The culmination of an extraordinary literary project that Herbert Hoover launched during World War II, his “magnum opus”—at last published nearly fifty years after its completion—offers a revisionist reexamination of the war and its cold war aftermath and a sweeping indictment of the “lost statesmanship” of Franklin Roosevelt. "Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath" originated as a volume of Hoover's memoirs, a book initially focused on his battle against President Roosevelt's foreign policies before Pearl Harbor. As time went on, however, Hoover widened his scope to include Roosevelt's foreign policies during the war, as well as the war's consequences: the expansion of the Soviet empire at war's end and the eruption of the cold war against the Communists.
On issue after issue, Hoover raises crucial questions that continue to be debated to this day. Did Franklin Roosevelt deceitfully maneuver the United States into an undeclared and unconstitutional naval war with Germany in 1941? Did he unnecessarily appease Joseph Stalin at the pivotal Tehran conference in 1943? Did communist agents and sympathizers in the White House, Department of State, and Department of the Treasury play a malign role in some of America's wartime decisions? Hoover raises numerous arguments that challenge us to think again about our past. Whether or not one ultimately accepts his arguments, the exercise of confronting them will be worthwhile to all.
“Herbert Hoover's ”Freedom Betrayed“ is a bracing work of historical revisionism that takes aim at U.S. foreign policy under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Part memoir and part diplomatic history, Hoover's magnum opus seeks to expose the ”lost statesmanship“ that, in Hoover's eyes, needlessly drew the United States into the Second World War and, in the aftermath, facilitated the rise to global power of its ideological rival, the Soviet Union. ”Freedom Betrayed", as George Nash asserts in his astute and authoritative introduction, resembles a prosecutor's brief against Roosevelt—and against Winston Churchill as well— at the bar of history. Thanks to Nash's impressive feat of reconstruction, Hoover's “thunderbolt” now strikes—nearly a half-century after it was readied. The former president's interpretation of the conduct and consequences of the Second World War will not entirely persuade most readers. Yet, as Nash testifies, like the best kind of revisionist history, “Freedom Betrayed” “challenges us to think afresh about our past.”
—“BERTRAND M. PATENAUDE”“, author of” A Wealth of Ideas: Revelations from the Hoover Institution Archives