Meeting the Communist Threat: Truman to Reagan (Oxford Paperbacks)

Meeting the Communist Threat: Truman to Reagan (Oxford Paperbacks)

Thomas G. Paterson

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0195045327

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This provocative volume, written by the distinguished diplomatic historian Thomas G. Paterson, explores why and how Americans have perceived and exaggerated the Communist threat in the last half century. Basing his spirited analysis on research in private papers, government archives, oral histories, contemporary writings, and scholarly works, Paterson explains the origins and evolution of United States global intervention. Deftly exploring the ideas and programs of Truman, Kennan, Eisenhower, Dulles, Kennedy, Nixon, Kissinger, and Reagan, as well as the views of dissenters from the prevailing Cold War mentality, Paterson reveals the tenacity of American thinking about threats from abroad. He recaptures the tumult of the last several decades by treating a wide range of topics, including post-war turmoil in Western Europe, Mao's rise in China, the Suez Canal, the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, CIA covert actions, and Central America.
Paterson's vivid account of America's Cold War policies argues that, while Americans did not invent the Communist threat, they have certainly exaggerated it, nurturing a trenchant anti-communism that has had a devastating effect on international relations and American institutions.

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pessimistic about their economic future. Machine-tool manufacturers welcomed the Marshall Plan as a much-needed vehicle for profit, and Fortune found business executives much more optimistic by November 1947. A White House memorandum of March 1948, looking back on the spring of 1947 when people expected an economic decline, considered the Marshall Plan "very important" in providing "a powerful psychological stimulus to a resumption of the upward spiral," because "people generally interpreted [it]

the recession by placing $6.45 billion in the hands of Europeans and other foreign people buying in American markets in 1948-49. It was mild, too, because, due to American aid, European business activity did not slacken at the same time. Although many American leaders thought a decline in exports would deliver recession, this was not the only consideration in predicting an economic slump. Some people never mentioned the effect of a European crisis or reduced foreign trade. They often thought

imperialist threat to China; and that Chinese Communism hardly resembled Soviet Communism. In the White Paper Acheson noted the possibility that in the future Sino-Soviet relations might sour. After boldly declaring China subservient to Russia, he remarked that "ultimately the profound civilization and the democratic individualism of China 64 Meeting the Communist Threat will reassert themselves and she will throw off the foreign yoke."28 National Security Council Paper No. 48, prepared in

nuclear weapons. The Berlin Blockade was met not with a congressional program but with the President's policy of an airlift. Truman never went to Congress, moreover, for a declaration of war during the Korean War, but Congress voted funds time and time again to continue it. Acheson explained that the administration did not ask Congress for a war declaration because it did not want to invite hearings which might produce that "one more question in crossexamination which destroys you, as a lawyer.

II claimed primary American attention. When American officials explained that the recovery of Western Europe would benefit the developing world as well, the highly sensitive leaders of the emerging states rebutted that such talk smacked of refurbished colonialism and subservience to traditional Western imperialism. When Washington pressed the new governments to take America's side in the Cold War, Prime Minister Jawaharlal The Point Four Program 149 Nehru of India and others indignantly

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