THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE AND ORIGINS OF ""McCARTHYISM by Richard M. Freeland

THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE AND ORIGINS OF ""McCARTHYISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book argues that Truman used anti-Communist scare tactics to force Congress to implement his plans for multilateral free trade and specifically to pass the Marshall Plan. This is a sound emphasis, but other elements of postwar anti-Communist campaigns are neglected, especially anti-labor legislation; and Freeland attributes to Truman a ""go-soft"" attitude toward the Soviets, which is certainly not proven by the fact that he restrained the ultras Forrestal, Kennan, and Byrnes -- indeed, some of Freeland's own citations confirm Truman's violent anti-Soviet spirit. The book concludes that by equating dissent with disloyalty, promoting guilt by association, and personally commanding loyalty programs, ""Truman and his advisors employed all the political and programmatic techniques that in later years were to become associated with the broad phenomenon of McCarthyism."" Freeland's revisionism is confined and conservative: he deems the Soviets most responsible for the Cold War and implies that ""subversion"" was in fact a menace. However, his emphasis on the foreign-policy determinants of cold war repression, while half-baked, allows for wider causal analysis than the party-politics stress of Theoharis' Harry S. Truman and the Origins of McCarthyism (p. 46).

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1971
Publisher: Knopf