Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization (Paperback)

Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization By Joe Scarborough Cover Image

Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization (Paperback)


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History called on Harry Truman to unite the Western world against Soviet communism, but first he had to rally Republicans and Democrats behind America’s most dramatic foreign policy shift since George Washington delivered his farewell address. How did one of the least prepared presidents to walk into the Oval Office become one of its most successful?

The year was 1947. The Soviet Union had moved from being America’s uneasy ally in the Second World War to its most feared enemy. With Joseph Stalin’s ambitions pushing westward, Turkey was pressured from the east while communist revolutionaries overran Greece. The British Empire was battered from its war with Hitler and suddenly teetering on the brink of financial ruin. Only America could afford to defend freedom in the West, and the effort was spearheaded by a president who hadn’t even been elected to that office. But Truman would wage a domestic political battle that carried with it the highest of stakes, inspiring friends and foes alike to join in his crusade to defend democracy across the globe.

In Saving Freedom, Joe Scarborough recounts the historic forces that moved Truman toward his country’s long twilight struggle against Soviet communism, and how this untested president acted decisively to build a lasting coalition that would influence America’s foreign policy for generations to come. On March 12, 1947, Truman delivered an address before a joint session of Congress announcing a policy of containment that would soon become known as the Truman Doctrine. That doctrine pledged that the United States would “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The untested president’s policy was a radical shift from 150 years of isolationism, but it would prove to be the pivotal moment that guaranteed Western Europe’s freedom, the American Century’s rise, and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. 

Truman’s triumph over the personal and political struggles that confronted him following his ascension to the presidency is an inspiring tale of American leadership, fierce determination, bipartisan unity, and courage in the face of the rising Soviet threat. Saving Freedom explores one of the most pivotal moments of the twentieth century, a turning point when patriotic Americans of both political parties worked together to defeat tyranny.

Joe Scarborough is a New York Times bestselling author, a Washington Post columnist, the creator of Morning Joe, and a former United States congressman. He has been named to the “Time 100” list of the world’s most influential people.

“As a practitioner of politics and an astute analyst of the storms of the present, Joe Scarborough is uniquely positioned to bring history to life. And that’s exactly what he’s done here, giving us a compelling account of a great man and a great American moment. Harry Truman comes to life in these pages— and his is a life that repays our attention now more than ever.” — Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning presidential historian

Saving Freedom speaks to our national crisis here and now. Joe Scarborough tells the American miracle of how Harry Truman, a 'strange little man' from Missouri, pulled together Republicans and Democrats to confront Soviet communism and establish America as a global power. As Joe reminds us in this wise history, American greatness begins with unity and good values." — David Ignatius, associate editor and columnist, The Washington Post, and bestselling author of eleven novels

"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...its rediscovery of the politicians’ role in the Cold War comes at just the right time.” — New York Times

"Bold and highly readable." — Washington Post

“As someone who sat in Harry Truman’s seat in the US Senate, I have read every book written about him. I thought the subjects had all been covered. I was wrong. This book explores, in depth, the broad reach of Truman’s revolution in US foreign policy. If you want to understand why isolationism harms America’s national security, read this book. The Truman Doctrine ushered in the dominance of the United States in the world and the containment of communism, but this book is even more important as a cautionary tale about the fraying of America’s alliances with freedom-loving nations.” — Claire McCaskill, former United States senator

“Joe Scarborough’s Saving Freedom is a wonderful examination of a pivotal moment in world history, and a perfect lesson for this tumultuous moment in America. Scarborough illuminates how, at a moment of existential peril for Western democracy, farsighted and skillful presidential leadership built the transatlantic architecture that has sheltered seven decades of peace and prosperity. It is a story for the ages, beautifully told.”  — Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and NBC News political analyst

“Scarborough’s eerily timely book is Saving Freedom, a fluently written and engaging account of the Democrat Truman in 1947 winning over sceptical Republicans in Congress to end 150 years of American isolationism and unite the west against the Soviet Union.” — The Guardian