The Blunders of Statesmen

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath, edited and with an introduction by George H. Nash, included below (Hoover Institution Press, 2011).

In November 1951, a public-relations executive named John W. Hill met Herbert Hoover at a dinner in New York City. It was an unhappy time in the United States, especially for conservative Republicans. Abroad, the Korean War had turned into a bloody stalemate that Pres. Harry Truman’s administration seemed unable to end. Earlier in the year, the president had abruptly dismissed Gen. Douglas MacArthur, a conservative hero, from America’s Far Eastern military command, to the consternation of Hoover and millions of others. At home, Truman’s liberal Democratic administration was under furious assault from conservative critics of its policies toward Communist regimes overseas and Communist subversion within our borders.

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