by Herbert Hoover & George Nash (editor)
The last mention of Herbert Hoover in most history textbooks is his defeat at the hands of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election. For as little attention as Hoover’s post-presidential career receives, he may as well have died quietly the day after his electoral defeat. But he didn’t. Rather, Hoover spent the remaining 32 years of his life actively involved in humanitarian work, domestic politics and international relations. Already a critic of FDR’s New Deal, Hoover recognized in the late 1930s that Europe was on the path to war, a war that Hoover argued the United States should stay out of. Although Hoover failed in his endeavor to keep the U.S. out of World War II, he immediately began to document FDR’s failed diplomacy in Europe and the Pacific leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As the war progressed, he continued to document the diplomatic failures of first Roosevelt’s administration, and then Harry Truman’s. The result of all this work was Hoover’s multi-volume history of World War II and its aftermath, Freedom Betrayed. Hoover worked on the book for over 20 years, beginning immediately after Pearl Harbor and lasting until his death in 1962. It would take another 49 years, and a dedicated scholar named George Nash, for Hoover’s book to be published. But it was worth the wait. With meticulous documentation, Hoover shows how the U.S. first botched multiple chances to avoid the war and then emboldened communists in Russia and China with its diplomacy during it. For anyone interested in a fuller understanding of World War II and the origins of the Cold War, Freedom Betrayed is an invaluable resource.
Praise for Freedom Betrayed
“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
“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. …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, professor emeritus of history at Stanford University
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