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Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath
     

Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath

by George H. Nash (Editor)
 

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Herbert Hoover's "magnum opus"—at last published nearly fifty years after its completion—offers a revisionist reexamination of World War II and its cold war aftermath and a sweeping indictment of the "lost statesmanship" of Franklin Roosevelt. Hoover offers his frank evaluation of Roosevelt's foreign policies before Pearl Harbor and policies during the war,

Overview

Herbert Hoover's "magnum opus"—at last published nearly fifty years after its completion—offers a revisionist reexamination of World War II and its cold war aftermath and a sweeping indictment of the "lost statesmanship" of Franklin Roosevelt. Hoover offers his frank evaluation of Roosevelt's foreign policies before Pearl Harbor and policies during the war, as well as an examination of the war's consequences, including the expansion of the Soviet empire at war's end and the eruption of the cold war against the Communists.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“What an amazing historical find! Historian George H. Nash, the dean of Herbert Hoover studies, has brought forth a very rare manuscript in Freedom Betrayed. Here is Hoover unplugged, delineating on everything from the ‘lost statesmanship’ of FDR to the Korean War. A truly invaluable work of presidential history. Highly recommended.”
    —DOUGLAS BRINKLEY is professor of history at Rice University and editor of The Reagan Diaries.

“Finally, after waiting for close to half a century, we now have Hoover’s massive and impassioned account of American foreign policy from 1933 to the early 1950s. Thanks to the efforts of George H. Nash, there exists an unparalleled picture of Hoover’s world view, one long shared by many conservatives. Nash’s thorough and perceptive introduction shows why he remains America’s leading Hoover scholar.”
    —JUSTUS D. DOENECKE, author of Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939-1941

“A forcefully argued and well documented alternative to, and critique of, the conventional liberal historical narrative of America’s road to war and its war aims.  Even readers comfortable with the established account will find themselves thinking that on some points the accepted history should be reconsidered and perhaps revised.”
    —JOHN EARL HAYNES, author of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America

Freedom Betrayed offers vivid proof of William Faulkner’s famous dictum that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” For those who might think that history has settled the mantle of consensus around the events of the World War II era, Hoover’s iconoclastic narrative will come as an unsettling reminder that much controversy remains. By turns quirky and astute, in prose that is often acerbic and unfailingly provocative, Hoover opens some old wounds and inflicts a few new ones of his own, while assembling a passionate case for the tragic errors of Franklin Roosevelt’s diplomacy. Not all readers will be convinced, but Freedom Betrayed is must-read for anyone interested in the most consequential upheaval of the twentieth century.”
    —DAVID M. KENNEDY is professor of history emeritus at Stanford University and the author of Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.

“Herbert Hoover’s Freedom Betrayed is a bracing work of historical revisionism that takes aim at U.S. foreign policy under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Part memoir and part diplomatic history, Hoover's magnum opus seeks to expose the “lost statesmanship” that, in Hoover’s eyes, needlessly drew the United States into the Second World War and, in the aftermath, facilitated the rise to global power of its ideological rival, the Soviet Union.  Freedom Betrayed, as George Nash asserts in his astute and authoritative introduction, resembles a prosecutor’s brief against Roosevelt—and against Winston Churchill as well— at the bar of history.  Thanks to Nash’s impressive feat of reconstruction, Hoover’s “thunderbolt” now strikes—nearly a half-century after it was readied.  The former president’s interpretation of the conduct and consequences of the Second World War will not entirely persuade most readers.  Yet, as Nash testifies, like the best kind of revisionist history, Freedom Betrayed “challenges us to think afresh about our past.”
    —BERTRAND M. PATENAUDE, author of A Wealth of Ideas: Revelations from the Hoover Institution Archives

 “Nearly fifty years after his death, Herbert Hoover returns as the ultimate revisionist historian, prosecuting his heavily documented indictment of US foreign policy before, during, and after the Second World War. Brilliantly edited by George Nash, Freedom Betrayed is as passionate as it is provocative. Many no doubt will dispute Hoover’s strategic vision. But few can dispute the historical significance of this unique volume, published even as Americans of the twenty-first century debate their moral and military obligations.”
    —RICHARD NORTON SMITH is a presidential historian and author, former director of several presidential libraries, and current scholar-in-residence at George Mason University.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817912345
Publisher:
Hoover Institution Press
Publication date:
11/17/2011
Series:
HOOVER INST PRESS PUBLICATION Series
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
1080
Sales rank:
467,355
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Freedom Betrayed

Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath


By George H. Nash

Hoover Institution Press

Copyright © 2011 George H. Nash
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8179-1236-9



CHAPTER 1

The Creators, Leaders, Principles, and Methods of Communism


Before dealing with what Communism really is, a short resumé of the origin and rise of the most disastrous plague which has come to free men may be helpful to readers not already familiar with it.

While Communism was not unknown in ancient history, it was enunciated as a complete economic and social system by two German economic and social theorists, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in their Communist Manifesto(Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) published in 1848. It is a cynical fact that Marx earned part of his living as a London correspondent for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune.

The Manifesto's twentieth-century great apostle was Nikolai Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), a Russian expatriate who had taken part in the organization of the Communist Third International. In April 1917, Lenin was secretly smuggled back into Russia by the Germans to stir up revolution against the newly established Kerensky democratic regime. Leon Trotsky, a leading Russian Communist then in the United States, joined him.

In the early meetings of the Communists in Russia, they split into two groups: the Bolsheviks, who favored revolution by violence, and the Mensheviks, who advocated less violent measures. The Bolsheviks under Lenin's leadership prevailed. He and his associates seized the government by violence in November, 1917. Most of the Mensheviks joined or were liquidated.

Under the title of Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Lenin established himself as dictator of Russia, so continuing until his death in January, 1924. Lenin was succeeded by Joseph Stalin, who remained dictator until his death in March, 1953, when his body was enshrined in Lenin's tomb. Stalin was succeeded by a shaky triumvirate which included Lavrenti P. Beria, Georgi M. Malenkov, and Vyacheslav M. Molotov. This trio was followed by Nicolai A. Bulganin. Then in 1958, Nikita S. Khrushchev came into power, renouncing Stalin and all his works. The culmination of Stalin's repudiation came on October 30, 1961, when the Communists at their 22nd Congress decreed the eviction of his body from its resting place alongside Lenin.

All of these succeeding dictators repeatedly affirmed their devotion to the doctrines of Karl Marx and Lenin, and their pictures are displayed in every public place in Russia. Annually, at the November celebration of the Revolution in Red Square in Moscow, the Russian hierarchs renew their vows of their fidelity to Marx and Lenin.


The Principles and Methods of Communism

I should say at the outset that Communism is a fiery spirit infecting men's minds. Its great parallels in history are the Christian and Mohammedan religions. Communism is a crusading spirit, ruthless of all opposition, and over the years it has evolved beliefs, methods and organization. Within it is a vehement demand for expansion and a suppression of all such human emotions as piety. It is sadistic and cruel.

The principles and methods can best be described from the speeches and statements of its own leaders, and for the convenience of the reader, I present these according to major theme. There are differences in translation into English, and that one most generally accepted is given here.


On Dictatorship

Lenin stated:

... The scientific concept 'dictatorship' means nothing more nor less than unrestricted power, absolutely unimpeded by laws or regulations and resting directly upon force. This is the meaning of the concept 'dictatorship' and nothing else ...


Stalin elaborated on Lenin's theory in 1924:

... Lenin's theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a purely "Russian" theory, but a theory which necessarily applies to all countries. Bolshevism is not only a Russian phenomenon. "Bolshevism," says Lenin, is "a model of tactics for all." ...


On Religion and Morals

Lenin echoed the atheism of Karl Marx, stating:

... Religion is the opium of the people. Religion is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of capital drown their human shape and their claims to any decent human life.


These words of Lenin, "Religion is the opium of the people," were inscribed on the wall of a government building near the Red Square.


On International Relations

On March 8, 1918, Lenin said:

... In war you must never tie your hands with considerations of formality. It is ridiculous not to know the history of war, not to know that a treaty is a means of gaining strength; ... the history of war shows as clearly as clear can be that the signing of a treaty after defeat is a means of gaining strength ...


As early as 1913, Stalin manifested his lack of faith in international agreements. He stated:

... A diplomat's words must contradict his deeds — otherwise, what sort of a diplomat is he? Words are one thing — deeds something entirely different. Fine words are a mask to cover shady deeds. A sincere diplomat is like dry water, or wooden iron.


The Method of Communist Revolutions is by Violence

Lenin stated:

Great questions in the life of nations are settled only by force....

... the victory of socialism is possible, first in a few or even in one single capitalist country. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organized its own socialist production, would confront the rest of the capitalist world, attract to itself the oppressed classes of other countries, raise revolts among them against the capitalists, and, in the event of necessity, come out even with armed force against the exploiting classes and their states....


Stalin wrote in 1924:

While it is true that the final victory of Socialism in the first country to emancipate itself is impossible without the combined efforts of the proletarians of several countries, it is equally true that the development of the world revolution will be the more rapid and thorough, the more effective the assistance rendered by the first Socialist country to the workers ... of all other countries.

In what should this assistance be expressed?


Stalin answers his own question by repeating words of Lenin:

It should be expressed, first, in the victorious country achieving the "utmost possible in one country for the development, support and awakening of the revolution in all countries." (Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. VII, p. 182.)

Second, it should be expressed in that the "victorious proletariat" of one country, "having expropriated the capitalists and organized its own Socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, raising revolts in those countries against the capitalists, and in the event of necessity coming out even with armed force against the exploiting classes and their states. (Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. V, p. 141.)


In a speech on March 10, 1939, Stalin stressed the need for trained revolutionaries:

The training and molding of our young cadres usually proceeds in some particular branch of science or technology, along the line of specialization. ... But there is one branch of science which Bolsheviks in all branches of science are in duty bound to know, and that is the Marxist-Leninist science of society, of the laws of social development, of the laws of development of the proletarian revolution, of the laws of development of socialist construction, and of the victory of communism....


On Subversion of Labor Unions and Strikes

In April, 1920, Lenin thus counseled his followers:

... It is necessary to be able to withstand all this, to agree to any and every sacrifice, and even — if need be — to resort to all sorts of stratagems, manoeuvers and illegal methods, to evasion and subterfuges in order to penetrate the trade unions, to remain in them, and to carry on Communist work in them at all costs....


Stalin, in 1925, stated:

... the support of our revolution by the workers of all countries, and still more the victory of the workers in at least several countries, is a necessary condition for fully guaranteeing the first victorious country against attempts at intervention and restoration, a necessary condition for the final victory of socialism.


A resolution passed at the Sixth World Congress of the Communist International (July–August, 1928) declared:

... the Communists in capitalist countries must reject the phrase "Reply to war by general strike," and have no illusions whatever about the efficacy of such phrases, nevertheless, in the event of war against the Soviet Union becoming imminent, they must take into consideration the increased opportunities for employing the weapon of mass strikes and the general strike, prior to the outbreak of war and during the mobilization ...


On Subversion of Legislative Bodies

Lenin said:

... The party of the revolutionary proletariat must take part in bourgeois parliamentarism in order to enlighten the masses ...


And again Lenin said:

... As long as you are unable to disperse the bourgeois parliament and every other type of reactionary institution, you must work inside them, precisely because in them there are still workers who are stupefied by the priests and by the dreariness of village life; otherwise you run the risk of becoming mere babblers.


In June 1920, Lenin said:

... the Communist International must enter into a temporary alliance with bourgeois democracy in colonial and backward countries, but must not merge with it, and must unconditionally preserve the independence of the proletarian movement even in its most rudimentary form....


In 1935, when the Seventh Congress of the Communist International met in Moscow, speech after speech dwelt on the determination to bore from within in every nation. The Secretary-General, "Comrade" Georgi Dimitrov of Bulgaria, recalled the Trojan horse technique and advised its general use. In 1940, Congressman Martin Dies published an account of the use of this tactic in the United States.


On Stirring Up Strife Between Nations and Groups

In November 1920, Lenin stated:

The fundamental thing in the matter of concessions ... we must take advantage of the antagonisms and contradictions between two capitalisms ... inciting one against the other....

... can we, as Communists, remain indifferent and merely say: "We shall carry on propaganda for Communism in these countries." That is true, but that is not all. The practical task of Communist policy is to take advantage of this hostility and to incite one against the other....


In 1921, at the Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party, Stalin, in criticizing articles written by the then Commissar of Foreign Affairs, said:

... Chicherin ... under-estimates, the internal contradictions among the imperialist groups and states. ... But these contradictions do exist, and the activities of the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs are based on them.

... It is precisely the function of the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs to take all these contradictions into account, to base itself on them, to manoeuver within the framework of these contradictions....

Again in 1921, Stalin wrote in Pravda:

The Party's tasks ... are:

1) to utilise all the contradictions and conflicts among the capitalist groups and governments which surround our country, with the object of disintegrating imperialism.


In 1924, Stalin said:

... The reserves of the revolution can be ... contradictions, conflicts and wars ... among the bourgeois states hostile to the proletarian state....


On There Can Be No Peace

Lenin said:

... If war is waged by the proletariat after it has conquered the bourgeoisie in its own country, and is waged with the object of strengthening and extending socialism, such a war is legitimate and "holy."


Again Lenin said:

... If we are obliged to tolerate such scoundrels as the capitalist thieves, each of whom is preparing to plunge a knife into us, it is our direct duty to make them turn their knives against each other....

... As long as capitalism and socialism exist, we cannot live in peace: in the end, one or the other will triumph — a funeral dirge will be sung either over the Soviet Republic or over world capitalism....


In a speech on June 23, 1938, Commissar of Foreign Affairs, Maxim Litvinov, noted the tendency to forget that:

... "with the preservation of the capitalist system a long and enduring peace is impossible." ...


On December 21, 1939, in response to a birthday greeting, Stalin said:

Do not doubt, my comrades, that I am ready to devote all my efforts and ability and, if necessary, all my blood, drop by drop, to the cause of the working class proletarian revolution and world communism.


In the course of the alliance with the Americans and British during the Second World War, Stalin issued a number of glowing statements on the virtues of freedom and democracy. In 1942, and repeatedly thereafter, the Soviet Union and Stalin himself accepted the terms of the Atlantic Charter. These acts neatly fitted into the category of "dodges and tricks" prescribed by Lenin, as later chapters on the Second World War will show.

If any one believes these statements I have quoted from Lenin and Stalin are mere revolutionary bombast, he may turn to the present leader of the Communist world. In September 1955, Nikita Khrushchev, at a dinner at the Kremlin for the visiting East German Communist delegation, declared:

They often say in the West when speaking of Soviet leaders, that something has changed since the Geneva conference [of the Big Four Powers]. They are starting to smile but have not changed their line of conduct....

But if anyone believes that our smiles involve abandonment of the teaching of Marx, Engels and Lenin he deceives himself poorly. Those who wait for that must wait until a shrimp learns to whistle.


On November 17, 1956, Khrushchev made this statement to Western diplomats at a reception in Moscow:

... Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.


Khrushchev said on November 22, 1957:

... We, Communists, the Soviet politicians, are atheists.


Khrushchev said in January 1959:

We have always followed, and will also follow in the future, the great international teachings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Figuratively speaking our Communist Party regards itself as one of the leading detachments of the worldwide communist movement, a detachment which is the first to scale the heights of communism. On the way to these heights we shall not be stopped by avalanches or landslides. No one shall forcibly deflect us from the path of the movement toward communism. ... We regard it as imperative to strengthen by every means the might of the socialist camp, to consolidate still further the unity of the international communist movement....


On September 4, 1959, in a comment on the eventual victory of communism over capitalism, Khrushchev said Soviet bloc economic conditions were improving and "we have no reason not to be patient." Capitalists, he said, were digging their own graves and "I am not going to labor to dig their graves."

At a Kremlin reception on the occasion of the 43rd Anniversary of the Bolshevist Revolution, Khrushchev said:

We are working toward communism, but war will not help us reach our goal — it will spoil it.

We shall win only through the minds of men.


He continued:

We must rest on the position of [peaceful] coexistence and non-intervention. It is not necessary to whip people along this road ... but communism eventually will be in force all over the earth.


On April 14, 1961, Khrushchev said:

We proclaim ... that after successfully carrying out the building of socialism, begun in 1917 by the October Revolution, we are advancing surely and boldly along the path indicated by the great Lenin to the building of communism. We say that there is no force in the world capable of turning us off this path.


Khrushchev could well justify this statement. Communism has spread from about 5% or 6% of the world's population in Lenin's time to over 30%. And its conspiracies continue in every free nation in the world.

The Communist dedication to the victory of Communism over other ideologies is evidenced in some of Khrushchev's more recent statements.

At a Moscow reception held February 15, 1963, he said to the Red Chinese Ambassador Pan Tzu Li:

... I promise you that when we throw a last shovel on the grave of capitalism, we will do it with China.


On April 20, 1963, in an interview with an Italian newspaper Editor (Italo Pietra) Khrushchev said:

... peaceful coexistence of states with different social regimes does not imply a peaceful coexistence in the field of ideology....

... we Communists never have accepted and never will accept the idea of peaceful coexistence of ideology. On this ground there cannot be compromises....

... In the hard fight of the two antagonistic ideologies ... we are and will be on the offensive. We will affirm Communist ideals....


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Freedom Betrayed by George H. Nash. Copyright © 2011 George H. Nash. Excerpted by permission of Hoover Institution Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

George H. Nash is a historian, lecturer, and authority on the life of Herbert Hoover. His publications include three volumes of a definitive, scholarly biography of Hoover and the monograph Herbert Hoover and Stanford University, as well as numerous articles in scholarly and popular journals. A specialist in twentieth-century political and intellectual history, Nash is also the author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945 and Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism. A graduate of Amherst College and holder of a PhD in history from Harvard University, he received the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters in 2008. He lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

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