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Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for the Future of Europe

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  91 reviews
The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe reveals how President Harry Truman defended democracy against the Soviet threat at the dawn of the Cold War.

Harry Truman had been vice president for less than three months when President Franklin Roosevelt died. Suddenly inaugurated the leader of the free world, the plainspoken Truman candidly told reporters he, “felt like the moon, the star
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 17th 2020 by Harper
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Jill Meyer
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There’s an interesting trend in the past 20 years or so, of authors of history and biographies taking their subjects and writing about selected parts of their lives. Former congressman and current “Morning Joe” pundit has done this with Harry Truman and the important foreign policy moves he made during his 8 years in office. His new book, “Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization”, begins basically after the end of World War 2, and recounts the beginning of a ...more
Steven Z.
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
A favorite question that was asked by pundits and historians in 1989 revolved around who was responsible for the bringing down of the Berlin Wall, and two years later the collapse of the Soviet Union. President George H.W. Bush took credit for winning the Cold War, while others argued it was due to the Reagan presidency. In his new book, SAVING FREEDOM: TRUMAN, THE COLD WAR, AND THE FIGHTFOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION MSNBC “Morning Joe” host, Joe Scarborough argues that it was because of the policies ...more
Jim Ogle
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scribd
Joe Scarborough brings a deft touch to his storytelling and analysis of Harry Truman’s foreign policy successes. He translates this well to the challenges that remain now for a new American administration. May Joe Biden be half as successful as Harry Truman!

A great listen with extra bonus content.

Thank you fir a job well done!
Paul Hart
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is a brief work akin to Brian Kilmeade’s pop history, though Scarborough overtly ties historical events he’s recounting to present times. It’s a brisk read, fairly well written, but given the title its focus is unexpectedly narrow. Rather than a broader overview of US aid to Europe, the Berlin Airlift, etc this book focuses almost exclusively on the decision to provide military and economic assistance to Greece.

While the topic is worth writing (and reading) about, Scarborough’s style leave
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up

This is a pretty straightforward history, focused on Truman's post-war foreign relations policy that came to be known as the Truman Doctrine. Faced with Britain's inability to continue to support Greece and Turkey, the Truman Doctrine provided financial aid to both countries in the hopes of staving off Stalin-backed Communist takeovers.

Scarborough details all of the personalities and political maneuvers that went into the development and implementation of the doctrine and it
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good short book on how Harry Truman steered the United States through the end of the World War II in Europe and used the Atomic bomb twice on Japan to end the war in Asia. He then kept a strong eye on Stalin and the Iron Curtin. Joe Scarborough is very attached to Harry Truman and tells the reader why he thinks he’s a great president. Very interesting.
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In "Saving Freedom," Joe Scarborough focuses on President Harry Truman's foreign policy achievements. After FDR's death in 1945, Truman inherited an office that, at first, he felt unprepared to occupy. Quite a few Americans were weary of conflict and preferred to concentrate on domestic matters. However, President Truman was concerned that Stalin was sowing seeds that could result in the Soviet domination of Europe. Since Truman needed broad cooperation to implement his plans, he and his brillia ...more
Peter Tillman
Jan 09, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history
NYT review, by John Gans:
"In an earnest, engaging new book, “Saving Freedom,” Joe Scarborough, the eponymous host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” shows readers why and, most important, how Truman set a precedent for all his successors — and cable news chatter — more than seven decades later. If the story of the 33rd president’s commitment, which at first aided only peoples in Greece and Turkey, is familiar, Scarborough’s focus on Truman and other elect
Christa Pelc
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. I never knew how fascinating was the life of Harry Truman! Joe Scarborough’s book is packed full of information about President Truman and his various cabinet members, & how they led America in a new, international world stage. His writing style is clear and engaging, as well.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love any book about Truman!
Dave Mackler
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Eh, not so much. The writing style is not that of well know historians but then Joe S. is an entertainer with his morning show and bands. On the other hand reading the book provided interesting historical information about the significant events that took place on Truman's watch and how his personal decisions and actions affected so much of the world. I was unaware of the steps that took place that took place that resulted in Truman being Vice President in Roosevelt's last term and how Truman ha ...more
Brandon Coyle
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I personally believe the book is insightful and inspirational. It helps the readers understand what risks and sacrifices were taken during the vanguard against the growing communist threat.

-It brings a whole new point of view over some of the politicians it refers to.
-Sticks to the historical timeline
-A reader will learn a lot from this book

-Definitely, a slow read, to obtain all the information
-Written for a select few audiences

I would recommend this to any Cold War history lover, or t
Martin Kilkenny
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very good book and a part of history I knew very little about. Very easy to read and understand and you have to love Scarborough for dropping the F bomb today on his show.
Bill Manzi
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Joe Scarborough has put out a pretty good book on Harry Truman and the immediate challenges Truman faced in the post war period. Scarborough’s book is a quick read that focuses on the Truman Administration and the aid program for Greece and Turkey, and the formulation of the Truman Doctrine that brought that aid.

As we look at the Greek and Turkish aid today the question may be what is the big deal about foreign assistance? Scarborough reviews the formulation of the Truman Doctrine, and the Pres
LuAnne Feik
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Under the guise of a Truman biography, SAVING TREEDOM serves as a US (written efficiently without periods throughout the book) foreign policy White Paper. Joe Scarborough documents how Britain passed the title, "global leader of Western democracy," to the United States, once and for all, after World War II. Along the way, he includes brief profiles to acquaint readers with some of DC's former key foreign policy players, such as Dean Acheson and Arthur Vandenberg.
Isolation stopped being a US for
Michael O'Leary
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Saving Freedom: Truman, The Cold War, and The Fight For Western Civilization by Joe Scarborough is an interesting and in-depth look at Truman's presidency at the beginning of the Cold War. The book is not a biography but is an account of how Truman, through the Truman Doctrine created the world order that saw the US dominate all other world rivals. In his book, Scarborough points out that Truman had a keen sense of the past; he once said to his aides: “If a man is acquainted with what other peop ...more
Stephen Morrissey
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Politics stops at the water's edge." The phrase rings hollow in 2020, especially as the Republican Party has morphed from principled isolationism to dangerous demagoguery. In the time of Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, and Arthur Vandenberg, though, the phrase very much rang true, and at no time more loudly than when America pledged its support to Greece and Turkey in the late 1940s.

Joe Scarborough, of morning political show fame, has crafted a very readable take on Truman's, and
Cary Giese
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The story of how the US became the essential nation! The British government informed the US on February 21,1947 that they no longer could support Greece and Turkey as those countries faced incursions by Russian backed insurgents. Lenin was planning to dominate those countries and add them to the Soviet hegemony. London was saying that they could no longer be the bulwark! US, it’s now up to you!

This message started the national debate on the US role as the most prosperous and powerful country pos
Alexander Abbe
Book #1 of hopefully at least 30 for 2021.

Written in narrative form so easy to read. Does a nice job of telling the story surrounding the Truman Doctrine (why the British bail and ask the U.S. to support the governments of Greece and Turkey, the formation of the doctrine by the State Department led by undersecretary Dean Acheson, the creation of the speech itself, the committee and floor work of the legislation with a special emphasis on Truman's Republican ally in the Senate, what's happening
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found it interesting that Joe Scarborough, a conservative Republican of the "old school," would write such a positive book on Harry Truman. But he explains that he had displayed two portraits on the wall of his congressional office, one of Ronald Regan and the other of Truman. It apparently surprised many visitors until told that he admired each of them for their "hawkish" (his words) position on communism in their foreign policy. I found that Scarborough presented Truman fairly, discussing hi ...more
Michael Friedman
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Joe Scarborough’s book is an important history of the Truman Doctrine which was Harry Truman’s successful plan to help Greece and Turkey and ultimately other nations defeat the plans of the Soviet Union to infiltrate and conquer American allies greatly vulnerable because of destruction and ruin cause by World War II. The doctrine was a bipartisan plan that helped the United States and the free world for decades and ultimately ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Joe Scarborough is far f
Norma Smith
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History Buffs
Recommended to Norma by: Morning Joe
I am a fan of Morning Joe. That is how I heard about this book. This book is a history lesson to me in many ways. At this time in history I was not born while this part of history was happening. Harry S. Truman was a man thrust into leadership upon the death of FDR. Still having to deal with a world war, he had to find a way to to handle many things at one time. This book details what and how America was like and what it took to build the European Nations back to a strength where they could stan ...more
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
[Private note to Joe (and Mika): Please forgive me. I watch your show often.] To describe the first third of this book as “dry” would be akin to describing Death Valley as being “fairly warm” on some afternoons. I say this as a both a fan of “Morning Joe” and a journalist who understands the importance of providing comprehensive “background” material when delving into complex subjects. The first eight or nine chapters would be considered a “riveting read” only by truly committed armchair histori ...more
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book five stars and forgave the grave mistakes in the end of the book, because the actual historic material on President Truman was amazing. Scaraborough goes over all the important achievements of Truman, from his eponymous doctrine that shaped foreign relations ever since, to the desegregation of the armed forces, the Marshall Doctrine, the Greek Civil War, and the creation of NATO.

Those final mistakes are pretty bad and out of place. These mistakes are bizarrely not even about th
Chad Manske
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Spoiler, but not spoiler, alert—the core and context of this new addition to Cold War history is the story behind the passage and application of the Truman Doctrine—the containment strategy at the dawn of the era in which tyranny worldwide would be challenged and free people the world over would be supported by post-WWII America. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe begins his work where Truman, a few months into his Vice Presidency under FDR, finds himself as President when Roosevelt passes, ...more
Elizabeth Moro
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive."--Harry Truman in 1947 as quoted in Joe Scarborough's book, Saving Freedom. This book is an elegant introduction to Harry S. Truman as well as the politics of the post-World War II era. It raises questions with which we are currently struggling in our countr ...more
Chris Brimmer
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I must say I had relatively low expectations of yet another "history" book written by a Republican, turns out Scarborough is no Bill O'Reilly. A little mawkish and overblown here and there Scarborough demonstrates a real understanding of the nuance between an actual popular movement for democratic socialism when Labor turned out Churchill, nationalism taking on a communist persona in Vietnam, indigenous and independent communism under Tito and the true horrors of Stalinist totalitarianism. This ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Joe Scarborough brings out the uniqueness and critical importance of the time following WWII, and how Truman dramatically changed our country's place in world leadership. He faced a Republican Congress that tended to be isolationist, and eager to pivot back to that role. Truman, more than other American leaders at that time, was the man for the time. If he had not acted aggressively on the post-war situation in Greece that country (as well as Turkey) would have undoubtedly fallen to the Soviets. ...more
Bill Bow
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
After reading Erik Larson's "The Splendid and the Vile" about Churchill during the Battle of Britain, and Chris Wallace's "Countdown 1945", I was ready for another post-war book. Sadly, Scarborough's book falls flat.
it could be the subject matter, Truman is a cold fish but I also found the prose lacking, the major players all depicted without passion. it doesn't help that the book isn't as annotated as the other two I've mentioned. It also doesn't help that future Presidents would use the Truma
Eileen Godbout
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read about our nation’s 33rd President, who despite his lack of formal education and charismatic leadership, is remembered by history as a “US Historical Giant.”
Truman was met with many consequential crises during his first year in office Including: guiding the US to victory over Hitler, making the very difficult and consequential decision to end the Pacific War using 2 atomic bombs, and working thru the details of a post war world order.
The “jewel in his crown” came with the passin
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Charles Joseph "Joe" Scarborough (born April 9, 1963) is an American cable news and talk radio host, lawyer, author, and former politician. He is currently the host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, and previously hosted Scarborough Country on the same channel. Scarborough served in the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001 as a Republican from the 1st district of Florida. He was named i ...more

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4 likes · 0 comments
“On July 26, 1948, Truman issued an executive order desegregating the armed forces: It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.” 1 likes
“The Truman Doctrine was not a declaration of war, but the recognition of a cold war with the Soviet Union that had already begun.” 0 likes
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