe does a great job describing Harry Truman’s first years in office, first fighting off the Soviets from expanding into Greece and Turkey and the creation of Israel.

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