Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation

Frank Kofsky, Author
Frank Kofsky, Author St. Martin's Press $35 (420p) ISBN 978-0-312-09482-9
Paperback - 444 pages - 978-0-312-12329-1
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Kofsky, a history professor at California State University, unconvincingly argues that President Harry Truman, in collusion with Secretary of State George Marshall and Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal, fabricated the Soviet Union's perceived military aggressiveness towards the West. According to Kofsky, this trumped-up ``war scare'' was a great success for the Truman administration, for it frightened Congress into approving the Marshall Plan, saved the U.S. aviation industry from bankruptcy and brought about a quantum leap in defense spending. Truman deserves condemnation, the author maintains, for establishing a permanent war economy ``that now serves primarily to accelerate the rate at which the quality of life in the United States declines.'' Kofsky's perspective on the origins of the Cold War is questionable in its ready condemnations of Truman and explanations of U.S.-U.S.S.R. relations under Stalin. (Aug.)
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