Two veteran Cold War historians allege that pro-Soviet American government officials and private citizens labored during and after World War II to aid communism around the globe.
Former Indianapolis News editor commentator Evans (Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies, 2007, etc.) and former Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation head Romerstein (co-author: The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors, 2000, etc.) believe that Stalin manipulated Franklin Roosevelt and, to a lesser extent, Winston Churchill, during World War II, in exchange for the Russians using their military might against Nazi Germany. Stalin and his aides gained hegemony in postwar Europe, write the authors, with the help of traitors within both the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. Evans and Romerstein discuss the roles of Alger Hiss and Armand Hammer, and they cite an impressive array of sources in both English and Russian. However, as has been their practice for decades, the authors equate presence at an event—e.g., Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill at Yalta—with the covert wielding of tremendous influence. That Hiss, Hammer and others accused of treason by Evans and Romerstein could have achieved the results for which they are blamed falls into the realm of speculation, no matter the breadth of research. Their speculation is interesting, and some may be true, but their seeming inability to distinguish between factual evidence and assumption weakens the book. When the authors stray from Soviet influence within the United States and shift the focus to the rise of communism in China around the same time, their speculation about the allegedly traitorous activity of named individuals feels even shakier.
This treatment of an important topic is tainted by excesses of preconception and ideology.