Gieat Wais and Gieat Leadeis

Gieat Wais and Gieat Leadeis
A Libeitaiian Rebuual
Ralph Raico
Ludwig
von Mie
Intitute
A U B U R N , A L A B A M A
Copyiight · zc1c by the Ludwig von Mises lnstitute
Published undei the Cieative Commons Auiibution License !.c.
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Dedicated to the memoiy of Muiiay N. Rothbaid
Lifelong mentoi and fiiend
Contents
loiewoid by Robeit Higgs iii
lntioduction vii
Ess~vs
1 Woild Wai l· Te Tuining Point 1
z Rethinking Chuichill ¯!
! Haiiy S. Tiuman· Advancing the Revolution 1c!
. Maixist Dieams and Soviet Realities 1.!
¯ Nazifying the Geimans 1¯¯
Riviivs
e Tiotsky· Te lgnoiance and the Evil 1e¯
¯ Te Two “Testaments” of Ameiican loieign Policy 1¯¯
c Te Othei Wai that Nevei Ends· A Suivey of Some
Recent Liteiatuie on Woild Wai l 1c¯
v Staiving a People into Submission 1v¯
1c John T. llynn and the Apotheosis of lianklin Roosevelt zc¯
11 On the Biink of Woild Wai ll z1v
1z Te Gieat Wai Retold zzv
i
loiewoid
by Robeit Higgs
loi many yeais, l have desciibed Ralph Raico as “my favoiite his-
toiian.” When David Teioux and l weie making oui plans in 1vv¯
foi the publication of a new scholaily quaiteily, Te InJe¡enJenì
Re+:e+, and selecting the scholais we would ask to seive as associate
editois, l knew that l would want one of them to be an excellent
histoiian, and l knew also that the peison l wanted most was Raico.
l had complete confidence that he would biing to oui pioject pie-
cisely the combination of peisonal integiity, scholaily masteiy, and
sound judgment l needed in an associate. ln the fifeen yeais since
then, l have nevei iegieued that l pievailed on Ralph to seive in this
capacity and that he giaciously accepted my invitation. Tiee of
the maivelous ieview essays that appeai heie weie fiist published
in TIR.
Much eailiei l had developed a deep iespect foi Raico as a
scholai and as a peison. l insist that these two qualities cannot
be sepaiated without diie consequences. Some scholais have en-
eigy, biilliance, and masteiy of theii fields, but they lack peisonal
integiity, hence they bend easily befoie the winds of piofessional
fashion and social piessuie. l have always admiied Ralph’s amazing
command of the wide-ianging liteiatuie ielated to the topics about
which he lectuies and wiites. But l have admiied even moie his
iii
iv GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
couiageous capacity foi fiankly evaluating the actois and the actions
in question, not to mention the claiity and wit of his humane, level-
headed judgments.
Academic histoiians, who long ago came to dominate the wiit-
ing of seiious histoiy in the United States, have not distinguished
themselves as independent thinkeis. All too ofen, especially in the
past thiity oi foity yeais, they have suiiendeied theii judgments
and even theii auention spans to a combination of hypei-sensitive
multicultuialism and powei woiship. Tey tend to see society as
divided between a small gioup of oppiessois (neaily all of whom aie,
not coincidentally, stiaight white males engaged in oi closely asso-
ciated with coipoiate business) and a conglomeiation of oppiessed
gioups, among whom nonwhites, women, homosexuals, and low-
wage woikeis ieceive piominent auention and solicitude. When
the histoiians wiite about the economy, they usually view it though
quasi-Maixist lenses, peiceiving that investois and employeis have
been (and iemain) the natuial enemies of the woikeis, who would
nevei have escaped destitution except foi the heioic stiuggles waged
on theii behalf by laboi unions and piogiessive politicians. When
they wiite about inteinational affaiis, they elevate the “demociatic”
waitime leadeis to god-like status, especially so foi Abiaham Lincoln,
Woodiow Wilson, Winston Chuichill, and lianklin D. Roosevelt—
politicians whose public declaiations of noble intentions the histoii-
ans tend to accept at face value.
Raico, in contiast, steadfastly iefuses to be sucked into this ideo-
logical miie. Having auended Ludwig von Mises’s famous seminai at
New Yoik Univeisity and having completed his Ph.D. disseitation at
the Univeisity of Chicago undei l. A. Hayek’s supeivision, he un-
deistands classical libeialism as well as anyone, and his histoiical
judgments ieflect this moie solid and humane giounding. loi Ralph,
it would be not only unseemly but foolish to quivei obsequiously in
the histoiical piesence of a Chuichill, a Roosevelt, oi a Tiuman. He
knows when he has encounteied a politician who lusted afei powei
and public adulation, and he desciibes the man accoidingly. He does
not sweep undei the iug the ciimes commiued by the most publicly
ieveied Westein political leadeis. lf they oideied oi acceded to the
commission of mass muidei, he tells us, without mincing woids, that
they did so. Te idea that the United States has invaiiably played
the iole of savioi oi “good guy” in its inteinational ielations Raico
iecognizes as state piopaganda, iathei than honest histoiy.
lOREWORD v
Tus, in these pages, you will find desciiptions and accounts
of Woild Wai l, of the lead-up to foimal U.S. belligeience in Woild
Wai ll, and of Chuichill, Roosevelt, and Tiuman, among otheis, that
beai liule iesemblance to what you weie taught in school. Heie you
will encountei, peihaps foi the fiist time, compelling evidence of
how the Biitish maneuveied U.S. leadeis and tiicked the Ameiican
people piioi to the U.S. declaiations of wai in 1v1¯ and 1v.1. You
will iead about how the Biitish undeitook to staive the Geimans
—men, women, and childien alike—not only duiing Woild Wai l,
but foi the gieatei pait of a yeai afei the aimistice. You will be
piesented with desciiptions of how the communists weie deified
and the Geiman people demonized by histoiians and otheis who
ought to have known beuei. You will see painted in tiuei shades
a poitiait of the epic confiontation between the gieat majoiity of
Ameiicans who wished to keep theii countiy at peace in 1v!v, 1v.c,
and 1v.1 and the well-placed, unsciupulous minoiity who sought
to plunge the United States into the Euiopean maelstiom.
Raico’s histoiical essays aie not foi the faint of heait oi foi those
whose loyalty to the U.S. oi Biitish state outweighs theii devotion
to tiuth and humanity. Yet Ralph did not invent the ugly facts he
iecounts heie, as his ample documentation auests. lndeed, many
histoiians have known these facts, but fewhave been willing to step
foiwaid and defy politically populai and piofessionally fashionable
views in the foithiight, pull-no-punches way that Raico does. Te
histoiians’ piincipal defect foi the most pait has not been a failuie
oi iefusal to dig out the ielevant facts, but iathei a tendency to go
along to get along in academia and “iespectable” society, a spheie
in which individual honesty and couiage geneially count against
a wiitei oi teachei, wheieas capitulation to tiendy nonsense ofen
biings gieat iewaids and piofessional acclaim.
Tose who have not iead Raico’s essays oi listened to his lec-
tuies have a feast in stoie heie. Tose who have iead some, but not
all of the essays in this collection may iest assuied that the quality
iemains high thioughout the volume. Any one of the main essays
well justifies the piice of the book, and each of the ieview essays
is a jewel of solid scholaiship and excellent judgment. Moieovei,
in contiast to the bland, uninspiied wiiting that most academic
histoiians dish out, Ralph’s cleai, vigoious piose seives as a tasty
spice foi the meaty substance. Bon o¡¡eì:ì.
lntioduction
Te King of Piussia, liedeiick ll (“the Gieat”), confessed that he
had seized the piovince of Silesia fiom the Empiess Maiia Teiesa
in 1¯.c because, as a newcomei to the thione, he had to make a
name foi himself. Tis initiated a wai with Austiia that developed
into a woild-wide wai (in Noith Ameiica, the liench and lndian
Wai), and went on to 1¯e!. Of couise, many tens of thousands died
in that seiies of wais.
liedeiick’s admission is piobably unique in the annals of leadeis
of states. ln geneial, iuleis have been much moie ciicumspect about
ievealing the tiue ieasons foi theii wais, as well as the methods by
which they conduct them. Pietexts and evasions have piolifeiated.
ln today’s demociatic societies, these aie endoised—ofen invented
—by compliant piofessois and othei intellectuals.
loi geneiations, the unmasking of such excuses foi wai and
wai-making has been the essence of |:sìor:co| re+:s:on:s», oi sim-
ply re+:s:on:s». Revisionism and classical libeialism, today called
libeitaiianism, have always been closely linked.
Te gieatest classical libeial thinkei on inteinational affaiis was
Richaid Cobden, whose ciusade foi iepeal of the Coin Laws tii-
umphed in 1c.e, biinging fiee tiade and piospeiity to England. Cob-
den’s two-volume Po|:ì:co| Vr:ì:ngs (iepiinted by Gailand Publish-
ing in 1v¯!) aie all ievisionist accounts of Biitish foieign policy.
vii
viii GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Cobden maintained that “Te middle and industiious classes of
England can have no inteiest apait fiom the pieseivation of peace.
Te honouis, the fame, the emoluments of wai belong not to them,
the baule-plain is the haivest-field of the aiistociacy, wateied by
the blood of the people.” He looked foiwaid to a time when the
slogan “no [ore:gn ¡o|:ì:cs” would become the watchwoid of all who
aspiied to be iepiesentatives of a fiee people. Cobden went so fai as
to tiace the calamitous English wais against ievolutionaiy liance—
which went on foi a geneiation and ended only at Wateiloo—to the
hostility of the Biitish uppei classes to the anti-aiistociatic policies
of the liench.
Castigating the aiistociacy foi its alleged wai-lust was standaid
foi libeial wiiteis of eailiei geneiations. But Cobden’s views began
to change when he obseived the intense ¡o¡v|or enthusiasm foi the
Ciimean Wai, against Russia and on behalf of the Ouoman Tuiks.
His outspoken opposition to that wai, seconded by his fiiend and
co-leadei of the Manchestei School, John Biight, cost both of them
theii seats in the Commons at the next election.
Biight outlived his colleague by twenty yeais, witnessing the
giowing passion foi empiie in his countiy. ln 1cc., the acclaimed
Libeial Piime Ministei, William Gladstone, oideied the Royal Navy
to bombaid Alexandiia to iecovei the debts owed by the Egyptians
to Biitish investois. Biight scoinfully dismissed it as “a jobbeis’ wai,”
wai on behalf of a piivileged class of capitalists, and iesigned fiom
the Gladstone Cabinet. But he nevei foigot what had staited him on
the ioad to anti-impeiialism. When Biight passed with his young
giandson in fiont of the statue in London, labeled “Ciimea,” the boy
asked the meaning of the memoiial. Biight ieplied, simply, “ACiime.”
Heibeit Spencei, the most widely iead philosophei of his time,
was squaiely in the classical libeial tiadition. His hostility to statism
is exemplified by his asseition that, “Be it oi be it not tiue that Man
is shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably tiue
that Goveinment is begouen of aggiession and by aggiession.”
While noting the state’s inboin tendency towaids “militancy”—
as opposed to the peaceful inteicouise of civil society—Spencei de-
nounced the vaiious apologias foi his countiy’s wais in his lifetime,
in China, South Afiica, and elsewheie.
ln the United States, anaichist authoi Lysandei Spoonei was a
ienowned abolitionist, even conspiiing with John Biown to piomote
lNTRODUCTlON ix
a seivile insuiiection in the South. Yet he vocifeiously opposed the
Civil Wai, aiguing that it violated the iight of the southein states to
secede fiom a Union that no longei iepiesented them. E. L. Godkin,
influential editoi of Te Noì:on magazine, opposed U.S. impeiialism
to the end of his life, condemning the wai against Spain. Like God-
kin, William Giaham Sumnei was a foithiight pioponent of fiee
tiade and the gold standaid and a foe of socialism. He held the
fiist piofessoiship in sociology (at Yale) and authoied a gieat many
books. But his most enduiing woik is his essay, “Te Conquest
of the United States by Spain,” iepiinted many times and today
available online. ln this iionically titled woik, Sumnei poitiayed
the savage U.S. wai against the Philippines, which cost some zcc,ccc
lilipino lives, as an Ameiican veision of the impeiialismand lust foi
colonies that had biought Spain the soiiy state of his own time.
Unsuipiisingly, the most thoioughgoing of the libeial ievision-
ists was the aich-iadical Gustave de Molinaii, oiiginatoi of what
has come to be known as anaicho-capitalism. ln his woik on the
Gieat Revolution of 1¯cv, Molinaii evisceiated the founding myth
of the liench Republic. liance had been pioceeding giadually and
oiganically towaids libeial iefoim in the latei eighteenth centuiy,
the ievolution put an end to that piocess, substituting an unpiece-
dented expansion of state powei and a geneiation of wai. Te
self-pioclaimed libeial paities of the nineteenth centuiy weie, in
fact, machines foi the exploitation of society by the now victoiious
piedatoiy middle classes, who piofited fiom taiiffs, goveinment
contiacts, state subsidies foi iailioads and othei industiies, state-
sponsoied banking, and the legion of jobs available in the evei-
expanding buieauciacy.
ln his last woik, published a yeai befoie his death in 1v1z, Moli-
naii nevei ielented. Te Ameiican Civil Wai had not been simply
a humanitaiian ciusade to fiee the slaves. Te wai “iuined the con-
queied piovinces,” but the Noithein plutociats pulling the stiings
achieved theii aim· the imposition of a vicious piotectionism that
led ultimately “to the iegime of tiusts and pioduced the billionaiies.”
Libeitaiian ievisionism continued into the twentieth centuiy.
Te liist Woild Wai fuinished iich pickings, among them Albeit
Jay Nock’s Te M,ì| o[ o Gv:|ì, Noì:on and H. L. Mencken’s con-
tinuing, and of couise wiuy, exposés of the lies of Ameiica’s wais
and wai-makeis. ln the next geneiation, liank Chodoiov, the last
x GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
of the Old Right gieats, wiote that “lsolationism is not a political
policy, it is a natuial auitude of a people.” Lef to theii own devices,
the people “do not feel any call to impose theii own customs and
values on stiangeis.” Declining to dodge the scaie woid, Chodoiov
uiged a “ietuin to that isolationism which foi ovei a hundied yeais
piospeied the nation and gained foi us the iespect and admiia-
tion of the woild.” Chodoiov—foundei of lSl, which he named the
lnteicollegiate Society of lndividualists, latei tamed down to “the
lnteicollegiate Studies lnstitute”—bioke with the “New Right,” the
neocons of the that eia, ovei his opposition to the Koiean Wai.
Muiiay Rothbaid was the heii to this whole legacy, totally fa-
miliai with it and biinging it up-to-date. Aside fiomhis many othei,
ieally amazing contiibutions, Muiiay and his colleague Leonaid
Liggio intioduced histoiical ievisionism to the buigeoning Amei-
ican libeitaiian movement (including me). Tis is a woik now cai-
iied on with gieat gusto by LewRockwell, of the Mises lnstitute, and
his associated accomplished scholais, paiticulaily the indefatigable
Tom Woods.
Te essays and ieviews l have published and now collected and
mostly expanded in this volume aie in the tiadition of libeitaiian
ievisionism, animated by the spiiit of Muiiay Rothbaid. Tey ex-
pose the conseciated lies and ciimes of some of oui most iniquitous,
and beloved, iecent iuleis. My hope is, in a small way, to lay baie
histoiically the natuie of the state.
Tangentially, l’ve also taken into account the stiange phen-
omenon, now neaily foigouen, of the deep affection of multitudes
of honoied Westein intellectuals in the 1v!cs and ’.cs foi the gieat
expeiiment in socialism taking place in Soviet Russia undei Josef
Stalin. Teii piopaganda had an impact on a numbei of Westein
leadeis and on Westein policy towaids the Soviet Union. To my
mind, this is woithy of a ceitain ievisionism even today.
Cu~v1iv 1
Woild Wai l· Te Tuining Point
With the Woild Wai mankind got into a ciisis with which noth-
ing that happened befoie in histoiy can be compaied. . . . ln the
woild ciisis whose beginning we aie expeiiencing, all peoples of
the woild aie involved. . . . Wai has become moie feaiful because
it is waged with all the means of the highly developed technique
that the fiee economy has cieated. . . . Nevei was the individual
moie tyiannized than since the outbieak of the Woild Wai and
especially of the woild ievolution. One cannot escape the police
and administiative technique of the piesent day.
Ludwig von Mises (1v1v)
1
Te liist Woild Wai is the tuining point of the twentieth cen-
tuiy. Had the wai not occuiied, the Piussian Hohenzolleins would
most piobably have iemained heads of Geimany, with theii panoply
of suboidinate kings and nobility in chaige of the lessei Geiman
states. Whatevei gains Hitlei might have scoied in the Reichstag
elections, could he have eiected his totalitaiian, exteiminationist
Tis is a much expanded veision of an essay that oiiginally appeaied in Te
Cosìs o[ Vor A»er:co’s P,rr|:c V:cìor:es, znd edition, John V. Denson, ed. (New
Biunswick, N.J.· Tiansaction, zcc1).
1
Ludwig von Mises, Noì:on, Sìoìe, onJ Fcono», Conìr:|vì:ons ìo ì|e Po|:ì:cs
onJ H:sìor, o[ Ovr T:»e, Leland B. Yeagei, tians. (NewYoik· NewYoik Univeisity
Piess, 1vc!), pp. z1¯–1e.
1
z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
dictatoiship in the midst of this poweiful aiistociatic supeistiuc-
tuie` Highly unlikely. ln Russia, Lenin’s few thousand Communist
ievolutionaiies confionted the immense lmpeiial Russian Aimy,
the laigest in the woild. loi Lenin to have any chance to succeed,
that gieat aimy had fiist to be pulveiized, which is what the Gei-
mans did. So, a twentieth centuiy without the Gieat Wai might
well have meant a centuiy without Nazis oi Communists. lmagine
that. lt was also a tuining point in the histoiy of oui Ameiican
nation, which undei the leadeiship of Woodiow Wilson developed
into something iadically diffeient fiom what it had been befoie.
Tus, the impoitance of the oiigins of that wai, its couise, and its
afeimath.
lN1vouUc1ioN
ln 1v1v, when the cainage at the fionts was at long last ovei, the
victois gatheied in Paiis to concoct a seiies of peace tieaties. Even-
tually, these weie duly signed by the iepiesentatives of foui of the
five vanquished nations, Geimany, Austiia, Hungaiy, and Bulgaiia
(the final seulement with Tuikey came in 1vz!), each at one of the
palaces in the vicinity. Te signing of the most impoitant one, the
tieaty with Geimany, took place at the gieat Palace of Veisailles.
Aiticle z!1 of the Tieaty of Veisailles ieads·
Te Allied and Associated Goveinments affiimand Geimany
accepts the iesponsibility of Geimany and hei allies foi caus-
ing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associ-
ated Goveinments and theii nationals have been subjected
as a consequence of the wai imposed upon them by the ag-
giession of Geimany and hei allies.
z
lt was unpiecedented in the histoiy of peace negotiations that
those who lost a wai should have to admit theii guilt foi staiting it.
z
Alan Shaip, Te Verso:||es Seu|e»enì Peoce»o|:ng :n Por:s, 1^1^ (New Yoik·
St. Maitin’s Piess, 1vv1), p. c¯. Te Allied Coveiing Leuei of June 1e, 1v1v filled
in the indictment, accusing Geimany of having delibeiately unleashed the Gieat
Wai in oidei to subjugate Euiope, “the gieatest ciime” evei commiued by a sup-
posedly civilized nation. Kail Dietiich Eidmann, “Wai Guilt 1v1. Reconsideied·
A Balance of New Reseaich,” in H. W. Koch, ed., Te Or:g:ns o[ ì|e F:rsì Vor|J
Vor Greoì Po+er R:+o|r:es onJ Ger»on Vor A:»s, znd ed. (London· Macmillan,
1vc.), p. !.z.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT !
Te fact that the “wai-guilt clause” implied Geiman liability foi
unstated but huge iepaiations added fuel to the contioveisy ovei
who was to blame foi the outbieak of the wai. Tis immediately
became, and has iemained, one of the most disputed questions in
all of histoiical wiiting. When the Bolsheviks seized powei, they
gleefully opened the Tsaiist aichives, publishing documents that
included some of the seciet tieaties of the Entente poweis to di-
vide up the spoils afei the wai was ovei. Teii puipose was to
embaiiass the sanctimonious “capitalist” goveinments, which had
insisted on the viigin puiity of theii cause. Tis move contiibuted
to othei nations making public many of theii own documents at an
eailiei point than might have been expected.
ln the inteiwai peiiod, a consensus developed among scholais
that the wai-guilt clause of the Veisailles Tieaty was histoiically
woithless. Piobably the most iespected inteipietation was that of
Sidney lay, who appoitioned majoi iesponsibility among Austiia,
Russia, Seibia, and Geimany.
!
ln 1v¯z, a commiuee of piominent
liench and Geiman histoiians concluded·
Te documents do not peimit any auiibuting, to any govein-
ment oi nation, a piemeditated desiie foi Euiopean wai in
1v1.. Distiust was at its highest, and leading gioups weie
dominated by the thought that wai was inevitable, eveiyone
thought that the othei side was contemplating aggiession. . . .
.
Tis consensus was shaken in 1ve1 with the publication of liitz
lischei’s Gr:ff nod Jer Ve|ì»odì (“Giab foi Woild Powei”). ln
the final foimulation of this inteipietation, lischei and the scholais
who followed him maintained that in 1v1. the Geiman goveinment
delibeiately ignited a Euiopean wai in oidei to impose its hegemony
ovei Euiope.
¯
(Would that all histoiians weie as cynical iegaiding
!
Sidney B. lay, Te Or:g:ns o[ ì|e Vor|J Vor, z vols. (New Yoik· liee Piess,
1vee [1vzc]).
.
Joachim Remak, Te Or:g:ns o[ Vor|J Vor I, 18¯1–1^1o, znd ed. (loit Woith,
Tex.· Haicouit, Biace, 1vv¯), p. 1!1.
¯
See liitz lischei, Ger»on,’s A:»s :n ì|e F:rsì Vor|J Vor (New Yoik· W. W.
Noiton, 1ve¯ [1ve1]), idem, Vor o[ I||vs:ons Ger»on Po|:c:es [ro» 1^11 ìo 1^1o
(New Yoik· W. W. Noiton, 1v¯¯ [1vev]), Maiian Jackson, tians., lmanuel Geiss,
}v|, 1^1o Te Ovì|reo| o[ ì|e F:rsì Vor|J Vor, Se|ecìeJ Docv»enìs (New Yoik·
Chailes Sciibnei’s, 1ve¯ [1ve!–e.]), and idem, Ger»on Fore:gn Po|:c,, 18¯1–1^1o
. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
the motives of theii own states.) Te ieseaiches of the lischei school
foiced ceitain minoi ievisions in the eailiei geneially accepted view.
But the histoiiogiaphical pendulum has now swung much too
fai in the lischei diiection. loieign histoiians have tended to ac-
cept his analysis wholesale, peihaps because it fit theii “image of
Geiman histoiy, deteimined laigely by the expeiience of Hitlei’s
Geimany and the Second Woild Wai.”
e
Te editois of an Ameiican
iefeience woik on Woild Wai l, foi example, state outiight that
“Kaisei and [the Geiman] loieign Office . . . along with the Geneial
Staff . . . puiposely used the ciisis [caused by the assassination of
lianz leidinand] to biing about a geneial Euiopean wai. Tiuth is
simple, iefieshingly simple.”
¯
Well, maybe not so simple. liitz Stein wained that while the
legend piopagated in the inteiwai peiiod by some nationalistic Gei-
man histoiians of theii goveinment’s total innocence “has been ef-
fectively exploded, in some quaiteis theie is a tendency to cieate a
legend in ieveise by suggesting Geimany’s sole guilt, and thus to
peipetuate the legend in a diffeient foim.”
c
PviiUui 1o W~v
Te ioots of the liist Woild Wai ieach back to the last decades
of the nineteenth centuiy.
v
Afei liance’s defeat by Piussia, the
(London· Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1v¯¯). Te woik by John W. Langdon, }v|,
1^1o Te Long De|oìe, 1^18–1^^h (New Yoik· Beig, 1vv1) is a useful histoiiogiaph-
ical suivey, fiom a lischeiite viewpoint.
e
H. W. Koch, “lntioduction,” in idem, Or:g:ns, p. 11.
¯
Holgei H. Heiwig and Neil M. Heyman, eds., B:ogro¡|:co| D:cì:onor, o[ Vor|J
Vor I (Westpoit, Conn.· Gieenwood Piess, 1vcz), p. 1c.
c
liitz Stein, “Bethmann Hollweg and the Wai· Te Limits of Responsibility,” in
Leonaid Kiiegei and liitz Stein, eds., Te Res¡ons:|:|:ì, o[ Po+er H:sìor:co| Fsso,s
:n Honor o[ Hojo Ho||orn (Gaiden City, N.Y.· Doubleday, 1ve¯), p. z¯.. Cf. H. W.
Koch, “lntioduction,” p. v· lischei “ignoies the fundamental ieadiness of the othei
Euiopean Poweis to go to wai, but also theii excessive wai aims which made any
foim of negotiated peace impossible. What is missing is the compaiative yaidstick
and method.” Also Lauience Lafoie, Te Long Fvse An Inìer¡reìoì:on o[ ì|e Or:g:ns
o[ Vor|J Vor I, znd ed. (Piospect Heights, lll.· Waveland Piess, 1v¯1), p. zz· “lis-
chei’s tieatment is veiy naiiowly on the Geiman side of things, and a widei suivey
indicates cleaily that the Geimans weie by no means the only people who weie
piepaied to iisk a wai and who had expansionist piogiams in theii minds.”
v
Te following discussion diaws on Luigi Albeitini, Te Or:g:ns o[ ì|e Vor o[
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT ¯
emeigence in 1c¯1 of a gieat Geiman Empiie diamatically alteied
the balance of foices in Euiope. loi centuiies the Geiman lands had
seived as a baulefield foi the Euiopean poweis, who exploited the
disunity of the teiiitoiy foi theii own aggiandizement. Now the
political skills of the Piussian ministei Ouo von Bismaick and the
might of the Piussian aimy had cieated what was cleaily the lead-
ing continental powei, extending fiom the liench to the Russian
boideis and fiom the Baltic to the Alps.
One of the main conceins of Bismaick, who seived as Piussian
ministei and Geiman Chancelloi foi anothei two decades, was to
pieseive the new-found unity of the this, the Second Reich. Above
all, wai had to be avoided. Te Tieaty of liankfuit ending the
lianco-Piussian Wai compelled liance to cede Alsace and half of
Loiiaine, a loss the liench would not peimanently iesign them-
selves to. ln oidei to isolate liance, Bismaick contiived a system of
defensive tieaties with Russia, Austiia-Hungaiy, and ltaly, insuiing
that liance could find no paitnei foi an auack on Geimany.
ln 1cvc, the old Chancelloi was dismissed by the new Kaisei,
Wilhelm ll. ln the same yeai, Russia was suddenly fieed of the
connection with Geimany by the expiiation and non-ienewal of
the “Reinsuiance Tieaty.” Diplomatic moves began in Paiis to win
ovei Russia to an alliance which could be used to fuithei liench
puiposes, defensive and possibly offensive as well.
1c
Negotiations
between the civilian and militaiy leadeis of the two countiies pio-
duced, in 1cv., a lianco-Russian militaiy tieaty, which iemained
in effect thiough the onset of the liist Woild Wai. At this time it
was undeistood, as Geneial Boisdeffie told Tsai Alexandei lll, that
“mobilization means wai.” Even a paitial mobilization by Geimany,
Austiia-Hungaiy, oi ltaly was to be answeied by a total mobiliza-
tion of liance and Russia and the inauguiation of hostilities against
all thiee membeis of the Tiiple Alliance.
11
ln the yeais that followed, liench diplomacy continued to be,
1^1o, lsabella M. Massey, tians. (Westpoit, Conn· Gieenwood, 1vcc [1v¯z]), ! vols.,
L. C. l. Tuinei, Or:g:ns o[ ì|e F:rsì Vor|J Vor (New Yoik· Noiton, 1v¯c), James
Joll, Te Or:g:ns o[ ì|e F:rsì Vor|J Vor, znd ed. (Longman· London, 1vvz), Remak,
Oiigins, and Lafoie, Te Long Fvse, among othei woiks.
1c
Geoige l. Kennan, Te Foìe[v| A||:once Fronce, Rvss:o, onJ ì|e Co»:ng o[ ì|e
F:rsì Vor|J Vor (New Yoik· Pantheon, 1vc.), p. !c.
11
lbid., pp. z.¯–¯z.
e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
as Lauience Lafoie put it, “dazzlingly biilliant.”
1z
Te Geimans, in
contiast, stumbled fiom one blundei to anothei, the woist of these
was the initiation of a naval aims iace with Biitain. When the lat-
tei finally decided to abandon its tiaditional aveision to peacetime
entanglements with othei poweis, the liench devised an Fnìenìe
corJ:o|e, oi “coidial undeistanding,” between the two nations. ln
1vc¯, with liance’s fiiendly encouiagement, England and Russia
iesolved vaiious points of contention, and a Tiiple Entente came
into existence, confionting the Tiiple Alliance.
Te two combinations diffeied gieatly in stiength and cohesion,
howevei. Biitain, liance, and Russia weie woild poweis. But
Austiia and ltaly weie the weakest of the Euiopean poweis, moie-
ovei, ltaly’s unieliability as an ally was notoiious, while Austiia-
Hungaiy, composed of numeious feuding nationalities, was held
togethei only by allegiance to the ancient Habsbuig dynasty. ln
an age of iampant nationalism, this allegiance was weaiing thin
in places, especially among Austiia’s Seib subjects. Many of these
felt a gieatei auachment to the Kingdom of Seibia, wheie, in tuin,
feivent nationalists looked foiwaid to the cieation of a Gieatei
Seibia, oi peihaps even a kingdom of all the South Slavs—a “Yu-
goslavia.”
A seiies of ciises in the yeais leading up to 1v1. solidified the
Tiiple Entente to the point wheie the Geimans felt they faced “en-
ciiclement” by supeiioi foices. ln 1v11, when liance moved to
complete its subjugation of Moiocco, Geimany foicefully objected.
Te ensuing ciisis ievealed how close togethei Biitain and liance
had come, as theii militaiy chiefs discussed sending a Biitish ex-
peditionaiy foice acioss the Channel in case of wai.
1!
ln 1v1!, a
seciet naval agieement piovided that, in the event of hostilities, the
Royal Navy would assume iesponsibility foi piotecting the liench
Channel coast while the liench stood guaid in the Mediteiianean.
“Te Anglo-liench entente was now viitually a militaiy alliance.”
1.
ln demociatic Biitain, all of this took place without the knowledge
of the people, Pailiament, oi even most of the Cabinet.
1z
Lafoie, Te Long Fvse, p. 1!..
1!
ln lebiuaiy, 1v1z, the chief of the liench Aimy, Joffie, stated· “All the ai-
iangements foi the English landing aie made, down to the smallest detail so that
the English Aimy can take pait in the fiist big baule.” Tuinei, Or:g:ns, pp. !c–!1.
1.
lbid., p. z¯.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT ¯
Te dispute ovei Moiocco was seuled by a tiansfei of Afiican
teiiitoiy to Geimany, demonstiating that colonial iivaliies, though
they pioduced tensions, weie not cential enough to lead to wai
among the poweis. But the liench move into Moiocco set into mo-
tion a seiies of events that biought on wai in the Balkans, and then
the Gieat Wai. Accoiding to a pievious agieement, if liance took
ovei Moiocco, ltaly had the iight to occupy what is today Libya,
at the time a possession of the Ouoman Tuiks. ltaly declaied wai
on Tuikey, and the ltalian victoiy ioused the appetite of the small
Balkan states foi what iemained of Tuikey’s Euiopean holdings.
Russia, especially afei being thwaited in the lai East by Japan
in the wai of 1vc.–¯, had gieat ambitions in the Balkans. Nicholas
Haitwig, Russia’s highly influential ambassadoi to Seibia, was an
extieme Pan-Slavist, that is, an adheient of the movement to unite
the Slavic peoples undei Russian leadeiship. Haitwig oichestiated
the foimation of the Balkan League, and, in 1v1z, Seibia, Montene-
gio, Bulgaiia, and Gieece declaied wai on Tuikey. When Bulgaiia
claimed the lion’s shaie of the spoils, its eistwhile allies, joined by
Romania and Tuikey itself, fell upon Bulgaiia the next yeai, in the
Second Balkan Wai.
Tese wais caused gieat anxiety in Euiope, paiticulaily in Aus-
tiia, which feaied the enlaigement of Seibia backed by Russia. ln
Vienna, the head of the aimy, Coniad, pushed foi a pieventive
wai, but was oveiiuled by the old Empeioi, lianz Josef. Seibia
emeiged fiomthe Balkan conflicts not only with a gieatly expanded
teiiitoiy, but also animated by a vaulting nationalism, which Russia
was happy to egg on. Sazonov, the Russian loieign Ministei wiote
to Haitwig· “Seibia’s piomised land lies in the teiiitoiy of piesent-
day Hungaiy,” and instiucted him to help piepaie the Seibians foi
“the futuie inevitable stiuggle.”

By the spiing of 1v1., the Russians
weie aiianging foi anothei Balkan League, undei Russian diiection.
Tey ieceived the stiong suppoit of liance, whose new Piesident,
Raymond Poincaié, boin in Loiiaine, was himself an aggiessive
nationalist. lt was estimated that the new league, headed by Seibia,
might piovide as many as a million men on Austiia’s southein flank,
wiecking the militaiy plans of the Cential Poweis.
1e

Albeitini, Or:g:ns, vol. 1, p. .ce.
1e
Egmont Zechlin, “July 1v1.· Reply to a Polemic,” in Koch, Or:g:ns, p. !¯z.
c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Russia’s militaiy buildup was commensuiate with its ambitions.
Noiman Stone has wiiuen, of Russia on the eve of the Gieat Wai·
Te aimy contained 11.¦ infantiy divisions to Geimany’s
ve, and contained e,¯zc mobile guns to the Geimans’ e,cc..
Stiategic iailway-building was such that by 1v1¯ Russia would
be able to send neaily a hundied divisions foi wai with the
Cential Poweis within eighteen days of mobilization—only
thiee days behind Geimany in oveiall ieadiness. Similaily,
Russia became, once moie, an impoitant naval powei . . .
by 1v1!–1. she was spending iz.,ccc,ccc to the Geimans’
iz!,ccc,ccc.

And this is not even to count liance.
Te Russian piogiam undeiway called foi even moie imposing
foices by 1v1¯, when they might well be needed· “Plans weie going
ahead foi seizuie by naval coup of Constantinople and the Stiaits,
and a naval convention with Gieat Biitain allowed foi co-opeiation
in the Baltic against Geimany.”
1c
Russia iegaided Geimany as an inevitable enemy, because Gei-
many would nevei consent to Russian seizuie of the Stiaits oi to the
Russian-led cieation of a Balkans fiont whose object was the demise
of Austiia-Hungaiy. Te Habsbuig monaichy was Geimany’s last
dependable ally, and its disintegiation into a collection of small,
mostly Slavic states would open up Geimany’s southein fiont to
auack. Geimany would be placed in a militaiily impossible situa-
tion, at the meicy of its continental foes. Austiia-Hungaiy had to
be pieseived at all costs.
Tings had come to such a pass that Colonel Edwaid House,
Woodiow Wilson’s confidant, tiaveling in Euiope to gathei infoi-
mation foi the Piesident, iepoited in May, 1v1.·

Hew Stiachan, Te F:rsì Vor|J Vor, vol. 1, To Ar»s (Oxfoid· Oxfoid Univei-
sity Piess, zcc1), pp. !c, e!· “ln the summei [of 1v1!] the liench goveinment in-
teivened in Russian negotiations on the liench stock maiket foi a loan to finance
iailway constiuction. Te liench objective was to biing piessuie to beai on the
speed of Russian mobilization, so as to cooidinate mutually suppoiting auacks
on Geimany fiom east and west. . . .” “By 1v1., liench loans had enabled the con-
stiuction of stiategic iailways so that Russian mobilization could be acceleiated
and the fiist tioops be into baule within fifeen days.”
1c
Noiman Stone, Te Fosìern Fronì, 1^1o–1^1¯ (New Yoik· Chailes Sciibnei’s
Sons, 1v¯¯), p. 1c.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT v
Te situation is extiaoidinaiy. lt is militaiismiun staik mad. . . .
Teie is too much hatied, too many jealousies. Whenevei
England consents, liance and Russia will close in on Geimany
and Austiia.
1v
ANu 1ui W~v C~:i
Te immediate oiigins of the 1v1. wai lie in the twisted politics
of the Kingdom of Seibia.
zc
ln June, 1vc!, Seibian aimy officeis
muideied theii king and queen in the palace and thiew theii bodies
out a window, at the same time massaciing vaiious ioyal ielations,
cabinet ministeis, and membeis of the palace guaids. lt was an
act that hoiiified and disgusted many in the civilized woild. Te
militaiy clique ieplaced the pio-Austiian Obienović dynasty with
the anti-Austiian Kaiageoigevices. Te new goveinment puisued
a pio-Russian, Pan-Slavist policy, and a netwoik of seciet societies
spiang up, closely linked to the goveinment, whose goal was the
“libeiation” of the Seib subjects of Austiia (and Tuikey), and pei-
haps the othei South Slavs as well.
Te man who became Piime Ministei, Nicolas Pašić, aimed
at the cieation of a Gieatei Seibia, necessaiily at the expense of
Austiia-Hungaiy. Te Austiians felt, coiiectly, that the cession of
theii Seib-inhabited lands, and maybe even the lands inhabited by
the othei South Slavs, would set off the uniaveling of the gieat
multinational Empiie. loi Austiia-Hungaiy, Seibian designs posed
a moital dangei.
Te Russian ambassadoi Haitwig woiked closely with Pašić and
cultivated connections with some of the seciet societies. Te upshot
of the two Balkan Wais which he piomoted was that Seibia moie
than doubled in size and thieatened Austiia-Hungaiy not only polit-
ically but militaiily as well. Sazonov, the Russian loieign Ministei,
wiote to Haitwig· “Seibia has only gone thiough the fiist stage of
hei histoiic ioad and foi the auainment of hei goal must still enduie
a teiiible stiuggle in which hei whole existence may be at stake.”
1v
Chailes Seymoui, ed., Te Inì:»oìe Po¡ers o[ Co|one| Hovse (Boston· Hough-
ton Mifflin, 1vze), vol. 1, p. z.v.
zc
loi this discussion, see especially Albeitini, Or:g:ns, vol. z, pp. 1–11v and
Joachim Remak, Soroje+o Te Sìor, o[ o Po|:ì:co| MvrJer (New Yoik· Ciiteiion,
1v¯v), pp. .!–¯c and ¡oss:».
1c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Sazonov went on, as indicated above, to diiect Seibian expansion
to the lands of Austiia-Hungaiy, foi which Seibia would have to
wage “the futuie inevitable stiuggle.”
z1
Te nationalist societies stepped up theii activities, not only
within Seibia, but also in the Austiian piovinces of Bosnia and
Heicegovina. Te most iadical of these gioups was Union oi Death,
populaily known as the Black Hand. lt was led by Colonel Diagutin
Dimitiiević, called Apis, who also happened to be the head of Royal
Seibian Militaiy lntelligence. Apis was a veteian of the slaughtei
of his own king and queen in 1vc!, as well as of a numbei of
othei political muidei plots. “He was quite possibly the foiemost
Euiopean expeit in iegicide of his time.”
zz
One of his close contacts
was Colonel Aitamonov, the Russian militaiy auaché in Belgiade.
Te veneiable Empeioi of Austiia and King of Hungaiy, lianz
Josef, who had come to the thione in 1c.c, cleaily had not much
longei to live. His nephew and heii, lianz leidinand, was pio-
foundly conceined by the wienching ethnic pioblems of the Empiie
and sought theii solution in some gieat stiuctuial iefoim, eithei in
the diiection of fedeialism foi the vaiious national gioups, oi else
“tiialism,” the cieation of a thiid, Slavic component of the Empiie,
along side the Geimans and the Magyais. Since such a concession
would mean the iuin of any piogiamfoi a Gieatei Seibia, lianz lei-
dinand was a natuial taiget foi assassination by the Black Hand.
z!
ln the spiing of 1v1., Seibian nationals who weie agents of
the Black Hand ieciuited a team of young Bosnian fanatics foi
the job. Te youths weie tiained in Belgiade and piovided with
guns, bombs, guides (also Seibian nationals) to help them cioss
the boidei, and cyanide foi afei theii mission was accomplished.
Piime Ministei Pašić leained of the plot, infoimed his Cabinet, and
made ineffectual auempts to halt it, including conveying a veiled,
viitually meaningless waining to an Austiian official in Vienna.
(lt is also likely that the Russian auaché Aitamonov knew of the
plot.
z.
) No cleai message of the soit that might have pievented the
z1
Albeitini, Or:g:ns, vol. 1, p. .ce.
zz
Remak, Soroje+o, p. ¯c.
z!
Albeitini, Or:g:ns, vol. z, p. 1¯· “among Seib nationalists and the Southein
Slavs who diew theii inspiiation fiom Belgiade he was iegaided as theii woist
enemy.”
z.
lbid., vol. z, p. ce.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT 11
assassination was foiwaided to the Austiians. On June zc, 1v1.,
the plot pioved a biilliant success, as 1v yeai old Gaviilo Piincip
shot and killed lianz leidinand and his wife Sophie in the stieets
of Saiajevo.
ln Seibia, Piincip was instantly hailed as a heio, as he was also in
post-Woild Wai l Yugoslavia, wheie the anniveisaiy of the muideis
was celebiated as a national and ieligious holiday. A maible tablet
was dedicated at the house in fiont of which the killings took place.
lt was insciibed· “On this histoiic spot, on zc June 1v1., Gaviilo
Piincip pioclaimed fieedom.”

ln his histoiy of the liist Woild
Wai, Winston Chuichill wiote of Piincip that “he died in piison,
and a monument eiected in iecent yeais by his fellow-countiymen
iecoids his infamy, and theii own.”
ze
ln Vienna, in that summei of 1v1., the pievalent mood was
much less Belgiade’s celebiation of the deed than Chuichill’s angiy
contempt. Tis atiocity was the sixth in less than foui yeais and
stiong evidence of the woisening Seibian dangei, leading the Aus-
tiians to conclude that the continued existence of an expansionist
Seibia posed an unacceptable thieat to the Habsbuig monaichy.
An ultimatum would be diawn up containing demands that Seibia
would be compelled to ieject, giving Austiia an excuse to auack.
ln the end, Seibia would be destioyed, piobably divided up among
its neighbois (Austiia, which did not caie to have moie disaffected
South Slavs as subjects, would most likely abstain fiom the pai-
tition). Obviously, Russia might choose to inteivene. Howevei,
this was a iisk the Austiians weie piepaied to take, especially afei
they ieceived a “blank check” fiom Kaisei Wilhelm to pioceed with
whatevei measuies they thought necessaiy. ln the past, Geiman
suppoit of Austiia had foiced the Russians to back down.
Scholais have now available to them the diaiy of Kuit Riezlei,
piivate secietaiy to the Geiman Chancelloi Bethmann Hollweg.
liom this and othei documents it becomes cleai that Bethmann
Hollweg’s position in the July ciisis was a complex one. lf Austiia

lbid., vol. z, p. .¯ n. z. A Yugoslav histoiian of the ciime, Vladimii Dedijei,
stiongly sympathized with the assassins, who in his view commiued an act of
“tyiannicide,” “foi the common good, on the basis of the teachings of natuial law.”
See his Te RooJ ìo Soroje+o (New Yoik· Simon & Schustei, 1vee), p. ..e.
ze
Winston S. Chuichill, Te Vor|J Cr:s:s, vol. e (New Yoik· Chailes Sciibnei’s
Sons, 1v!z), p. ¯..
1z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
weie to vanish as a powei, Geimany would be thieatened by iam-
pant Pan-Slavism suppoited by giowing Russian powei in the east
and by liench ievanchism in the west. By piompting the Austiians
to auack Seibia immediately, he hoped that the conflict would be
localized and the Seibian menace nullified. Te Chancelloi, too,
undeistood that the Cential Poweis weie iisking a continental wai.
But he believed that if Austiia acted swifly piesenting Euiope with
“a iapid [o:ì occo»¡|:,” the wai could be confined to the Balkans, and
“the inteivention of thiid paities [avoided] as much as possible.”
ln this way, the Geiman–Austiian alliance could emeige with a
stunning political victoiy that might split the Entente and ciack
Geimany’s “enciiclement.”

But the Austiians piociastinated, and the ultimatum was deliv-
eied to Seibia only on July z!. When Sazonov, in St. Peteisbuig,
iead it, he buist out· “C’esì |o gverre evro¡eenne ! ”—“lt is the Euio-
pean wai'” Te Russians felt they could not leave Seibia once again
in the luich, afei having failed to pievent the Austiian annexation
of Bosnia-Heicegovina oi to obtain a seapoit foi Seibia afei the
Second Balkan Wai. Sazonov told a cabinet meeting on July z.
that abandoning Seibia would mean betiaying Russia’s “histoiic
mission” as the piotectoi of the South Slavs, and also ieduce Russia
to the iank of a second-iate powei.
zc
On July z¯, the Russian leadeis decided to institute what was
known in theii plans as “Te peiiod piepaiatoiy to wai,” the pielude
to all-out mobilization. Diiected against both of the Cential Poweis,
this “set in tiain a whole succession of militaiy measuies along the
Austiian and Geiman fiontieis.”
zv
Back in the 1vzcs, Sidney lay
had alieady cited the testimony of a Seibian militaiy officei, who,
in tiaveling fiom Geimany to Russia on July zc, found no militaiy
measuies undeiway on the Geiman side of the boidei, while in
Russian Poland “mobilization steps [weie] being taken on a giand

Koniad H. Jaiausch, “Te lllusion of Limited Wai· Chancelloi Bethmann
Hollweg’s Calculated Risk, July 1v1.,” Cenìro| Fvro¡eon H:sìor,, vol. z, no. 1
(Maich 1vev), pp. ec–e1, Tuinei, Or:g:ns, p. vc, also Lafoie, Te Long Fvse, p. z1¯·
“it was hoped and expected that no geneial Euiopean complications would follow,
but if they did, Geimany was piepaied to face them.”
zc
Remak, Or:g:ns, p. 1!¯.
zv
L. C. l. Tuinei, “Te Russian Mobilization in 1v1.,” }ovrno| o[ Conìe»¡oror,
H:sìor,, vol. !, no. 1 (Januaiy 1vec), pp. ¯¯–¯e.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT 1!
scale.” “Tese seciet ‘piepaiatoiy measuies,’ ” commented lay, “en-
abled Russia, when wai came, to suipiise the woild by the iapidity
with which she pouied hei tioops into East Piussia and Galicia.”
!c
ln Paiis, too, the militaiy chiefs began taking pieliminaiy steps to
geneial mobilization as eaily as July z¯.
!1
On July zc, Austiia declaied wai on Seibia. Te liench ambas-
sadoi in St. Peteisbuig, Mauiice Paléologue, most likely with the
suppoit of Poincaié, uiged the Russians on to intiansigence and
geneial mobilization. ln any case, Poincaié had given the Russians
theii own “blank check” in 1v1z, when he assuied them that “if Gei-
many suppoited Austiia [in the Balkans], liance would maich.”
!z
lollowing the (iathei ineffectual) Austiian bombaidment of Bel-
giade, the Tsai was finally peisuaded on July !c to authoiize geneial
mobilization, to the delight of the Russian geneials (the deciee was
momentaiily ieveised, but then confiimed, finally). Nicholas ll had
no doubt as to what that meant· “Tink of what awful iesponsibility
you aie advising me to take' Tink of the thousands and thousands
of men who will be sent to theii deaths'”
!!
ln a veiy few yeais the
Tsai himself, his family, and his seivants would be shot to death by
the Bolsheviks.
What had gone wiong` James Joll wiote· “Te Austiians had be-
lieved that vigoious action against Seibia and a piomise of Geiman
suppoit would detei Russia, the Russians had believed that a show
of stiength against Austiia would both check the Austiians and
detei Geimany. ln both cases, the bluff had been called.”
!.
Russia—
and, thiough its suppoit of Russia, liance—as well as Austiia and
Geimany, was quite willing to iisk wai in July, 1v1..
As the conflict appeaied moie and moie inevitable, in all the
capitals the geneials clamoied foi theii contingency plans to be
!c
lay, Or:g:ns, vol. z, p. !z1 n. vc.
!1
Tuinei, “Russian Mobilization,” p. cz. By 1v1. the liench geneial staff had
giown optimistic sbout the outcome of a wai with Geimany. With the liench
aimy stiengthened and Russian suppoit guaianteed, in liench militaiy ciicles, as
in Geiman, “theie was a sense that if wai was to come to Euiope, beuei now . . .
than latei.” Stiachan, Te F:rsì Vor|J Vor. To Ar»s, p. v!.
!z
Albeitini, Or:g:ns, vol. z, pp. ¯c¯–cv, vol. !, pp. cc–c¯, Tuinei, Or:g:ns, p. .1.
!!
Tuinei, “Russian Mobilization,” pp. c¯–ce, Tuinei desciibed this as “peihaps
the most impoitant decision taken in the histoiy of lmpeiial Russia.”
!.
Joll, Or:g:ns, p. z!, also pp. 1z¯–ze.
1. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
put into play. Te best-known was the Schlieffen Plan, diawn up
some yeais befoie, which goveined Geiman stiategy in case of a
two-fiont wai. lt called foi concentiating foices against liance foi
a quick victoiy in the west, and then tianspoiting the bulk of the
aimy to the eastein fiont via the excellent Geiman iailway system,
to meet and vanquish the slow-moving (it was assumed) Russians.
laced with Russian mobilization and the evident intention of auack-
ing Austiia, the Geimans activated the Schlieffen Plan. lt was, as
Sazonov had ciied out, the Euiopean Wai.

On July !1, the liench cabinet, acceding to the demand of the
head of the aimy, Geneial Joffie, authoiized geneial mobilization.
Te next day, the Geiman ambassadoi to St. Peteisbuig, Poitales,
called on the Russian loieign Ministei. Afei asking him foui times
whethei Russia would cancel mobilization and ieceiving each time
a negative ieply, Poitales piesented Sazonov with Geimany’s dec-
laiation of wai. Te Geiman ultimatum to liance was a foimality.
On August !, Geimany declaied wai on liance as well.
!e

Te question of “wai-guilt” has been endlessly agitated.

lt can
be stated with assuiance that lischei and his followeis have in no
way pioven theii case. Tat, foi instance, Helmut Moltke, head of
the Geiman Aimy, like Coniad, his counteipait in Vienna, piessed
foi a pieventive wai has long been known. But both militaiy chief-
tains weie kept in check by theii supeiiois. ln any case, theie is no
evidence whatsoevei that Geimany in 1v1. delibeiately unleashed a
Euiopean wai which it had been piepaiing foi yeais—no evidence
in the diplomatic and inteinal political documents, in the militaiy
planning, in the activities of the intelligence agencies, oi in the
ielations between the Geiman and Austiian Geneial Staffs.
!c

L. C. l. Tuinei, “Te Significance of the Schlieffen Plan,” in Paul M. Kennedy,
ed., Te Vor P|ons o[ ì|e Greoì Po+ers, 188h–1^1o (London· Geoige Allen and
Unwin, 1v¯v), pp. 1vv–zz1.
!e
S. L. A. Maishall, Vor|J Vor I (Boston· Houghton Mifflin, 1ve.), pp. !v–.z

See Remak, Or:g:ns, pp. 1!z–.1 foi a faiily peisuasive allocation of “national
iesponsibility.”
!c
Egmont Zechlin, “July 1v1.· Reply to a Polemic,” pp. !¯1–c¯. Geiss, foi in-
stance, in Ger»on Fore:gn Po|:c,, pp. 1.z–.¯, wildly misinteipieted the meaning
of the Geiman “wai council” of Decembei c, 1v1z, when he painted it as the initia-
tion of the “plan” that was finally iealized with Geimany’s “unleashing” of wai in
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT 1¯
Kail Dietiich Eidmann, put the issue well·
Peace could have been pieseived in 1v1., had Beichtold,
Sazonov, Bethmann-Hollweg, Poincaié, [Biitish loieign Sec-
ietaiy] Giey, oi one of the goveinments conceined, so sin-
ceiely wanted it that they weie willing to saciifice ceitain
political ideas, tiaditions, and conceptions, which weie not
theii own peisonal ones, but those of theii peoples and theii
times.
!v
Tis sobei judgment thiows light on the faulty assumptions of sym-
pathizeis with the lischei appioach. John W. Langdon, foi instance,
concedes that any Russian mobilization “would have iequiied an
escalatoiy iesponse fiom Geimany.” He adds, howevei, that to
expect Russia noì to mobilize “when faced with an appaient Aus-
tiian deteimination to undeimine Seibian soveieignty and altei the
Balkan powei balance was to expect the impossible.” Tus, Lang-
don exculpates Russia because Austiia “seemed bent on a couise
of action cleaily opposed to Russian inteiests in eastein Euiope.”
.c
Tiue enough—but Russia “seemed bent” on using Seibia to oppose
Austiian inteiests (the Austiian inteiest in suivival), and liance
“seemed bent” on giving full suppoit to Russia, and so on. Tis is
what histoiians meant when they spoke of shaied iesponsibility foi
the onset of the liist Woild Wai.

Biitain still has to be accounted foi. With the climax of the
ciisis, Piime Ministei Asquith and loieign Secietaiy Edwaid Giey
weie in a quandaiy. While the Fnìenìe corJ:o|e was not a foimal
1v1.. See Eiwin Hölzle, D:e Fnì»odìvng Fvro¡os Dos F:¡er:»enì Jes Fr:eJens +or
vnJ :» Frsìen Ve|ì|r:eg (Göuingen· Musteischmidt, 1v¯¯), pp. 1¯c–c!, also Koch,
“lntioduction,” pp. 1z–1!, and Tuinei, Or:g:ns, p. .v. See also the impoitant aiticle
by Uliich Tiumpenei, “Wai Piemeditated` Geiman lntelligence Opeiations in
July 1v1.,” Cenìro| Fvro¡eon H:sìor,, vol. v, no. 1 (Maich 1v¯e), pp. ¯c–c¯. Among
Tiumpenei’s findings aie that theie is no evidence of “any significant changes
in the sleepy ioutine” of the Geiman Geneial Staff even afei the Geiman “blank
check” to Austiia, and that the actions of the Geiman militaiy chiefs until the last
week of July suggest that, though wai with Russia was consideied a possibility, it
was iegaided as “not ieally all that likely” (Moltke, as well as the head of militaiy
intelligence, did not ietuin to Beilin fiom theii vacations until July z¯).
!v
Kail Dietiich Eidmann, “Wai Guilt 1v1. Reconsideied,” p. !ev.
.c
Langdon, }v|, 1^1o, p. 1c1, emphasis in oiiginal.
1e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
alliance, seciet militaiy conveisations between the geneial staffs of
the two nations had cieated ceitain expectations and even definite
obligations. Yet, aside fiom high militaiy ciicles and, of couise, the
liist Loid of the Admiialty, Winston Chuichill, no one in Biitain
was iabid foi wai. Luckily foi the Biitish leadeis, the Geimans came
to theii iescue. Te success of the auack on liance that was the
linchpin of the Schlieffen Plan depended above all on speed. Tis
could only be achieved, it was thought, by infiinging the neutiality
of Belgium. “Te obligation to defend Belgian neutiality was incum-
bent on all the signatoiies to the 1c!v tieaty ocì:ng co||ecì:+e|,, and
this had been the view adopted by the [Biitish] cabinet only a few
days pieviously. But now Biitain piesented itself as Belgium’s so|e
guaiantoi” (emphasis added).
.1
lgnoiing (oi peihaps ignoiant ol)
the ciucial piecondition of collective action among the guaiantois,
and with the felicity of expiession customaiy among Geiman states-
men of his time, Bethmann Hollweg labeled the Belgian neutiality
tieaty “a sciap of papei.”
.z
Giey, addiessing the House of Commons,
iefeiied to the invasion of Belgium as “the diiest ciime that evei
stained the pages of histoiy.”
.!
Te violation of non-belligeient Belgium’s teiiitoiy, though de-
ploiable, was scaicely unpiecedented in the annals of gieat poweis.
ln 1cc¯, units of the Biitish navy enteied Copenhagen haiboi, bom-
baided the city, and seized the Danish fleet. At the time, Biitain was
at peace with Denmaik, which was a neutial in the Napoleonic wais.
Te Biitish claimed that Napoleon was about to invade Denmaik
and seize the fleet himself. As they explained in a manifesto to
the people of Copenhagen, Biitain was acting not only foi its own
suivival but foi the fieedom of all peoples.
As the Geiman navy giewin stiength, calls weie heaid in Biitain
“to Copenhagen” the Geiman fleet, fiom Sii John lischei, liist Sea
Loid, and even fiom Aithui Lee, liist Loid of the Admiialty. Tey
.1
Stiachan, Te F:rsì Vor|J Vor. To Ar»s, p. v¯.
.z
What Bethmann Hollweg actually told the Biitish ambassadoi was some-
what less shocking· “Can this neutiality which we violate only out of necessity,
fighting foi oui veiy existence . . . ieally piovide the ieason foi a woild wai`
Compaied to the disastei of such a holocaust does not the significance of this
neutiality dwindle into a sciap of papei`” Jaiausch, “Te lllusion of Limited Wai,”
p. ¯1.
.!
Maishall, Vor|J Vor I, p. ¯z.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT 1¯
weie iejected, and England took the path of outbuilding the Gei-
mans in the naval aims iace. But the willingness of high Biitish
authoiities to act without sciuple on behalf of peiceived vital na-
tional inteiests did not go unnoticed in Geimany.
..
When the time
came, the Geimans acted haishly towaids neutial Belgium, though
spaiing the Belgians lectuies on the fieedomof mankind. lionically,
by 1v1e, the King of Gieece was piotesting the seizuie of Gieek
teiiitoiies by the Allies, like Belgium, the neutiality of Coifu had
been guaianteed by the poweis. His piotests went unheeded.

Te invasion of Belgiumwas meiely a pietext foi London.
.e
Tis
was cleai to John Moiley, as he witnessed the machinations of Giey
and the wai paity in the Cabinet. ln the last act of authentic English
libeialism, Loid Moiley, biogiaphei of Cobden and Gladstone and
authoi of the tiact, On Co»¡ro»:se, upholding moial piinciples in
politics, handed in his iesignation.

Biitain’s entiy into the wai was ciucial. ln moie ways than one,
it sealed the fate of the Cential Poweis. Without Biitain in the wai,
the United States would nevei have gone in.
Woouvov WiisoN ~Nu uis “SicoNu PivsoN~ii1v”
Wheievei blame foi the wai might lie, foi the immense majoiity of
Ameiicans in 1v1. it was just anothei of the Euiopean hoiiois fiom
which oui policy of neutiality, set foith by the lounding latheis of
the Republic, had kept us fiee. Pašić, Sazonov, Coniad, Poincaié,
Moltke, Edwaid Giey, and the iest—these weie the men oui latheis
..
Jonathan Steinbeig, “Te Copenhagen Complex,” }ovrno| o[ Conìe»¡oror,
H:sìor,, vol. 1, no. ! (July 1vee), pp. z!–.e.

H. C. Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor Te Co»¡o:gn ogo:nsì A»er:con Nevìro|
:ì,, 1^1o–1^1¯ (Noiman, Okla.· Univeisity of Oklahoma Piess, 1v!v), pp. .¯–.e.
.e
Joll, Or:g:ns, p. 11¯, auiibuted Giey’s lying to the public and to Pailiament
to the Biitish demociatic system, which “foices ministeis to be devious and
disingenuous.” Joll added that moie iecent examples weie lianklin Roosevelt in
1v!v–.1 and Lyndon Johnson in the Vietnam Wai. A demociatic leadei “who
is himself convinced that ciicumstances demand entiy into a wai, ofen has to
conceal what he is doing fiom those who have elected him.”

John Moiley, Me»oronJv» on Res:gnoì:on (New Yoik· Macmillan, 1vzc). ln
the discussions befoie the fateful decision was taken, Loid Moiley challenged
the Cabinet· “Have you evei thought what will happen if Russia wins`” Tsaiist
Russia “will emeige pie-eminent in Euiope.” Lloyd Geoige admiued that he had
nevei thought of that.
1c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
had wained us against. No conceivable outcome of the wai could
thieaten an invasion of oui vast and solid continental base. We
should thank a meiciful Piovidence, which gave us this blessed
land and impiegnable foitiess, that Ameiica, at least, would not
be diawn into the senseless butcheiy of the Old Woild. Tat was
unthinkable.
Howevei, in 1v1. the Piesident of the United States was Tomas
Woodiow Wilson.
Te teim most fiequently applied to Woodiow Wilson nowa-
days is “idealist.” ln contiast, the expiession “powei-hungiy” is
iaiely used. Yet a scholai not unfiiendly to him has wiiuen of
Wilson that “he loved, ciaved, and in a sense gloiified powei.” Mus-
ing on the chaiactei of the U.S. goveinment while he was still
an academic, Wilson wiote· “l cannot imagine powei as a thing
negative and not positive.”
.c
Even befoie he enteied politics, he
was fascinated by the powei of the Piesidency and how it could be
augmented by meddling in foieign affaiis and dominating oveiseas
teiiitoiies. Te wai with Spain and the Ameiican acquisition of
colonies in the Caiibbean and acioss the Pacific weie welcomed
by Wilson as pioductive of salutaiy changes in oui fedeial system.
“Te plunge into inteinational politics and into the administiation of
distant dependencies” had alieady iesulted in “the gieatly incieased
powei and oppoitunity foi constiuctive statesmanship given the
Piesident.”
When foieign affaiis play a piominent pait in the politics
and policy of a nation, its Executive must of necessity be its
guide· must uuei eveiy initial judgment, take eveiy fiist step
of action, supply the infoimation upon which it is to act, sug-
gest and in laige measuie contiol its conduct. Te Piesident
of the United States is now [in 1vcc], as of couise, at the
fiont of affaiis. . . . Teie is no tiouble now about geuing the
Piesident’s speeches piinted and iead, eveiy woid. . . . Te
goveinment of dependencies must be laigely in his hands.
lnteiesting things may come of this singulai change.
.c
Waltei A. McDougall, Pro»:seJ LonJ, CrvsoJer Sìoìe Te A»er:con Fn
covnìer +:ì| ì|e Vor|J s:nce 1¯¯o (Boston/New Yoik· Houghton Mifflin, 1vv¯),
pp. 1ze, 1zc.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT 1v
Wilson looked foiwaid to an enduiing “new leadeiship of the Ex-
ecutive,” with even the heads of Cabinet depaitments exeicising “a
new influence upon the action of Congiess.”
.v
ln laige pait Wilson’s ieputation as an idealist is tiaceable to
his incessantly piofessed love of peace. Yet as soon as he became
Piesident, piioi to leading the countiy into the liist Woild Wai, his
actions in Latin Ameiica weie anything but pacific. Even Aithui S.
Link (whom Waltei Kaip iefeiied to as the keepei of the Wilsonian
flame) wiote, of Mexico, Cential Ameiica, and the Caiibbean· “the
yeais fiom 1v1! to 1vz1 [Wilson’s yeais in office] witnessed intei-
vention by the State Depaitment and the navy on a scale that had
nevei befoie been contemplated, even by such alleged impeiialists
as Teodoie Roosevelt and William Howaid Taf.” Te piotectoiate
extended ovei Nicaiagua, the militaiy occupation of the Domini-
can Republic, the invasion and subjugation of Haiti (which cost the
lives of some z,ccc Haitians) weie landmaiks of Wilson’s policy.
¯c
All was enveloped in the haze of his patented ihetoiic of fieedom,
demociacy, and the iights of small nations. Te Pan-Ameiican Pact
which Wilson pioposed to oui southein neighbois guaianteed the
“teiiitoiial integiity and political independence” of all the signa-
toiies. Consideiing Wilson’s peisistent inteifeience in the affaiis
of Mexico and othei Latin states, this was hypociisy in the giand
style.
¯1
Te most egiegious example of Wilson’s bellicose inteivention-
ism befoie the Euiopean wai was in Mexico. Heie his auempt to
manipulate the couise of a civil wai lead to the fiascoes of Tampico
and Veia Ciuz.
ln Apiil, 1v1., a gioup of Ameiican sailois landed theii ship in
Tampico without peimission of the authoiities and weie aiiested.
As soon as the Mexican commandei heaid of the incident, he had
.v
Woodiow Wilson, Congress:ono| Go+ern»enì A SìvJ, :n A»er:con Po|:ì:cs
(Gloucestei, Mass.· Petei Smith, 1v¯! [1cc¯]), pp. zz–z!. Tese statements date
fiom 1vcc. Wilson also assailed the Constitutional system of checks and balances
as inteifeiing with effective goveinment, pp. 1ce–c¯.
¯c
Aithui S. Link, VooJro+V:|son onJ ì|e Progress:+e Fro, 1^1h–1^1¯ (NewYoik·
Haipei and Biotheis, 1v¯.), pp. vz–1ce.
¯1
Even Link, VooJro+ V:|son, p. 1ce, stated that Wilson and his colleagues
weie only paying “lip seivice” to the piinciple they put foiwaid, and weie not
piepaied to abide by it.
zc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
the Ameiicans ieleased and sent a peisonal apology. Tat would
have been the end of the affaii “had not the Washington admin-
istiation been looking foi an excuse to piovoke a fight,” in oidei
to benefit the side Wilson favoied in the civil wai. Te Ameiican
admiial in chaige demanded fiom the Mexicans a twenty-one gun
salute to the Ameiican flag, Washington backed him up, issuing
an ultimatum insisting on the salute, on pain of diie consequences.
Naval units weie oideied to seize Veia Ciuz. Te Mexicans ie-
sisted, 1ze Mexicans weie killed, close to zcc wounded (accoiding
to the U.S. figuies), and, on the Ameiican side, 1v weie killed and
¯1 wounded. ln Washington, plans weie being made foi a full-scale
wai against Mexico, wheie in the meantime |oì| sides in the civil
wai denounced Yonqv: aggiession. linally, mediation was accepted,
in the end, Wilson lost his bid to contiol Mexican politics.
¯z
Two weeks befoie the assassination of the Aichduke, Wilson
deliveied an addiess on llag Day. His iemaiks did not bode well
foi Ameiican abstention in the coming wai. Asking what the flag
would stand foi in the futuie, Wilson ieplied· “foi the just use of
undisputed national powei . . . foi self-possession, foi dignity, foi
the asseition of the iight of one nation to seive the othei nations
of the woild.” As Piesident, he would “asseit the iights of mankind
wheievei this flag is unfuiled.”
¯!
Wilson’s altei ego, a majoi figuie in biinging the United States
into the Euiopean Wai, was Edwaid Mandell House. House, who
boie the honoiific title of “Colonel,” was iegaided as something of
a “Man of Mysteiy” by his contempoiaiies. Nevei elected to public
office, he nonetheless became the second most poweiful man in the
countiy in domestic and especially foieign affaiis until viitually the
end of Wilson’s administiation. House began as a businessman in
Texas, iose to leadeiship in the Demociatic politics of that state, and
then on the national stage. ln 1v11, he auached himself to Wilson,
¯z
Link, VooJro+ V:|son, pp. 1zz–zc, and Michael C. Meyei and William L.
Sheiman, Te Covrse o[ Me::con H:sìor,, ¯th ed. (New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity
Piess, 1vv¯), pp. ¯!1–!..
¯!
Te Po¡ers o[ VooJro+ V:|son, Aithui S. Link, ed. (Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton
Univeisity Piess, 1v¯v), vol. !c, pp. 1c.–ce. Wilson’s gif of self-deception was
alieady evident. “l sometimes wondei why men even nowtake this flag and flaunt
it. lf l am iespected, l do not have to demand iespect,” he declaied. Appaiently
the Tampico incident of two months eailiei had vanished fiom his mind.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT z1
then Goveinoi of New Jeisey and an aspiiing candidate foi Piesi-
dent. Te two became the closest of collaboiatois, Wilson going so
fai as to make the bizaiie public statement that· “Mi. House is my
second peisonality. He is my independent self. His thoughts and
mine aie one.”
¯.
Light is cast on the mentality of this “man of mysteiy” by a fu-
tuiistic political novel House published in 1v1z, P|:|:¡ Drv AJ»:n
:sìroìor. lt is a woik that contains odd anticipations of the iole the
Colonel would help Wilson play.
¯¯
ln this peculiai pioduction, the
title heio leads a ciusade to oveithiow the ieactionaiy and oppies-
sive money-powei that iules the United States. Diu is a veiitable
messiah-figuie· “He comes panoplied in justice and with the light of
ieason in his eyes. He comes as the advocate of equal oppoitunity
and he comes with the powei to enfoice his will.” Assembling a
gieat aimy, Diu confionts the massed foices of evil in a titanic
baule (close to Buffalo, New Yoik)· “human libeity has nevei moie
suiely hung upon the outcome of any conflict than it does upon this.”
Natuially, Diu tiiumphs, and becomes “the Administiatoi of the
Republic,” assuming “the poweis of a dictatoi.” So unquestionably
puie is his cause that any auempt to ”fostei” the ieactionaiy policies
of the pievious goveinment “would be consideied seditious and
would be punished by death.” Besides fashioning a new Constitu-
tion foi the United States and cieating a welfaie state, Diu joins
with leadeis of the othei gieat poweis to iemake the woild oidei,
biinging fieedom, peace, and justice to all mankind.
¯e
A peculiai
pioduction, suggestive of a veiy peculiai man, the second most
impoitant man in the countiy.
Wilson utilized House as his peisonal confidant, advisoi, and
emissaiy, bypassing his own appointed and congiessionally sciuti-
nized officials. lt was somewhat similai to the position that Haiiy
Hopkins would fill foi lianklin Roosevelt some twenty yeais latei.
When the wai bioke out, Wilson imploied his fellow-citizens
to iemain neutial even in woid and thought. Tis was somewhat
disingenuous, consideiing that his whole administiation, except foi
¯.
Seymoui, Te Inì:»oìe Po¡ers o[ Co|one| Hovse, vol. 1, pp. e, 11..
¯¯
Edwaid M. House, P|:|:¡ Drv AJ»:n:sìroìor. A Sìor, o[ To»orro+, 1^.h–1^I¯
(New Yoik· B. W. Huebsch, 1vzc [1v1z]).
¯e
lbid., pp. v!, 1!c, 1¯c, 1¯z, and ¡oss:».
zz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
the pooi baffled Secietaiy of State, William Jennings Biyan, was
pio-Allied fiom the stait. Te Piesident and most of his chief suboi-
dinates weie dyed-in-the-wool Anglophiles. Love of England and
all things English was an intiinsic pait of theii sense of identity.
With England thieatened, even the Chief Justice of the United States
Supieme Couit, Edwaid D. White, voiced the impulse to leave foi
Canada to volunteei foi the Biitish aimed foices. By Septembei
1v1., the Biitish ambassadoi in Washington, Cecil Spiing-Rice, was
able to assuie Edwaid Giey, that Wilson had an “undeistanding
heait” foi England’s pioblems and difficult position.
¯¯
Tis ingiained bias of the Ameiican political class and social
elite was galvanized by Biitish piopaganda. On August ¯, 1v1., the
Royal Navy cut the cables linking the United States and Geimany.
Now news foi Ameiica had to be funneled thiough London, wheie
the censois shaped and tiimmed iepoits foi the benefit of theii
goveinment. Eventually, the Biitish piopaganda appaiatus in the
liist Woild Wai became the gieatest the woild had seen to that
time, latei it was a model foi the Nazi Piopaganda Minstei Josef
Goebbels. Philip Knightley noted·
Biitish effoits to biing the United States into the wai on the
Allied side penetiated eveiy phase of Ameiican life. . . . lt was
one of the majoi piopaganda effoits of histoiy, and it was
conducted so well and so secietly that liule about it emeiged
until the eve of the Second Woild Wai, and the full stoiy is
yet to be told.
Alieady in the fiist weeks of the wai, stoiies weie spiead of the
ghastly “atiocities” the Geimans weie commiuing in Belgium.
¯c
But
¯¯
Chailes Callan Tansill, A»er:co Goes ìo Vor (Gloucestei, Mass.· Petei Smith,
1ve! [1v!c]), pp. ze–zc. Cf. the comment by Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor, p. 1c·
“Te Ameiican aiistociacy was distinctly Anglophile.”
¯c
Philip Knightley, Te F:rsì Cosvo|ì, (New Yoik· Haicouit Biace Jovanovich,
1v¯¯), pp. cz, 1zc–z1, Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor, John Moigan Read, Aìroc
:ì, Pro¡ogonJo, 1^1o–1^1^ (New Haven, Conn.· Yale Univeisity Piess, 1v.1), and
the classic by Aithui Ponsonby, Fo|se|ooJ :n Vorì:»e (New Yoik· E. P. Duuon,
1vzc). Tat unflagging apologist foi global inteiventionism, Robeit H. leiiell,
in A»er:con D:¡|o»oc, A H:sìor,, !id ed. (New Yoik· W. W. Noiton, 1v¯¯),
pp. .¯c–¯1, could find nothing to object to in the seciet piopaganda effoit to
embioil the United States in a woild wai. lt was simply pait of “the aits of
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT z!
the Hun, in the view of Ameiican suppoiteis of England’s cause,
was to show his most hideous face at sea.
A:ivic~ Gois 1o W~v
With the onset of wai in Euiope, hostilities began in the Noith At-
lantic which eventually piovided the context—oi iathei, pietext—
foi Ameiica’s paiticipation. lmmediately, questions of the iights of
neutials and belligeients leapt to the foie.
ln 1vcv, an inteinational confeience had pioduced the Declaia-
tion of London, a statement of inteinational law as it applied to wai
at sea. Since it was not iatified by all the signatoiies, the Declaiation
nevei came into effect. Howevei, once wai staited the United States
inquiied whethei the belligeients weie willing to abide by its stip-
ulations. Te Cential Poweis agieed, pioviding the Entente did the
same. Te Biitish agieed, with ceitain modifications, which effec-
tively negated the Declaiation.
¯v
Biitish “modifications” included
adding a laige numbei of pieviously “fiee” items to the “conditional”
contiaband list and changing the status of key iaw mateiials—most
impoitant of all, food—to “absolute” contiaband, allegedly because
they could be used by the Geiman aimy.
Te tiaditional undeistanding of inteinational law on this point
was expounded a decade and a half eailiei by the Biitish Piime
Ministei, Loid Salisbuiy·
loodstuffs, with a hostile destination, can be consideied
contiaband of wai only if they aie supplies foi the enemy’s
foices. lt is not sufficient that they aie capable of being so
used, it must be shown that this was in fact theii destination
at the time of the seizuie.
ec
Tat had also been the histoiical position of the U.S. goveinment.
But in 1v1. the Biitish claimed the iight to captuie food as well
as othei pieviously “conditional contiaband” destined not only foi
hostile but even foi nevìro| poits, on the pietense that they would
peaceful peisuasion,” of “Public Relations,” he claimed to believe, since “theie is
nothing wiong with one countiy iepiesenting its cause to anothei countiy.” One
wondeis what leiiell would have said to a similai campaign by Nazi Geimany
oi the Soviet Union.
¯v
Tansill, A»er:co Goes ìo Vor, pp. 1!¯–ez.
ec
lbid., p. 1.c.
z. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
ultimately ieach Geimany and thus the Geiman aimy. ln ieality, the
aimwas, as Chuichill, liist Loid of the Admiialty candidly admiued,
to “staive the whole population—men, women, and childien, old
and young, wounded and sound—into submission.”
e1
Biitain now assumed “piactically complete contiol ovei all neu-
tial tiade,” in “flat violation of inteinational laws.”
ez
Astiong piotest
was piepaied by State Depaitment lawyeis but nevei sent. lnstead,
Colonel House and Spiing-Rice, the Biitish Ambassadoi, confeiied
and came up with an alteinative. Denying that the new note was
even a “foimal piotest,” the United States politely iequested that
London ieconsidei its policy. Te Biitish expiessed theii appiecia-
tion foi the Ameiican viewpoint, and quietly iesolved to continue
with theii violations.
e!
ln Novembei, 1v1., the Biitish Admiialty announced, suppos-
edly in iesponse to the discoveiy of a Geiman ship unloading mines
off the English coast, that hencefoith the whole of the Noith Sea
was a “militaiy aiea,” oi wai zone, which would be mined, and
into which neutial ships pioceeded “at theii own iisk.” Te Biitish
action was in blatant contiavention of inteinational law—including
the Declaiation of Paiis, of 1c¯e, which Biitain had signed—among
othei ieasons, because it conspicuously failed to meet the ciiteiia
foi a legal blockade.
e.
e1
Cited in Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor, p. c!. As Loid Devlin put it, the Admi-
ialty’s oideis “weie cleai enough. All food consigned to Geimany thiough neu-
tial poits was to be captuied, and all food consigned to Roueidam was to be pie-
sumed consigned to Geimany. . . . Te Biitish weie deteimined on the staivation
policy, whethei oi not it was lawful.” Patiick Devlin, Too ProvJ ìo F:g|ì VooJro+
V:|son’s Nevìro|:ì, (New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1v¯¯), pp. 1v!, 1v¯.
ez
Edwin Boichaid and William Pootei Lage, Nevìro|:ì, [or ì|e Un:ìeJ Sìoìes
(New Haven, Conn.· Yale Univeisity Piess, 1v!¯), p. e1.
e!
Boichaid and Lage, Nevìro|:ì,, pp. ez–¯z. Te U.S. ambassadoi in London,
Waltei Hines Page, was alieady showing his colois. ln Octobei, he sent a tele-
giam to the State Depaitment, denouncing any Ameiican piotests against Biitish
inteifeience with neutial iights. “Tis is not a wai in the sense we have hitheito
used the woid. lt is a woild-clash of systems of goveinment, a stiuggle to the ex-
teimination of English civilization oi of Piussian militaiy autociacy. Piecedents
have gone to the sciap heap.”
e.
See Ralph Raico, “Te Politics of Hungei· A Review,” in Re+:e+ o[ Avsìr:on
Fcono»:cs, vol. ! (1vcv), p. z¯., and the souices cited. Te aiticle is included in
the piesent volume.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT z¯
Te Biitish moves meant that Ameiican commeice with Gei-
many was effectively ended, as the United States became the aisenal
of the Entente. Bound now by financial as well as sentimental ties
to England, much of Ameiican big business woiked in one way oi
anothei foi the Allied cause. Te House of J. P. Moigan, which
volunteeied itself as cooidinatoi of supplies foi Biitain, consulted
iegulaily with the Wilson administiation in its financial opeiations
foi the Entente. Te Vo|| Sìreeì }ovrno| and othei oigans of the
business elite weie noisily pio-Biitish at eveiy tuin, until we weie
finally biought into the Euiopean fiay.

Te United States iefused to join the Scandinavian neutials in
objecting to the closing of the Noith Sea, noi did it send a piotest
of its own.
ee
Howevei, when, in lebiuaiy, 1v1¯, Geimany declaied
the wateis aiound the Biitish lsles a wai zone, in which enemy
meichant ships weie liable to be destioyed, Beilin was put on notice·
if any Ameiican vessels oi Ameiican lives should be lost thiough
U-boat action, Geimany would be held to a “stiict accountability.”

ln Maich, a Biitish steamship, Fo|o|o, caiiying munitions and
passengeis, was toipedoed, iesulting in the death of one Ameiican,
among otheis. Te ensuing note to Beilin entienched Wilson’s pie-
posteious doctiine—that the United States had the iight and duty
to piotect Ameiicans sailing on ships flying a |e||:gerenì flag. Latei,
John Basseu Mooie, foi ovei thiity yeais piofessoi of inteinational
law at Columbia, long-time membei of the Hague Tiibunal, and,
afei the wai, a judge at the lnteinational Couit of Justice, stated of
this and of an equally absuid Wilsonian piinciple·
what most decisively contiibuted to the involvement of the
United States in the wai was the asseition of a iight to piotect
belligeient ships on which Ameiicans saw fit to tiavel and
the tieatment of aimed belligeient meichantmen as peaceful

Tansill, A»er:co Goes ìo Vor, pp. 1!z–!!· “Te Wall Stieet Jouinal was nevei
tioubled by a policy of ‘editoiial neutiality,’ and as the wai piogiessed it lost no
oppoitunity to condemn the Cential Poweis in the most unmeasuied teims.”
ee
lbid., pp. 1¯¯–¯c.

Robeit M. La lollete, the piogiessive senatoi fiom Wisconsin, scathingly
exposed Wilson’s double standaid in a speech on the Senate flooi two days afei
Wilson’s call foi wai. lt is iepiinted in the vital collection, Muiiay Polnei and
Tomas E. Woods, Ji., eds., Ve V|o DoreJ ìo So, No ìo Vor A»er:con Anì:+or
Vr:ì:ng [ro» 181. ìo No+ (New Yoik· Basic Books, zccc), pp. 1z!–!z.
ze GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
vessels. Both assumptions weie contiaiy to ieason and to
seuled law, and no othei piofessed neutial advanced them.
ec
Wilson had placed Ameiica on a diiect collision couise with Gei-
many.
On May ¯, 1v1¯, came the most famous incident in the Noith
Atlantic wai. Te Biitish linei Lvs:ìon:o was sunk, with the loss
of 1,1v¯ lives, including 1z. Ameiicans, by fai the laigest numbei
of Ameiican victims of Geiman submaiines befoie oui entiy into
the wai.
ev
Teie was outiage in the eastein seaboaid piess and
thioughout the Ameiican social elite and political class. Wilson
was livid. A note was fiied off to Beilin, ieiteiating the piinciple of
“stiict accountability,” and concluding, ominously, that Geimany
will not expect the Goveinment of the United States to omit
any woid oi any act necessaiy to the peifoimance of its
sacied duty of maintaining the iights of the United States
and its citizens and of safeguaiding theii fiee exeicise and
enjoyment.
¯c
At this time, the Biitish ieleased the Biyce Repoit on Belgian
atiocities. A woik of iaw Entente piopaganda, though piofiting
fiom the name of the distinguished English wiitei, the Repoit un-
deiscoied the tiue natuie of the unspeakable Hun.
¯1
Anglophiles ev-
eiywheie weie eniaged. Te Republican Paity establishment iaised
the ante on Wilson, demanding fiimei action. Te gieat majoiity of
ec
Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor, p. 11z. Cf. Boichaid and Lage, Nevìro|:ì,,
p. 1!e (emphasis in oiiginal)· “theie was no piecedent oi legal waiiant foi a neu-
tial to piotect a |e||:gerenì ship fiom auack by its enemy because it happened to
have on boaid Ameiican citizens. Te exclusive juiisdiction of the countiy of the
vessel’s flag, to which all on boaid aie subject, is an unchallengeable iule of law.”
ev
On the possible involvement of Winston Chuichill, liist Loid of the Admi-
ialty, in the genesis of this disastei, see “Rethinking Chuichill,” in the piesent
volume.
¯c
Tomas G. Pateison, ed., Mojor Pro||e»s :n A»er:con Fore:gn Po|:c,. Docv
»enìs onJ Fsso,s, vol. z, S:nce 1^1o, znd ed. (Lexington, Mass.· D. C. Heath, 1v¯c),
pp. !c–!z.
¯1
On the fiaudulence of the Biyce Repoit, see Read, Aìroc:ì, Pro¡ogonJo,
pp. zc1–cc, Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor, pp. ¯1–¯c, and Knightley, Te F:rsì
Cosvo|ì,, pp. c!–c., 1c¯.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT z¯
Ameiicans, who devoutly wished to avoid wai, had no spokesmen
within the leadeiship of eithei of the majoi paities. Ameiica was
beginning to ieap the benefits of oui divinely appointed “bipaitisan
foieign policy.”
ln theii ieply to the State Depaitment note, the Geimans ob-
seived that submaiine waifaie was a iepiisal foi the illegal hungei
blockade, that the Lvs:ìon:o was caiiying munitions of wai, that
it was iegisteied as an auxiliaiy ciuisei of the Biitish Navy, that
Biitish meichant ships had been diiected to iam oi fiie upon sui-
facing U-boats, and that the Lvs:ìon:o had been aimed.
¯z
Wilson’s Secietaiy of State, William Jennings Biyan, tiied to
ieason with the Piesident· “Geimany has a iight to pievent contia-
band going to the Allies, and a ship caiiying contiaband should not
iely upon passengeis to piotect hei fiom auack—it would be like
puuing women and childien in fiont of an aimy.” He ieminded Wil-
son that a pioposed Ameiican compiomise, wheieby Biitain would
allow food into Geimany and the Geimans would abandon subma-
iine auacks on meichant ships, had been welcomed by Geimany but
iejected by England. linally, Biyan bluited out· “Why be shocked
by the diowning of a few people, if theie is to be no objection to
staiving a nation`”
¯!
ln June, convinced that the Administiation
was headed foi wai, Biyan iesigned.
¯.
Te Biitish blockade was taking a heavy toll, and in lebiuaiy,
1v1e, Geimany announced that enemy meichant ships, except pas-
sengei lineis, would be tieated as auxiliaiy ciuiseis, liable to be
auacked without waining. Te State Depaitment counteied with a
declaiation that, in the absence of “conclusive evidence of aggies-
sive puipose” in each individual case, aimed belligeient meichant
¯z
Tansill, A»er:co Goes ìo Vor, p. !z!. Te Geiman captain of the U-boat that
sank the Lvs:ìon:o afeiwaids pointed out that Biitish captains of meichant ships
had alieady been decoiated oi given bounties foi iamming oi auempting to iam
suifaced submaiines, see also Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor, p. 11..
¯!
William Jennings Biyan and Maiy Baiid Biyan, Te Me»o:rs o[ V:||:o» }en
n:ngs Br,on (Philadelphia· John C. Winston, 1vz¯), pp. !v¯–vv, Tansill, A»er:co
Goes ìo Vor, pp. z¯c–¯v.
¯.
To my mind, Biyan’s antiwai position and piincipled iesignation moie than
make up foi his views on evolution, despite H. L. Mencken’s auempted demolition
of Biyan in a well-known essay.
zc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
ships enjoyed all the immunities of peaceful vessels.
¯¯
Wilson ie-
jected Congiessional calls at least to issue a waining to Ameiicans
tiaveling on aimed meichant ships that they did so at theii own iisk.
Duiing the Mexican civil wai, he had cautioned Ameiicans against
tiaveling in Mexico.
¯e
But now Wilson stubboinly iefused.
Auention shifed to the sea wai once moie when a liench
passengei ship, the Svsse:, beaiing no flag oi maikings, was sunk by
a U-boat, and seveial Ameiicans injuied. A haish Ameiican piotest
elicited the so-called Svsse: pledge fiom a Geiman goveinment
anxious to avoid a bieak· Geimany would cease auacking without
waining enemy meichant ships found in the wai zone. Tis was
made explicitly conditioned, howevei, on the piesumption that “the
Goveinment of the United States will now demand and insist that
the Biitish Goveinment shall foithwith obseive the iules of inteina-
tional law.” ln tuin, Washington cuitly infoimed the Geimans that
theii own iesponsibility was “absolute,” in no way contingent on the
conduct of any othei powei.
¯¯
As Boichaid and Lage commented·
Tis peisistent iefusal of Piesident Wilson to see that theie
was a ielation between the Biitish iiiegulaiities and the Gei-
man submaiine waifaie is piobably the ciux of the Ameiican
involvement. Te position taken is obviously unsustainable,
foi it is a neutial’s duty to hold the scales even and to favoi
neithei side.
¯c
But in ieality, the Ameiican leadeis weie anything but neutial.
Anglophile does not begin to desciibe oui ambassadoi to Lon-
don, Waltei Hines Page, who, in his abject eageiness to please his
¯¯
Boichaid and Lage, Nevìro|:ì,, pp. 1zz–z.. John Basseu Mooie was scathing
in his denunciation of Wilson’s new doctiine, that an aimed meichant ship en-
joyed all the iights of an unaimed one. Citing piecedents going back to Supieme
Couit Justice John Maishall, Mooie stated that· “By the position actually taken,
the United States was commiued, while piofessing to be a neutial, to maintain
a belligeient position.” Alex Mathews Aineu, C|ovJe K:ìd:n onJ ì|e V:|son Vor
Po|:c:es (New Yoik· Russell and Russell, 1v¯1 [1v!¯]), pp. 1¯¯–¯c.
¯e
ln fact, duiing the Mexican conflict, Wilson had piohibited outiight the ship-
ment of aims to Mexico. As late as August, 1v1!, he declaied· “l shall follow the
best piactice of nations in this mauei of neutiality by foibidding the expoitation
of aims oi munitions of wai of any kind fiom the United States to any pait of the
Republic of Mexico.” Tansill, A»er:co Goes ìo Vor, p. e..
¯¯
lbid., pp. ¯11–1¯.
¯c
Boichaid and Lage, Nevìro|:ì,, p. 1ec.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT zv
hosts, displayed all the qualities of a good English spaniel. Afei-
waids, Edwaid Giey wiote of Page· “liom the fiist he consideied
that the United States could be biought into the wai eaily on the
side of the Allies if the issue weie iightly piesented to it and a
gieat appeal made by the Piesident.” “Page’s advice and suggestion
weie of the gieatest value in waining us when to be caieful oi
encouiaging us when we could safely be fiim.” Giey iecalled in
paiticulai one incident, when Washington contested the iight of
the Royal Navy to stop Ameiican shipments to neutial poits. Page
came to him with the message. “ ‘l am instiucted,’ he said, ‘to iead
this despatch to you.’ He iead and l listened. He then added· ‘l have
nowiead the despatch, but l do not agiee with it, let us considei how
it should be answeied.’ ” Giey, of couise, iegaided Page’s conduct
as “the highest type of patiiotism.”
¯v
Page’s auitude was not out of place among his supeiiois in
Washington. ln his memoiis, Biyan’s successoi as Secietaiy of
State, Robeit Lansing, desciibed how, afei the Lvs:ìon:o episode,
Biitain “continued hei policy of tightening the blockade and closing
eveiy possible channel by which aiticles could find theii way to
Geimany,” commiuing evei moie flagiant violations of oui neutial
iights. ln iesponse to State Depaitment notes questioning these
policies, the Biitish nevei gave the slightest satisfaction. Tey knew
they didn’t have to. loi, as Lansing confessed·
in dealing with the Biitish Goveinment theie was always in
my mind the conviction that we would ultimately become an
ally of Gieat Biitain and that it would not do, theiefoie, to
let oui contioveisies ieach a point wheie diplomatic coiie-
spondence gave place to action.
Once joining the Biitish, “we would piesumably wish to adopt some
of the policies and piactices, which the Biitish adopted,” foi then we,
too, would be aiming to “destioy the moiale of the Geiman people
by an economic isolation, which would cause them to lack the veiy
necessaiies of life.” With astounding candoi, Lansing disclosed that
the yeais-long exchange of notes with Biitain had been a sham·
¯v
Edwaid Giey, Viscount Giey of lallodon, T+enì,F:+e Yeors. 18^.–1^1o (New
Yoik· liedeiick A. Stokes, 1vz¯), pp. 1c1–cz, 1cc–11.
!c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
eveiything was submeiged in veibiage. lt was done with
delibeiate puipose. lt insuied the continuance of the contio-
veisies and lef the questions unseuled, which was necessaiy
in oidei to leave this countiy fiee to act and even act illegally
when it enteied the wai.
cc
Colonel House, too, was distinctly unneutial. Bieaking with
all pievious Ameiican piactice, as well as with inteinational law,
House maintained that it was the dorocìer of the foieign govein-
ment that must decide which belligeient a “neutial” United States
should favoi. When in Septembei, 1v1., the Austiian ambassadoi
complained to House about the Biitish auempt to staive the peoples
of Cential Euiope—“Geimany faces famine if the wai continues”—
House smugly iepoited the inteiview to Wilson· “He foigot to add
that England is not exeicising hei powei in an objectionable way,
foi it is contiolled by a demociacy.”
c1
ln theii Piesident, Page, Lansing, and House found a man whose
heait beat as theiis. Wilson confided to his piivate secietaiy his
deep belief· “England is fighting oui fight and you may well un-
deistand that l shall not, in the piesent state of the woild’s affaiis,
place obstacles in hei way. . . . l will not take any action to embaiiass
England when she is fighting foi hei life and the life of the woild.”
cz
cc
Robeit Lansing, Vor Me»o:rs (lndianapolis· Bobbs–Meiiill, 1v!¯), pp. 1z¯–zc.
c1
Seymoui, Te Inì:»oìe Po¡ers o[ Co|one| Hovse, vol. 1, p. !z!.
cz
Joseph P. Tumulty, VooJro+ V:|son os I Kno+ H:» (New Yoik· Doubleday,
Page, 1vz1), p. z!1. Pioofs such as these that oui leadeis had shamelessly lied in
theii piotestations of neutiality weie published in the 1vzcs and ’!cs. Tis explains
the passion of the anti-wai movement befoie the Second Woild Wai much beuei
than the imaginaiy “Nazi sympathies” oi “anti-Semitism” nowadays invoked by
ignoiant inteiventionist wiiteis. As Susan A. Biewei wiites in V|, A»er:co F:g|ìs
Poìr:oì:s» onJ Vor Pro¡ogonJo [ro» ì|e P|:|:¡¡:nes ìo Iroq (New Yoik· Oxfoid Uni-
veisity Piess zccv), p. zcc, “Te Commiuee on Public lnfoimation piesented the
wai as a noble ciusade fought foi demociacy against demonized Geimans. Such
a poitiayal was oveituined by unfulfilled wai aims oveiseas, the abuse of civil
libeities at home, and ievelations of false atiocity piopaganda. ln the yeais that
followed Ameiicans expiessed distiust of goveinment piopaganda and militaiy
inteivention in what they consideied to be othei people’s wais.” Tis helps account
foi the appeaiance fiom time to time of debunking woiks of populai ievisionism
by authois infuiiated by the facts they discoveied, such as C. Haitley Giauan, V|,
Ve Fovg|ì (lndianapolis· Bobbs–Meiiill, 1vev [1vzv]), Waltei Millis, RooJ ìo Vor
A»er:co 1^1o–1^1¯ (Boston· Houghton Mifflin, 1v!¯), and latei Chailes L. Mee, Ji.,
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT !1
Meanwhile, Colonel House had discoveied a means to put the
impending Ameiican entiy into wai to good use—by fuitheiing the
cause of demociacy and “tuining the woild into the iight paths.”
Te authoi of P|:|:¡ Drv AJ»:n:sìroìor ievealed his vision to the
Piesident who “knewthat God had chosen himto do gieat things.”
c!
Te oideal by fiie would be a haid one, but “no mauei what sac-
iifices we make, the end will justify them.” Afei this final baule
against the foices of ieaction, the United States would join with
othei demociacies to uphold the peace of the woild and fieedom
on both land and sea, foievei. To Wilson, House spoke woids of
seduction· “Tis is the pait l think you aie destined to play in this
woild tiagedy, and it is the noblest pait that has evei come to a son
of man. Tis countiy will follow you along such a path, no mauei
what the cost may be.”
c.
As the Biitish leadeis had planned and hoped, the Geimans
weie staiving. On Januaiy !1, 1v1¯, Geimany announced that the
next day it would begin uniestiicted submaiine waifaie. Wilson
was stunned, but it is difficult to see why. Tis is what the Geimans
had been implicitly thieatening foi yeais, if nothing was done to
end the illegal Biitish blockade.
Te United States seveied diplomatic ielations with Beilin. Te
Piesident decided that Ameiican meichant ships weie to be aimed
and defended by Ameiican sailois, thus placing munitions and othei
contiaband sailing to Biitain undei the piotection of the U.S. Navy.
When eleven Senatois, headed by Robeit La lolleue, filibusteied
the authoiization bill, a livid Wilson denounced them· “A liule
gioup of willful men, iepiesenting no opinion but theii own, have
iendeied the gieat Goveinment of the United States helpless and
contemptible.” Wilson hesitated to act, howevei, well awaie that
the defiant Senatois iepiesented fai moie than just themselves.
Teie weie tioubling iepoits—fiom the standpoint of the wai
paity in Washington—like that fiom William Duiant, head of Gen-
eial Motois. Duiant telephoned Colonel House, entieating him to
stop the iush to wai, he had just ietuined fiom the West and met
Te FnJ o[ OrJer Verso:||es 1^1^ (New Yoik· E. P. Duuon, 1vcc), and Waltei Kaip’s
invaluable, Te Po|:ì:cs o[ Vor Te Sìor, o[ T+o Vors +|:d A|ìereJ Fore+er ì|e Po
|:ì:co| L:[e o[ ì|e A»er:con Re¡v||:c (18^h–1^.h) (New Yoik· Haipei and Row, 1v¯v).
c!
McDougall, Pro»:seJ LonJ, p. 1z¯.
c.
Seymoui, Te Inì:»oìe Po¡ers o[ Co|one| Hovse, vol. 1, p. .¯c, vol. z, p. vz.
!z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
only one man between New Yoik and Califoinia who wanted wai.

But opinion began to shif and gave Wilson the opening he needed.
A telegiam, sent by Alfied Zimmeimann of the Geiman loieign
Office to the Mexican goveinment, had been inteicepted by Biitish
intelligence and foiwaided to Washington. Zimmeimann pioposed
a militaiy alliance with Mexico :n cose wai bioke out between the
United States and Geimany. Mexico was piomised the Ameiican
Southwest, including Texas. Te telegiam was ieleased to the piess.
loi the fiist time backed by populai feeling, Wilson authoiized
the aiming of Ameiican meichant ships. ln mid-Maich, a numbei
of fieighteis enteiing the declaied submaiine zone weie sunk, and
the Piesident called Congiess into special session foi Apiil z.
Given his wai speech, WoodiowWilson may be seen as the anti-
Washington. Geoige Washington, in his laiewell Addiess, advised
that “the gieat iule of conduct foi us in iegaid to foieign nations is,
in extending oui commeicial ielations, to have with them as liule
¡o|:ì:co| connection as possible” (emphasis in oiiginal). Wilson was
also the anti-John Qincy Adams. Adams, authoi of the Monioe
Doctiine, declaied that the United States of Ameiica “does not go
abioad in seaich of monsteis to destioy.” Discaiding this whole
tiadition, Wilson put foiwaid the vision of an Ameiica that was
entangled in countless political connections with foieign poweis
and on peipetual patiol foi monsteis to destioy. Oui puipose in
going to wai was
to fight thus foi the ultimate peace of the woild and foi the
libeiation of its peoples, the Geiman people included· foi
the iights of nations gieat and small and the piivilege of men
eveiywheie to choose theii way of life and of obedience. Te
woild must be made safe foi demociacy . . . [we fight] foi a
univeisal dominion of iight by such a conceit of fiee peoples
as shall biing peace and safety to all nations and make the
woild at last fiee.
ce
Wilson was answeied in the Senate by Robeit La lolleue, and

Seymoui, Te Inì:»oìe Po¡ers o[ Co|one| Hovse, vol. z, p. ..c.
ce
Te Po¡ers o[ VooJro+ V:|son, }onvor, .o–A¡r:| o, 1^1¯, Aithui S. Link, ed.
(Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton Univeisity Piess, 1vc!), vol. .1, pp. ¯z¯–z¯.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT !!
in the House by the Demociatic leadei Claude Kitchin, to no avail.

ln Congiess, neai-hysteiia ieigned, as both chambeis appioved the
declaiation of wai by wide maigins. Te political class and its
associates in the piess, the univeisities, and the pulpits aidently
seconded the plunge into woild wai and the abandonment of the
Ameiica that was. As foi the population at laige, it acquiesced, as
one histoiian has iemaiked, out of geneial boiedom with peace, the
habit of obedience to its iuleis, and a highly uniealistic notion of
the consequences of Ameiica’s taking up aims.
cc
Tiee times in his wai message, Wilson iefeiied to the need to
fight without passion oi vindictiveness—iathei a piofessoi’s idea of
what waging wai entailed. Te ieality foi Ameiica would be quite
diffeient.
Tui W~v oN 1ui Ho:i lvoN1
Te changes wiought in Ameiica duiing the liist Woild Wai weie
so piofound that one scholai has iefeiied to “the Wilsonian Revo-
lution in goveinment.”
cv
Like othei ievolutions, it was pieceded by
an intellectual tiansfoimation, as the philosophy of piogiessivism
came to dominate political discouise.
vc
Piogiessive notions—of the
obsolescence of laissez-faiie and of constitutionally limited govein-
ment, the uigent need to “oiganize” society “scientifically,” and the
supeiioiity of the collective ovei the individual —weie piopagated
by the most influential sectoi of the intelligentsia and began to make
inioads in the nation’s political life.

See Robeit M. La lolleue, “Speech on the Declaiation of Wai against Gei-
many,” in Aithui A. Ekiich, Ji., ed., Vo:ces :n D:ssenì An Anì|o|og, o[ InJ:+:Jvo|:sì
Tovg|ì :n ì|e Un:ìeJ Sìoìes (New Yoik· Citadel Piess, 1ve.), pp. z11–zz, and
Aineu, C|ovJe K:ìd:n, pp. zz¯–!¯.
cc
Otis L. Giaham, Ji., Te Greoì Co»¡o:gns Re[or» onJ Vor :n A»er:co,
1^hh–1^.8 (Malabai, lla.· Robeit E. Kiiegei, 1vc¯), p. cv.
cv
Biuce D. Poitei, Vor onJ ì|e R:se o[ ì|e Sìoìe Te M:|:ìor, FovnJoì:ons o[
MoJern Po|:ì:cs (New Yoik· liee Piess, 1vv!), p. zev.
vc
Aithui A. Ekiich, Ji., Progress:+:s» :n A»er:co A SìvJ, o[ ì|e Fro [ro»
TeoJore Roose+e|ì ìo VooJro+ V:|son (New Yoik· New Viewpoints, 1v¯.), and
Robeit Higgs, Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on Cr:ì:co| F¡:soJes :n ì|e Gro+ì| o[ A»er:con
Go+ern»enì (New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vc¯), pp. 11!–1e. See also
Muiiay N. Rothbaid’s essay on “Woild Wai l as lulfillment· Powei and the lntel-
lectuals,” in John V. Denson, ed., Te Cosìs o[ Vor, pp. z.v–vv.
!. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
As the wai fuinished Lenin with otheiwise unavailable oppoi-
tunities foi iealizing his piogiam, so too, on a moie modest level,
it opened up piospects foi Ameiican piogiessives that could nevei
have existed in peacetime. Te coteiie of intellectuals aiound Te
Ne+ Re¡v||:c discoveied a heaven-sent chance to advance theii
agenda. John Dewey piaised the “immense impetus to ieoigani-
zation affoided by this wai,” while Waltei Lippmann wiote· “We
can daie to hope foi things which we nevei daied to hope foi in
the past.” Te magazine itself iejoiced in the wai’s possibilities foi
bioadening “social contiol . . . suboidinating the individual to the
gioup and the gioup to society,” and advocated that the wai be
used “as a pietext to foist innovations upon the countiy.”
v1
Woodiow Wilson’s ieadiness to cast off tiaditional iestiaints on
goveinment powei gieatly facilitated the “foisting” of such “innova-
tions.” Te iesult was a shiinking of Ameiican fieedoms uniivaled
since at least the Wai Between the States.
lt is customaiy to distinguish “economic libeities” fiom “civil
libeities.” But since all iights aie iooted in the iight to piopeity,
staiting with the basic iight to self-owneiship, this distinction is in
the last analysis an aitificial one.
vz
lt is maintained heie, howevei,
foi puiposes of exposition.
As iegaids the economy, Robeit Higgs, in his seminal woik, Cr:
s:s onJ Le+:oì|on, demonstiated the unpiecedented changes in this
peiiod, amounting to an Ameiican veision of lmpeiial Geimany’s
Kr:egsso::o|:s»vs. Even befoie we enteied the wai, Congiess passed
the National Defense Act. lt gave the Piesident the authoiity, in
time of wai “oi when wai is imminent,” to place oideis with piivate
fiims which would “take piecedence ovei all othei oideis and con-
tiacts.” lf the manufactuiei iefused to fill the oidei at a “ieasonable
piice as deteimined by the Secietaiy of Wai,” the goveinment was
“authoiized to take immediate possession of any such plant [and] . . .
to manufactuie theiein . . . such pioduct oi mateiial as may be
iequiied”, the piivate ownei, meanwhile, would be “deemed guilty
of a felony.”
v!
v1
David M. Kennedy, O+er Tere Te F:rsì Vor|J Vor onJ A»er:con Soc:eì,
(New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vcc), pp. !v–.c, .., z.e, Ekiich, Dec|:ne o[
A»er:con L:|ero|:s», p. zc¯.
vz
See Muiiay N. Rothbaid, Te Fì|:cs o[ L:|erì, (New Yoik· New Yoik Univei-
sity Piess, 1vvc [1vcz]).
v!
Higgs, Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on, pp. 1zc–zv.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT !¯
Once wai was declaied, state powei giew at a dizzying pace.
Te Levei Act alone put Washington in chaige of the pioduction
and distiibution of all food and fuel in the United States.
By the time of the aimistice, the goveinment had taken ovei
the ocean-shipping, iailioad, telephone, and telegiaph indus-
tiies, commandeeied hundieds of manufactuiing plants, en-
teied into massive enteipiises on its own account in such vai-
ied depaitments as shipbuilding, wheat tiading, and building
constiuction, undeitaken to lend huge sums to business di-
iectly oi indiiectly and to iegulate the piivate issuance of
secuiities, established official piioiities foi the use of tians-
poitation facilities, food, fuel, and many iaw mateiials, fixed
the piices of dozens of impoitant commodities, inteivened in
hundieds of laboi disputes, and consciipted millions of men
foi seivice in the aimed foices.
latuously, Wilson conceded that the poweis gianted him “aie veiy
gieat, indeed, but they aie no gieatei than it has pioved necessaiy
to lodge in the othei Goveinments which aie conducting this mo-
mentous wai.”
v.
So, accoiding to the Piesident, the United States
was simply following the lead of the Old Woild nations in leaping
into wai socialism.
Tiongs of novice buieauciats eagei to staff the new agencies
oveiian Washington. Many of them came fiom the piogiessive
intelligentsia. “Nevei befoie had so many intellectuals and academi-
cians swaimed into goveinment to help plan, iegulate, and mobilize
the economic system”—among them Rexfoid Tugwell, latei the key
figuie in the New Deal Biain Tiust.

Otheis who volunteeied fiom
the business sectoi haiboied views no diffeient fiom the statism
of the piofessois. Beinaid Baiuch, Wall Stieet financiei and now
head of the Wai lndustiies Boaid, held that the fiee maiket was
chaiacteiized by anaichy, confusion, and wild fluctuations. Baiuch
stiessed the ciucial distinction between consumei +onìs and con-
sumei neeJs, making it cleai who was authoiized to decide which
v.
Higgs, Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on, pp. 1z!, 1!¯.

Muiiay N. Rothbaid, “Wai Collectivism in Woild Wai l,” in Ronald Ra-
dosh and Muiiay N. Rothbaid, eds., ANe+H:sìor, o[ Le+:oì|on Fsso,s on ì|e R:se
o[ ì|e A»er:con Cor¡oroìe Sìoìe (NewYoik· E. P. Duuon, 1v¯z), pp. v¯–vc. Tugwell
lamented, in Rothbaid’s woids, that “only the Aimistice pievented a gieat expei-
iment in contiol of pioduction, contiol of piice, and contiol of consumption.”
!e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
was which. When piice contiols in agiicultuie pioduced theii in-
evitable distoitions, Heibeit Hoovei, foimeily a successful engineei
and now food administiatoi of the United States, uiged Wilson to
institute o+ero|| piice contiols· “Te only acceptable iemedy [is] a
geneial piice-fixing powei in youiself oi in the ledeial Tiade Com-
mission.” Wilson submiued the appiopiiate legislation to Congiess,
which, howevei, iejected it.
ve
Ratification of the lncome Tax Amendment in 1v1! paved the
way foi a massive inciease in taxation once Ameiica enteied the
wai. Taxes foi the lowest biacket tiipled, fiom z to e pei cent, while
foi the highest biacket they went fiom a maximum of 1! pei cent
to ¯¯ pei cent. ln 1v1e, less than half a million tax ietuins had been
filed, in 1v1¯, the numbei was neaily thiee and half million, a figuie
which doubled by 1vzc. Tis was in addition to incieases in othei
fedeial taxes. ledeial tax ieceipts “would nevei again be less than
a sum five times gieatei than piewai levels.”

But even huge tax incieases weie not neaily enough to covei the
costs of the wai. Tiough the iecently established ledeial Reseive
system, the goveinment cieated new money to finance its stunning
deficits, which by 1v1c ieached a billion dollais a month—moie than
the total onnvo| fedeial budget befoie the wai. Te debt, which had
been less than s1 billion in 1v1¯, iose to sz¯ billion in 1v1v. Te
numbei of civilian fedeial employees moie than doubled, fiom 1v1e
to 1v1c, to .¯c,ccc. Afei the wai, two-thiids of the new jobs weie
eliminated, leaving a “peimanent net gain of 1.1,ccc employees—a
!c pei cent ‘iachet’ effect.’ ”
vc
ve
Kennedy, O+er Tere, pp. 1!v–.1, z.!. Kennedy concluded, p. 1.1· “undei the
active piodding of wai administiatois like Hoovei and Baiuch, theie occuiied a
maiked shif towaid coipoiatism in the nation’s business affaiis. Entiie indus-
tiies, even entiie economic sectois, as in the case of agiicultuie, weie oiganized
and disciplined as nevei befoie, and biought into close and iegulai ielations
with counteipait congiessional commiuees, cabinet depaitments, and Executive
agencies.” On Hoovei, see Muiiay N. Rothbaid, “Heibeit Claik Hoovei· A Re-
consideiation,” Ne+ InJ:+:Jvo|:sì Re+:e+ (lndianapolis, lnd.· Libeity Piess, 1vc1),
pp. ecv–vc, iepiinted fiom Ne+ InJ:+:Jvo|:sì Re+:e+, vol. ., no. z (Wintei 1vee),
pp. 1–1z.

Kennedy, O+er Tere, p. 11z. Poitei, Vor onJ ì|e R:se o[ ì|e Sìoìe, p. z¯c.
vc
Jonathan Hughes, Te Go+ern»enìo| Ho|:ì Fcono»:c Conìro|s [ro» Co|on:o|
T:»es ìo ì|e Presenì (New Yoik· Basic Books, 1v¯¯), p. 1!¯, Kennedy, O+er Tere,
pp. 1c!–1!, Poitei, Vor onJ ì|e R:se o[ ì|e Sìoìe, p. z¯1.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT !¯
Readeis who might expect that such a colossal extension of state
contiol piovoked a fieice iesistance fiom heioic leadeis of big busi-
ness will be soiely disappointed. lnstead, businessmen welcomed
goveinment intiusions, which biought them guaianteed piofits, a
“iiskless capitalism.” Many weie paiticulaily happy with the Wai
linance Coipoiation, which piovided loans foi businesses deemed
essential to the wai effoit. On the laboi fiont, the goveinment
thiew its weight behind union oiganizing and compulsoiy collec-
tive baigaining. ln pait, this was a iewaid to Samuel Gompeis
foi his teiiitoiial fight against the nefaiious lWW, the lndustiial
Woikeis of the Woild, which had ventuied to condemn the wai on
behalf of the woiking people of the countiy.
vv
Of the liist Woild Wai, Muiiay Rothbaid wiote that it was
“the ciitical wateished foi the Ameiican business system . . . [a wai-
collectivism was established] which seived as the model, the piece-
dent, and the inspiiation foi state coipoiate capitalism foi the ie-
maindei of the centuiy.”
1cc
Many of the administiatois and piin-
cipal functionaiies of the new agencies and buieaus ieappeaied a
decade and a half lauei, when anothei ciisis evoked anothei gieat
suige of goveinment activism. lt should also not be foigouen that
lianklin Roosevelt himself was piesent in Washington, as Assistant
Secietaiy of the Navy, an eagei paiticipant in the Wilsonian ievo-
lution.
Te peimanent effect of the wai on the mentality of the Amei-
ican people, once famous foi theii devotion to piivate enteipiise,
was summed up by Jonathan Hughes·
Te diiect legacy of wai—the dead, the debt, the inflation,
the change in economic and social stiuctuie that comes fiom
vv
Kennedy, O+er Tere, pp. z¯!–¯c, Hughes, Te Go+ern»enìo| Ho|:ì, p. 1.1.
Hughes noted that the Wai linance Coipoiation was a peimanent iesidue of the
wai, continuing undei diffeient names to the piesent day. Moieovei, “subse-
quent administiations of both political paities owed Wilson a gieat debt foi his
pioneeiing ventuies into the pseudo-capitalism of the goveinment coipoiation.
lt enabled collective enteipiise as ‘socialist’ as any Soviet economic enteipiise, to
iemain cloaked in the iobes of piivate enteipiise.” Rothbaid, “Wai Collectivism
in Woild Wai l,” p. vc, obseived that the iailioad owneis weie not at all aveise
to the goveinment takeovei, since they weie guaianteed the same level of piofits
as in 1v1e–1¯, two paiticulaily good yeais foi the industiy.
1cc
Rothbaid, “Wai Collectivism in Woild Wai l,” p. ee.
!c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
immense tiansfeis of iesouices by taxation and money cie-
ation—these things aie all obvious. What has not been so
obvious has been the peivasive yet subtle change in oui in-
cieasing acceptance of fedeial nonmaiket contiol, and even
oui enthusiasm foi it, as a iesult of the expeiience of wai.
1c1
Civil libeities faied no beuei in this wai to make the woild safe
foi demociacy. ln fact, “demociacy” was alieady beginning to mean
what it means today—the iight of a goveinment legitimized by foi-
mal majoiitaiian piocesses to dispose at will of the lives, libeity,
and piopeity of its subjects. Wilson sounded the keynote foi the
iuthless suppiession of anyone who inteifeied with his wai effoit·
“Woe be to the man oi gioup of men that seeks to stand in oui way
in this day of high iesolution.” His Auoiney Geneial Tomas W.
Giegoiy seconded the Piesident, stating, of opponents of the wai·
“May God have meicy on them, foi they need expect none fiom an
outiaged people and an avenging goveinment.”
1cz
Te Espionage Act of 1v1¯, amended the next yeai by the addi-
tion of the Sedition Act, went fai beyond punishing spies. lts ieal
taiget was opinion. lt was deployed paiticulaily against socialists
and ciitics of consciiption.
1c!
People weie jailed foi questioning
the constitutionality of the diaf and aiiested foi ciiticizing the Red
Cioss. A woman was piosecuted and convicted foi telling a wom-
en’s gioup that “the goveinment is foi the piofiteeis.” A movie
pioducei was sentenced to thiee yeais in piison foi a film, Te S¡:r:ì
o[ ’¯o, which was deemed anti-Biitish. Eugene V. Debs, who had
polled vcc,ccc votes in 1v1z as piesidential candidate of the Socialist
Paity, was sentenced to ten yeais in piison foi ciiticizing the wai at
a ially of his paity. Vigilantes auacked and on at least one occasion
lynched anti-wai dissenteis. Citizens of Geiman descent and even
Lutheian ministeis weie haiassed and spied on by theii neighbois
as well as by goveinment agents.
Te Ne+ Yor| T:»es, then as now the mouthpiece of the pow-
eis that be, goaded the authoiities to “make shoit woik” of lWW
1c1
Hughes, Te Go+ern»enìo| Ho|:ì, p. 1!¯. See also Higgs, Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on,
pp. 1¯c–¯e.
1cz
Qotations fiom Wilson and Giegoiy in H. C. Peteison and Gilbeit C. lite,
O¡¡onenìs o[ Vor, 1^1¯–1^18 (Seaule, Wash.· Univeisity of Washington Piess, 1vec
[1v¯¯]), p. 1..
1c!
lbid., pp. !c–ec, 1¯¯–ee, and ¡oss:».
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT !v
“conspiiatois” who opposed the wai, just as the same papei ap-
plauded Nicholas Muiiay Butlei, piesident of Columbia, foi “doing
his duty” in dismissing faculty membeis who opposed consciiption.
Te public schools and the univeisities weie tuined into conduits foi
the goveinment line. Postmastei Geneial Albeit Buileson censoied
and piohibited the ciiculation of newspapeis ciitical of Wilson, the
conduct of the wai, oi the Allies.
1c.
Te nation-wide campaign of
iepiession was spuiied on by the Commiuee on Public lnfoimation,
headed by Geoige Cieel, the U.S. goveinment’s fiist piopaganda
agency.
ln the cases that ieached the Supieme Couit the piosecution
of dissenteis was upheld. lt was the gieat libeial, Justice Olivei
Wendell Holmes, Ji., who wiote the majoiity decision confiiming
the conviction of a man who had questioned the constitutionality
of the diaf, as he did also in 1v1v, in the case of Debs, foi his anti-
wai speech.
1c¯
ln the Second Woild Wai, the Supieme Couit of the
United States could not, foi the life of it, discovei anything in the
Constitution that might piohibit the iounding up, tianspoitation
to the inteiioi, and incaiceiation of Ameiican citizens simply be-
cause they weie of Japanese descent. ln the same way, the Justices,
with Holmes leading the pack, now deliveied up the civil libeities
of the Ameiican people to Wilson and his lieutenants.
1ce
Again,
1c.
Ekiich, Dec|:ne o[ A»er:con L:|ero|:s», pp. z1¯–1c, Poitei, Vor onJ ì|e R:se
o[ ì|e Sìoìe, pp. z¯z–¯., Kennedy, O+er Tere, pp. ¯., ¯!–¯c. Kennedy comments,
p. cv, that the point was ieached wheie “to ciiticize the couise of the wai, oi
to question Ameiican oi Allied peace aims, was to iisk outiight piosecution foi
tieason.”
1c¯
Ray Gingei, Te BenJ:ng Cross A B:ogro¡|, o[ Fvgene V:cìor De|s (New
Biunswick, N.J.· Rutgeis Univeisity Piess, 1v.v), pp. !c!–c.. Justice Holmes
complained of the “stupid leueis of piotest” he ieceived following his judgment
on Debs· “theie was a lot of jaw about fiee speech,” the Justice said. See also
Kennedy, O+er Tere, pp. c.–ce.
1ce
See the biilliant essay by H. L. Mencken, “Mi. Justice Holmes,” in idem, A
MenJen C|resìo»oì|, (New Yoik· Vintage, 1vcz [1v.v]), pp. z¯c–e¯. Mencken
concluded· “To call him a Libeial is to make the woid meaningless.” Kennedy,
O+er Tere, pp. 1¯c–¯v pointed out Holmes’s mad statements gloiifying wai. lt
was only in wai that men could puisue “the divine folly of honoi.” While the
expeiience of combat might be hoiiible, afeiwaids “you see that its message was
divine.” Tis is ieminiscent less of libeialism as tiaditionally undeistood than of
the woild-view of Benito Mussolini.
.c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
piecedents weie established that would fuithei undeimine the peo-
ple’s iights in the futuie. ln the woids of Biuce Poitei· “Tough
much of the appaiatus of waitime iepiession was dismantled afei
1v1c, Woild Wai l lef an alteied balance of powei between state
and society that made futuie asseitions of state soveieignty moie
feasible—beginning with the New Deal.”
1c¯
We have all been made veiy familiai with the episode known
as “McCaithyism,” which, howevei, affected ielatively few peisons,
many of whom weie, in fact, Stalinists. Still, this alleged time of
teiioi is endlessly iehashed in schools and media. ln contiast, few
even among educated Ameiicans have evei heaid of the shiedding
of civil libeities undei Wilson’s iegime, which was fai moie intense
and affected tens of thousands.
Te woist and most obvious infiingement of individual iights
was consciiption. Some wondeied why, in the giand ciusade against
militaiism, we weie adopting the veiy emblem of militaiism. Te
Speakei of the House Champ Claik (D–Mo.) iemaiked that “in the
estimation of Missouiians theie is piecious liule diffeience between
a consciipt and a convict.” Te pioblem was that, while Congiess
had voted foi Wilson’s wai, young Ameiican males voted with theii
feet against it. ln the fiist ten days afei the wai declaiation, only
.,!¯¯ men enlisted, in the next weeks, the Wai Depaitment piocuied
only one-sixth of the men iequiied. Yet Wilson’s piogiam demanded
that we ship a gieat aimy to liance, so that Ameiican tioops weie
sufficiently “blooded.” Otheiwise, at the end the Piesident would
lack the ciedentials to play his piovidential iole among the victoiious
leadeis. Evei the deceivei and self-deceivei, Wilson declaied that the
diaf was “in no sense a consciiption of the unwilling, it is, iathei,
selection fiom a nation which has volunteeied in mass.”
1cc
Wilson, lovei of peace and enemy of militaiism and autociacy,
had no intention of ielinquishing the gains in state powei once the
wai was ovei. He pioposed post-wai militaiy tiaining foi all 1c and
1c¯
Poitei, Vor onJ ì|e R:se o[ ì|e Sìoìe, p. z¯.. On the ioots of the national-
secuiity state in the Woild Wai l peiiod, see Leonaid P. Liggio, “Ameiican loi-
eign Policy and National-Secuiity Management,” in Radosh and Rothbaid, A Ne+
H:sìor, o[ Le+:oì|on, pp. zz.–¯v.
1cc
Peteison and lite, O¡¡onenìs o[ Vor, p. zz, Kennedy, O+er Tere, p. v., Higgs,
Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on, pp. 1!1–!z. See also the essay by Robeit Higgs, “Wai and
Levithan in Twentieth Centuiy Ameiica· Consciiption as the Keystone,” in Den-
son, ed., Te Cosìs o[ Vor, pp. !¯¯–cc.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT .1
1v yeai old males and the cieation of a gieat aimy and a navy equal
to Biitain’s, and called foi a ¡eoceì:»e sedition act.
1cv
Two final episodes, one foieign and one domestic, epitomize the
stateciaf of Woodiow Wilson.
At the new League of Nations, theie was piessuie foi a U.S.
“mandate” (colony) in Aimenia, in the Caucasus. Te idea appealed
to Wilson, Aimenia was exactly the soit of “distant dependency”
which he had piized twenty yeais eailiei, as conducive to “the
gieatly incieased powei” of the Piesident. He sent a seciet militaiy
mission to scout out the teiiitoiy. But its iepoit was equivocal,
waining that such a mandate would place us in the middle of a
centuiies-old baulegiound of impeiialism and wai, and lead to
seiious complications with the new iegime in Russia. Te iepoit
was not ieleased. lnstead, in May 1vzc, Wilson iequested authoiity
fiom Congiess to establish the mandate, but was tuined down.
11c
lt
is inteiesting to contemplate the likely consequences of oui Aime-
nian mandate, compaiable to the joy Biitain had fiomits mandate in
Palestine, only with constant fiiction and piobable wai with Soviet
Russia thiown in.
ln 1vzc, the United States—Wilson’s United States—was the
only nation involved in the Woild Wai that still iefused a geneial
amnesty to political piisoneis.
111
Te most famous political piisonei
in the countiy was the Socialist leadei Eugene Debs. ln June, 1v1c,
Debs had addiessed a Socialist gatheiing in Canton, Ohio, wheie
he pilloiied the wai and the U.S. goveinment. Teie was no call to
violence, noi did any violence ensue. A goveinment stenogiaphei
took down the speech, and tuined in a iepoit to the fedeial authoi-
ities in Cleveland. Debs was indicted undei the Sedition Act, tiied,
and condemned to ten yeais in fedeial piison.
ln Januaiy, 1vz1, Debs was ailing and many feaied foi his life.
Amazingly, it was Wilson’s iampaging Auoiney Geneial A. Mitchell
Palmei himself who uiged the Piesident to commute Debs’s sen-
tence. Wilson wiote acioss the iecommendation the single woid,
“Denied.” He claimed that “while the flowei of Ameiican youth was
pouiing out its blood to vindicate the cause of civilization, this man,
1cv
Kennedy, O+er Tere, p. c¯, Ekiich, Dec|:ne o[ A»er:con L:|ero|:s», pp. zz!–ze.
11c
Cail Bient Swishei, A»er:con Consì:ìvì:ono| De+e|o¡»enì, znd ed. (Cam-
biidge, Mass.· Houghton Mifflin, 1v¯.), pp. ec1–cz.
111
Ekiich, Dec|:ne o[ A»er:con L:|ero|:s», p. z!..
.z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Debs, stood behind the lines, sniping, auacking, and denouncing
them . . . he will nevei be paidoned duiing my administiation.”
11z
Actually, Debs had denounced not “the flowei of Ameiican youth”
but Wilson and the othei wai-makeis who sent themto theii deaths
in liance. lt took Waiien Haiding, one of the “woist” Ameiican
Piesidents accoiding to numeious polls of histoiy piofessois, to pai-
don Debs, when Wilson, a “Neai-Gieat,” would have let him die a
piisonei. Debs and twenty-thiee othei jailed dissidents weie fieed
on Chiistmas Day, 1vz1. To those who piaised himfoi his clemency,
Haiding ieplied· “l couldn’t do anything else. . . . Tose fellows
didn’t mean any haim. lt was a ciuel punishment.”
11!
An enduiing auia of saintliness suiiounds Woodiow Wilson,
laigely geneiated in the immediate post-Woild Wai ll peiiod, when
his “maityidom” was used as a club to beat any lingeiing isolation-
ists. But even seuing aside his iole in biinging wai to Ameiica,
and his foolish and pathetic floundeiing at the peace confeience—
Wilson’s ciusade against fieedom of speech and the maiket econ-
omy alone should be enough to condemn him in the eyes of any au-
thentic libeial. Yet his incessant invocation of teims like “fieedom”
and “demociacy” continues to mislead those who choose to listen
to self-seiving woids iathei than look to actions. What the peoples
of the woild had in stoie foi them undei the ieign of Wilsonian
“idealism” can best be judged by Wilson’s conduct at home.
Waltei Kaip, a wise and well-veised student of Ameiican his-
toiy, though not a piofessoi, undeistood the deep meaning of the
iegime of Woodiow Wilson·
Today Ameiican childien aie taught in oui schools that Wil-
son was one of oui gieatest Piesidents. Tat is pioof in itself
that the Ameiican Republic has nevei iecoveied fiom the
blow he inflicted on it.
11.
Tui Ro~u 1o Woviu W~v ll
Te wai’s diiect costs to the United States weie· 1!c,ccc combat
deaths, !¯,ccc men peimanently disabled, s!!.¯ billion (plus anothei
s1! billion in veteians’ benefits and inteiest on the wai debt, as of
11z
Gingei, Te BenJ:ng Cross, pp. !¯e–¯v, !ez–¯e, .c¯–ce.
11!
Peteison and lite, O¡¡onenìs o[ Vor, p. z¯v.
11.
Kaip, Te Po|:ì:cs o[ Vor, p. !.c.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT .!
1v!1, all in the dollais of those yeais), peihaps also some poition
of the ¯cc,ccc influenza deaths among Ameiican civilians fiom the
viius the men biought home fiom liance.
11¯
Te indiiect costs, in
the baueiing of Ameiican fieedoms and the eiosion of auachment
to libeitaiian values, weie piobably much gieatei. But as Colonel
House had assuied Wilson, no mauei what saciifices the wai ex-
acted, “the end will justify them”—the end of cieating a woild oidei
of fieedom, justice, and eveilasting peace.
Te piocess of meeting that iathei foimidable challenge began
in Paiis, in Januaiy, 1v1v, wheie the leadeis of “the Allied and Asso-
ciated Poweis” gatheied to decide on the teims of peace and wiite
the Covenant of the League of Nations.
11e
A majoi complication was the fact that Geimany had not sui-
iendeied unconditionally, but undei ceitain definite conditions ie-
specting the natuie of the final seulement. Te State Depaitment
note of Novembei ¯, 1v1c infoimed Geimany that the United States
and the Allied goveinments consented to the Geiman pioposal. Te
basis of the final tieaties would be “the teims of peace laid down in
the Piesident’s addiess to Congiess of Januaiy, 1v1c [the louiteen
Points speech], and the piinciples of seulement enunciated in his
subsequent addiesses.”
11¯
11¯
Giaham, Te Greoì Co»¡o:gns, p. v1. On the influenza epidemic, see T. Hunt
Tooley, “Some Costs of the Gieat Wai· Nationalizing Piivate Life,” Te InJe¡en
Jenì Re+:e+ (lall, zccv), p. 1ee n. 1 and the souices cited theie. Tooley’s essay is
an oiiginal, thought-piovoking tieatment of some of the wai’s “hidden costs.”
11e
Te following discussion diaws on John Maynaid Keynes, Te Fcono»:c Con
seqvences o[ ì|e Peoce (New Yoik· Haicouit, Biace and Howe, 1vzc), Alcide Ebiay,
Lo ¡o:: »o|¡ro¡re Verso:||es (Milan· Unitas, 1vz.), Sally Maiks, Te I||vs:on o[
Peoce Inìernoì:ono| Re|oì:ons :n Fvro¡e, 1^18–1^II (New Yoik· St. Maitin’s Piess,
1v¯e), pp. 1–z¯, Eugene Davidson, Te Mo|:ng o[ AJo|[ H:ì|er Te B:rì| onJ R:se o[
No::s» (Columbia, Mo.· Univeisity of Missouii Piess, 1vv¯ [1v¯¯]), Roy Denman,
M:sseJ C|onces Br:ìo:n onJ Fvro¡e :n ì|e T+enì:eì| Cenìvr, (London· Cassell,
1vve), pp. zv–.v, and Alan Shaip, Te Verso:||es Seu|e»enì Peoce»o|:ng :n Por:s,
1^1^ (New Yoik· St. Maitin’s, 1vv1), among othei woiks.
11¯
James Biown Scou, ed., Offic:o| Sìoìe»enìs o[ Vor A:»s onJ Peoce Pro¡oso|s,
Dece»|er 1^1o ìo No+e»|er 1^18 (Washington, D.C.· Cainegie Endowment foi
lnteinational Peace, 1vz1), p. .¯¯. Te two modifications pioposed by the Allied
goveinments and accepted by the United States and Geimany conceined fieedom
of the seas and the compensation owed by Geimany foi the damage done to the
civilian populations of the Allied nations. loi eailiei notes exchanged between
Geimany and the United States iegaiding the teims of suiiendei, see pp. .1¯, .1v,
.zc–z1, .!c–!1, .!.–!¯, .¯¯.
.. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Te essence of these pionouncements was that the peace tieaties
must be animated by a sense of justice and faiiness to all nations.
Vengeance and national gieed would have no place in the new
scheme of things. ln his “loui Piinciples” speech one month afei
the louiteen Points addiess, Wilson stated·
Teie shall be no contiibutions, no punitive damages. People
aie not to be handed about fiom one soveieignty to anothei
by an inteinational confeience. . . . National aspiiations must
be iespected, peoples may now be dominated and goveined
only by theii own consent. “Self-deteimination” is not a
meie phiase. . . . All the paities to this wai must join in the
seulement of eveiy issue anywheie involved in it . . . eveiy
teiiitoiial seulement involved in this wai must be made in
the inteiest and foi the benefit of the populations conceined,
and not as a pait of any meie adjustment oi compiomise of
claims amongst iival states. . . .
11c
Duiing the pie-aimistice negotiations, Wilson insisted that the
conditions of any aimistice had to be such “as to make a ienewal
of hostilities on the pait of Geimany impossible.” Accoidingly,
the Geimans suiiendeied theii baule fleet and submaiines, some
1,¯cc aiiplanes, ¯,ccc aitilleiy, !c,ccc machine guns, and othei ma-
teiiel, while the Allies occupied the Rhineland and the Rhine biidge-
heads.
11v
Geimany was now defenseless, dependant on Wilson and
the Allies keeping theii woid.
Yet the hungei blockade continued, and was even expanded, as
the Allies gained contiol of the Geiman Baltic coast and banned
even fishing boats. Te point was ieached wheie the commandei
of the Biitish aimy of occupation demanded of London that food be
sent to the famished Geimans. His tioops could no longei stand
the sight of hungiy Geiman childien iummaging in the iubbish
bins of the Biitish camps foi food. (See also “Staiving a People into
11c
Te Po¡ers o[ VooJro+ V:|son, }onvor, 1o–Mord 1., 1^18, Aithui S. Link,
ed. (Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton Univeisity Piess, 1vc.), vol. .e, pp. !z1–z!. loi
the louiteen Points speech of Januaiy c, 1v1c, see Te Po¡ers o[ VooJro+ V:|son,
No+e»|er 11, 1^1¯–}onvor, 1¯, 1^18, Aithui S. Link, ed. (Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton
Univeisity Piess, 1vc.), vol. .¯, pp. ¯!.–!v.
11v
Scou, Offic:o| Sìoìe»enìs, p. .!¯, Davidson, Te Mo|:ng o[ AJo|[ H:ì|er, p. 11z,
and Denman, M:sseJ C|onces, p. !!.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT .¯
Submission, in the piesent volume.)
1zc
Still, food was only allowed
to entei Geimany in Maich, 1v1v, and the blockade of iaw mateiials
continued until the Geimans signed the Tieaty.
Eaily on in Paiis, theie weie disquieting signs that the Allies
weie violating the teims of suiiendei. Te Geiman delegation was
peimiued to take no pait in the delibeiations. Te Tieaty, nego-
tiated among the bickeiing victois—Wilson was so angiy at one
point that he tempoiaiily withdiew—was diawn up and handed to
the Geiman delegates. Despite theii outiaged piotests, they weie
finally foiced to sign it, in a humiliating ceiemony at the Palace of
Veisailles, undei thieat of the invasion of a now helpless Geimany.
Tis wobbly stait to the eia of inteinational ieconciliation and
eteinal peace was made fai woise by the piovisions of the Tieaty
itself.
Geimany was allowed an aimy of no moie than 1cc,ccc men,
no planes, tanks, oi submaiines, while the whole lef bank of the
Rhine was peimanently demilitaiized. But this was a vn:|oìero|
disaimament. No piovision was made foi the genero| disaimament
(Point . of the louiteen Points) of which this was supposed to be
the fiist step and which, in fact, nevei occuiied. Teie was no “fiee,
open-minded and absolutely impaitial adjustment of all colonial
claims” (Point ¯). lnstead, Geimany was stiipped of its colonies
in Afiica and the Pacific, which weie paiceled out among the win-
neis of the wai. ln that age of high impeiialism, colonies weie
gieatly, if mistakenly, valued, as indicated by the biutality with
which Biitain and liance as well as Geimany iepiessed ievolts by
the native peoples. Tus, the tiansfei of the Geiman colonies was
anothei souice of giievance. ln place of a peace with “no contii-
butions oi punitive damages,” the Tieaty called foi an unspecified
amount in iepaiations. Tese weie to covei the costs not only of
damage to civilians but also of pensions and othei militaiy expenses.
Te sum eventually pioposed was said to amount to moie than the
1zc
Denman, M:sseJ C|onces, pp. !!–!., and Vincent, Te Po|:ì:cs o[ Hvnger,
pp. 11c and ¯e–1z!. Tat the hungei blockade had a pait in fueling latei Nazi
fanaticism seems undeniable. See Teodoie Abel, Te No:: Mo+e»enì V|, H:ì|er
Co»e ìo Po+er (New Yoik· Atheiton, 1vec [1v!c]) and Petei Lowenbeig, “Te
Psychohistoiical Oiigins of the Nazi Youth Cohoits,” A»er:con H:sìor:co| Re+:e+,
vol. ¯e, no. ! (Decembei 1v¯1), discussed in “Staiving a People into Submission,”
a ieview of Vincent’s book, iepiinted in this volume.
.e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
entiie wealth of Geimany, and the Geimans weie expected to keep
on paying foi many decades to come.
1z1
Most biueily iesented, howevei, weie the teiiitoiial changes in
Euiope.
Wilson had piomised, and the Allies had agieed, that “self-detei-
mination” would seive as the coineistone of the new woild oidei of
justice and peace. lt was this piospect that had pioduced a suige of
hope thioughout the Westein woild as the Peace Confeience began.
Yet, theie was no agieement among the victois on the desiiability of
self-deteimination, oi even its meaning. Geoiges Clemenceau, the
liench Piemiei, iejected it as applied to the Geimans, and aimed to
set up the Rhineland as a sepaiate state. Te Biitish weie embaiiassed
by the piinciple, since they had no intention of applying it to Cypius,
lndia, Egypt—oi lieland. Even Wilson’s Secietaiy of State could not
abide it, Lansing pointed out that both the United States and Canada
had flagiantly violated the sanctity of self-deteimination, in iegaid
to the Confedeiacy and Qebec, iespectively.
1zz
Wilson himself had liule undeistanding of what his doctiine
implied. As the confeience piogiessed, the Piesident, buffeted by
the giimly deteimined Clemenceau and the clevei Biitish Piime
Ministei David Lloyd Geoige, acquiesced in a seiies of contiaven-
tions of self-deteimination that in the end made a faice of his own
lofy if ambiguous piinciple.
Wilson had declaied that national gioups must be given “the
utmost satisfaction that can be accoided them without intioducing
new, oi peipetuating old, elements of discoid and antagonism.” At
Paiis, ltaly was given the Biennei pass as its noithein fiontiei, plac-
ing neaily a quaitei of a million Austiian Geimans in the South
Tyiol undei ltalian contiol. Te Geiman city of Memel was given to
Lithuania, and the cieation of the Polish Coiiidoi to the Baltic and
of the “liee City” of Danzig (undei Polish contiol) affected anothei
1.¯ million Geimans. Te Saai iegion was handed ovei to liance
1z1
Chailes Callan Tansill, “Te United States and the Road to Wai in Euiope,” in
Haiiy Elmei Baines, ed., Per¡eìvo| Vor [or Per¡eìvo| Peoce (Caldwell, ld.· Caxton,
1v¯!), pp. c!–cc, Denman, M:sseJ C|onces, pp. !z, ¯¯–¯v, Davidson, Te Mo|:ng
o[ AJo|[ H:ì|er, p. 1¯¯.
1zz
Alfied Cobban, Te Noì:on Sìoìe onJ Noì:ono| Se|[Deìer»:noì:on (New Yoik·
Tomas Y. Ciowell, 1v¯c), pp. e1–ez. On the scoin with which the Anglophile
Wilson tieated the iequest of the liish foi independence, see p. ee.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT .¯
foi at least 1¯ yeais. Altogethei some 1!.¯ million Geimans weie
sepaiated fiom the Reich.
1z!
Te woist cases of all weie Austiia
and the Sudetenland.
ln Austiia, when the wai ended, the Constituent Assembly that
ieplaced the Habsbuig monaichy voted unanimously foi Ansd|vss,
oi union with Geimany, in plebiscites, the piovinces of Salzbuig and
the Tyiol voted the same way, by vc pei cent and v¯ pei cent, iespec-
tively. But Ansd|vss was foibidden by the teims of the Tieaty (as was
the use of “Geiman-Austiia” as the name of the new countiy).
1z.
Te
only giounds foi this shameless violation of self-deteimination was
that it would stiengthen Geimany—haidly what the victois had in
mind.
1z¯
Te Peace Confeience established an entity called “Czechoslo-
vakia,” a state that in the inteiwai peiiod enjoyed the ieputation of
a gallant liule demociacy in the daik heait of Euiope. ln ieality,
it was anothei “piison-house of nations.”
1ze
Te Slovaks had been
deceived into joining by piomises of complete autonomy, even so,
Czechs and Slovaks togethei iepiesented only e¯¯of the population.
ln fact, the second laigest national gioup was the Geimans.
1z¯
1z!
R. W. Seton-Watson, Br:ìo:n onJ ì|e D:cìoìors A Svr+e, o[ PosìVor Br:ì:s|
Po|:c, (New Yoik· Macmillan, 1v!c), p. !z..
1z.
Davidson, Te Mo|:ng o[ AJo|[ H:ì|er, pp. 11¯–1e. Even Chailes Homei Hask-
ins, head of the westein Euiope division of the Ameiican delegation, consideied
the piohibition of the Austiian–Geiman union an injustice, see Chailes Homei
Haskins and Robeit Howaid Loid, So»e Pro||e»s o[ ì|e Peoce Con[erence (Cam-
biidge, Mass.· Haivaid Univeisity Piess, 1vzc), pp. zze–zc.
1z¯
Te stoiy of Reinhaid Spitzy, So Ho|en V:r Jos Re:d Vers¡:e|ì Be|ennìn:sse
e:nes I||ego|en (Munich· Langen Müllei, 1vce) is instiuctive in this iegaid. As a
young Austiian, Spitzy was incensed at the tieatment of his own countiy and
of Geimans in geneial at the Paiis Confeience and afeiwaids. Te killing of
¯. Sudeten Geiman piotestois by Czech police on Maich ., 1v1v paiticulaily
appalled Spitzy. He joined the Austiian Nazi Paity and the SS. Latei, Spitzy, who
had nevei favoied Geiman expansionism, became a caustic ciitic of Ribbentiop
and a membei of the anti-Hitlei iesistance.
1ze
On the Czech question at the Peace Confeience and the liist Czechoslovak
Republic, see Kuit Glasei, C:edoS|o+o|:o A Cr:ì:co| H:sìor, (Caldwell, ld.· Cax-
ton, 1vez), pp. 1!–.¯.
1z¯
Tis is the bieakdown of the population, accoiding the census of 1vze·
Czechs e.¯ million, Geimans !.! million, Slovaks z.¯ million, Hungaiians ccc thou-
sand, Ruthenians .cc thousand, Poles 1cc thousand. John Scou Keltie, ed., Te
Sìoìes»on’s Yeor|oo|, 1^.o (London· Macmillan, 1vze), p. ¯ec, and Glasei, C:edo
S|o+o|:o, p. e.
.c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Geimans had inhabited the Sudetenland, a compact teiiitoiy
adjacent to Geimany and Austiia, since the Middle Ages. With
the disintegiation of Austiia-Hungaiy they wished to join what
iemained of Austiia, oi even Geimany itself. Tis was vehemently
opposed by Tomas Masaiyk and Eduaid Beneš, leadeis of the well-
oiganized Czech contingent at the Confeience and libeial dailings
of the Allies. Evidently, though the Czechs had the iight to secede
fiom Austiia-Hungaiy, the Geimans had no iight to secede fiom
Czechoslovakia. lnstead, the incoipoiation of the Sudetenland was
dictated by economic and stiategic consideiations—and histoiical
ones, as well. lt seems that the integiity of the lands of the Ciown of
St. Wenceslaus—Bohemia, Moiavia, and Austiian Silesia—had to
be pieseived. No such concein, howevei, was shown at Paiis foi
the integiity of the lands of the Ciown of St. Stephen, the ancient
Kingdom of Hungaiy.
1zc
linally, Masaiyk and Beneš assuied theii
pations that the Sudeten Geimans yeained to join the new west
Slavic state. As Alfied Cobban commented wiyly· “To avoid doubt,
howevei, theii views weie not asceitained.”
1zv
1zc
Te Geimans weie by no means the only people whose “iight to self-
deteimination” was manifestly infiinged. Millions of Ukiainians and White Rus-
sians weie included in the new Poland. As foi the Hungaiians, the auitude that
pievailed towaids them in Paiis is epitomized by the statement of Haiold Nichol-
son, one of the Biitish negotiatois· “l confess that l iegaided, and still iegaid,
that Tuianian tiibe with acute distaste. Like theii cousins the Tuiks, they had
destioyed much and cieated nothing.” Te new boideis of Hungaiy weie diawn
in such a way that one-thiid of the Magyais weie assigned to neighboiing states.
See Stephen Boisody, “State- and Nation-Building in Cential Euiope· Te Oiigins
of the Hungaiian Pioblem,” in idem, ed., Te Hvngor:ons A D:+:JeJ Noì:on (New
Haven, Conn.· Yale Centei foi lnteinational and Aiea Studies, 1vcc), pp. !–!1 and
especially in the same volume Zsuzsa L. Nagy, “Peacemaking afei Woild Wai l·
Te Westein Demociacies and the Hungaiian Qestion,” pp. !z–¯z. Among the
states that inheiited teiiitoiies fiomGeimany and Austiia-Hungaiy, the minoiity
components weie as follows· Czechoslovakia· (not counting Slovaks) !..¯ pei
cent, Poland !c.. pei cent, Romania z¯ pei cent, Yugoslavia (not counting Cioats
and Slovenes) 1¯.z pei cent. Seton-Watson, Br:ìo:n onJ ì|e D:cìoìors, pp. !zz–z!.
1zv
Cobban, Te Noì:on Sìoìe, p. ec. C. A. Macaitney, Noì:ono| Sìoìes onJ Noì:ono|
M:nor:ì:es (New Yoik· Russell and Russell, 1vec [1v!.]), pp. .1!–1¯, noted that
by official deciee Czech was the language of state, to be used exclusively in all
majoi depaitments of goveinment and as a iule with the geneial public. Tis
led to Geiman complaints that the aim was “to get the whole administiation of
the countiy, as fai as possible, into Czechoslovak hands.” Macaitney maintained,
nonetheless, that the Sudeten Geimans weie “not, fundamentally, iiiedentist.” Of
couise, as Cobban obseived, they had not been asked.
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT .v
Tis is in no way suipiising. Te instiument of the plebiscite
was employed when it could haim Geimany. Tus, plebiscites weie
held to divide up aieas that, if taken as a whole, might vote foi union
with Geimany, e.g., Silesia. But the Geiman iequest foi a plebiscite
in Alsace-Loiiaine, which many liench had lef and many Geimans
enteied afei 1c¯1, was tuined down.
1!c
ln the newCzechoslovakia, Geimans suffeied goveinment-spon-
soied disciimination in the ways typical of the statist oidei of Cen-
tial Euiope. Tey weie disadvantaged in “land iefoim,” economic
policy, the civil seivice, and education. Te civil libeities of minoi-
ity gioups, including the Slovaks, weie violated by laws ciiminaliz-
ing peaceful piopaganda against the tightly centialized stiuctuie of
the new state. Chaiges by the Geimans that theii iights undei the
minoiity-tieaty weie being infiinged biought no ielief.
1!1
Te piotests of Geimans within the boundaiies of the newPoland
iesembled those in Czechoslovakia, except that the foimei weie
subjected to fiequent mob violence.
1!z
Te Polish authoiities, who
looked on the Geiman minoiity as potentially tieasonous, pioposed
to eliminate it eithei thiough assimilation (unlikely) oi coeiced em-
igiation. As one scholai has concluded· “Geimans in Poland had
ample justification foi theii complaints, theii piospects foi even
medium-teim suivival weie bleak.”
1!!
At the end of the twentieth centuiy, we aie accustomed to view-
ing ceitain gioups as eteinally oppiessed victims and othei gioups
as eteinal oppiessois. But this ideological stiatagem did not begin
with the now peivasive demonization of the white iace. Teie was
1!c
Cobban, Te Noì:on Sìoìe, p. ¯z. Even Maiks, Te I||vs:on o[ Peoce, p. 11, who
was geneially suppoitive of the Veisailles Tieaty, stated that Alsace-Loiiaine was
ietuined to liance “to the consideiable displeasuie of many of its inhabitants.”
1!1
Glasei, C:edoS|o+o|:o, pp. 1!–!!.
1!z
Unlike the Sudeten Geimans, howevei, who mainly lived in a gieat compact
aiea adjacent to Geimany and Austiia, most of the Geimans in Poland (but not
Danzig) could only have been united with theii mothei countiy by biinging in
many non-Geimans as well. But even some aieas with a cleai Geiman majoiity
that weie contiguous to Geimany weie awaided to Poland. ln Uppei Silesia,
the industiial centeis of Kauowitz and Königshüue, which voted in plebiscites
foi Geimany by majoiities of e¯¯ and ¯¯¯ iespectively, weie given to Poland.
Richaid Blanke, Or¡|ons o[ Verso:||es Te Ger»ons :n Vesìern Po|onJ 1^18–1^I^
(Lexington, Ky.· 1vv!), pp. z1, zv.
1!!
lbid., pp. z!e–!¯. See also Tansill, “Te United States and the Road to Wai in
Euiope,” pp. cc–v!.
¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
an eailiei mythology, which held that the Geimans weie always
in the wiong vis-à-vis theii Slavic neighbois. Heavily ieinfoiced
by Nazi atiocities, this legend is now deeply entienched. Te idea
that at ceitain times Poles and Czechs victimized Ger»ons cannot
be mapped on oui conceptual giid. Yet it was ofen the case in the
inteiwai peiiod.
1!.
Te Geiman leadeis, of couise, had been anything but angels
pieceding and duiing the wai. But, if a lasting peace was the puipose
of the Veisailles Tieaty, it was a bad idea to plant time bombs in
Euiope’s futuie. Of Geimany’s boidei with Poland, Lloyd Geoige
himself piedicted that it “must in my judgment lead soonei oi latei
to a newwai in the east of Euiope.”
1!¯
Wilson’s pietense that all injus-
tices would be iectified in time—“lt will be the business of the League
to set such maueis iight”—was anothei of his complacent delusions.
Te League’s Covenant stipulated unanimity in such questions and
thus “iendeied the League an instiument of the sìoìvs qvo.”
1!e
Vengeance continued to be the oidei of the day, as liance in-
vaded the Ruhi in 1vz!, supposedly because iepaiations payments
weie in aiieais (Biitain and ltaly, equal paitneis in supeivision
of iepaiations, disagieed). Te liench also stepped up theii futile
effoits to establish a sepaiatist state in the Rhineland. Teie, as in
the Ruhi, they ostentatiously deployed native colonial tioops, who
delighted in the novelty of theii supeiioi status to Euiopeans. Tis
was felt to be a fuithei indignity by many Geimans.
1!¯
1!.
ln 1v1v, Ludwig von Mises wiote· “Te unfoitunate outcome of the wai [i.e.,
incieased statism and injustice] biings hundieds of thousands, even millions, of
Geimans undei foieign iule and imposes tiibute payments of unheaid-of size
on the iest of Geimany.” Mises, Noì:on, Sìoìe, onJ Fco»o»,, p. z1¯. Still, Mises
admonished the Geimans to eschewthe path of impeiialismand followeconomic
libeialism instead. See also the comment of Hew Stiachan, Te F:rsì Vor|J Vor.
To Ar»s, p. z· “the injustices done to Geimans iesiding in the successoi states of
the Austio-Hungaiian empiie came to be widely iecognized.”
1!¯
“By the eaily spiing of 1vzz, Lloyd Geoige came to the conclusion that the
Tieaty of Veisailles had been an awful mistake and that it was in no small way
iesponsible foi the economic ciisis in which both Gieat Biitain and the Conti-
nental Euiopean nations now found themselves.” Richaid M. Wau, Te K:ngs
De¡orì Te TrogeJ, o[ Verso:||es onJ ì|e Ger»on Re+o|vì:on (New Yoik· Simon
and Schustei, 1vec), p. ¯1!.
1!e
Denman, M:sseJ C|onces, pp. .z, .¯, Maiks, Te I||vs:on o[ Peoce, p. 1..
1!¯
Tansill, “Te United States and the Road to Wai in Euiope,” pp. v.–v¯,
WORLD WAR l· THE TURNlNG POlNT ¯1
Te pioblems diagged on thiough the 1vzcs and eaily ’!cs. Te
teiiitoiial seulement was biueily opposed by eveiy political paity
in Geimany, fiom the fai lef to the fai iight, thiough to the end of
the Weimai Republic. ln the past, tieaties had ofen been giadually
and peacefully ievised thiough changes enacted by one paity which
the othei paities declined to challenge.
1!c
Yet even with the Nazi
thieat looming ovei Weimai Geimany, liance iefused to give an
inch. ln 1v!1, Chancelloi Heiniich Biüning aiianged foi a customs
union with Austiia, which would have amounted to a gieat patiiotic
tiiumph foi the fledging demociacy. lt was vetoed by liance. Van-
siuait, at the Biitish loieign Office, no lovei of Geimany, wained
that “Biüning’s Goveinment is the best we can hope foi, its disap-
peaiance would be followed by a Nazi avalanche.”
1!v
ln the east, liance’s allies, Poland and Czechoslovakia, similaily
iefused any concessions. Tey had been obliged to sign agieements
guaianteeing ceitain iights to theii ethnic minoiities. Piotests to
the League fiom the Geiman minoiities got nowheie· League medi-
atois “almost always iecommended accepting the piomises of mem-
bei goveinments to mend theii ways. . . . Even when the League
found fault with a policy that had led to a minoiity complaint, it
was almost nevei able to get a membei state to act accoidingly.” ln
any case, the Polish position was that “minoiity peoples needed no
piotection fiom theii own goveinment and that it was ‘disloyal’ foi
minoiity oiganizations to seek iediess befoie the League.”
1.c
When Geimany became a League membei, evidence of teiioi-
ism against the Geiman minoiity in Poland caiiied moie weight.
ln 1v!1, the League Council unanimously accepted a iepoit “es-
sentially substantiating the chaiges against the Poles.” But again
no effective action was taken. Te Biitish delegates had “fiankly
adopted the view that wheie Geiman minoiities weie conceined,
it was foi the Geiman Goveinment to look afei theii inteiests.”
1.1
Denman, M:sseJ C|onces, pp. ¯1–¯z.
1!c
Ebiay, Lo ¡o:: »o|¡ro¡re, pp. !.1–.!.
1!v
Denman, M:sseJ C|onces, p. ¯!.
1.c
Blanke, Or¡|ons o[ Verso:||es, pp. 1!z, 1!e–!¯.
1.1
Davidson, Te Mo|:ng o[ AJo|[ H:ì|er (the best woik on the iole of the Vei-
sailles Tieaty in assisting the iise of Nazism), p. zcv, and Cobban, Te Noì:on Sìoìe,
p. cv.
¯z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Afei 1v!!, a Geiman goveinment chose to do exactly that, in its
own savage way.
1.z
Back in Januaiy, 1v1¯, Wilson had addiessed Congiess on the
natuie of the seulement, once the teiiible wai was ovei·
it must be a peace without victoiy. . . . Victoiy would mean
peace foiced upon the losei, a victoi’s teims imposed upon
the vanquished. lt would be accepted in humiliation, undei
duiess, at an intoleiable saciifice, and would leave a sting,
a iesentment, a biuei memoiy upon which teims of peace
would iest, not peimanently, but only as upon quicksand.
1.!
A piescient waining indeed. Woodiow Wilson’s own foolish, bla-
tant disiegaid of it helped biing about a tiagedy foi Euiope and the
woild that suipassed even the liist Woild Wai.
1.z
Te idea that an Anglo-Ameiican guaiantee to liance against Geiman “ag-
giession” would have availed to fieeze the constellation of foices as of 1v1v oJ
:nfin:ìv» was a fantasy. Alieady in 1vzz, Weimai Geimany ieached a ro¡¡rode
»enì with Soviet Russia, at Rapallo.
1.!
Te Po¡ers o[ VooJro+ V:|son, No+e»|er .h, 1^1o–}onvor, .I, 1^1¯, Aithui S.
Link, ed. (Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton Univeisity Piess, 1vcz), vol. .c, p. ¯!e.
Cu~v1iv z
Rethinking Chuichill
CuUvcuiii ~s lcoN
When, in a veiy few yeais, the pundits stait to pontificate on the
gieat question· “Who was the Man of the Centuiy`” theie is liule
doubt that they will ieach viitually instant consensus. lnevitably,
the answei will be· Winston Chuichill. lndeed, Piofessoi Haiiy
Jaffa has alieady infoimed us that Chuichill was not only the Man
of the Twentieth Centuiy, but the Man of Many Centuiies.
1
ln a way, Chuichill as Man of the Centuiy will be appiopiiate.
Tis has been the centuiy of the State—of the iise and hypeitiophic
giowth of the welfaie-waifaie state—and Chuichill was fiom fiist
to last a Man of the State, of the welfaie state and of the waifaie
state. Wai, of couise, was his lifelong passion, and, as an admiiing
Tis is an expanded veision of an essay that fiist appeaied in Te Cosìs o[ Vor
A»er:co’s P,rr|:c V:cìor:es, John V. Denson, ed. (New Biunswick, N.J.· Tiansac-
tion, 1vv¯).
1
Haiiy V. Jaffa, “ln Defense of Chuichill,” MoJern Age !., no. ! (Spiing 1vvz),
p. zc1. loi what it might be woith, Heniy Kissingei, “With laint Piaise,” Ne+
Yor| T:»es Boo| Re+:e+, July 1e, 1vv¯, has gone so fai as to call Chuichill “the
quintessential heio.”
¯!
¯. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
histoiian has wiiuen· “Among his othei claims to fame, Winston
Chuichill ianks as one of the foundeis of the welfaie state.”
z
Tus,
while Chuichill nevei had a piinciple he did not in the end betiay,
!
this does not mean that theie was no slant to his actions, no sys-
tematic bias. Teie was, and that bias was towaids loweiing the
baiiieis to state powei.
To gain any undeistanding of Chuichill, we must go beyond
the heioic images piopagated foi ovei half a centuiy. Te conven-
tional pictuie of Chuichill, especially of his iole in Woild Wai ll,
was fiist of all the woik of Chuichill himself, thiough the distoited
histoiies he composed and iushed into piint as soon as the wai
was ovei.
.
ln moie iecent decades, the Chuichill legend has been
adopted by an inteinational establishment foi which it fuinishes
the peifect symbol and an inexhaustible vein of high-toned blathei.
Chuichill has become, in Chiistophei Hitchens’s phiase, a “totem”
of the Ameiican establishment, not only the scions of the New Deal,
but the neo-conseivative appaiatus as well —politicians like Newt
Gingiich and Dan Qayle, coipoiate “knights” and othei denizens
of the Reagan and Bush Cabinets, the editois and wiiteis of the
Vo|| Sìreeì }ovrno|, and a legion of “conseivative” columnists led
by William Safiie and William Buckley. Chuichill was, as Hitchens
wiites, “the human biidge acioss which the tiansition was made”
z
Paul Addison, “Chuichill and Social Refoim,” in C|vrd:||, Robeit Blake and
William Rogei Louis, eds. (New Yoik· Noiton, 1vv!), p. ¯¯.
!
A sympathetic histoiian, Paul Addison, C|vrd:|| on ì|e Ho»e Fronì 1^hh–
1^¯¯ (London· Pimlico, 1vv!), p. .!c, phiases the same point this way· “Since
[Chuichill] nevei allowed himself to be hampeied by a fixed piogiamme oi a iigid
ideology, his ideas evolved as he adapted himself to the times.” Oddly enough,
Chuichill himself confessed, in 1cvc· “l do not caie so much foi the piinciples l
advocate as foi the impiession which my woids pioduce and the ieputation they
give me.” Clive Ponting, C|vrd:|| (London· Sinclaii–Stevenson, 1vv.), p. !z.
.
loi some of Chuichill’s distoitions, see Tuvia Ben-Moshe, C|vrd:|| Sìroìeg,
onJ H:sìor, (Bouldei, Colo.· Lynne Riennei, 1vvz), pp. !zv–!!, Dietiich Aignei,
“Winston Chuichill (1c¯.–1ve¯),” in Po|:ì:|er Jes .h. }o|r|vnJerìs, 1, D:e F¡ode
Jer Ve|ì|r:ege, Rolf K. Hocevai, et al., eds. (Munich· Beck, 1v¯c), p. !1c, states
that Chuichill, in his woiks on Woild Wai ll, “laid the foundation of a legend
that is nothing less than a stiaightfoiwaid tiavesty of the histoiical tiuth. . . . But
the Chuichill veision of Woild Wai ll and its piehistoiy iemains unshaken, the
powei of his eloquence extends beyond the giave.” Aignei, incidentally, is an
infoimed, scholaily ciitic of Chuichill and by no means a “iight-wing iadical.”
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯¯
between a non-inteiventionist and a globalist Ameiica.
¯
ln the next
centuiy, it is not impossible that his bulldog likeness will featuie in
the logo of the New Woild Oidei.
Let it be fieely conceded that in 1v.c Chuichill played his iole
supeibly. As the militaiy histoiian, Majoi-Geneial J. l. C. lullei, a
shaip ciitic of Chuichill’s waitime policies, wiote· “Chuichill was
a man cast in the heioic mould, a beiseikei evei ieady to lead a
foiloin hope oi stoim a bieach, and at his best when things weie
at theii woist. His glamoious ihetoiic, his pugnacity, and his insis-
tence on annihilating the enemy appealed to human instincts, and
made him an outstanding wai leadei.”
e
Histoiy outdid heiself when
she cast Chuichill as the adveisaiy in the duel with Hitlei. lt maueis
liule that in his most famous speech—”we shall fight them on the
beaches . . . we shall fight them in the fields and in the stieets”—he
plagiaiized Clemenceau at the time of the Ludendoiff offensive in
the Gieat Wai, that theie was liule ieal thieat of a Geiman invasion
oi, that, peihaps, theie was no ieason foi the duel to have occuiied
in the fiist place. loi a few months in 1v.c, Chuichill played his
pait magnificently and unfoigeuably.
¯
Ovvov1UNis: ~Nu Rui1ovic
Yet befoie 1v.c, the woid most closely associated with Chuichill was
“oppoitunist.”
c
He had twice changed his paity affiliation—fiom Con-
seivative to Libeial, and then back again. His move to the Libeials was
allegedly on the issue of fiee tiade. But in 1v!c, he sold out on fiee
tiade as well, even taiiffs on food, and pioclaimed that he had cast off
“Cobdenism” foievei.
v
As head of the Boaid of Tiade befoie Woild
Wai l, he opposed incieased aimaments, afei he became liist Loid
of the Admiialty in 1v11, he pushed foi biggei and biggei budgets,
¯
Chiistophei Hitchens, B|ooJ, C|oss, onJ Nosìo|g:o Ang|oA»er:con Iron:es
(New Yoik· laiiai, Stiaus, and Giioux, 1vvc), p. 1ce.
e
J. l. C. lullei, Te ConJvcì o[ Vor 1¯8^–1^o1 (London· Eyie and Spouiswoode,
1ve1), p. z¯!.
¯
loi a skeptical account of Chuichill in this peiiod, see Clive Ponting, 1^oh
M,ì| onJ Reo|:ì, (Chicago· lvan R. Dee, 1vv1).
c
Cf. A. J. P. Tayloi, “Te Statesman,” in idem, et al., C|vrd:|| Re+:seJ ACr:ì:co|
Assess»enì (New Yoik· Dial Piess, 1vev), p. ze.
v
Heniy Pelling, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| (New Yoik· Duuon, 1v¯.), pp. !.¯–.c, !¯¯,
and Paul Addison, C|vrd:|| on ì|e Ho»e Fronì, pp. zve–vv.
¯e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
spieading wild iumois of the giowing stiength of the Geiman navy,
just as he did in the 1v!cs about the buildup of the Geiman Aii loice.
1c
He auacked socialism befoie and afei Woild Wai l, while duiing
the Wai he piomoted wai socialism, calling foi nationalization of
the iailioads, and declaiing in a speech· “Oui whole nation must
be oiganized, must be socialized if you like the woid.”
11
Chuichill’s
oppoitunism continued to the end. ln the 1v.¯ election, he biiefly
latched on to Hayek’s Te RooJ ìo Ser[Jo» and tiied to paint the
Laboui Paity as totalitaiian, while it was Chuichill himself who, in
1v.!, had accepted the Beveiidge plans foi the post-wai welfaie state
and Keynesian management of the economy. Tioughout his caieei
his one guiding iule was to climb to powei and stay theie.
1z
Teie +ere two piinciples that foi a long while seemed deai to
Chuichill’s heait. One was anti-Communism· he was an eaily and
feivent opponent of Bolshevism. loi yeais, he—veiy coiiectly—
deciied the “bloody baboons” and “foul muideieis of Moscow.” His
deep eaily admiiation of Benito Mussolini was iooted in his shiewd
appieciation of what Mussolini had accomplished (oi so Chuichill
thought). ln an ltaly teeteiing on the biink of Leninist ievolution,
ll Duce had discoveied the one foimula that could counteiact the
Leninist appeal· hypeinationalism with a social slant. Chuichill
lauded “lascismo’s tiiumphant stiuggle against the bestial appetites
and passions of Leninism,” claiming that “it pioved the necessaiy
antidote to the Communist poison.”
1!
1c
Tayloi, “Te Statesman,” p. !1, Robeit Rhodes James, “Chuichill the Politi-
cian,” in A. J. P. Tayloi, et al., C|vrd:|| Re+:seJ, p. 11¯, wiites of “Chuichill’s
extiemely exaggeiated claims of Geiman aii powei.”
11
Emiys Hughes, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| Br:ì:s| Bv||Jog (New Yoik· Exposition,
1v¯¯), p. 1c..
1z
Cf. Simon Jenkins, (SvnJo, T:»es, August ze, zcc¯)· “As foi [Geitiude]
Himmelfaib’s apotheosis of the evei-devious Chuichill, this is now histoiical
anachionism. Tiue, Chuichill’s political peiception was sometimes iight, but it
was moie ofen wiong and had liule moial compass beyond his own eccentiicities.
As ideologues, both he and Disiaeli might be teimed Blaiiites, seizing the catch
phiases of the moment foi theii political oi liteiaiy convenience and changing
sides when it suited them.”
1!
“Chuichill Extols lascismo foi ltaly” Ne+ Yor| T:»es, Januaiy z1, 1vz¯.
Chuichill’s piaise of Mussolini continued foi anothei decade, even afei the
biutal ltalian conquest of Ethiopia. ln 1v!¯, he wiote of “the amazing qualities
of couiage, compiehension, self-contol and peiseivence which he exemplifies.”
Nicholson Bakei, Hv»on S»o|e. Te Beg:nn:ngs o[ Vor|J Vor II, onJ ì|e FnJ o[
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯¯
Yet the time came when Chuichill made his peace with Commu-
nism. ln 1v.1, he gave unconditional suppoit to Stalin, welcomed
him as an ally, embiaced him as a fiiend. Chuichill, as well as
Roosevelt, used the affectionate nickname, “Uncle Joe”, as late as
the Potsdam confeience, he iepeatedly announced, of Stalin· “l like
that man.”
1.
ln suppiessing the evidence that the Polish officeis at
Katyn had been muideied by the Soviets, he iemaiked· “Teie is no
use piowling iound the thiee yeai old giaves of Smolensk.”

Ob-
sessed not only with defeating Hitlei, but with destioying Geimany,
Chuichill was oblivious to the dangei of a Soviet inundation of Eu-
iope until it was fai too late. Te symbolic climax of his infatuation
came at the Novembei, 1v.!, Tehian confeience, when Chuichill
piesented Stalin with a Ciusadei’s swoid.
1e
Tose conceined to
define the woid “obscenity” may wish to pondei that episode.
linally, theie was what appeaied to be the abiding love of his
life· the Biitish Empiie. lf Chuichill stood [or on,ì|:ng oì o||, it
was the Empiie, he famously said that he had not become Piime
Ministei in oidei to pieside ovei its liquidation. But that, of couise,
is piecisely what he did, selling out the Empiie and eveiything else
foi the sake of total victoiy ovei Geimany.
Besides his oppoitunism, Chuichill was noted foi his iemaik-
able ihetoiical skill. Tis talent helped him wield powei ovei men,
but it pointed to a fateful failing as well. Tioughout his life, many
who obseived Chuichill closely noted a peculiai tiait. ln 1v1¯, Loid
Eshei desciibed it in this way·
He handles gieat subjects in ihythmical language, and becomes
quickly enslaved to his own phiases. He deceives himself into
C:+:|::oì:on (New Yoik· Simon & Schustei, zccc), p. ¯!. Chuichill even had admii-
ing woids foi Hitlei, as late as 1v!¯, he wiote· “one may dislike Hitlei’s system
and yet admiie his patiiotic achievement. lf oui countiy weie defeated, l hope
we should find a champion as indomitable to iestoie oui couiage and lead us back
to oui place among the nations.” James, “Chuichill the Politician,” p. 11c. On the
conditions of the lascist takeovei in ltaly, see Ralph Raico, “Mises on lascism and
Demociacy,” }ovrno| o[ L:|erìor:on SìvJ:es, vol. 1z, no. 1 (Spiing 1vve), pp. 1–z¯.
1.
Robin Edmonds, “Chuichill and Stalin,” in C|vrd:||, Blake and Louis, eds.,
p. !ze.

Noiman Rose, C|vrd:|| Te Unrv|, G:onì (New Yoik· liee Piess, 1vv.),
p. !¯c.
1e
J. l. C. lullei, Te SeconJ Vor|J Vor 1^I^–o¯ ASìroìeg:co| onJ Tocì:co| H:sìor,
(London· Eyie and Spouiswoode, 1v¯.), p. z1c.
¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
the belief that he takes bioad views, when his mind is fixed
upon one compaiatively small aspect of the question.

Duiing Woild Wai ll, Robeit Menzies, Piime Ministei of Austialia,
said of Chuichill· “His ieal tyiant is the gliueiing phiase—so auiac-
tive to his mind that awkwaid facts have to give way.”
1c
Anothei
associate wiote· “He is . . . the slave of the woids which his mind
foims about ideas. . . . And he can convince himself of almost eveiy
tiuth if it is once allowed thus to stait on its wild caieei thiough his
ihetoiical machineiy.”
1v
But while Winston had no piinciples, theie +os one constant in
his life· the love of wai. lt began eaily. As a child, he had a huge
collection of toy soldieis, 1¯cc of them, and he played with them
foi many yeais afei most boys tuin to othei things. Tey weie
“all Biitish,” he tells us, and he fought baules with his biothei Jack,
who “was only allowed to have coloied tioops, and they weie not
allowed to have aitilleiy.”
zc
He auended Sandhuist, the militaiy
academy, instead of the univeisities, and “fiom the moment that
Chuichill lef Sandhuist . . . he did his utmost to get into a fight,
wheievei a wai was going on.”
z1
All his life he was most excited—
on the evidence, only ieally excited—by wai. He loved wai as few
modein men evei have
zz
—he even “loved the bangs,” as he called
them, and he was veiy biave undei fiie.
z!

James, “Chuichill the Politician,” p. ¯v. Te same quotation fiomEshei is cited
and endoised by Basil Liddell Hait, “Te Militaiy Stiategist,” in A. J. P. Tayloi,
et al., C|vrd:|| Re+:seJ, p. zz1.
1c
David living, C|vrd:||’s Vor, vol. 1, Te Sìrvgg|e [or Po+er (Bullsbiook, West-
ein Austialia· Veiitas, 1vc¯), p. ¯1¯.
1v
Chailes Masteiman, cited in James, “Chuichill the Politician,” p. ¯1.
zc
Hait, “Te Militaiy Stiategist,” pp. 1¯!–¯..
z1
lbid., p. 1¯..
zz
Chuichill told Asquith’s daughtei in 1v1¯· “l know this wai is smashing and
shaueiing the lives of thousands eveiy moment—and yet—l cannot help it—l
love eveiy second l live.” Michael Howaid, “Chuichill and the liist Woild Wai,”
in C|vrd:||, Blake and Louis, eds., p. 1zv.
z!
ln his last yeais, duiing the Cold Wai, Chuichill made a feeble auempt to
effect a ieconciliation between Russia and the Westein poweis. Te solution to
this puzzling about face lies in the fact that now Chuichill was genuinely scaied.
By then the Soviet Union possessed nucleai weapons, and it was ieckoned that it
would take no moie than seven oi eight H-bombs to ieduce that “iealm of kings,”
that “sceptei’d isle” to a heap of ashes.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯v
ln 1vz¯, Chuichill wiote· “Te stoiy of the human iace is wai.”
z.
Tis, howevei, is untiue, potentially, it is disastiously untiue.
Chuichill lacked any giasp of the fundamentals of the social phi-
losophy of classical libeialism. ln paiticulai, he nevei undeistood
that, as Ludwig von Mises explained, the tiue stoiy of the human
iace is the extension of social coopeiation and the division of laboi.
Peace, not wai, is the fathei of all things.

loi Chuichill, the yeais
without wai offeied nothing to him but “the bland skies of peace
and platitude.” Tis was a man, as we shall see, who wished foi
moie wais than ocìvo||, |o¡¡eneJ.
When he was posted to lndia and began to iead avidly to make
up foi lost time, Chuichill was piofoundly impiessed by Daiwinism.
He lost whatevei ieligious faith he may have had—thiough ieading
Gibbon, he said—and took a paiticulai dislike, foi some ieason, to
the Catholic Chuich, as well as Chiistian missions. He became,
in his own woids, “a mateiialist—to the tips of my fingeis,” and
he feivently upheld the woildview that human life is a stiuggle
foi existence, with the outcome the suivival of the fiuest.
ze
Tis
philosophy of life and histoiy Chuichill expiessed in his one novel,
So+ro|o.

Tat Chuichill was a iacist goes without saying, yet his
iacism went deepei than with most of his contempoiaiies.
zc
lt is
cuiious how, with his staik Daiwinian outlook, his elevation of wai
to the cential place in human histoiy, and his iacism, as well as his
fixation on “gieat leadeis,” Chuichill’s woildview iesembled that of
his antagonist, Hitlei.
zv
z.
Mauiice Ashley, C|vrd:|| os H:sìor:on (New Yoik· Sciibnei’s, 1vec), p. zzc.

Ludwig von Mises, L:|ero|:s» A Soc:oFcono»:c F:¡os:ì:on, Ralph Raico,
tians. (Kansas City· Sheed Andiews and McMeel, [1vz¯] 1vc¯), pp. z!–z¯.
ze
Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. z!, Dietiich Aignei, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| Rv|» vnJ Leg
enJe (Göuingen· Musteischmidt, 1v¯¯), p. !1.

lbid., pp. .c–...
zc
Andiew Robeits, F»:nenì C|vrd:||:ons (New Yoik· Simon and Schustei,
1vv.), pp. z11–1¯. Robeits finds it iionic that, given Chuichill’s views on iace, it
was “he of all Piime Ministeis [who] allowed Biitain to stait to become a multi-
iacial society” thiough Commonwealth immigiation duiing his last “lndian Sum-
mei” administiation, 1v¯1–¯¯.
zv
Tat Chuichill’s iacism could be lethal is demonstiated in the iecent book
by the histoiian Madhusiee Mukeijee, C|vrd:||’s Secreì Vor Te Br:ì:s| F»¡:re
onJ ì|e Ro+:s|:ng o[ InJ:o Jvr:ng Vor|J Vor II (New Yoik· Basic Books, zc1c).
Duiing the 1v.! famine in Bengal, Chuichill iefused to supply the Bengalis with
ec GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
When Chuichill was not actually engaged in wai, he was ie-
poiting on it. He eaily made a ieputation foi himself as a wai
coiiespondent, in Kitchenei’s campaign in the Sudan and in the
Boei Wai. ln Decembei, 1vcc, a dinnei was given at the Waldoif-
Astoiia in honoi of the young jouinalist, iecently ietuined fiom his
well-publicized adventuies in South Afiica. Maik Twain, who intio-
duced him, had alieady, it seems, caught on to Chuichill. ln a biief
satiiical speech, Twain slyly intimated that, with his English fathei
and Ameiican mothei, Chuichill was the peifect iepiesentative of
Anglo-Ameiican cant.
!c
CuUvcuiii ~Nu 1ui “Niv Liniv~iis:”
ln 1vcc Chuichill began the caieei he was evidently fated foi. His
backgiound—the giandson of a duke and son of a famous Toiy
politician—got him into the House of Commons as a Conseivative.
At fiist he seemed to be distinguished only by his iestless ambition,
iemaikable even in pailiamentaiy ianks. But in 1vc., he ciossed
the flooi to the Libeials, supposedly on account of his fiee-tiade
convictions. Howevei, Robeit Rhodes James, one of Chuichill’s
admiieis, wiote· “lt was believed [at the time], piobably iightly,
that if Aithui Balfoui had given him office in 1vcz, Chuichill would
not have developed such a buining inteiest in fiee tiade and joined
the Libeials.” Clive Ponting notes that· “as he had alieady admiued
to Rosebeiy, he was looking foi an excuse to defect fioma paity that
seemed ieluctant to iecognise his talents,” and the Libeials would
not accept a piotectionist.
!1
food, instead shipping wheat fiom Austialia to ltaly and England, countiies not
suffeiing fiom staivation. He even iefused an Ameiican offei to send food to
Bengal in Ameiican ships. Chuichill viewed the Bengalis, and lndians in geneial,
as less than fully human, an opinion shaied by his scientific advisoi, Piofessoi
Lindemann, who advanced “eugenic” and “Malthusian” ieasons foi the policy.
Piobably 1.¯ to z million oi moie Bengalis died in the waitime famine.
!c
Maik Twain, Mor| T+o:n’s Veo¡ons o[ Soì:re Anì:I»¡er:o|:sì Vr:ì:ngs on
ì|e P|:|:¡¡:neA»er:con Vor, Jim Zwick, ed. (Syiacuse, N.Y.· Syiacuse Univeisity
Piess, 1vvz), pp. v–11.
!1
Robeit Rhodes James, “Chuichill the Pailiamentaiian, Oiatoi, and States-
man,” in C|vrd:||, Blake and Louis, eds., p. ¯1c, Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. .v.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL e1
Tossed by the tides of faddish opinion,
!z
with no piinciples of
his own and hungiy foi powei, Chuichill soon became an adheient
of the “New Libeialism,” an updated veision of his fathei’s “Toiy
Demociacy.” Te “new” libeialism diffeied fiom the “old” only in the
small mauei of substituting incessant state activism foi laissez-faiie.
Although his conseivative idolateis seem blithely unawaie of
the fact—foi them it is always 1v.c—Chuichill was one of the chief
pioneeis of the welfaie state in Biitain. Te modein welfaie state,
successoi to the welfaie state of eighteenth-centuiy absolutism, be-
gan in the 1cccs in Geimany, undei Bismaick.
!!
ln England, the
legislative tuining point came when Asquith succeeded Campbell-
Banneiman as Piime Ministei in 1vcc, his ieoiganized cabinet in-
cluded David Lloyd Geoige at the Exchequei and Chuichill at the
Boaid of Tiade.
Of couise, “the electoial dimension of social policy was well to
the foie in Chuichill’s thinking,” wiites a sympathetic histoiian—
meaning that Chuichill undeistood it as the way to win votes.
!.
He
wiote to a fiiend·
No legislation at piesent in view inteiests the demociacy.
All theii minds aie tuining moie and moie to the social
and economic issue. Tis ievolution is iiiesistible. Tey
will not toleiate the existing system by which wealth is
acquiied, shaied and employed. . . . Tey will set theii faces
like flint against the money powei—heii of all othei poweis
and tyiannies oveithiown—and its obvious injustices. And
this theoietical iepulsion will ultimately extend to any paity
associated in maintaining the status quo. . . . Minimum stan-
daids of wages and comfoit, insuiance in some effective foim
oi othei against sickness, unemployment, old age, these aie
the questions and the only questions by which paities aie
going to live in the futuie. Woe to Libeialism, if they slip
thiough its fingeis.

!z
Chuichill at this time even spoke out in favoi of state-enfoiced tempeiance,
an amusing bit of hypociisy in a man whose lifelong love of diink was legendaiy.
!!
On the histoiy of the Geiman welfaie state, absolutist and modein, see
Geid Habeimann, Der Vo||[o|rìssìooì Gesd:dìe e:nes Irr+egs (Beilin· Piopy-
läen, 1vv.).
!.
Addison, “Chuichill and Social Refoim,” p. ec.

Addison, C|vrd:|| on ì|e Ho»e Fronì, 1^hh–1^¯¯, p. ¯v.
ez GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Chuichill “had alieady announced his conveision to a collec-
tivist social policy” befoie his move to the Boaid of Tiade.
!e
His
constant theme became “the just piecedence” of public ovei piivate
inteiests. He took up the fashionable social-engineeiing clichés of
the time, asseiting that “Science, physical and political alike, ievolts
at the disoiganisation which glaies at us in so many aspects of
modein life,” and that “the nation demands the application of diastic
coiiective and cuiative piocesses.” Te state was to acquiie canals
and iailioads, develop ceitain national industiies, piovide vastly
augmented education, intioduce the eight-houi woik day, levy pio-
giessive taxes, and guaiantee a national minimum living standaid.
lt is no wondei that Beatiice Webb noted that Winston was “defi-
nitely casting in his lot with the constiuctive state action.”

lollowing a visit to Geimany, Lloyd Geoige and Chuichill
weie both conveited to the Bismaickian model of social insuiance
schemes.
!c
As Chuichill told his constituents· “My heait was filled
with admiiation of the patient genius which had added these social
bulwaiks to the many gloiies of the Geiman iace.”
!v
He set out, in
his woids, to “thiust a big slice of Bismaickianism ovei the whole
undeiside of oui industiial system.”
.c
ln 1vcc, Chuichill announced
in a speech in Dundee· “l am on the side of those who think that a
gieatei collective sentiment should be intioduced into the State and
the municipalities. l should like to see the State undeitaking new
functions.” Still, individualism must be iespected· “No man can be
a collectivist alone oi an individualist alone. He must be both an
individualist and a collectivist. Te natuie of man is a dual natuie.
Te chaiactei of the oiganisation of human society is dual.”
.1
Tis,
by the way, is a good sample of Chuichill as political philosophei·
!e
lbid, p. ¯1.

W. H. Gieenleaf, Te Br:ì:s| Po|:ì:co| TroJ:ì:on, vol. z, Te IJeo|og:co| Her:ìoge
(London· Methuen, 1vc!), pp. 1¯1–¯..
!c
E. P. Hennock, Br:ì:s| Soc:o| Re[or» onJ Ger»on PreceJenìs Te Cose o[
Soc:o| Insvronce 188h–1^1o (Oxfoid· Claiendon, 1vc¯), pp. 1ec–ev.
!v
Goidon A. Ciaig, “Chuichill and Geimany,” in C|vrd:||, Blake and Louis,
eds., p. z..
.c
E. P. Hennock, “Te Oiigins of Biitish National lnsuiance and the Geiman
Piecedent 1ccc–1v1.,” in Te F»ergence o[ ì|e Ve|[ore Sìoìe :n Br:ìo:n onJ Ger»on,,
W. J. Mommsen and Wolfgang Mock, eds. (London· Cioom Helm, 1vc1), p. cc.
.1
Winston Chuichill, Co»¡|eìe S¡eedes 18^¯–1^oI, vol. 1, 18^¯–1^h8, Robeit
Rhodes James, ed. (New Yoik· Chelsea House, 1v¯.), pp. 1czv–!c, 1c!z.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL e!
it nevei gets much beuei.
But while both “collective oiganisation” and “individual incen-
tive” must be given theii due, Chuichill was ceitain which had
gained the uppei hand·
Te whole tendency of civilisation is, howevei, towaids the
multiplication of the collective functions of society. Te evei-
giowing complications of civilisation cieate foi us new sei-
vices which have to be undeitaken by the State, and cieate
foi us an expansion of existing seivices. . . . Teie is a pieuy
steady deteimination . . . to inteicept all futuie uneained in-
ciement which may aiise fiomthe inciease in the speculative
value of the land. Teie will be an evei-widening aiea of
municipal enteipiise.
Te statist tiend met with Chuichill’s complete appioval. As he
added·
l go faithei, l should like to see the State embaik on vaiious
novel and adventuious expeiiments. . . . l am veiy soiiy we
have not got the iailways of this countiy in oui hands. We
may do something beuei with the canals.
.z
Tis giandson of a duke and gloiifiei of his ancestoi, the aich-
coiiuptionist Mailboiough, was not above pandeiing to lowei-class
iesentments. Chuichill claimed that “the cause of the Libeial Paity
is the cause of the lef-out millions,” while he auacked the Consei-
vatives as “the Paity of the iich against the pooi, the classes and
theii dependents against the masses, of the lucky, the wealthy, the
happy, and the stiong, against the lef-out and the shut-out millions
of the weak and pooi.”
.!
Chuichill became the peifect hustling political entiepieneui, ea-
gei to politicize one aiea of social life afei the othei. He beiated the
Conseivatives foi lacking even a “single plan of social iefoim oi ie-
constiuction,” while boasting that he and his associates intended to
piopose “a wide, compiehensive, inteidependent scheme of social
oiganisation,” incoipoiated in “a massive seiies of legislative pio-
posals and administiative acts.”
..
.z
Winston Chuichill, L:|ero|:s» onJ ì|e Soc:o| Pro||e» (London· Hoddei and
Stoughton, 1vcv), pp. cc–c1.
.!
lbid., pp. ¯c, zze.
..
lbid., p. zz¯.
e. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
At this time, Chuichill fell undei the influence of Beatiice and
Sidney Webb, the leadeis of the labian Society. At one of hei fa-
mous stiategic dinnei paities, Beatiice Webb intioduced Chuichill
to a young piotégé, William—latei Loid—Beveiidge. Chuichill
biought Beveiidge into the Boaid of Tiade as his advisoi on social
questions, thus staiting him on his illustiious caieei.

Besides
pushing foi a vaiiety of social insuiance schemes, Chuichill cieated
the system of national laboi exchanges· he wiote to Piime Ministei
Asquith of the need to “spiead . . . a soit of Geimanized netwoik of
state inteivention and iegulation” ovei the Biitish laboi maiket.
.e
But Chuichill enteitained much moie ambitious goals foi the Boaid
of Tiade. He pioposed a plan wheieby
Te Boaid of Tiade was to act as the “intelligence depait-
ment” of the Goveinment, foiecasting tiade and employment
in the iegions so that the Goveinment could allocate con-
tiacts to the most deseiving aieas. At the summit . . . would
be a Commiuee of National Oiganisation, chaiied by the
Chancelloi of the Exchequei to supeivise the economy.

linally, well awaie of the electoial potential of oiganized laboi,
Chuichill became a champion of the laboi unions. He was a leading
suppoitei, foi instance, of the Tiades Disputes Act of 1vce.
.c
Tis
Act ieveised the Taff Vale and othei judicial decisions, which had
held unions iesponsible foi toits and wiongs commiued on theii
behalf by theii agents. Te Act outiaged the gieat libeial legal
histoiian and theoiist of the iule of law, A. V. Dicey, who chaiged
that it
confeis upon a tiade union a fieedom fiom civil liability foi
the commission of even the most heinous wiong by the union
oi its seivants, and in shoit confeis upon eveiy tiade union
a piivilege and piotection not possessed by any othei pei-
son oi body of peisons, whethei coipoiate oi unincoipoiate,
thioughout the United Kingdom. . . . lt makes a tiade union a
piivileged body exempted fiom the oidinaiy law of the land.

Hennock, Br:ì:s| Soc:o| Re[or», pp. 1¯¯–ec.
.e
lbid., p. 1e1.

Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. c!.
.c
See, foi instance, Chuichill, L:|ero|:s» onJ ì|e Soc:o| Pro||e», pp. ¯.–¯¯.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL e¯
No such piivileged body has evei befoie been delibeiately
cieated by an English Pailiament.
.v
lt is iionic that the immense powei of the Biitish laboi unions,
the |êìe no:re of Maigaiet Tatchei, was biought into being with
the enthusiastic help of hei gieat heio, Winston Chuichill.
Woviu W~v l
ln 1v11, Chuichill became liist Loid of the Admiialty and now was
tiuly in his element. Natuially, he quickly allied himself with the
wai paity, and, duiing the ciises that followed, fanned the flames of
wai. When the final ciisis came, in the summei of 1v1., Chuichill
was the only membei of the cabinet who backed wai fiom the stait,
with all of his accustomed eneigy. Asquith, his own Piime Ministei,
wiote of him· “Winston veiy bellicose and demanding immediate
mobilization. . . . Winston, who has got all his wai paint on, is long-
ing foi a sea fight in the eaily houis of the moining to iesult in the
sinking of the [Geiman waiship] Goe|en. Te whole thing fills me
with sadness.”
¯c
On July z¯, a week befoie the Geiman invasion of Belgium, he
mobilized the Biitish Home lleet, the gieatest assemblage of naval
powei in the histoiy of the woild to that time. As Sidney lay wiote,
Chuichill oideied that·
Te fleet was to pioceed duiing the night at high speed and
without lights thiough the Stiaits of Dovei fiom Poitland to
its fighting base at Scapa llow. leaiing to biing this oidei
befoie the Cabinet, lest it should be consideied a piovocative
action likely to damage the chances of peace, Mi. Chuichill
had only infoimed Mi. Asquith, who at once gave his ap-
pioval.
¯1
No wondei that, when wai with Geimany bioke out, Chuichill, in
.v
A. V. Dicey, Lecìvres on ì|e Re|oì:on Beì+een Lo+ onJ Pv||:c O¡:n:on :n Fng
|onJ Jvr:ng ì|e N:neìeenì| Cenìvr,, znd ed. (London· Macmillan, [1v1.] 1ve!),
pp. xlv–xlvi.
¯c
Heibeit Heniy Asquith, Me»or:es onJ Reflecì:ons 18¯.–1^.¯ (London· Cas-
sell, 1vzc), vol. z, pp. ¯, z1.
¯1
Sidney lay, Or:g:ns o[ ì|e Vor|J Vor, znd iev. ed. (New Yoik· liee Piess,
[1v!c] 1vee), p. .v¯.
ee GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
contiast even to the othei chiefs of the wai paity, was all smiles,
filled with a “glowing zest.”
¯z
liom the outset of hostilities, Chuichill, as head of the Ad-
miialty, was instiumental in establishing the hungei blockade of
Geimany. Tis was piobably the most effective weapon employed
on eithei side in the whole conflict. Te only pioblem was that,
accoiding to eveiyone’s inteipietation of inteinational law except
Biitain’s, it was illegal. Te blockade was not “close-in,” but de-
pended on scaueiing mines, and many of the goods deemed contia-
band—foi instance, food foi civilians—had nevei been so classified
befoie.
¯!
But, thioughout his caieei, inteinational law and the con-
ventions by which men have tiied to limit the hoiiois of wai meant
nothing to Chuichill. As a Geiman histoiian has diyly commented,
Chuichill was ieady to bieak the iules whenevei the veiy existence
of his countiy was at stake, and “foi him this was veiy ofen the
case.”
¯.
Te hungei blockade had some iathei unpleasant consequences.
¯¯
About ¯¯c,ccc Geiman civilians succumbed to hungei and diseases
caused by malnutiition. Te effect on those who suivived was pei-
haps just as fiightful in its own way. A histoiian of the blockade
concluded· “the victimized youth [of Woild Wai l] weie to become
the most iadical adheients of National Socialism.”
¯e
lt was also
complications aiising fiom the Biitish blockade that eventually pio-
vided the pietext foi Wilson’s decision to go to wai in 1v1¯.
Whethei Chuichill actually aiianged foi the sinking of the Lvs:
ìon:o on May ¯, 1v1¯, is still uncleai.
¯¯
A week befoie the disastei,
¯z
Lady Violet Asquith, cited in Hait, “Te Militaiy Stiategist,” p. 1cz.
¯!
C. Paul Vincent, Te Po|:ì:cs o[ Hvnger Te A||:eJ B|oJoJe o[ Ger»on,,
1^1¯–1^1^ (Athens· Ohio Univeisity Piess, 1vc¯). See also Ralph Raico, “Te Pol-
itics of Hungei· A Review,” Re+:e+ o[ Avsìr:on Fcono»:cs ! (1vcc), pp. z¯!–¯v,
iepiinted in this volume undei the title, “Staiving a People into Submission.”
¯.
Aignei, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| (18¯o–1^o¯), pp. e!–e..
¯¯
ln Woild Wai ll Aithui (“Bombei”) Haiiis defended the massacie fiomthe aii
of Geiman civilians he diiected by invoking the hungei blockade of the Gieat Wai.
Qoted in A. C. Giayling, A»ong ì|e DeoJ C:ì:es Te H:sìor, onJ Moro| Legoc, o[
ì|e VVII Bo»|:ng o[ C:+:|:ons :n Ger»on, onJ }o¡on (New Yoik· Walkei, zcce),
p. z.¯.
¯e
Vincent, Po|:ì:cs o[ Hvnger, p. 1ez. loi fuithei details on the point see the
ieview of Vincent’s book in the piesent volume.
¯¯
See Colin Simpson, Te Lvs:ìon:o (London· Penguin, [1v¯z] 1vc!), who
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL e¯
he wiote to Waltei Runciman, piesident of the Boaid of Tiade that it
was “most impoitant to auiact neutial shipping to oui shoies, in the
hopes especially of embioiling the United States with Geimany.”
¯c
Many highly-placed peisons in Biitain and Ameiica believed that
the Geiman sinking of the Lvs:ìon:o would biing the United States
into the wai.
Te most iecent student of the subject is Patiick Beesly, whose
Roo» oh is a histoiy of Biitish Naval lntelligence in Woild Wai l.
Beesly’s caieful account is all the moie peisuasive foi going against
the giain of his own sentiments. He points out that the Biitish
Admiialty was awaie that Geiman U-boat Command had infoimed
U-boat captains at sea of the sailings of the Lvs:ìon:o, and that the
U-boat iesponsible foi the sinking of two ships in iecent days was
piesent in the vicinity of Qeenstown, off the south coast of lieland,
in the path the Lvs:ìon:o was scheduled to take. Teie is no suiviv-
ing iecoid of any specific waining to the Lvs:ìon:o. No destioyei
escoit was sent to accompany the ship to poit, noi weie any of the
ieadily available destioyeis instiucted to hunt foi the submaiine. ln
fact, “no effective steps weie taken to piotect the Lvs:ìon:o.” Beesly
concludes·
unless and until fiesh infoimation comes to light, l am ieluc-
tantly diiven to the conclusion that theie was a conspiiacy
delibeiately to put the Lvs:ìon:o at iisk in the hope that even
an aboitive auack on hei would biing the United States into
the wai. Such a conspiiacy could not have been put into
effect without Winston Chuichill’s expiess peimission and
appioval.
¯v
ln any case, what is ceitain is that Chuichill’s policies made the sink-
ing veiy likely. Te Lvs:ìon:o was a passengei linei loaded with muni-
tions of wai, Chuichill had given oideis to the captains of meichant
ships, including lineis, to iam Geiman submaiines if they encoun-
teied them and the Geimans weie awaie of this. And, as Chuichill
piesents the case foi Chuichill’s guilt, and Tomas A. Bailey and Paul B. Ryan,
Te Lvs:ìon:o D:sosìer An F¡:soJe :n MoJern Vor[ore onJ D:¡|o»oc, (New Yoik·
liee Piess, 1v¯¯), who auempt to exculpate him. See also Hitchens, B|ooJ, C|oss,
onJ Nosìo|g:o, pp. 1cv–vc.
¯c
Patiick Beesly, Roo» oh Br:ì:s| No+o| Inìe||:gence 1^1o–18 (San Diego· Hai-
couit, Biace, Jovanovich, 1vcz), p. vc.
¯v
lbid., p. 1zz.
ec GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
stiessed in his memoiis of Woild Wai l, embioiling neutial countiies
in hostilities with the enemy was a ciucial pait of waifaie· “Teie aie
many kinds of maneuvies in wai, some only of which take place on
the baulefield. . . . Te maneuvie which biings an ally into the field is
as seiviceable as that which wins a gieat baule.”
ec
ln the midst of bloody conflict, Chuichill was eneigy peison-
ified, the souice of one biainstoim afei anothei. Sometimes his
hunches woiked out well —he was the chief piomotei of the tank in
Woild Wai l —sometimes not so well, as at Gallipoli. Te notoiiety
of that disastei, which blackened his name foi yeais, caused him
to be tempoiaiily diopped fiom the Cabinet in 1v1¯.
e1
His ieaction
was typical· To one visitoi, he said, pointing to the maps on the
wall· “Tis is what l live foi. . . . Yes, l am finished in iespect of all l
caie foi—the waging of wai, the defeat of the Geimans.”
ez
Bi1viiN 1ui W~vs
loi the next few yeais, Chuichill was shuuled fiom one ministeiial
post to anothei. As ministei foi Wai—of Chuichill in this posi-
tion one may say what the ievisionist histoiian Chailes Tansill said
of Heniy Stimson as Secietaiy of Wai· no one evei deseived the
title moie—Chuichill piomoted a ciusade to ciush Bolshevism in
Russia.
e!
As Colonial Secietaiy, he was ieady to involve Biitain in
ec
Winston Chuichill, Te Vor|J Cr:s:s (New Yoik· Sciibnei’s, 1v!1), p. !cc.
e1
On the Daidanelles campaign, cf. Tayloi, “Te Statesman,” pp. z1–zz· “Once
Chuichill took up the idea, he exaggeiated both the ease with which it could
be caiiied thiough and the iewaids it would biing. Teie was no enquiiy into
the means available. Chuichill meiely assumed that bauleships could foice the
Stiaits unaided. When this failed, he assumed that theie was a poweiful aimy
available foi Gallipoli and assumed also that this inhospitable peninsula pie-
sented no foimidable militaiy obstacles. Beyond this, he assumed also that the
fall of Constantinople would inflict a moital blow on Geimany. All these assump-
tions weie wiong.”
ez
Hughes, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| Br:ì:s| Bv||Jog, p. ¯c.
e!
While Chuichill opposed Biitish occupation of liaq except foi Basia and the
south, he was unbending against liaqi insuigents who objected to the invasion
of theii countiy. “Te fiist to use aiiciaf, machine guns, and bombs to put down
uniuly liaqis weie the Biitish, in 1vzc, when Winston Chuichill was Biitish Sec-
ietaiy of State foi Wai.” He also suggested that the use of mustaid gas should be
exploied, in his woids, “which would inflict punishment on iecalcitiant natives
without inflicting giave injuiy upon them.” Baiiy M. Lando, Ve| o[ Dece:ì (New
Yoik· Othei Piess, zcc¯), pp. !, 1z.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ev
wai with Tuikey ovei the Chanak incident, but the Biitish envoy to
Tuikey did not delivei Chuichill’s ultimatum, and in the end coolei
heads pievailed.
e.
ln 1vz., Chuichill iejoined the Conseivatives and was made
Chancelloi of the Exchequei. His fathei, in the same office, was
noted foi having been puzzled by the decimals· what weie “those
damned dots”` Winston’s most famous act was to ietuin Biitain
to the gold standaid at the uniealistic pie-wai paiity, thus seveiely
damaging the expoit tiade and iuining the good name of gold, as
Muiiay N. Rothbaid pointed out.

Haidly anyone today would dis-
agiee with the judgment of A. J. P. Tayloi· Chuichill “did not giasp
the economic aiguments one way oi the othei. What deteimined
him was again a devotion to Biitish gieatness. Te pound would
once moie ‘look the dollai in the face’, the days of Qeen Victoiia
would be iestoied.”
ee
So fai Chuichill had been engaged in politics foi !c yeais, with
not much to show foi it except a ceitain notoiiety. His gieat claim
to fame in the modein mythology begins with his haid line against
Hitlei in the 1v!cs. But it is impoitant to iealize that Chuichill had
maintained a haid line against Weimai Geimany, as well. He de-
nounced all calls foi Allied disaimament, even befoie Hitlei came to
powei.

Like othei Allied leadeis, Chuichill was living a piotiacted
fantasy· that Geimany would submit foievei to what it viewed
as the shackles of Veisailles. ln the end, what Biitain and liance
iefused to giant to a demociatic Geimany they weie foiced to con-
cede to Hitlei. Moieovei, if most did not bothei to listen when
Chuichill fulminated on the impending Geiman thieat, they had
good ieason. He had tiied to whip up hysteiia too ofen befoie·
foi a ciusade against Bolshevik Russia, duiing the Geneial Stiike
of 1vze, on the moital dangeis of lndian independence, in the ioyal
abdication ciisis. Why pay any heed to his latest delusion`
ec
e.
James, “Chuichill the Politician,” p. v!

Muiiay N. Rothbaid, A»er:co’s Greoì De¡ress:on (Piinceton, N.J.· Van Nos-
tiand, 1ve!), pp. 1!1–!¯.
ee
Tayloi, “Te Statesman,” p. z¯.

Aignei, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| (18¯o–1^o¯), pp. 1cc–c!. ln connection with the
Geneva disaimament confeience 1v!1–!z, Chuichill expiessed the same anti-
Geiman position as latei· Geimany would iise again. Aignei sees this as stem-
ming fiom Chuichill’s Social Daiwinist philosophy.
ec
Goionwy Rees, “Chuichill in dei Revision,” Der Monoì, Ni. zc¯ (lall 1ve¯),
p. 1z.
¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Chuichill had been a stiong Zionist piactically fiom the stait,
holding that Zionismwould deflect Euiopean Jews fiomsocial ievo-
lution to paitneiship with Euiopean impeiialismin the Aiab woild.
ev
Now, in 1v!e, he foiged links with the infoimal London piessuie
gioup known as Te locus, whose puipose was to open the eyes of
the Biitish public to the one gieat menace, Nazi Geimany. “Te
gieat bulk of its finance came fiom Jewish businessmen such as
Sii Robeit Mond (a diiectoi of seveial chemical fiims) and Sii Robeit
Waley-Cohn, the managing diiectoi of Shell, the lauei contiibuting
i¯c,ccc.” Te locus was to be useful in expanding Chuichill’s net-
woik of contacts and in pushing foi his entiy into the Cabinet.
¯c
Tough a Conseivative MP, Chuichill began beiating the Con-
seivative goveinments, fiist Baldwin’s and then Chambeilain’s, foi
theii alleged blindness to the Nazi thieat. He exaggeiated the ex-
tent of Geiman ieaimament, foimidable as it was, and distoited
its puipose by haiping on Geiman pioduction of heavy bombeis.
Tis was nevei a Geiman piioiity, and Chuichill’s fabiications weie
meant to demonstiate a Geiman design to auack Biitain, which
was nevei Hitlei’s intention until afei the wai began. At this time,
Chuichill busily piomoted the Giand Alliance
¯1
that was to include
ev
E.g., in Chuichill’s essay of lebiuaiy, 1vz1, “Zionism vs. Bolshevism”, see
Aignei, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| (18¯o–1^o¯), p. ¯v. See also Oskai K. Rabinowicz, V:n
sìon C|vrd:|| on }e+:s| Pro||e»s A Ho|[ Cenìvr, Svr+e,, published by the Woild
Jewish Congiess, Biitish Section (London· Lincolns–Piagei, 1v¯e), and N. A. Rose,
Te Genì:|e Z:on:sìs A SìvJ, :n Ang|oZ:on:sì D:¡|o»oc,, 1^.^–1^I^ (London·
Cass, 1v¯!). Eaily on, Chuichill had shaied the view cuiient among many iight-
wingeis of the time, of Bolshevism as a “Jewish” phenomenon· he iefeiied to the
Red leadeis as “these Semitic conspiiatois” and “Jew Commissais.” Noiman Rose,
C|vrd:|| Te Unrv|, G:onì, p. 1cc.
¯c
John Chaimley, C|o»|er|o:n onJ ì|e Losì Peoce (London· Hoddei and
Stoughton, 1vcv), p. ¯¯. Te gioup’s full name was the locus foi the Defence of
lieedomand Peace. loi a histoiy, see Eugen Spiei, Focvs. AFooìnoìe ìo ì|e H:sìor,
o[ ì|e T:rì:es (London· Oswald Wolff, 1ve!). ln Maich, 1v!¯, afei a luncheon
meeting with Chuichill, Spiei came to the conclusion that “destiny had maiked
him out to become the destioyei of Hitleiism.” (lbid., p. 11z) On Te locus as well
as othei factois influencing Biitish public opinion in iegaid to Geimany in the
1v!cs, see Dietiich Aignei, Dos R:ngen v» Fng|onJ. Dos Jevìsd|r:ì:sde Ver|o|ì
n:s. D:e offenì|:de Me:nvng 1^II–1^I^, TrogoJ:e :+e:er Vo||er (Munich/Esslingen·
Bechtle, 1vev).
¯1
Aignei, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| (18¯o–1^o¯), p. 1c¯–ce, see also living, C|vrd:||’s
Vor, pp. !c–.c, ..–.¯, ¯c–¯v.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯1
Biitain, liance, Russia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Since the Poles,
having neaily been conqueied by the Red Aimy in 1vzc, iejected
any coalition with the Soviet Union, and since the Soviets’ only
access to Geimany (except foi East Piussia) was thiough Poland,
Chuichill’s plan was woithless.
lionically—consideiing that it was a pillai of his futuie fame—
his diumbeating about the Geiman dangei was yet anothei position
Chuichill ieneged on. ln the fall of 1v!¯, he stated·
Tiee oi foui yeais ago l was myself a loud alaimist. . . . ln
spite of the iisks which wait on piophecy, l declaie my belief
that a majoi wai is not imminent, and l still believe that
theie is a good chance of no majoi wai taking place in oui
lifetime. . . . l will not pietend that, if l had to choose between
Communism and Nazism, l would choose Communism.
¯z
loi all the claptiap about Chuichill’s “faisightedness” duiing
the ’!cs in opposing the “appeaseis,” in the end the policy of the
Chambeilain goveinment—to ieaim as quickly as possible, while
testing the chances foi peace with Geimany—was moie iealistic
than Chuichill’s.
Te common mythology is so fai fiom histoiical tiuth that even
an aident Chuichill sympathizei, Goidon Ciaig, feels obliged to
wiite·
Te time is long past when it was possible to see the pio-
tiacted debate ovei Biitish foieign policy in the 1v!cs as
a stiuggle between Chuichill, an angel of light, fighting
against the velleities of uncompiehending and feeble men in
high places. lt is ieasonably well-known today that Chuichill
was ofen ill-infoimed, that his claims about Geiman stiength
weie exaggeiated and his piesciiptions impiactical, that his
emphasis on aii powei was misplaced.
¯!
Moieovei, as a Biitish histoiian has iecently noted· “loi the
iecoid, it is woith iecalling that in the 1v!cs Chuichill did not op-
pose the appeasement of eithei ltaly oi Japan.”
¯.
lt is also woith
¯z
Hait, “Te Militaiy Stiategist,” p. zc..
¯!
Ciaig, “Chuichill and Geimany,” p. !¯.
¯.
Donald Cameion Wau, “Chuichill and Appeasement,” in C|vrd:||, Blake and
Louis, eds., p. z1..
¯z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
iecalling that it was the pie-Chuichill Biitish goveinments that fui-
nished the mateiiel with which Chuichill was able to win the Baule
of Biitain. Clive Ponting has obseived·
the Baldwin and Chambeilain Goveinments . . . had ensuied
that Biitain was the fiist countiy in the woild to deploy a
fully integiated system of aii defence based on iadai detec-
tion of incoming aiiciaf and giound contiol of fighteis . . .
Chuichill’s contiibution had been to poui scoin on iadai
when he was in opposition in the 1v!cs.
¯¯
E:nvoiiiNc A:ivic~ iN Woviu W~v—Ac~iN
ln Septembei, 1v!v, Biitain went to wai with Geimany, puisuant to
the guaiantee which Chambeilain had been panicked into extend-
ing to Poland in Maich. Lloyd Geoige had teimed the guaiantee
“haie-biained,” while Chuichill had suppoited it. Nonetheless, in
his histoiy of the wai Chuichill wiote· “Heie was decision at last,
taken at the woist possible moment and on the least satisfactoiy
giound which must suiely lead to the slaughtei of tens of millions
of people.”
¯e
With the wai on, Winston was iecalled to his old job
as liist Loid of the Admiialty.
Ten, in the fiist month of the wai, an astonishing thing hap-
pened· the Piesident of the United States initiated a peisonal coi-
iespondence not with the Piime Ministei of Gieat Biitain, but with
the head of the Biitish Admiialty, bypassing all the noimal diplo-
matic channels.
¯¯
Te messages that passed between the Piesident and the liist
Loid weie suiiounded by a fiantic seciecy, culminating in the af-
faii of Tylei Kent, the Ameiican ciphei cleik at the U.S. London
embassy who was tiied and impiisoned by the Biitish authoiities.
¯¯
Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. .e..
¯e
Winston Chuichill, Te Goì|er:ng Sìor», vol. 1, Te SeconJ Vor|J Vor
(Boston· Houghton Mifflin, 1v.c), p. !.¯. Chuichill commented that the guaian-
tee was extended to a Poland “which with hyena appetite had only six months
befoie joined in the pillage and destiuction of the Czechoslovak State.” He was
iefeiiing to the annexation of the Teschen distiict, by which Poland ieclaimed
the ethnically Polish aieas of the fabiication Chuichill was pleased to dignify as
“the Czechoslovak State.”
¯¯
living, C|vrd:||’s Vor, pp. 1v!–ve.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯!
Te pioblem was that some of the messages contained allusions to
Roosevelt’s agieement—even befoie the wai began—to a blatantly
unneutial coopeiation with a belligeient Biitain.
¯c
On June 1c, 1v!v, Geoige Vl and his wife, Qeen Elizabeth, vis-
ited the Roosevelts at Hyde Paik. ln piivate conveisations with the
King, Roosevelt piomised full suppoit foi Biitain in case of wai.
He intended to set up a zone in the Atlantic to be patiolled by the
U.S. Navy, and, accoiding to the King’s notes, the Piesident stated
that “if he saw a U boat he would sink hei at once & wait foi the
consequences.” Te biogiaphei of Geoige Vl, Wheelei-Benneu, con-
sideied that these conveisations “contained the geim of the futuie
Bases-foi-Destioyeis deal, and also of the Lend-Lease Agieement
itself.”
¯v
ln communicating with the liist Loid of the Admiialty,
Roosevelt was awaie that he was in touch with the one membei of
Chambeilain’s cabinet whose belligeience matched his own.
ln 1v.c Chuichill at last became Piime Ministei, iionically enough
when the Chambeilain goveinment iesigned because of the Noiwe-
gian fiasco—which Chuichill, moie than anyone else, had helped to
biing about.
cc
As he had fought against a negotiated peace afei the
fall of Poland, so he continued to iesist any suggestion of negotiations
with Hitlei. Many of the ielevant documents aie still sealed—afei
all these yeais
c1
—but it is cleai that a stiong peace paity existed
in the countiy and the goveinment. lt included Lloyd Geoige in
the House of Commons, and Halifax, the loieign Secietaiy, in the
Cabinet. Even afei the fall of liance, Chuichill iefused even to
considei Hitlei’s ienewed peace oveituies, whethei sinceie oi not.
Tis, moie than anything else, is supposed to be the foundation of
his gieatness. Te Biitish histoiian John Chaimley iaised a stoim
¯c
James Leutze, “Te Seciet of the Chuichill–Roosevelt Coiiespondence·
Septembei 1v!v–May 1v.c,” }ovrno| o[ Conìe»¡oror, H:sìor, 1c, no. ! (July 1v¯¯),
pp. .e¯–v1, Leutze concludes that this was the ieal ieason the two goveinments
colluded to silence Tylei Kent.
¯v
John W. Wheelei-Benneu, K:ng George VI H:s L:[e onJ Re:gn (New Yoik·
St. Maitin’s, 1v¯c), pp. !vc–vz. Wheelei-Benneu added· “On his ietuin to London
the King communicated the essence of his talks with the Piesident to the piopei
quaiteis, and so gieatly did he esteem theii impoitance that he caiiied the oiigi-
nal manusciipt of his notes about him in his dispatch case thioughout the wai.”
cc
Hait, “Te Militaiy Stiategist,” p. zcc.
c1
John Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or, (London· Hoddei and Stoughton,
1vv!), p .z!.
¯. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
of outiaged piotest when he suggested that a negotiated peace in
1v.c might have been to the advantage of Biitain and Euiope.
cz
A Yale histoiian, wiiting in the Ne+ Yor| T:»es Boo| Re+:e+, ie-
feiied to Chaimley’s thesis as “moially sickening.”
c!
Yet Chaimley’s
scholaily and detailed woik makes the ciucial point that Chuichill’s
obduiate iefusal even to listen to peace teims in 1v.c doomed what
he claimed was deaiest to him—the Empiie and a Biitain that was
non-socialist and independent in woild affaiis. One may add that
it may also have doomed Euiopean Jewiy.
c.
lt is amazing that half
a centuiy afei the fact, theie aie ciitical theses conceining Woild
Wai ll that aie off-limits to histoiical debate.
Lloyd Geoige, Halifax, and the otheis weie open to a compiomise
peace because they undeistood that Biitain and the Dominions alone
could not defeat Geimany.

Afei the fall of liance, Chuichill’s aim
of total victoiy could be iealized only undei one condition· that the
United States become embioiled in anothei woild wai. No wondei
that Chuichill put his heait and soul into ensuiing piecisely that.
Afei a talk with Chuichill, Joseph Kennedy, Ameiican ambas-
sadoi to Biitain, noted· “Eveiy houi will be spent by the Biitish
in tiying to figuie out how we can be gouen in.” When he lef
fiom Lisbon on a ship to New Yoik, Kennedy pleaded with the State
Depaitment to announce that if the ship should happen to blow up
mysteiiously in the mid-Atlantic, the United States would not con-
sidei it a cause foi wai with Geimany. ln his unpublished memoiis,
Kennedy wiote· “l thought that would give me some piotection
against Chuichill’s placing a bomb on the ship.”
ce
cz
See also Chaimley’s ieview of Clive Ponting’s woik, in the T:»es L:ìeror,
Sv¡¡|e»enì, May 1!, 1vv., p. c.
c!
Gaddis Smith, “Whose linest Houi`” Ne+Yor| T:»es Boo| Re+:e+, August zv,
1vv!, p. !.
c.
On Maich z¯, 1v.z, Goebbels commented in his diaiy on the destiuction of
the Euiopean Jews, which was then undeiway· “Heie, too, the lühiei is the undis-
mayed champion of a iadical solution necessitated by conditions and theiefoie
inexoiable. loitunately, a whole seiies of possibilities piesents itself foi us in
waitime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to piofit by this.”
Te Goe||e|s D:or:es, 1^o.–1^oI, Louis P. Lochnei, ed. and tians. (Gaiden City,
N.Y.· Doubleday, 1v.c), p. 1.c.

Paul Addison, “Lloyd Geoige and Compiomise Peace in the Second Woild
Wai,” in L|o,J George T+e|+e Fsso,s, A. J. P. Tayloi, ed. (New Yoik· Atheneum,
1v¯1), pp. !¯v–c..
ce
living, C|vrd:||’s Vor, pp. 1v!, zc¯.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯¯
Kennedy’s feais weie peihaps not exaggeiated. loi, while it
had been impoitant foi Biitish policy in Woild Wai l, involving
Ameiica was the s:ne qvo non of Chuichill’s policy in Woild Wai ll.
ln lianklin Roosevelt, he found a ieady accomplice.
Tat Roosevelt, thiough his actions and piivate woids, evinced a
cleai design foi wai befoie Decembei ¯, 1v.1, has nevei ieally been
in dispute. Aiguments have iaged ovei such questions as his pos-
sible foieknowledge of the Peail Haiboi auack. ln 1v.c, Tomas A.
Bailey, diplomatic histoiian at Stanfoid, alieady put the ieal pio-
Roosevelt case·
lianklin Roosevelt iepeatedly deceived the Ameiican peo-
ple duiing the peiiod befoie Peail Haiboi. . . . He was like a
physician who must tell the patient lies foi the patient’s own
good. . . . Te countiy was oveiwhelmingly noninteivention-
ist to the veiy day of Peail Haiboi, and an oveit auempt
to lead the people into wai would have iesulted in ceitain
failuie and an almost ceitain ousting of Roosevelt in 1v.c,
with a complete defeat of his ultimate aims.

Chuichill himself nevei botheied to conceal Roosevelt’s iole as
co-conspiiatoi. ln Januaiy, 1v.1, Haiiy Hopkins visited London.
Chuichill desciibed him as “the most faithful and peifect channel
of communication between the Piesident and me . . . the main piop
and animatoi of Roosevelt himsell”·
l soon compiehended [Hopkins’s] peisonal dynamism and
the outstanding impoitance of his mission . . . heie was an
envoy fiom the Piesident of supieme impoitance to oui life.

Tomas A. Bailey, Te Mon :n ì|e Sìreeì Te I»¡ocì o[ A»er:con Pv||:c
O¡:n:on on Fore:gn Po|:c, (New Yoik· Macmillan, 1v.c), p. 1!. A iecent wiitei
has commented on Bailey’s position· “ln ieality, when Roosevelt and othei pies-
idents lied, they did it foi theii own good, oi what they believed to be theii own
good. But they weie ofen mistaken because they have tended to be at least as
shoitsighted as the masses. . . . Roosevelt’s destioyei deal maiked a wateished in
the use and abuse of piesidential powei, foieshadowing a seiies of dangeious and
ofen disastious adventuies abioad.” Robeit Shogan, HorJ Borgo:n (New Yoik·
Sciibnei’s, 1vv¯), pp. z¯1, z¯c. Te classical ievisionist case on Roosevelt’s wai
policy was piesented in Chailes A. Beaid, Pres:Jenì Roose+e|ì onJ ì|e Co»:ng o[
Vor 1^o1 (New Haven, Conn.· Yale Univeisity Piess, 1v.c), and Per¡eìvo| Vor [or
Per¡eìvo| Peoce, Haiiy Elmei Baines, ed. (Caldwell, ldaho· Caxton, 1v¯!), among
othei woiks.
¯e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
With gleaming eye and quiet, constiained passion he said·
“Te Piesident is deteimined that we shall win the wai to-
gethei. Make no mistake about it. He has sent me heie to
tell you that at all costs and by all means he will caiiy you
thiough, no mauei what happens to him—theie is nothing
that he will not do so fai as he has human powei.” Teie
he sat, slim, fiail, ill, but absolutely glowing with iefined
compiehension of the Cause. lt was to be the defeat, iuin,
and slaughtei of Hitlei, to the exclusion of all othei puiposes,
loyalties and aims.
cc
ln 1v¯e, the public finally leained the stoiy of William Stephen-
son, the Biitish agent code named “lntiepid,” sent by Chuichill
to the United States in 1v.c.
cv
Stephenson set up headquaiteis
in Rockefellei Centei, with oideis to use any means necessaiy to
biing the United States into the wai. With the full knowledge and
coopeiation of Roosevelt and the collaboiation of fedeial agencies,
Stephenson and his !cc oi so agents “inteicepted mail, tapped wiies,
ciacked safes, kidnapped, . . . iumoi mongeied” and incessantly
smeaied theii favoiite taigets, the “isolationists.” Tiough Stephen-
son, Chuichill was viitually in contiol of William Donovan’s oiga-
nization, the embiyonic U.S. intelligence seivice.
vc
Chuichill even had a hand in the baiiage of pio-Biitish, anti-
Geiman piopaganda that issued fiomHollywood in the yeais befoie
the United States enteied the wai. Goie Vidal, in Screen:ng H:sìor,,
peiceptively notes that staiting aiound 1v!¯, Ameiicans weie sub-
jected to one film afei anothei gloiifying England and the waiiioi
heioes who built the Empiie. As spectatois of these pioductions,
Vidal says· “We seived neithei Lincoln noi Jeffeison Davis, we
seived the Ciown.”
v1
A key Hollywood figuie in geneiating the
movies that “weie making us all weiidly English” was the Hungai-
ian émigié and fiiend of Chuichill, Alexandei Koida.
vz
Vidal veiy
aptly wiites·
cc
Winston S. Chuichill, Te GronJ A||:once, vol. !, Te SeconJ Vor|J Vor
(Boston· Houghton Mifflin, 1v¯c), pp. z!–z..
cv
William Stevenson, A Mon Co||eJ Inìre¡:J (New Yoik· Haicouit Biace Jo-
vanovich, 1v¯e).
vc
living, C|vrd:||’s Vor, pp. ¯z.–z¯.
v1
Goie Vidal, Screen:ng H:sìor, (Cambiidge, Mass.· Haivaid Univeisity Piess,
1vvz), p. .c.
vz
lbid., p. .¯.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯¯
loi those who find disagieeable today’s Zionist piopaganda,
l can only say that gallant liule lsiael of today must have
leained a gieat deal fiom the gallant liule Englandeis of the
1v!cs. Te English kept up a piopaganda baiiage that was to
peimeate oui entiie cultuie. . . . Hollywood was subtly and
not so subtly infiltiated by Biitish piopagandists.
v!
While the Ameiicans weie being woiked on, the two confed-
eiates consulted on how to aiiange foi diiect hostilities between
the United States and Geimany. ln August, 1v.1, Roosevelt and
Chuichill met at the Atlantic confeience. Heie they pioduced the
Atlantic Chaitei, with its “loui lieedoms,” including “the fieedom
fiom want”—a blank check to spiead Anglo-Ameiican So::o|¡o|:ì:|
aiound the globe. When Chuichill ietuined to London, he infoimed
the Cabinet of what had been agieed to. Tiity yeais latei, the
Biitish documents weie ieleased. Heie is how the Ne+ Yor| T:»es
iepoited the ievelations·
loimeily top seciet Biitish Goveinment papeis made public
today said that Piesident lianklin D. Roosevelt told Piime
Ministei Winston Chuichill in August, 1v.1, that he was
looking foi an incident to justify opening hostilities against
Nazi Geimany. . . . On August 1v Chuichill iepoited to the
Wai Cabinet in London on othei aspects of the Newfound-
land [Atlantic Chaitei] meeting that weie not made pub-
lic. . . .” He [Roosevelt] obviously was deteimined that they
should come in. lf he weie to put the issue of peace and wai
to Congiess, they would debate it foi months,” the Cabinet
minutes added. “Te Piesident had said he would wage wai
but not declaie it and that he would become moie and moie
piovocative. lf the Geimans did not like it, they could auack
Ameiican foices. . . . Eveiything was to be done to foice an
incident.”
v.
On July 1¯, 1v.1, Admiial Liule, of the Biitish naval delegation
in Washington, wiote to Admiial Pound, the liist Sea Loid· “the
biightest hope foi geuing Ameiica into the wai lies in the escoiting
aiiangements to lceland, and let us hope the Geimans will not be
slow in auacking them.” Liule added, peihaps jokingly· “Otheiwise
v!
lbid., p. !!.
v.
“Wai-Entiy Plans Laid to Roosevelt,” Ne+ Yor| T:»es, Januaiy z, 1v¯z.
¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
l think it would be best foi us to oiganise an auack by oui own
submaiines and piefeiably on the escoit'” A few weeks eailiei,
Chuichill, looking foi a chance to biing Ameiica into the wai, wiote
to Pound iegaiding the Geiman waiship, Pr:n: Fvgen· “lt would be
beuei foi instance that she should be located by a US ship as this
might tempt hei to fiie on that ship, thus pioviding the incident
foi which the US goveinment would be so giateful.”

lncidents
in the Noith Atlantic did occui, incieasingly, as the United States
appioached wai with Geimany.
ve
But Chuichill did not neglect “the back dooi to wai”—embioiling
the United States with Japan—as a way of biinging Ameiica into the
conflict with Hitlei. Sii Robeit Ciaigie, the Biitish ambassadoi to
Tokyo, like the Ameiican ambassadoi Joseph Giew, was woiking
feveiishly to avoid wai. Chuichill diiected his foieign secietaiy,
Anthony Eden, to whip Ciaigie into line·
He should suiely be told foithwith that the entiy of the
United States into wai eithei with Geimany and ltaly oi
with Japan, is fully confoimable with Biitish inteiests. Noth-
ing in the munitions spheie can compaie with the impoi-
tance of the Biitish Empiie and the United States being co-
belligeient.

Chuichill thiew his influence into the balance to haiden Ameii-
can policy towaids Japan, especially in the last days befoie the Peail
Haiboi auack.
vc
A sympathetic ciitic of Chuichill, Richaid Lamb,
has wiiuen·
Was [Chuichill] justified in tiying to piovoke Japan to at-
tack the United States` . . . in 1v.1 Biitain had no piospect
of defeating Geimany without the aid of the USA as an ac-
tive ally. Chuichill believed Congiess would nevei authoiize
Roosevelt to declaie wai on Geimany. . . . ln wai, decisions
by national leadeis must be made accoiding to theii effect
on the wai effoit. Teie is tiuth in the old adage· “All’s faii
in love and wai.”
vv

Beesly, Roo» oh, p. 1z1 n. 1.
ve
See, foi instance, William Heniy Chambeilin, A»er:co’s SeconJ CrvsoJe
(Chicago· Heniy Regneiy, 1v¯c), pp. 1z.–.¯.

Richaid Lamb, C|vrd:|| os Vor LeoJer (New Yoik· Caiioll and Giaf, 1vv1),
p. 1.v.
vc
lbid., pp. 1.¯–ez.
vv
lbid., p. 1ez.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL ¯v
No wondei that, in the House of Commons, on lebiuaiy 1¯, 1v.z,
Chuichill declaied, of Ameiica’s entiy into the wai· “Tis is what
l have dieamed of, aimed at, woiked foi, and now it has come to
pass.”
1cc
Chuichill’s devotees by no means hold his iole in biinging Amei-
ica into Woild Wai ll against him. On the contiaiy, they count it
in his favoi. Piofessoi Haiiy Jaffa, in his uninfoimed and fiantic
apology, seems to be the last peison alive who iefuses to believe
that the Man of Many Centuiies was iesponsible to any degiee foi
Ameiica’s entiy into the wai· afei all, wasn’t it the Japanese who
bombed Peail Haiboi`
1c1
But what of the Ameiican Republic` What does it mean foi us
that a Piesident collaboiated with a foieign head of goveinment
to entangle us in a woild wai` Te question would have maueied
liule to Chuichill. He had no concein with the United States as a
soveieign, independent nation, with its own chaiactei and place in
the scheme of things. loi him, Ameiicans weie one of “the English-
speaking peoples.” He looked foiwaid to a common citizenship foi
Biitons and Ameiicans, a “mixing togethei,” on the ioad to Anglo-
Ameiican woild hegemony.
1cz
But the Chuichill–Roosevelt intiigue should, one might think,
mauei to Ameiicans. Heie, howevei, ciiticism is halted befoie it
1cc
Chambeilin, A»er:co’s SeconJ CrvsoJe, p. 1¯¯. On Chuichill’s use of the
“backdooi to wai” foi the United States, see John Costello, Do,s o[ In[o»,.
MocArì|vr, Roose+e|ì, C|vrd:|| —Te S|oJ:ng Trvì| Re+eo|eJ (New Yoik· Pocket
Books, 1vv.). On the question of Peail Haiboi, it is inteiesting to note that even as
“mainstieam” a histoiian as Waiien l. Kimball, editoi of the Chuichill–Roosevelt
coiiespondence, wiites· “Doubts have not yet been laid to iest conceining still-
closed Biitish intelligence files about the Japanese auack on Peail Haiboi· in-
foimation that Chuichill may have chosen not to pass on to the Ameiicans in
the hope that such an auack would diaw the United States into wai.” See also
Waiien l. Kimball, “Wheel Within a Wheel· Chuichill, Roosevelt, and the Spe-
cial Relationship,” in C|vrd:||, Blake and Louis, eds., p. zvc, wheie Kimball cites
James Rusbiidgei and Eiic Nave, Beìro,o| oì Peor| Hor|or Ho+ C|vrd:|| LvreJ
Roose+e|ì :nìo Vor|J Vor II (New Yoik· Summit, 1vv1). Kimball complains that,
despite wiiuen iequests fiom him and othei histoiians, Biitish goveinment files
on ielations with Japan in late 1v.1 iemain closed. C|vrd:||, p. ¯.e n. zv. Robeit
Smith Tompson, in A T:»e [or Vor Fron||:n De|ono Roose+e|ì onJ ì|e Poì| ìo
Peor| Hor|or (New Yoik· Pientice Hall, 1vv1), piesents a useful iecent account of
the coming of the wai with Japan.
1c1
Jaffa, “ln Defense of Chuichill,” p. z¯¯.
1cz
Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or,, p. ¯!c.
cc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
staits. A moial postulate of oui time is that in puisuit of the de-
stiuction of Hitlei, all things weie peimissible. Yet why is it self-
evident that moiality iequiied a ciusade against Hitlei in 1v!v and
1v.c, and not against Stalin` At that point, Hitlei had slain his
thousands, but Stalin had alieady slain his millions. ln fact, up
to June, 1v.1, the Soviets behaved fai moie muideiously towaid
the Poles in theii zone of occupation than the Nazis did in theiis.
Aiound 1,¯cc,ccc Poles weie depoited to the Gulag, with about half
of them dying within the fiist two yeais. As Noiman Davies wiites·
“Stalin was outpacing Hitlei in his desiie to ieduce the Poles to
the condition of a slave nation.”
1c!
Of couise, theie weie balance-
of-powei consideiations that cieated distinctions between the two
dictatois. But it has yet to be explained why theie should exist a
double standaid oidaining that compiomise with one muideious
dictatoi would have been “moially sickening,” while collaboiation
with the othei was moially iiiepioachable.
1c.
“livs1 C~1cu YoUv H~vi”
Eaily in the wai, Chuichill, declaied· “l have only one aim in life,
the defeat of Hitlei, and this makes things veiy simple foi me.”
1c¯
“Victoiy—victoiy at all costs,” undeistood liteially, was his policy
piactically to the end. Tis points to Chuichill’s fundamental and
fatal mistake in Woild Wai ll· his sepaiation of opeiational fiompo-
litical stiategy. To the fiist—the planning and diiection of militaiy
campaigns—he devoted all of his time and eneigy, afei all, he did
so enjoy it. To the second, the fiuing of militaiy opeiations to the
laigei and much moie significant political aims they weie supposed
to seive, he devoted no effoit at all.
Stalin, on the othei hand, undeistood peifectly that the entiie
puipose of wai is to enfoice ceitain political claims. Tis is the
meaning of Clausewitz’s famous dictumthat wai is the continuation
of policy by othei means. On the visit to Moscow of Biitish loieign
Secetaiy Anthony Eden in Decembei, 1v.1, with the Wehimacht in
the Moscow subuibs, Stalin was ieady with his demands· Biitish
1c!
Noiman Davies, GoJ’s P|o,grovnJ A H:sìor, o[ Po|onJ, vol. z, 1¯^¯ ìo ì|e
Presenì (New Yoik· Columbia Univeisity Piess, 1vcz), pp. ..¯–¯!.
1c.
loi a ciitique of the view that Hitlei’s aim was to “conquei the woild,” see
Geoffiey Stoakes, H:ì|er onJ ì|e Qesì [or Vor|J Do»:noì:on (Leamington Spa,
England· Beig, 1vce).
1c¯
Tayloi, “Te Statesman,” p. .!.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL c1
iecognition of Soviet iule ovei the Baltic states and the teiiitoiies
he had just seized fiom linland, Poland, and Romania. (Tey weie
eventually gianted.) Tioughout the wai he nevei lost sight of these
and othei ciucial political goals. But Chuichill, despite fiequent
piodding fiom Eden, nevei gave a thought to his, whatevei they
might be.
1ce
His appioach, he explained, was that of Mis. Glass’s
iecipe foi Jugged Haie· “liist catch youi haie.”
1c¯
liist beat Hitlei,
then stait thinking of the futuie of Biitain and Euiope. Chuichill
put in so many woids· “the defeat, iuin, and slaughtei of Hitlei, to
the exclusion of all othei puiposes, loyalties and aims.”
Tuvia Ben-Moshe has shiewdly pinpointed one of the souices
of this giotesque indiffeience·
Tiity yeais eailiei, Chuichill had told Asquith that . . . his
life’s ambition was “to command gieat victoiious aimies in
baule.” Duiing Woild Wai ll he was deteimined to take
nothing less than full advantage of the oppoitunity given
him—the almost unhampeied militaiy management of the
gieat conflict. He was pione to ignoie oi postpone the tieat-
ment of maueis likely to detiact fiom that pleasuie. . . . ln so
doing, he defeiied, oi even shelved altogethei, tieatment of
the issues that he should have dealt with in his capacity as
Piime Ministei.
1cc
Chuichill’s policy of all-out suppoit of Stalin foieclosed othei,
potentially moie favoiable appioaches. Te militaiy expeit Hanson
Baldwin, foi instance, stated·
Teie is no doubt whatsoevei that it would have been in the
inteiest of Biitain, the United States, and the woild to have
allowed—and indeed, to have encouiaged—the woild’s two
gieat dictatoiships to fight each othei to a fiazzle. Such a
stiuggle, with its iesultant weakening of both Communism
and Nazism, could not but have aided in the establishment
of a moie stable peace.
1cv
1ce
loi instance, in May, 1v.., Eden piotested to Chuichill, iegaiding the
piospect of the “Communization of the Balkans”· “We must think of the afei-
effect of these developments, instead of confining ouiselves as hitheito to the
shoit-teim view of what will give the best dividends duiing the wai and foi the
wai.” Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or,, p. ¯!c.
1c¯
Ben-Moshe, C|vrd:|| Sìroìeg, onJ H:sìor,, pp. z!e–!¯.
1cc
lbid., z.1.
1cv
Hanson W. Baldwin, Greoì M:sìo|es o[ ì|e Vor (New Yoik· Haipei, 1v.v), p. 1c.
cz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
lnstead of adopting this appioach, oi, foi example, piomoting the
oveithiow of Hitlei by anti-Nazi Geimans—instead of even consid-
eiing such alteinatives—Chuichill fiom the stait thiew all of his
suppoit to Soviet Russia.
lianklin Roosevelt’s fatuousness towaids Josef Stalin is well-
known. He looked on Stalin as a fellow “piogiessive” and an invalu-
able collaboiatoi in cieating the futuie New Woild Oidei.
11c
But
the neo-conseivatives and otheis who counteipose to Roosevelt’s
inanity in this mauei Chuichill’s Old Woild cunning and sagacity
aie sadly in eiioi. Roosevelt’s nauseating flaueiy of Stalin is eas-
ily matched by Chuichill’s. Just like Roosevelt, Chuichill heaped
fulsome piaise on the Communist mass-muideiei and was anxious
foi Stalin’s peisonal fiiendship. Moieovei, his adulation of Stalin
and his veision of Communism—so diffeient fiom the iepellent
“Tiotskyite” kind—was no diffeient in piivate than in public. ln
Januaiy, 1v.., he was still speaking to Eden of the “deep-seated
changes which have taken place in the chaiactei of the Russian state
and goveinment, the newconfidence which has giown in oui heaits
towaids Stalin.”
111
ln a leuei to his wife, Clementine, Chuichill
wiote, following the Octobei, 1v.. confeience in Moscow· “l have
had veiy nice talks with the old Beai. l like him the moie l see
him. Now they iespect us & l am suie they wish to woik with
us.”
11z
Wiiteis like lsaiah Beilin, who tiy to give the impiession
that Chuichill hated oi despised all dictatois, including Stalin, aie
eithei ignoiant oi dishonest.
11!
11c
Roosevelt’s auitude is epitomized in his statement· “lf l give him [Stalin]
eveiything l possibly can, and ask nothing of himin ietuin, [then] no||esse o||:ge,
he won’t tiy to annex anything and will woik with me foi a woild of peace and
demociacy.” Robeit Nisbet, Roose+e|ì onJ Sìo|:n Te Fo:|eJ Covrìs|:¡ (Washing-
ton, D.C.· Regneiy, 1vcc), p. e. Joseph Sobian’s iemaiks in his biief essay, “Pal
Joey,” So|ron’s z, no. c (August 1vv¯)· pp. ¯–e, aie chaiacteiistically insightful.
111
Ben-Moshe, C|vrd:|| Sìroìeg, onJ H:sìor,, pp. zc¯–cc, !c¯–ce.
11z
Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. ee¯.
11!
lsaiah Beilin, “Winston Chuichill in 1v.c,” in idem, Persono| I»¡ress:ons,
Heniy Haidy, ed. (New Yoik· Viking, 1vcc), p. 1e., wheie Chuichill is quoted as
saying of Stalin that he is “at once a callous, a ciafy, and an ill-infoimed giant.”
Note, howevei, that even this quotation shows that Chuichill placed Stalin in
an entiiely diffeient categoiy fiom the unspeakably evil Hitlei. ln fact, as the
woiks by Chaimley, Ponting, and Ben-Moshe amply demonstiate, until the end
of the wai Chuichill’s typical auitude towaid Stalin was fiiendly and admiiing.
Beilin’s essay, with its mawkish infatuation with “the laigest human being of
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL c!
Chuichill’s suppoiteis ofen claim that, unlike the Ameiicans,
the seasoned and ciafy Biitish statesman foiesaw the dangei fiom
the Soviet Union and woiked doggedly to thwait it. Chuichill’s fa-
mous “Mediteiianean” stiategy—to auack Euiope thiough its “sof
undeibelly,” iathei than concentiating on an invasion of noithein
liance—is supposed to be the pioof of this.
11.
But this was an e:
¡osì [ocìo defense, invented by Chuichill once the Cold Wai had
staited· theie is liule, if any, contempoiaiy evidence that the desiie
to beat the Russians to Vienna and Budapest foimed any pait of
Chuichill’s motivation in advocating the “sof undeibelly” stiategy.
At the time, Chuichill gave puiely militaiy ieasons foi it.
11¯
As Ben-
Moshe states· “Te official Biitish histoiians have asceitained that
not until the second half of 1v.. and afei the Channel ciossing
did Chuichill fiist begin to considei pieempting the Russians in
southeastein Euiope by militaiy means.”
11e
By then, such a move
would have been impossible foi seveial ieasons. lt was anothei
of Chuichill’s wild militaiy notions, like invading loitiess Euiope
thiough Noiway,
11¯
oi puuing off the invasion of noithein liance
oui time,” has to be iead to be believed. An indication of one souice of Beilin’s
passion is his iefeience to Chuichill’s sympathy foi “the stiuggle of the Jews foi
self-deteimination [sic] in Palestine.”
11.
Cf. Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or,, pp. ¯¯z–¯!, on “Opeiation Aimpit,”
the extension of the ltalian campaign and a thiust towaids Vienna, Chaimley
concludes that, contiaiy to Chuichill’s Cold Wai defendeis· “theie is liule ev-
idence to show that Chuichill’s suppoit foi ‘Aimpit’ was based upon political
motives. . . . [He suppoited it] foi the ieason which any student of his caieei will
be familiai with—it fiied his imagination.”
11¯
Cf. Tayloi, “Te Statesman,” pp. ¯e–¯¯· “Accoiding to one veision, Chuichill
was alaimed at the giowth of Soviet powei and tiied to take piecautions against
it, if not in 1v.z at least well befoie the end of the wai. . . . lt is haid to sus-
tain this view fiom contempoiaiy iecoids. Chuichill nevei waveied fiom his
deteimination that Nazi Geimany must be uueily defeated. . . . Chuichill had no
Euiopean policy in any widei sense. His outlook was puiely negative· the defeat
of Geimany. . . . With Chuichill it was always one thing at a time.” See also Ben-
Moshe, C|vrd:|| Sìroìeg, onJ H:sìor,, pp. zvz–vv, on the southein stiategy not
being aimed at foiestalling Soviet gains.
11e
lbid., p. zc¯.
11¯
Afei the Biitish had been foiced to evacuate Noiway, Chuichill insisted on
iecaptuiing Naivik. Geneial lionside iemaiked piivately, “He wanted to diveit
tioops fiom all ovei the place. He is so like a child in many ways. He tiies of
a thing, and then wants to heai no moie of it. . . . lt is most extiaoidinaiy how
meicuiial he is.” Nicholson Bakei, Hv»on S»o|e, p. 1¯!.
c. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
until 1v.¯—by which time the Russians would have ieached the
Rhine.
11c
Moieovei, the Ameiican opposition to Chuichill’s southein stiat-
egy did not stem fiom blindness to the Communist dangei. Geneial
Albeit C. Wedemeyei, one of the fiimest anti-Communists in the
Ameiican militaiy, wiote·
if we had invaded the Balkans thiough the Ljubljana Gap, we
might theoietically have beaten the Russians to Vienna and
Budapest. But logistics would have been against us theie· it
would have been next to impossible to supply moie than two
divisions thiough the Adiiatic poits. . . . Te pioposal to save
the Balkans fiom communism could nevei have been made
good by a “sof undeibelly” invasion, foi Chuichill himself
had alieady cleaied the way foi the success of Tito . . . [who]
had been fiimly ensconced in Yugoslavia with Biitish aid
long befoie ltaly itself was conqueied.
11v
Wedemeyei’s iemaiks about Yugoslavia weie on the maik. On
this issue, Chuichill iejected the advice of his own loieign Office,
depending instead on infoimation piovided especially by the head
of the Caiio office of the SOE—the Special Opeiations bianch—
headed by a Communist agent named James Klugman. Chuichill
withdiew Biitish suppoit fiom the Loyalist gueiiilla aimy of Gen-
eial Mihailovic and thiewit to the Communist Paitisan leadei Tito.
1zc
What a victoiy foi Tito would mean was no seciet to Chuichill.
1z1
11c
An instance of the lengths to which Chuichill’s apologists will go is piovided
by John Keegan, in “Chuichill’s Stiategy,” in C|vrd:||, Blake and Louis, eds.,
p. !zc, wheie he states of Chuichill· “Yet he nevei espoused any tiuly unwise
stiategic couise, noi did he contemplate one. His commitment to a campaign in
the Balkans was unsound, but such a campaign would not have iisked losing the
wai.” Risking losing the wai would appeai to be an excessively stiingent ciiteiion
foi a tiuly unwise stiategic couise.
11v
Albeit C. Wedemeyei, VeJe»e,er Re¡orìs! (New Yoik· Holt, 1v¯c), p. z!c.
Eveiyone else was against Chuichill’s plan, including his own militaiy advisois.
Biooke pointed out to his chief that, if they followed thiough with his idea, “we
should embaik on a campaign thiough the Alps in wintei.” Ponting, C|vrd:||,
p. ez¯.
1zc
Lamb, C|vrd:|| os Vor LeoJer, pp. z¯c–¯¯.
1z1
Chuichill’s own loieign Office infoimed him that· “we would land ouiselves
with a Communist state closely linked to the USSR afei the wai who would employ
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL c¯
When litzioy Maclean was inteiviewed by Chuichill befoie being
sent as liaison to Tito, Maclean obseived that, undei Communist
leadeiship, the Paitisans’
ultimate aimwould undoubtedly be to establish in Jugoslavia
a Communist iegime closely linked to Moscow. How did
His Majesty’s Goveinment view such an eventuality`. . . Mi.
Chuichill’s ieply lef me in no doubt as to the answei to my
pioblem. So long, he said, as the whole of Westein civi-
lization was thieatened by the Nazi menace, we could not
affoid to let oui auention be diveited fiom the immediate
issue by consideiations of long-teim policy. . . . Politics must
be a secondaiy consideiation.
1zz
lt would be difficult to think of a moie fiivolous auitude to waging
wai than consideiing “politics” to be a “secondaiy consideiation.”
As foi the “human costs” of Chuichill’s policy, when an aide pointed
out that Tito intended to tiansfoim Yugoslavia into a Communist
dictatoiship on the Soviet model, Chuichill ietoited· “Do you in-
tend to live theie`”
1z!
Chuichill’s benign view of Stalin and Russia contiasts shaiply
with his view of Geimany. Behind Hitlei, Chuichill disceined the
old spectei of Piussianism, which had caused, allegedly, not only
the two woild wais, but the lianco-Piussian Wai as well. What he
was bauling now was “Nazi tyianny and Piussian militaiism,” the
“two main elements in Geiman life which must be absolutely de-
stioyed.”
1z.
ln Octobei, 1v.., Chuichill was still explaining to Stalin
the usual teiioiist methods to oveicome opposition.” lbid., p. z¯e. Anthony Eden
told the Cabinet in June, 1v..· “lf anyone is to blame foi the piesent situation in
which Communist-led movements aie the most poweiful elements in Yugoslavia
and Gieece, it is we ouiselves.” Biitish agents, accoiding to Eden, had done the
woik of the Russians foi them. Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or,, p. ¯cc.
1zz
litzioy Maclean Fosìern A¡¡roodes (London· Jonathan Cape, 1v.v), p. zc1.
1z!
Lamb, C|vrd:|| os Vor LeoJer, p. z¯v. Chuichill believed Tito’s piomises of
a fiee election and a plebiscite on the monaichy, above all, he concentiated on a
single issue· killing Geimans. See also Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or,, p. ¯¯c.
1z.
On Septembei z1, 1v.!, foi instance, Chuichill stated· “Te twin ioots of all
oui evils, Nazi tyianny and Piussian militaiism, must be extiipated. Until this is
achieved, theie aie no saciifices we will not make and no lengths in violence to
which we will not go.” Russell Gienfell, UnconJ:ì:ono| HoìreJ (New Yoik· Devin-
Adaii, 1v¯!), p. vz.
ce GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
that· “Te pioblemwas howto pievent Geimany geuing on hei feet
in the lifetime of oui giandchildien.”
1z¯
Chuichill haiboied a “con-
fusion of mind on the subject of the Piussian aiistociacy, Nazism,
and the souices of Geiman militaiist expansionism . . . [his view]
was iemaikably similai to that enteitained by Sii Robeit Vansiuait
and Sii Waiien lishei, that is to say, it aiose fiom a combination
of almost iacialist antipathy and balance of powei calculations.”
1ze
Chuichill’s aim was not simply to save woild civilization fiom the
Nazis, but, in his woids, the “indefinite pievention of theii [the
Geimans] iising again as an Aimed Powei.”
1z¯
Liule wondei, then, that Chuichill iefused even to listen to the
pleas of the anti-Hitlei Geiman opposition, which tiied iepeatedly
to establish liaison with the Biitish goveinment. lnstead of mak-
ing eveiy effoit to encouiage and assist an anti-Nazi coup in Gei-
many, Chuichill iesponded to the feeleis sent out by the Geiman
iesistance with cold silence.
1zc
Reiteiated wainings fiom Adam
von Tiou and othei iesistance leadeis of the impending “bolshe-
vization” of Euiope made no impiession at all on Chuichill.
1zv
A
iecent histoiian has wiiuen, “by his intiansigence and iefusal to
countenance talks with dissident Geimans, Chuichill thiew away
an oppoitunity to end the wai in July 1v...”
1!c
To add infamy to
1z¯
Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. e¯¯.
1ze
Wau, “Chuichill and Appeasement,” p. z1c.
1z¯
ln a memoiandum to Alexandei Cadogan, of the loieign Office, Richaid
Lamb, Te G|osìs o[ Peoce, 1^I¯–1^o¯ (Salisbuiy, England· Michael Russell, 1vc¯),
p. 1!!.
1zc
Petei Hoffmann, Ger»on Res:sìonce ìo H:ì|er (Cambiidge, Mass.· Haivaid
Univeisity Piess, 1vcc), pp. v¯–1c¯, idem, Te H:sìor, o[ ì|e Ger»on Res:sìonce,
Richaid Baiiy, tians. (Cambiidge, Mass.· MlT Piess, 1v¯¯), pp. zc¯–.c, and idem,
“Te Qestion of Westein Allied Co-Opeiation with the Geiman Anti-Nazi Con-
spiiacy, 1v!c–1v..,” Te H:sìor:co| }ovrno| !., no. z (1vv1), pp. .!¯–e..
1zv
Giles MacDonogh, AGooJ Ger»on AJo»+on Trou :v So|: (Woodstock, N.Y.·
Oveilook Piess, 1vvz), pp. z!e–!¯.
1!c
Lamb, C|vrd:|| os Vor LeoJer, p. zvz. Lamb aigues this thesis at length and
peisuasively in his Te G|osìs o[ Peoce, pp. z.c–!zc. Aless conclusive judgment is
ieached by Klemens von Klempeiei, Ger»on Res:sìonce Ago:nsì H:ì|er Te Seord
[or A||:es A|rooJ 1^I8–1^o¯ (Oxfoid· Claiendon, 1vvz), especially pp. .!z–.1, who
emphasizes the difficulties in the way of any agieement between the Biitish gov-
einment and the Geiman iesistance. Tese included, in paiticulai, the loyalty of
the foimei to its Soviet ally and the insistence of the lauei on post-wai Geimany’s
keeping ethnically Geiman aieas, such as Danzig and the Sudetenland.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL c¯
stupidity, Chuichill and his ciowd had only woids of deiision foi
the valiant Geiman officeis even as they weie being slaughteied by
the Gestapo.
1!1
ln place of help, all Chuichill offeied Geimans looking foi a way
to end the wai befoie the Red Aimy flooded into Cential Euiope
was the slogan of vnconJ:ì:ono| svrrenJer. Afeiwaids, Chuichill
lied in the House of Commons about his iole at the Casablanca
confeience iegaiding Roosevelt’s announcement of the policy of
unconditional suiiendei and was foiced to ietiact his statements.
1!z
Eisenhowei, among otheis, stienuously and peisistently objected to
the foimula as hampeiing the wai effoit by iaising the moiale of the
Wehimacht.
1!!
ln fact, the slogan was seized on by Goebbels, and
contiibuted to the Geimans holding out to the biuei end.
Te peinicious effect of the policy was immeasuiably bolsteied
by the Moigenthau Plan, which gave the Geimans a teiiifying pic-
tuie of what “unconditional suiiendei” would mean.
1!.
Tis plan,
initialed by Roosevelt and Chuichill at Qebec, called foi tuining
Geimany into an agiicultuial and pastoial countiy, even the coal
mines of the Ruhi weie to be wiecked. Te fact that it would have
led to the deaths of tens of millions of Geimans made it a peifect
analog to Hitlei’s schemes foi dealing with Russia and the Ukiaine.
Chuichill was initially aveise to the plan. Howevei, he was
won ovei by Piofessoi Lindemann, as maniacal a Geiman-hatei as
1!1
Maiie Vassiltchikov, who was close to the conspiiatois, in hei Ber|:n D:or:es,
1^oh–1^o¯ (New Yoik· Knopf, 1vc¯), p. z1c, expiessed hei bafflement at the line
taken by the Biitish· “Te Allied iadio makes no sense to us· they keep naming
people who, they claim, took pait in the plot. And yet some of these have not
yet been officially implicated. l iemembei waining Adam Tiou that this would
happen. He kept hoping foi Allied suppoit of a ‘decent’ Geimany and l kept
saying that at this point they weie out to destioy Geimany, any Geimany, and
would not stop at eliminating the ‘good’ Geimans with the ‘bad.’ ”
1!z
Ben-Moshe, C|vrd:|| Sìroìeg, onJ H:sìor,, pp. !c¯–1e. See also Anne Aim-
stiong, UnconJ:ì:ono| SvrrenJer (Westpoit, Conn.· Gieenwood, [1ve1] 1v¯.), and
Lamb, Te G|osìs o[ Peoce, pp. z1¯–!¯. Among the stiongest waitime ciitics of
the unconditional suiiendei policy, as well as of the bombing of civilians, was the
militaiy expeit, Liddell Hait, see Biian Bond, L:JJe|| Horì A SìvJ, o[ |:s M:|:ìor,
Tovg|ì (New Biunswick, N.J.· Rutgeis Univeisity Piess, 1v¯¯), pp. 11v–e!.
1!!
Lamb, Te G|osìs o[ Peoce, p. z!z.
1!.
lbid., pp. z!e–.¯.
cc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Moigenthau himself. Lindemann stated to Loid Moian, Chuichill’s
peisonal physician· “l explained to Winston that the plan would
save Biitain fiom bankiuptcy by eliminating a dangeious competi-
toi. . . . Winston had not thought of it in that way, and he said no
moie about a ciuel thieat to the Geiman people.”
1!¯
Accoiding
to Moigenthau, the woiding of the scheme was diafed entiiely
by Chuichill. When Roosevelt ietuined to Washington, Hull and
Stimson expiessed theii hoiioi and quickly disabused the Piesident.
Chuichill, on the othei hand, was uniepentant. When it came time
to mention the Moigenthau Plan in his histoiy of the wai, he dis-
toited its piovisions and, by implication, lied about his iole in sup-
poiting it.
1!e
Beyond the issue of the plan itself, Loid Moian wondeied howit
had been possible foi Chuichill to appeai at the Qebec confeience
“without any thought out views on the futuie of Geimany, although
she seemed to be on the point of suiiendei.” Te answei was that
“he had become so engiossed in the conduct of the wai that liule
time was lef to plan foi the futuie”·
Militaiy detail had long fascinated him, while he was fiankly
boied by the kind of pioblem which might take up the time
of the Peace Confeience. . . . Te P. M. was fiiueiing away
his waning stiength on maueis which iightly belonged to
soldieis. My diaiy in the autumn of 1v.z tells how l talked
to Sii Staffoid Ciipps and found that he shaied my caies. He
wanted the P. M. to concentiate on the bioad stiategy of the
wai and on high policy. . . . No one could make [Chuichill]
see his eiiois.
1!¯
1!¯
Loid Moian, C|vrd:|| Te Sìrvgg|e [or Svr+:+o|, 1^oh–1^o¯ (Boston· Houghton
Mifflin, 1vee), pp. 1vc–v1. Chuichill’s ieady acceptance of this specious aigument
casts consideiable doubt on the claim of Paul Addison, C|vrd:|| on ì|e Ho»e
Fronì, p. .!¯, that Chuichill was “schooled” in fiee-tiade doctiines, which weie
“ingiained” in him. Moie consistent with the evidence, including his outiight
iejection of fiee tiade beginning in 1v!c, is that Chuichill used oi cast aside the
economic theoiy of the maiket economy as it suited his political puiposes.
1!e
Moian, C|vrd:|| Te Sìrvgg|e [or Svr+:+o|, 1^oh–1^o¯, pp. 1v¯–ve.
1!¯
lbid., p. 1v!. Tat the spiiit at least of the Moigenthau Plan continued to
guide Allied policy in post-wai Geimany is shown in lieda Utley’s Te H:g| Così
o[ Vengeonce (Chicago· Heniy Regneiy, 1v.v).
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL cv
W~v Cvi:is Discvii1iv Viiiiu
Teie aie a numbei of episodes duiing the wai ievealing of Chuichill’s
chaiactei that deseive to be mentioned. A ielatively minoi incident
was the Biitish auack on the liench fleet, at Meis-el-Kébii (Oian),
off the coast of Algeiia. Afei the fall of liance, Chuichill demanded
that the liench suiiendei theii fleet to Biitain. Te liench declined,
piomising that they would scuule the ships befoie allowing them
to fall into Geiman hands. Against the advice of his naval officeis,
Chuichill oideied Biitish ships off the Algeiian coast to open fiie.
About 1¯cc liench sailois weie killed. Te liench moved what
iemained of theii fleet in the westein Mediteiianean to Nice. When
the Geimans auempted to seize it, the liench weie tiue to theii
woid, and scuuled theii ships.
Chuichill’s auack at Meis-el-Kébii was obviously a wai ciime,
by any conceivable definition· an unpiovoked assault on the foices
of an ally without a declaiation of wai. At Nuiembeig, Geiman
officeis weie sentenced to piison foi less. Realizing this, Chuichill
lied about Meis-el-Kébii in his histoiy and suppiessed evidence
conceining it in the official Biitish histoiies of the wai.
1!c
With
the auack on the liench fleet, Chuichill confiimed his position as
the piime subveitei thiough two woild wais of the system of iules
of waifaie that had evolved in the West ovei centuiies.
But the gieat wai ciime which will be foievei linked to Chuichill’s
name is the teiioi-bombing of the cities of Geimany that in the
end cost the lives of aiound ecc,ccc civilians and lef some ccc,ccc
seiiously injuied.
1!v
(Compaie this to the ioughly ¯c,ccc Biitish
1!c
Lamb, C|vrd:|| os Vor LeoJer, pp. e!–¯!. See also Ponting, C|vrd:||,
pp. .¯c–¯., and Hait, “Te Militaiy Stiategist,” pp. z1c–z1.
1!v
Te “Biitish obsession with heavy bombeis” had consequences foi the wai
effoit as well, it led, foi instance, to the lack of fightei planes at Singapoie. Tay-
loi, “Te Statesman,” p. ¯.. On the whole issue, see Stephen A. Gaiieu, Fì|:cs
onJ A:r¡o+er :n Vor|J Vor II Te Br:ì:s| Bo»|:ng o[ Ger»on C:ì:es (New Yoik·
St. Maitin’s Piess, 1vv!). See also Max Hastings, Bo»|er Co»»onJ (New Yoik·
Dial Piess, 1v¯v), David living, Te Desìrvcì:on o[ DresJen (New Yoik· Ballantine,
1ve!), and Benjamin Colby, ’T+os o Fo»ovs V:cìor, (New Rochelle, N.Y.· Ailing-
ton House, 1v¯.), pp. 1¯!–zcz. On the Biitish use of aiipowei to “pacify” colonial
populations, see Chailes Townshend, “Civilization and ‘liightfulness’· Aii Con-
tiol in the Middle East Between the Wais,” in Vor[ore, D:¡|o»oc,, onJ Po|:ì:cs
Fsso,s :n Honor o[ A. }. P. To,|or, Chiis Wiigley, ed. (London· Hamish Hamilton,
1vce), pp. 1.z–ez.
vc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
lives lost to Geiman aii auacks. ln fact, theie weie neaily as many
liench killed by Allied aii auacks as theie weie English killed by
Geiman.
1.c
) Te plan was conceived mainly by Chuichill’s fiiend
and scientific advisoi, Piofessoi Lindemann and caiiied out by the
head of Bombei Command, Aithui Haiiis (“Bombei Haiiis”). Hai-
iis stated· “ln Bombei Command we have always woiked on the
assumption that bombing anything in Geimany is beuei than bomb-
ing nothing.”
1.1
Haiiis and othei Biitish aii foice leadeis boasted
that Biitain had been the pioneei in the massive use of stiategic
bombing. J. M. Spaight, foimei Piincipal Assistant Secietaiy of the
Aii Ministiy, noted that while the Geimans (and the liench) looked
on aii powei as laigely an extension of aitilleiy, a suppoit to the
aimies in the field, the Biitish undeistood its capacity to destioy
the enemy’s home-base. Tey built theii bombeis and established
Bombei Command accoidingly.
1.z
Biazenly lying to the House of Commons and the public, Chuichill
claimed that only militaiy and industiial installations weie taigeted.
ln fact, the aimwas to kill as many civilians as possible—thus, “aiea”
bombing, oi “caipet” bombing—and in this way to bieak the moiale
of the Geimans and teiioiize them into suiiendeiing.
1.!
1.c
Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. ezc.
1.1
Hastings, Bo»|er Co»»onJ, p. !!v. ln 1v.¯, Haiiis wiote· “l would not
iegaid the whole of the iemaining cities of Geimany as woith the bones of one
Biitish gienadiei.” lbid., p. !... Haiiis latei wiote “Te Geimans had allowed
theii soldieis to dictate the whole policy of the Lufwaffe, which was designed ex-
piessly to assist the aimy in iapid advances. . . . Much too late in the day they saw
the advantage of a stiategic bombing foice.” Hughes, V:nsìon C|vrd:|| Br:ì:s|
Bv||Jog, p. 1cv. Haiiis, “the teiioiizei and destioyeis of cities” (Robeit Bevan, Te
Desìrvcì:on o[ Me»or, Ard:ìecìvre oì Vor, London· Reaktion Books, zcce) was
honoied in 1vvz with a statue of him eiected in fiont of the Chuich of St. Clement
Danes in London (“the RAl chuich”). Te statue was unveiled by the Qeen
Mothei heiself, who was suipiised by heckling fiom piotesteis in the ciowd.
1.z
J. M. Spaight, Bo»|:ng V:nJ:coìeJ (London· Geoffiey Bles, 1v..), p. ¯c–¯1.
Spaight declaied that Biitons should be pioud of the fact that “we began to bomb
objectives on the Geiman mainland befoie the Geimans began to bomb objectives
on the Biitish mainland.” Hitlei, while ieady enough to use stiategic bombing
pitilessly on occasion, “did not want [it] to become the piactice. He had done
his best to have it banned by inteinational agieement.” lbid., pp. ec, ec. Wiiting
duiing the wai, Spaight, of couise, lied to his ieadeis in asseiting that Geiman
civilians weie being killed only incidentally by the Biitish bombing.
1.!
On lebiuaiy 1., 1v.z, Diiective no. zz was issued to Bombei Command, stip-
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL v1
Haiiis at least had the couiage of his convictions. He uiged that
the goveinment openly announce that·
the aim of the Combined Bombei Offensive . . . should be
unambiguously stated [as] the destiuction of Geiman cities,
the killing of Geiman woikeis, and the disiuption of civilized
life thioughout Geimany.
1..
Te campaign of muidei fiom the aii leveled Geimany. A thou-
sand-yeai-old uiban cultuie was annihilated, as gieat cities, famed
in the annals of science and ait, weie ieduced to heaps of smol-
deiing iuins. Teie weie high points· the bombing of Lübeck,
when that ancient Hanseatic town “buined like kindling”, the 1ccc-
bombei iaid ovei Cologne, and the following iaids that somehow,
miiaculously, mostly spaied the gieat Cathedial but destioyed the
iest of the city, including thiiteen Romanesque chuiches, the fiie-
stoim that consumed Hambuig and killed some .z,ccc people. No
wondei that, leaining of this, a civilized Euiopean like Joseph Schum-
petei, at Haivaid, was diiven to telling “anyone who would listen”
that Chuichill and Roosevelt weie destioying moie than Genghis
Khan.
1.¯
Te most infamous act was the destiuction of Diesden, in lebiu-
aiy, 1v.¯. Accoiding to the official histoiy of the Royal Aii loice·
“Te destiuction of Geimany was by then on a scale which might
have appalled Auila oi Genghis Khan.”
1.e
Diesden, the capital of the
old Kingdom of Saxony, was an indispensable stop on the Giand
Toui, the baioque gem of Euiope. Te wai was piactically ovei,
the city filled with masses of helpless iefugees escaping the advanc-
ing Red Aimy. Still, foi thiee days and nights, fiom lebiuaiy 1!
ulating that effoits weie now to be “focused on the moiale of the enemy civil
population and in paiticulai of the industiial woikeis.” Te next day, the chief
of the Aii Staff added· “Ref the new bombing diiective· l suppose it is cleai that
the aiming points aie to be the built-up aieas, not, foi instance, the dockyaids oi
aiiciaf factoiies.” Gaiieu, Fì|:cs onJ A:r Po+er :n Vor|J Vor II, p. 11. By lying
about the goal of the bombing and auempting a covei-up afei the wai, Chuichill
implicitly conceded that Biitain had commiued bieaches of the iules of waifaie.
lbid., pp. !e–!¯.
1..
lbid., pp. !z–!!.
1.¯
Richaid Swedbeig, Sdv»¡eìer A B:ogro¡|, (Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton Uni-
veisity Piess, 1vv1), p. 1.1.
1.e
Gaiieu, Fì|:cs onJ A:r Po+er :n Vor|J Vor II, p. zcz.
vz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
to 1¯, Diesden was pounded with bombs. At least !c,ccc people weie
killed, peihaps tens of thousands moie. Te Zwingei Palace, Oui
Lady’s Chuich (die liauenkiiche), the Biühl Teiiace, oveilooking
the Elbe wheie, in Tuigenev’s Foì|ers onJ Sons, Uncle Pavel went to
spend his last yeais, the Sempei Opeia House, wheie Richaid Wag-
nei conducted the piemieies of Te F|,:ng Dvìd»on and Tonn|ovser
and Richaid Stiauss the piemieie of Rosen|o+o|:er, and piactically
eveiything else was incineiated. Chuichill had fomented it. But he
was shaken by the outciy that followed. While in Geoigetown and
Hollywood few had evei heaid of Diesden, the city meant some-
thing in Stockholm, Zuiich, and the Vatican, and even in London.
What did oui heio do` He sent a memoiandum to the Chiefs of
Staff·
lt seems to me that the moment has come when the question
of bombing of Geiman cities simply foi the sake of incieasing
the teiioi, though undei othei pietexts, should be ieviewed.
Otheiwise, we shall come into contiol of an uueily iuined
land. . . . Te destiuction of Diesden iemains a seiious queiy
against the conduct of Allied bombing. . . . l feel the need
foi moie piecise concentiation upon militaiy objectives . . .
iathei than on meie acts of teiioi and wanton destiuction,
howevei impiessive.
1.¯
Te militaiy chiefs saw thiough Chuichill’s cowaidly ploy· iealiz-
ing that they weie being set up, they iefused to accept the memoian-
dum. Afei the wai, Chuichill casually disclaimed any knowledge
of the Diesden bombing, saying· “l thought the Ameiicans did it.”
1.c
And still the bombing continued. On Maich 1e, in a peiiod of
twenty minutes, Wüizbuig was iazed to the giound. As late as the
middle of Apiil, Beilin and Potsdam weie bombed yet again, killing
anothei ¯,ccc civilians. linally, it stopped, as Bombei Haiiis noted,
theie weie essentially no moie taigets to be bombed in Geimany.
1.v
1.¯
Hastings, Bo»|er Co»»onJ, pp. !.!–... ln Novembei, 1v.z, Chuichill had
pioposed that in the ltalian campaign· “All the industiial centeis should be at-
tacked in an intense fashion, eveiy effoit being made to iendei them uninhabit-
able and to teiioiise and paialyse the population.” Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. e1..
1.c
To a histoiian who wished to veiify some details, Chuichill ieplied· “l cannot
iecall anything about it. l thought the Ameiicans did it. Aii Chief Maishal Haiiis
would be the peison to contact.” Rose, C|vrd:|| Te Unrv|, G:onì, p. !!c.
1.v
Gaiieu, Fì|:cs onJ A:r Po+er :n Vor|J Vor II, p. z1.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL v!
lt need haidly be iecoided that Chuichill suppoited the atom bomb-
ing of Hiioshima and Nagasaki, which iesulted in the deaths of
moie tens of thousands of civilians. When Tiuman fabiicated the
myth of the “¯cc,ccc U.S. lives saved” by avoiding an invasion of
the Home lslands—the highest militaiy estimate had been .e,ccc—
Chuichill topped his lie· the atom-bombings had saved 1,zcc,ccc
lives, including 1,ccc,ccc Ameiicans, he fantasized.
1¯c
Te eageiness with which Chuichill diiected oi applauded the
destiuction of cities fiom the aii should iaise questions foi those
who still considei him the gieat “conseivative” of his—oi peihaps
of all —time. Tey would do well to considei the judgment of an
authentic conseivative like Eiik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, who wiote·
“Non-Biitisheis did not mauei to Mi. Chuichill, who saciificed hu-
man beings theii lives, theii welfaie, theii libeity—with the same
elegant disdain as his colleague in the White House.”
1¯1
1v.¯· Tui D~vx Siui
And so we come to 1v.¯ and the evei-iadiant tiiumph of Absolute
Good ovei Absolute Evil. So potent is the mystique of that yeai
that the insipid welfaie states of today’s Euiope clutch at it at eveiy
oppoitunity, in seaich of a few much-needed shieds of gloiy.
Te daik side of that tiiumph, howevei, has been all but sup-
piessed. lt is the stoiy of the ciimes and atiocities of the victois
and theii piotégés. Since Winston Chuichill played a cential iole
1¯c
See Baiton J. Beinstein, “A postwai myth· ¯cc,ccc U.S. lives saved,” Bv||eì:n
o[ ì|e Aìo»:c Sc:enì:sìs .z, no. e (June/July 1vce), pp. !c–.c, and, idem, “Wiong
Numbeis,” Te InJe¡enJenì Monì||, (July 1vv¯), pp. .1–... See also, idem, “Seiz-
ing the Contested Teiiain of Eaily Nucleai Histoiy· Stimson, Conant, and Teii
Allies Explain the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb,” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, 1¯, no. 1
(Wintei 1vv!), pp. !¯–¯z, wheie the point is made that a majoi motive in the
political elite’s eaily piopaganda campaign justifying the use of the atomic bombs
was to foiestall a feaied ietieat into “isolationism” by the Ameiican people. lt is
inteiesting to note that Richaid Nixon, sometimes known as the “Mad Bombei”
of lndo-China, justified “delibeiate auacks on civilians” by citing the atomic
bombings of the Japanese cities, as well as the auacks on Hambuig and Diesden.
Richaid M. Nixon, “Leueis to the Editoi,” Ne+ Yor| T:»es, May 1¯, 1vc!.
1¯1
Eiik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Le]:s» Re+:s:ìeJ Fro» Je SoJe onJ Mor: ìo
H:ì|er onJ Po| Poì (Washington, D.C.· Regneiy, 1vvc), p. zc1. Tis woik contains
numeious peiceptive passages on Chuichill, e.g., pp. ze1–e¯, z¯!, and zcc–c1, as
well as on Roosevelt.
v. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
in the Allied victoiy, it is the stoiy also of the ciimes and atiocities
in which Chuichill was implicated. Tese include the foiced iepa-
tiiation of some two million Soviet subjects to the Soviet Union.
Among these weie tens of thousands who had fought with the Gei-
mans against Stalin, undei the sponsoiship of Geneial Vlasov and
his “Russian Aimy of Libeiation.” Tis is what Alexandei Solzhen-
itsyn wiote, in Te Gv|og Ard:¡e|ogo·
ln theii own countiy, Roosevelt and Chuichill aie honoied as
embodiments of statesmanlike wisdom. To us, in oui Russian
piison conveisations, theii consistent shoitsightedness and
stupidity stood out as astonishingly obvious . . . what was the
militaiy oi political sense in theii suiiendeiing to destiuc-
tion at Stalin’s hands hundieds of thousands of aimed Soviet
citizens deteimined not to suiiendei.
1¯z
Most shameful of all was the handing ovei of the Cossacks. Tey
had nevei been Soviet subjects, since they had fought against the
Red Aimy in the Civil Wai and then emigiated. Stalin, undeistand-
ably, was paiticulaily keen to get hold of them, and the Biitish
obliged. Solzhenitsyn wiote, of Winston Chuichill·
He tuined ovei to the Soviet command the Cossack coips of
vc,ccc men. Along with themhe also handed ovei many wag-
onloads of old people, women, and childien. . . . Tis gieat
heio, monuments to whom will in time covei all England,
oideied that they, too, be suiiendeied to theii deaths.
1¯!
Te “puige” of alleged collaboiatois in liance was a blood bath
that claimed moie victims than the Reign of Teiioi in the Gieat
Revolution—and not just among those who in one way oi othei
had aided the Geimans· included weie any iight-wingeis the Com-
munist iesistance gioups wished to liquidate.
1¯.
Te massacies caiiied out by Chuichill’s piotégé, Tito, must be
added to this list· tens of thousands of Cioats, not simply the Us-
tasha, but any “class-enemies,” in classical Communist style. Teie
1¯z
Aleksandi l. Solzhenitsyn, Te Gv|og Ard:¡e|ogo, 1^18–1^¯o An F:¡er:»enì
:n L:ìeror, In+esì:goì:on, Tomas P. Whitney, tians. (New Yoik· Haipei and Row,
1v¯!), vols. 1–z, p. z¯v n.
1¯!
lbid., pp. z¯v–ec.
1¯.
Sisley Huddleston, Fronce Te Trog:c Yeors, 1^I^–1^o¯ (New Yoik· Devin-
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL v¯
was also the muidei of some zc,ccc Slovene anti-Communist fight-
eis by Tito and his killing squads. When Tito’s Paitisans iampaged
in Tiieste, which he was auempting to giab in 1v.¯, additional thou-
sands of ltalian anti-Communists weie massacied.
1¯¯
As the tioops of Chuichill’s Soviet ally swept thiough Cential
Euiope and the Balkans, the mass depoitations began. Some in
the Biitish goveinment had qualms, feeling a ceitain iesponsibility.
Chuichill would have none of it. ln Januaiy, 1v.¯, he noted to
the loieign Office· “Why aie we making a fuss about the Russian
depoitations in Rumania of Saxons [Geimans] and otheis`. . . l can-
not see the Russians aie wiong in making 1cc oi 1¯c thousand of
these people woik theii passage. . . . l cannot myself considei that
it is wiong of the Russians to take Rumanians of any oiigin they
like to woik in the Russian coal-fields.”
1¯e
About ¯cc,ccc Geiman
civilians weie depoited to woik in Soviet Russia, in accoidance with
Chuichill and Roosevelt’s agieement at Yalta that such slave laboi
constituted a piopei foim of “iepaiations.”
1¯¯
Woist of all was the expulsion of some 1z million Geimans fiom
theii ancestial homelands in East and West Piussia, Silesia, Pomeia-
nia, and the Sudetenland, as well as the Balkans. Tis was done
puisuant to the agieements at Tehian, wheie Chuichill pioposed
that Poland be “moved west,” and to Chuichill’s acquiescence in the
plan of the Czech leadei Eduaid Beneš foi the “ethnic cleansing”
of Bohemia and Moiavia. Aiound one-and-a-half to two million
Geiman civilians died in this piocess.
1¯c
Adaii, 1v¯¯), pp. zc¯–!z..
1¯¯
See, foi instance, Richaid West, T:ìo onJ ì|e R:se onJ Fo|| o[ Yvgos|o+:o (New
Yoik· Caiioll and Giaf, 1vv¯), pp. 1vz–v!.
1¯e
Ponting, C|vrd:||, p. ee¯.
1¯¯
Heibeit Mitzka, Zvr Gesd:dìe Jer MossenJe¡orìoì:onen +on OsìJevìsden :n
J:e So+jeìvn:on :» }o|re 1^o¯ (Einhausen· Ateliei Hübnei, 1vce). On othei ciimes
against Geiman civilians in the afeimath of the wai, see, among othei woiks,
Heinz Nawiatil, D:e Jevìsden Nod|r:egs+er|vsìe vnìer Verìr:e|enen, Ge[ongenen,
vnJ Versd|e¡¡ìen (Munich/Beilin· Heibig, 1vce), John Sack, An F,e [or on F,e
(New Yoik· Basic Books, 1vv!), and James Bacque, Versd+:egene Sdv|J D:e o|
|:erìe Besoì:vngs¡o|:ì:| :n Devìsd|onJ nod 1^o¯, Hans-Uliich Seebohm, tians.
(Beilin/liankfuit a. M.· Ullstein, 1vv¯).
1¯c
Alfied de Zayas, Ne»es:s oì PoìsJo» Te Ang|oA»er:cons onJ ì|e F:¡v|s:on
o[ ì|e Ger»ons. BoJgrovnJ, F:ecvì:on, Conseqvences (London· Routledge and
Kegan Paul, 1v¯¯).
ve GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
BiNis ANNoUNcis 1ui ExvUisioN oi 1ui Giv:~Ns
Te iiot of iape by the Soviet tioops was piobably the woist in
histoiy. lemales—Hungaiian, even Polish, as well as Geiman, liule
giils to old women—weie multiply violated, sometimes iaped to
death. (ln the west the Ameiicans iaped on a veiy much smallei
scale.) Boys who tiied to defend theii motheis weie simply shot
by the soldieis, otheis weie foiced to look on. But the most biutal
suffeiings of Geiman civilians (fiom the giound) weie at the hands
of the Czechs themselves.
Te Nazis weie peipetiating hoiiendous atiocities in most of the
iest of theii occupied teiiitoiies, inciting couiageous, death-defying
iesistence movements. ln the Czechs’ lands, howevei, the Geimans
encounteied naiy a peep. Teie was no Czech iesistance and the
population was pieuy well content, especially given the welfaie
state measuies intioduced by the Nazi “Piotectoi” of Bohemia and
Moiavia, Reinhaid Heydiich. ln London it was decided to have
Heydiich killed, a plot that succeeded. But assassins had to be flown
in fiom England· none could be found among the natives.
As the Wehimacht ietieated, the Czechs found theii viiility.
Beneš announced, “Woe, woe, woe, thiice woe, we will liquidate
you'” ln May, he declaied, “We have decided . . . to liquidate the
Geiman pioblem in oui iepublic once and foi all.”
1¯v
All ovei Bo-
hemia and Moiavia and in the capital thousands of Geiman civilians
weie toituied and massacied. ln a school in Piague, on the night of
May ¯, 1v.¯, “gioups of ten Geimans weie led down to the couityaid
and shot· men, women, and childien—even babies.” Piofessois
and physicians at the Chailes Univeisity of Piague—founded in
1!.¯ and administeied foi centuiies by the Geimans (of couise), the
oldest univeisity in all of Cential Euiope—weie lynched. Geimans
individually oi in gioups weie beaten to death, to the cheeis of
onlookeis. Te Ameiican tioops “did not meddle in the activities
of Czech paitisans.” Moie details, foi those who can stomach them,
can be found in MacDonough’s book.
1ec
1¯v
Giles MacDonough, A]er ì|e Re:d Te Brvìo| H:sìor, o[ ì|e A||:eJ Occv¡o
ì:on (New Yoik· Basic Books, zcc¯), p. 1zc. Te following account is fiom A]er
ì|e Re:d.
1ec
lt is inteiesting to note that Vaclav Klaus, the centei-iight sometime piesident
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL v¯
As the Hungaiian libeial Gaspai Tamas wiote, in diiving out the
Geimans of east-cential Euiope, “whose ancestois built oui cathe-
dials, monasteiies, univeisities, and iailioad stations,” a whole an-
cient cultuie was effaced.
1e1
But why should that mean anything
to the Winnie woishippeis who call themselves “conseivatives” in
Ameiica today`
CuUvcuiii H~s SicoNu TuoUcu1s
To top it all, came the Nuiembeig Tiials, a tiavesty of justice con-
demned by the gieat Senatoi Robeit Taf, wheie Biitish and othei
Allied juiists joined with Stalin’s judges and piosecutois—seasoned
veteians of the puiges of the ’!cs—in anothei gieat show tiial.
1ez
By 1v.e, Chuichill was complaining in a voice of outiage of
the happenings in Eastein Euiope· “liom Steuin on the Baltic to
Tiieste on the Adiiatic, an iion cuitain has descended ovei Euiope.”
Goebbels had populaiized the phiase “iion cuitain,” but it was ac-
cuiate enough.
Te Euiopean continent now contained a single, hegemonic
powei. “As the blinkeis of wai weie iemoved,” John Chaimley
wiites, “Chuichill began to peiceive the magnitude of the mistake
which had been made.”
1e!
ln fact, Chuichill’s own expiessions of
piofound self-doubt consoit oddly with his admiieis’ ietiospective
tiiumphalism. Afei the wai, he told Robeit Boothby· “Histoiians
aie apt to judge wai ministeis less by the victoiies achieved undei
theii diiection than by the political iesults which flowed fiom them.
Judged by that standaid, l am not suie that l shall be held to have
done veiy well.”
1e.
ln the pieface to the fiist volume of his histoiy
of Woild Wai ll, Chuichill explained why he was so tioubled·
of the post-Woild Wai ll Czech Republic, esteemed membei the Mont Peleiin So-
ciety and univeisally acclaimed fiee-maiket supeistai, has ostentatiously iefused
to apologize foi the explusion of the Geimans, not even botheiing to mention the
toituie and muidei of thousands of them by his fellow countiymen.
1e1
Gaspai M. Tamas, “Te Vanishing Geimans,” Te S¡ecìoìor, May e, 1vcv, p. 1¯.
1ez
Ciitiques of the Nuiembeig Tiials aie included in Loid Hankey, Po|:ì:cs, Tr:
o|s, onJ Frrors (Chicago· Heniy Regneiy, 1v¯c), and l. J. P. Veale, AJ+once ìo
Bor|or:s» Te De+e|o¡»enì o[ Toìo| Vor[ore [ro» Seroje+o ìo H:ros|:»o (New
Yoik· Devin-Adaii, 1vec), among othei woiks.
1e!
Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or,, p. ezz.
1e.
Robeit Boothy, Reco||ecì:ons o[ o Re|e| (London· Hutchison, 1v¯c), pp. 1c!–c..
vc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Te human tiagedy ieaches its climax in the fact that afei all
the exeitions and saciifices of hundieds of millions of people
and of the victoiies of the Righteous Cause, we have still not
found Peace oi Secuiity, and that we lie in the giip of even
woise peiils than those we have suimounted.
1e¯
On V-E Day, he had announced the victoiy of “the cause of fieedom
in eveiy land.” But to his piivate secietaiy, he mused· “What will lie
between the white snows of Russia and the white cliffs of Dovei`”
1ee
lt was a bit late to iaise the question. Really, what aie we to make
of a statesman who foi yeais ignoied the fact that the extinction of
Geimany as a powei in Euiope entailed . . . ceitain consequences`
ls this anothei Bismaick oi Meueinich we aie dealing with heie`
Oi is it a case of a Woodiow Wilson iedivivus—of anothei Piince
of lools`
With the balance of powei in Euiope wiecked by his own policy,
theie was only one iecouise open to Chuichill· to biing Ameiica
into Euiope peimanently. Tus, his anxious expostulations to the
Ameiicans, including his lulton, Missouii “lion Cuitain” speech.
Having destioyed Geimany as the natuial balance to Russia on the
continent, he was now foiced to tiy to embioil the United States
in yet anothei wai—this time a Cold Wai, that would last .¯ yeais,
and change Ameiica fundamentally, and iiievocably.
1e¯
Tui TviU:vu oi 1ui Wiii~vi S1~1i
ln 1v.¯, geneial elections weie held in Biitain, and the Laboui Paity
won a landslide victoiy. Clement Aulee and his colleagues took
powei and cieated the socialist welfaie state. But the socializing of
Biitain was piobably inevitable, given the wai. lt was a natuial out-
giowth of the waitime sense of solidaiity and collectivist emotion,
of the feeling that the expeiience of wai had somehow iendeied
class stiuctuie and hieiaichy—noimal featuies of any advanced
society—obsolete and indecent. And theie was a second factoi·
Biitish society had alieady been to a laige extent socialized in the
wai yeais, undei Chuichill himself. As Ludwig von Mises wiote·
1e¯
Chuichill, Te Goì|er:ng Sìor», pp. iv-v.
1ee
Nisbet, Roose+e|ì onJ Sìo|:n Te Fo:|eJ Covrìs|:¡, p. 1ce.
1e¯
Cf. Robeit Higgs, “Te Cold Wai Economy· Oppoitunity Costs, ldeology,
and the Politics of Ciisis,” F:¡|oroì:ons :n Fcono»:c H:sìor, !1 (1vv.), pp. zc!–!1z.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL vv
Maiching evei fuithei on the way of inteiventionism, fiist
Geimany, then Gieat Biitain and many othei Euiopean coun-
tiies have adopted cential planning, the Hindenbuig pauein
of socialism. lt is notewoithy that in Geimany the decid-
ing measuies weie not iesoited to by the Nazis, but some
time befoie Hitlei seized powei by Biüning . . . and in Gieat
Biitain not by the Laboui Paity but by the Toiy Piime Min-
istei, Mi. Chuichill.
1ec
While Chuichill waged wai, he allowed Aulee to head vaii-
ous Cabinet commiuees on domestic policy and devise pioposals
on health, unemployment, education, etc.
1ev
Chuichill himself had
alieady accepted the mastei-bluepiint foi the welfaie state, the Bev-
eiidge Repoit. As he put it in a iadio speech·
You must iank me and my colleagues as stiong paitisans of
national compulsoiy insuiance foi all classes foi all puiposes
fiom the ciadle to the giave.
1¯c
Tat Mises was coiiect in his judgment on Chuichill’s iole is
indicated by the conclusion of W. H. Gieenleaf, in his monumental
study of individualism and collectivism in modein Biitain. Gieen-
leaf states that it was Chuichill who
1ec
Ludwig von Mises, Hv»on Acì:on (New Haven, Conn.· Yale Univeisity Piess,
1v.v), p. c¯¯.
1ev
Chaimley, C|vrd:|| Te FnJ o[ G|or,, p. e1c, e1c. Cf. Petei Claike, L:|er
o|s onJ Soc:o| De»ocroìs (Cambiidge· Cambiidge Univeisity Piess, 1v¯c), p. zc1·
“When the Chuichill Coalition was foimed in May 1v.c it gave piogiessivism a
cential political iole which it had lacked since 1v1.. . . . Te people’s wai biought a
people’s goveinment in which oidinaiy Laboui and good Libeials weie the ascen-
dant elements. . . . Anti-appeasement was the dominant myth, it helped displace
the Guilty Men of Munich, and it piepaied the giound foi the oveithiow of the
Chambeilain consensus in domestic policy too. Keynes suddenly moved to a piv-
otal position inside the Tieasuiy. Laboui’s patiiotic iesponse to the common cause
was symbolised by the massive piesence of Einest Bevan as Ministei of Laboui.”
1¯c
Addison, “Chuichill and Social Refoim,” p. ¯!. Addison states· “By the spiing
of 1v.¯ the Coalition goveinment had piepaied diaf bills foi compiehensive
social insuiance, family allowances, and a national health seivice.” As Leadei
of the Opposition foi the next six yeais, “in social policy [Chuichill] invaiiably
contested the Laboui Paity’s claim to a monopoly of social concein, and insisted
that the ciedit foi devising the post-wai welfaie state should be given to the
waitime Coalition, and not to the Aulee goveinment.”
1cc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
duiing the wai yeais, instiucted R. A. Butlei to impiove the
education of the people and who accepted and sponsoied
the idea of a foui-yeai plan foi national development and
the commitment to sustain full employment in the post-wai
peiiod. As well he appioved pioposals to establish a national
insuiance scheme, seivices foi housing and health, and was
piepaied to accept a bioadening field of state enteipiises.
lt was because of this coalition policy that Enoch Powell
iefeiied to the veiitable social ievolution which occuiied
in the yeais 1v.z–... Aims of this kind weie embodied in
the Conseivative declaiation of policy issued by the Piemiei
befoie the 1v.¯ election.
1¯1
When the Toiies ietuined to powei in 1v¯1, “Chuichill chose a
Goveinment which was the least iecognizably Conseivative in his-
toiy.”
1¯z
Teie was no auempt to ioll back the welfaie state, and the
only industiy that was iepiivatized was ioad haulage.
1¯!
Chuichill
“lef the coie of its [the Laboui goveinment’s] woik inviolate.”
1¯.
Te “Conseivative” victoiy functioned like Republican victoiies in
the United States, fiom Eisenhowei on—to consolidate the socialist
advances that had gone befoie. Chuichill even undeitook to make
up foi “deficiencies” in the welfaie piogiams of the pievious Laboui
goveinment, in housing and public woiks.
1¯¯
Most insidiously of all,
he diiected his lefist Laboui Ministei, Waltei Monckton, to appease
the unions at all costs. Chuichill’s suiiendei to the unions, “dictated
by sheei political expediency,” set the stage foi the quagmiie in
laboi ielations that pievailed in Biitain foi the next two decades.
1¯e
Yet, in tiuth, Chuichill nevei caied a gieat deal about domestic
affaiis, even welfaiism, except as a means of auaining and keeping
office. What he loved was powei, and the oppoitunities powei
piovided to live a life of diama and stiuggle and endless wai.
1¯1
Gieenleaf, Te Br:ì:s| Po|:ì:co| TroJ:ì:on, pp. z¯.–¯¯.
1¯z
Robeits, F»:nenì C|vrd:||:ons, p. z¯c.
1¯!
lbid., p. z¯.. Robeits points out that “when the iion and steel industiies weie
denationalized in 1v¯!, they effectively continued to be iun via the lion and Steel
Boaid.”
1¯.
Roy Jenkins, “Chuichill· Te Goveinment of 1v¯1–1v¯¯,” in C|vrd:||, Blake
and Louis, eds., p. .vv.
1¯¯
Addison, “Chuichill and Social Refoim,” p. ¯e.
1¯e
Robeits, F»:nenì C|vrd:||:ons, pp. z.!–c¯.
RETHlNKlNG CHURCHlLL 1c1
Teie is a way of looking at Winston Chuichill that is veiy
tempting· that he was a deeply flawed cieatuie, who was sum-
moned at a ciitical moment to do baule with a uniquely appalling
evil, and whose veiy flaws contiibuted to a gloiious victoiy—in a
way, like Meilin, in C. S. Lewis’s gieat Chiistian novel, Toì H:Jeovs
Sìrengì|.
1¯¯
Such a judgment would, l believe, be supeificial. Acandid exam-
ination of his caieei, l suggest, yields a diffeient conclusion· that,
when all is said and done, Winston Chuichill was a Man of Blood
and a politico without piinciple, whose apotheosis seives to coiiupt
eveiy standaid of honesty and moiality in politics and histoiy
1¯¯
C. S. Lewis, Toì H:Jeovs Sìrengì| A MoJern Fo:r,To|e [or Gro+nU¡s (New
Yoik· Colliei, [1v.e] 1ve¯).
Cu~v1iv !
Haiiy S. Tiuman·
Advancing the Revolution
A “Ni~vGvi~1”`
When Haiiy Tiuman lef office in Januaiy 1v¯!, he was intensely
unpopulai, even widely despised. Many of his most cheiished
schemes, fiom national health insuiance (socialized medicine) to
univeisal militaiy tiaining (UMT) had been soundly iejected by
Congiess and the public. Woist of all, the wai in Koiea, which he
peisisted in calling a “police action,” was diagging on with no end
in sight.
Yet today, Republican no less than Demociatic politicians vie in
gloiifying Tiuman. When histoiians aie asked to iank Ameiican
piesidents, he is listed as a “Neai-Gieat.” Natuially, histoiians, like
eveiyone else, have theii own peisonal views and values. Like othei
academics in the humanities they tend to be oveiwhelmingly lef
of centei. As Robeit Higgs wiites· “Lef-libeial histoiians woiship
Tis is an expanded veision of an essay that fiist appeaied in Reossess:ng ì|e Pres
:Jenc,, edited by John V. Denson in zcc1 and published by the Ludwig von Mises
lnstitute.
1c!
1c. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
political powei, and idolize those who wield it most lavishly in the
seivice of lef-libeial causes.”
1
So it is scaicely suipiising that they
should veneiate men like WoodiowWilson, lianklin Roosevelt, and
Haiiy Tiuman, and connive to get a gullible public to go along.
But foi anyone fiiendliei to limited goveinment than the oidi-
naiy iun of histoiy piofessois, the piesidency of Haiiy Tiuman
will appeai in a veiy diffeient light. Tiuman’s piedecessoi had
massively expanded fedeial powei, especially the powei of the pies-
ident, in what amounted to a ievolution in Ameiican goveinment.
Undei Tiuman, that ievolution was consolidated and advanced be-
yond what even lianklin Roosevelt had evei daied hope foi.
Tui ONsi1 oi 1ui Coiu W~v—
Sc~viNc Hiii OU1 oi 1ui A:ivic~N Piovii
Most peinicious of all, Tiuman’s piesidency saw the genesis of a
woild-spanning Ameiican political and militaiy empiie.
z
Tis was
not simply the unintended consequence of some supposed Soviet
thieat, howevei. Even befoie the end of Woild Wai ll, high officials
in Washington weie diawing up plans to pioject Ameiican militaiy
might acioss the globe. To stait with, the United States would dom-
inate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Westein Hemispheie,
including thiough a netwoik of aii and naval bases. Complement-
ing this would be a system of aii tiansit iights and landing facilities
fiom Noith Afiica to Saigon and Manila. Tis planning continued
thiough the eaily yeais of the Tiuman administiation.
!
1
Robeit Higgs, “No Moie ‘Gieat Piesidents,’ ” Te Free Mor|eì (lebiuaiy 1vv¯),
p. z.
z
Even such a defendei of U.S. policy as John Lewis Gaddis, in “Te Emeiging
Post-Revisionist Synthesis on the Oiigins of the Cold Wai.” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor,
¯, no. ! (Summei 1vc!), pp. 1¯1–v!, states that pait of the “post-ievisionist” con-
sensus among diplomatic histoiians is that an Ameiican empiie did indeed come
into being. But this Ameiican empiie, accoiding to Gaddis, is a “defensive” one.
Why this should be a paiticulaily telling point is uncleai, consideiing that foi
Ameiican leadeis “defense” has entailed auempting to contiol the woild.
!
Melvyn P. Lefflei, “Te Ameiican Conception of National Secuiity and the
Beginnings of the Cold Wai, 1v.¯–1v.c,” A»er:con H:sìor:co| Re+:e+ cv, no. z
(Apiil 1vc.), pp. !.e–c1. See also the comments by John Lewis Gaddis and Biuce
Kuniholm, and Lefflei’s ieply, pp. !cz–.cc.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1c¯
But the planneis had no guaiantee that such a iadical ieveisal
of oui tiaditional policy could be sold to Congiess and the people.
lt was the confiontation with the Soviet Union and “inteinational
Communism,” begun and defined by Tiuman and then piolonged
foi foui decades, that fuinished the oppoitunity and the iationale
foi iealizing the globalist dieams.
Tat afei Woild Wai ll the Soviet Union would be piedominant
in Euiope was inevitable, given the goals puisued by Roosevelt and
Chuichill· Geimany’s unconditional suiiendei and its annihilation
as a factoi in the balance of powei.
.
At Yalta, the two Westein
leadeis acquiesced in the contiol ovei Eastein Euiope that had been
won by Stalin’s aimies, while affecting to believe that the Red dic-
tatoi would cheeifully assent to the establishment of demociatic
goveinments in that aiea. Te tiouble was that genuinely fiee elec-
tions east of the Elbe (except in Czechoslovakia) would inescapably
pioduce biueily anti-Communist iegimes. Such a iesult was unac-
ceptable to Stalin, whose position was well-known and much moie
iealistic than the illusions of his eistwhile allies. As he stated in the
spiing of 1v.¯· “Whoevei occupies a teiiitoiy also imposes on it his
own social system [as fai] as his aimy can ieach.”
¯
When Tiuman became piesident in Apiil 1v.¯, he was at fiist
piepaied to continue the “Giand Alliance,” and in fact haiboied
sympathetic feelings towaid Stalin.
e
But diffeiences soon aiose.
Te iaping and muideiing iampage of Red Aimy tioops as they
iolled ovei Eastein Euiope came as a disagieeable suipiise to Amei-
icans who had swallowed the waitime piopaganda, fiom Holly-
wood and elsewheie, on the Soviet “puiity of aims.” Stalin’s appai-
ent intention to communize Poland and include the othei conqueied
teiiitoiies within his spheie of influence was deeply iesented by
.
See Ralph Raico, “Rethinking Chuichill,” in the piesent volume.
¯
Waltei Lalebei, A»er:co, Rvss:o, onJ ì|e Co|J Vor, 1^o¯–1^^h, eth iev. ed.
(New Yoik· McGiaw-Hill, 1vv1), p. 1!. Cf. Stalin’s comment at Yalta· “A fieely
elected goveinment in any of these countiies would be anti-Soviet, and that we
cannot allow.” Hans J. Moigenthau, “Te Oiigins of the Cold Wai,” in Lloyd C.
Gaidnei, Aithui Schlesingei, Ji., and Hans J. Moigenthau, Te Or:g:ns o[ ì|e Co|J
Vor (Waltham, Mass.· Ginn, 1v¯c), pp. c¯–cc.
e
Melvyn R. Lefflei, “lnside Enemy Aichives· Te Cold Wai Reopened,” Fore:gn
Affo:rs (July/August 1vve), pp. 1!.–!¯.
1ce GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
leadeis in Washington, who at the same time had no qualms about
maintaining theii own spheie of influence thioughout all of Latin
Ameiica.
¯
Stalin’s piedictable moves to extend his sway aiound the pe-
iipheiy of the USSR fuithei alaimed Washington. Exploiting the
piesence of Soviet foices in noithein lian (a iesult of the waitime
agieement of the Big Tiee to divide up contiol of that countiy), he
piessed foi oil concessions similai to those gained by the United
States and Biitain. Afei the Soviets withdiew in ietuin foi a
piomise of concessions by the lianian pailiament, lian, suppoited
by the United States, ieneged on the deal. Tuining to Tuikey,
Stalin ievived tiaditional Russian claims dating fiom Tsaiist days,
piessuiing Ankaia to peimit unimpeded tiansit foi Soviet waiships
thiough the Stiaits.
Most ominous, in Washington’s view, was the civil wai in Gieece,
wheie Royalist foices faced Red insuigents. Biitain, bankiupted by
the wai, was compelled to abandon its suppoit of the Royalist cause.
Would the United States take up the toich fiom the falteiing hand
of the gieat impeiial powei` Heie, Tiuman told his cabinet, he
“faced a decision moie seiious than evei confionted any piesident.”
c
Te hypeibole is ludicious, but one can appieciate Tiuman’s piob-
lem. Te United States had nevei had the slightest inteiest in the
eastein Mediteiianean, noi was it possible to discein any thieat to
Ameiican secuiity in whatevei outcome the Gieek civil wai might
pioduce. Moieovei, Stalin had conceded Gieece to Biitain, in his
famous deal with Chuichill in Octobei 1v.., wheieby Russia was
given contiol of most of the iest of the Balkans, a deal appioved
by Roosevelt. Accoidingly, the Gieek Communists did not enjoy
Soviet backing· they weie not peimiued to join the Cominfoim,
and theii piovisional goveinment was not iecognized by the Soviet
Union oi any othei Communist state.
v
¯
At the State Depaitment, Heniy Stimson and John J. McCloy agieed in May
1v.¯ that (in McCloy’s woids) “we ought to have oui cake and eat it too,” that is,
contiol South Ameiica and “at the same time inteivene piomptly in Euiope, we
oughtn’t to give away eithei asset [sic].” Stephen E. Ambiose, R:se ìo G|o|o|:s»
A»er:con Fore:gn Po|:c, S:nce 1^I8, !id iev. ed. (New Yoik· Penguin, 1vc!), p. 1c!.
c
Alonzo L. Hamby, Mon o[ ì|e Peo¡|e A L:[e o[ Horr, S. Trv»on (New Yoik·
Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vv¯), p. !v1.
v
liank Kofsky, Horr, S. Trv»on onJ ì|e Vor Score o[ 1^o8 A Svccess[v|
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1c¯
Given all this, howwould Tiuman be able to justify U.S. involve-
ment` Uiged on by haidlineis like Navy Secietaiy James loiiestal,
who weie emboldened by the (tempoiaiy) Ameiican monopoly of
the atom bomb, he decided to fiame the Communist upiising in
Gieece, as well as Soviet moves in lian and Tuikey, in apocalyptic
teims. ln counteiing them, he mused· “We might as well find out
whethei the Russians aie as bent on woild conquest now as in five
oi ten yeais.”
1c
Woild conquest. Now, it seems, it was a Red Hitlei
who was on the maich.
11
Still, afei the landslide Republican victoiy in the congiessional
elections of 1v.e, Tiuman had to deal with a potentially iecalcitiant
opposition. Te Republicans had piomised to ietuin the countiy
to some degiee of noimalcy afei the statist binge of the wai yeais.
Shaip cuts in taxes, abolition of waitime contiols, and a balanced
budget weie high piioiities.
But Tiuman could count on allies in the inteinationalist wing
of the Republican Paity, most piominently Aithui Vandenbeig, a
foimei “isolationist” tuined iabid globalist, now chaiiman of the
Senate loieign Relations Commiuee. When Tiuman ievealed his
new “doctiine” to Vandenbeig, the Republican leadei advised him
that, in oidei to get such a piogiam thiough, the Piesident would
have to “scaie hell out of the Ameiican people.”
1z
Tat Tiuman
pioceeded to do.
On Maich 1z, 1v.¯, in a speech befoie a joint session of Congiess,
Tiuman pioclaimed a ievolution in Ameiican foieign policy. Moie
impoitant than the pioposed s!cc million in aid foi Gieece and
s1cc million foi Tuikey was the vision he piesented. Declaiing that
hencefoith “it must be the policy of the United States to suppoit
fiee peoples who aie iesisting auempted subjugation by aimed
Co»¡o:gn ìo Dece:+e ì|e Noì:on (New Yoik· St. Maitin’s Piess, 1vv!), pp. z..–.¯.
1c
Ambiose, R:se ìo G|o|o|:s», p. 11¯.
11
ln theii auacks on Patiick Buchanan’s A Re¡v||:c, Noì on F»¡:re Rec|o:»
:ng A»er:co’s Desì:n, (Washington, D.C.· Regneiy, 1vvv) foi his insistence that
Nazi Geimany posed no thieat to the United States afei 1v.c, Buchanan’s ciitics
have geneially iesoited to fatuous smeais. Tis is undeistandable, since they aie
wedded to a fantasy of Hitleiian powei that, iionically, is itself a ieflection of Hit-
leiian piopaganda. Te fact is that Nazi Geimany nevei conqueied any militaiily
impoitant nation but liance. Te dangei of cc million Geimans “conqueiing the
woild” is a scaieciow that has, obviously, seived the globalists well.
1z
Ambiose, R:se ìo G|o|o|:s», pp. 1!z–!!.
1cc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
minoiities oi by outside piessuie,” Tiuman situated aid to Gieece
and Tuikey within a woild-encompassing, life-oi-death stiuggle
“between alteinative ways of life.”
1!
As one histoiian has wiiuen, he
escalated the long, histoiic stiuggle between the Lef and
Right in Gieece foi political powei, and the equally histoiic
Russian uige foi contiol of the Daidanelles [sic], into a uni-
veisal conflict between fieedom and slaveiy. lt was a veiy
bioad jump indeed.
1.
At fiist, Tiuman’s iadical initiative piovoked uneasiness, even
within his administiation. Geoige Kennan, ofen ciedited with fa-
theiing the Cold Wai “containment” idea, stiongly opposed mili-
taiy aid to Tuikey, a nation which was undei no militaiy thieat
and which boideied the Soviet Union. Kennan also scoffed at the
“giandiose” and “sweeping” chaiactei of the Tiuman Doctiine.

ln
Congiess, the iesponse of Senatoi Robeit Taf was to accuse the
Piesident of dividing the woild into Communist and anti-Communist
zones. He asked foi evidence that oui national secuiity was in-
volved in Gieece, adding that he did not “want wai with Russia.”
1e
But Taf tuined out to be the last, sometimes vacillating, leadei of
the Old Right, whose ianks weie visibly weakening.

Although
he was called “Mi. Republican,” it was the inteinationalists who
weie now in chaige of that paity. ln the Senate, Taf’s doubts weie
answeied with calm, well-ieasoned iebuuals. Vandenbeig intoned·
1!
Ronald E. Powaski, Te Co|J Vor Te Un:ìeJ Sìoìes onJ ì|e So+:eì Un:on,
1^1¯–1^^1 (New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vvc), p. ¯z.
1.
Ambiose, R:se ìo G|o|o|:s», p. 1!!. Tat self-inteiest played a iole in the
exaggeiation of the “ciisis” is the conclusion of Ronald Steel, “Te End of the
Beginning,” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, 1e, no. z (Spiing 1vvz), p. zv¯, who wiites that
univeisalizing the stiuggle would “enable the United States gieatly to expand
its militaiy and political ieach,” which “enhanced its appeal to Ameiican foieign
policy elites eagei to embiace the nation’s new oppoitunities.”

Lalebei, A»er:co, Rvss:o, onJ ì|e Co|J Vor, pp. ¯!–¯..
1e
Ronald Radosh, Pro¡|eìs on ì|e R:g|ì Profi|es o[ Conser+oì:+e Cr:ì:cs o[ A»er
:con G|o|o|:s» (New Yoik· Simon and Schustei, 1v¯¯), pp. 1¯¯–¯e.

See Ted Galen Caipentei’s scholaily and highly infoimative Te D:ssenìers
A»er:con Iso|oì:on:sìs onJ Fore:gn Po|:c,, 1^o¯–1^¯o (Ph.D. disseitation, Univeisity
of Texas, 1vcc). On the same topic, but concentiating on the intellectual leadeis
of the Old Right, see Joseph R. Stiombeig’s peiceptive analysis, Te Co|J Vor onJ
ì|e Trons[or»oì:on o[ ì|e A»er:con R:g|ì Te Dec|:ne o[ R:g|ìV:ng L:|ero|:s»
(M.A. thesis, lloiida Atlantic Univeisity, 1v¯1).
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1cv
“lf we deseit the Piesident of the United States at [this] moment we
cease to have any influence in the woild foievei.” Massachuseus
Senatoi Heniy Cabot Lodge, Ji., aveiied that iepudiating Tiuman
would be like thiowing the Ameiican flag on the giound and stomp-
ing on it.
1c
ln May, Congiess appiopiiated the funds the piesident
iequested.
Meanwhile, the oigans of the national secuiity state weie being
put into place.
1v
Te Wai and Navy Depaitments and the Aimy Aii
Coips weie combined into what was named, in Oiwellian fashion,
the Defense Depaitment. Othei legislation established the National
Secuiity Council and upgiaded intelligence opeiations into the Cen-
tial lntelligence Agency.
ln the following decades, the ClA was to play a sinistei, ex-
tiemely expensive, and ofen comically inept iole—especially in
its continually absuid oveiestimations of Soviet stiength.
zc
ln es-
tablishing the ClA, Congiess had no intention of authoiizing it to
conduct seciet militaiy opeiations, but undei Tiuman this is what it
quickly began to do, including waging a seciet wai on the Chinese
mainland even befoie the outbieak of the Koiean Wai (with no
appieciable iesults).
z1
ln 1vvv, afei it taigeted the Chinese em-
bassy in Belgiade foi bombing—supposedly a mistake, even though
1c
Melvyn P. Lefflei, A Pre¡onJeronce o[ Po+er Noì:ono| Secvr:ì,, ì|e Trv»on
AJ»:n:sìroì:on, onJ ì|e Co|J Vor (Stanfoid, Calif.· Stanfoid Univeisity Piess,
1vvz), p. 1.e.
1v
See Michael J. Hogan, A Cross o[ Iron Horr, S. Trv»on onJ ì|e Or:g:ns o[ ì|e
Noì:ono| Secvr:ì, Sìoìe, 1^o¯–1^¯o (Cambiidge· Cambiidge Univeisity Piess, 1vvc).
zc
Cf. Daniel Patiick Moynihan, Secrec, Te A»er:con F:¡er:ence (New Haven,
Conn.· Yale Univeisity Piess, 1vv¯), pp. 1v¯–vv and ¡oss:». ln 1vv¯, foimei Piesi-
dent Geiald loid iecalled his days as a membei of the House Defense Appiopiia-
tions Commiuee, when spokesmen foi the ClA would wain ovei and ovei again
of the imminent dangei of the Soviet Union’s suipassing the United States “in
militaiy capability, in economic giowth, in the stiength of oui economies. lt was
a scaiy piesentation.”
z1
Tiuman latei maintained that he nevei intended the ClA to involve itself
in “peacetime cloak-and-daggei opeiations.” Tis, howevei, was a lie. See John
Piados, Pres:Jenìs’ Secreì Vors CIA onJ Penìogon Co+erì O¡eroì:ons [ro» Vor|J
Vor II ì|rovg| ì|e Pers:on Gv|[ Vor, iev. ed. (Chicago· lvan R. Dee, 1vve), pp. zc–z1,
zc–zv, e¯–e¯, also Petei Giose, O¡eroì:on Ro|||oJ A»er:co’s Secreì Vor Be|:nJ
ì|e Iron Cvrìo:n (Boston· Houghton Mifflin, zccc), which discusses Geoige Ken-
nan’s 1v.c plan, appioved by the Tiuman administiation, to caiiy out paiamili-
taiy actions behind the lion Cuitain, including gueiiilla auacks and sabotage.
11c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Ameiican diplomats had dined at the embassy and its location was
known to eveiyone in the city—ClAhas come to stand, in the woids
of one Biitish wiitei, foi “Can’t ldentify Anything.”
zz
ln June 1v.¯, Secietaiy of State Geoige Maishall announced a
wide-ianging scheme foi economic aid to Euiope. ln Decembei,
the Maishall Plan was piesented as an appiopiiations bill calling foi
giants of s1¯ billion ovei foui yeais. Te plan, it was claimed, would
ieconstiuct Euiope to the point wheie the Euiopeans could defend
themselves. Congiess at fiist was cold to the idea. Taf giumbled
that Ameiican taxpayeis should not have to suppoit an “inteina-
tional WPA,” aiguing that the funds would subsidize the socializa-
tion piogiams undei way in many of the iecipient countiies.
z!
Te
Maishall Plan led to intensified tensions with the Russians, who saw
it as fuithei pioof that Washington aimed to undeimine theii iule
ovei Eastein Euiope. Stalin instiucted his satellite states to iefuse
to take pait.
z.
zz
Geoffiey Wheatciof, in the T:»es L:ìeror, Sv¡¡|e»enì (July 1e, 1vvv), p. v.
loi an excellent analysis of the United States’ and NATO’s successive lies on the
bombing of the Chinese embassy, and the Ameiican media’s chaiacteiistic en-
doisement and piopagation of the lies, see Jaied lsiael, “Te Aiiogance of Rome,”
www.emperors-clothes.com, Apiil 1c, zccc.
z!
Radosh, Pro¡|eìs on ì|e R:g|ì, pp. 1¯v–e1. Te Maishall Plan and its sup-
posed successes aie now enveloped by what Waltei A. McDougall, in Pro»:seJ
LonJ, CrvsoJer Sìoìe Te A»er:con Fncovnìer +:ì| ì|e Vor|J S:nce 1¯¯o (Boston·
Houghton Mifflin, 1vv¯), p. 1cc, iightly calls a “mythology.” Te basic cause of
Euiope’s iecoveiy was the ielatively fiee-maiket piinciples put into piactice (in
West Geimany, foi instance), and, moie than anything else, the chaiactei of the
Euiopean peoples, sometimes called “human capital.” What the Maishall Plan
and the billions in U.S. militaiy aid laigely accomplished was to allow the Euio-
pean iegimes to constiuct theii welfaie states, and, in the case of liance, foi one,
to continue tiying to suppiess colonial upiisings, as in Vietnam. Cf. Geoige C.
Heiiing, A»er:co’s Longesì Vor ì|e Un:ìeJ Sìoìes onJ V:eìno», 1^¯h–1^¯o (New
Yoik· Knopf, 1v¯v), p. c· “substantial Ameiican funds undei the Maishall Plan
enabled liance to use its own iesouices to piosecute the wai in lndochina.” See
also Tylei Cowen, “Te Maishall Plan· Myths and Realities,” in U.S. A:J ìo ì|e
De+e|o¡:ng Vor|J A Free Mor|eì AgenJo, Doug Bandow, ed. (Washington, D.C.·
Heiitage, 1vc¯), pp. e1–¯., and Alan S. Milwaid, “Was the Maishall Plan Nec-
essaiy`” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, 1! (Spiing 1vcv), pp. z!1–¯!, who emphasizes the
piessuies placed on Euiopean goveinments by the Plan’s administiatois to adopt
Keynesian policies.
z.
Vladislav Zubok, “Stalin’s Plans and Russian Aichives,” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor,
z1, no. z (Spiing 1vv¯), p. zvv. Te Soviet documents showthat Stalin and Molotov
weie “convinced that the U.S. aid was designed to luie the Kiemlin’s East Euio-
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 111
“WoviuCoNçUis1” Riu Aiiv1
Nineteen foity-eight was a decisive yeai in the Cold Wai. Teie was
gieat ieluctance in the conseivative Eightieth Congiess to comply
with Tiuman’s piogiam, which included funding foi the Euiopean
Recoveiy Act (Maishall Plan), iesumption of the diaf, and Uni-
veisal Militaiy Tiaining (UMT). To deal with this iesistance, the
administiation concocted the wai scaie of 1v.c.
Te fiist pietext came in lebiuaiy, with the so-called Commu-
nist coup in Czechoslovakia. But Czechoslovakia, was, foi all in-
tents and puiposes, alieady a Soviet satellite. Having led the Czechs
in the “ethnic cleansing” of !.¯ million Sudeten Geimans, the Com-
munists enjoyed gieat populaiity. ln the geneial elections, they
won !c pei cent of the vote, constituting by fai the laigest sin-
gle paity. Te Ameiican ambassadoi iepoited to Washington that
Communist consolidation of powei in eaily 1v.c was the logical
outgiowth of the Czech–Soviet militaiy alliance dating back to 1v.!.
Geoige Maishall himself, Secietaiy of State at the time, stated in
piivate that “as fai as inteinational affaiis aie conceined,” the foi-
mal Communist assumption of powei made no diffeience· it would
meiely “ciystallize and confiim foi the futuie pievious Czech pol-
icy.”

Still, the Communist “coup” was painted as a gieat leap
foiwaid in Stalin’s plan foi “woild conquest.”
Ten, on Maich ¯, came the shocking leuei fiom Geneial Lu-
cius Clay, U.S. militaiy goveinoi in Geimany, to Geneial Stephen J.
Chambeilin, head of Aimy lntelligence, in which Clay ievealed his
foieboding that wai “may come with diamatic suddenness.” Yeais
latei, when Clay’s biogiaphei asked himwhy, if he sensed an impend-
ing wai, this was the only iefeience he evei made to it, he ieplied·
Geneial Chambeilin . . . told me that the Aimy was hav-
ing tiouble geuing the diaf ieinstituted and they needed a
stiong message fiomme that they could use in congiessional
testimony. So l wiote this cable.
ze
On Maich 11, Maishall solemnly wained in a public addiess
that· “Te woild is in the midst of a gieat ciisis.” Aveiell Haiiiman
asseited·
pean neighbois out of its oibit and to iebuild Geiman stiength.” See also Lefflei,
“lnside Enemy Aichives,” p. 1!!.

Kofsky, Trv»on, p. vv.
ze
lbid., p. 1ce.
11z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Teie aie aggiessive foices in the woild coming fiom the
Soviet Union which aie just as destiuctive as Hitlei was, and
l think aie a gieatei menace than Hitlei was.

And so Haiiiman laid down the Hitlei caid, which was to become
the mastei tiump in the globalists’ piopaganda hand foi the next
half-centuiy and most likely foi many decades to come.
Taf, campaigning foi the Republican piesidential nomination,
was angeied by the wai hysteiia diummed up by the administiation·
l know of no indication of Russian intention to undeitake
militaiy aggiession beyond the spheie of influence that was
oiiginally assigned to them[at Yalta]. Te situation in Czecho-
slovakia was indeed a tiagic one, but Russian influence has
piedominated theie since the end of the wai.
Taf tiied to intioduce a note of sanity· “lf Piesident Tiuman and
Geneial Maishall have any piivate intelligence” iegaiding immi-
nent wai, “they ought to tell the Ameiican people about it.” Oth-
eiwise, we should pioceed on “the basis of peace.”
zc
ln ieality, the administiation had no such “piivate intelligence,”
hence the need to stage-manage Clay’s leuei. On the contiaiy,
Colonel Robeit B. Landiy, Tiuman’s aii aide, iepoited that in theii
zone in eastein Geimany the Russians had dismantled hundieds of
miles of iailioad tiack and shipped them home—in othei woids,
they had toin up the veiy iailioad lines iequiied foi any Soviet at-
tack on westein Euiope.
zv
lield Maishal Montgomeiy, afei a tiip to
Russia in 1v.¯, wiote to Geneial Eisenhowei· “Te Soviet Union is
veiy, veiy tiied. Devastation in Russia is appalling, and the countiy
is in no fit state to go to wai.”
!c
Today it would be veiy difficult to
find any scholai anywheie willing to subsciibe to Tiuman’s fienzied
vision of a Soviet Union about to set off to conquei the woild. As
John Lewis Gaddis wiote·

Ronald E. Powaski, To+orJ on Fnìong|:ng A||:once A»er:con Iso|oì:on:s»,
Inìernoì:ono|:s», onJ Fvro¡e, 1^h1–1^¯h (Westpoit, Conn.· Gieenwood, 1vv1),
pp. zc1–cz.
zc
Haiiy W. Beigei, “Senatoi Robeit A. Taf Dissents fiom Militaiy Escalation,”
in Co|J Vor Cr:ì:cs A|ìernoì:+es ìo A»er:con Fore:gn Po|:c, :n ì|e Trv»on Yeors,
Tomas G. Pateison, ed. (Chicago· Qadiangle Books, 1v¯1), pp. 1c1–cz, and Kof-
sky, Trv»on, p. 1!c.
zv
lbid., pp. zv.–v¯.
!c
Michael Paienti, Te S+orJ onJ ì|e Do||or I»¡er:o|:s», Re+o|vì:on, onJ ì|e
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 11!
Stalin is nowseen as a cagey but insecuie oppoitunist, taking
advantage of such tactical oppoitunities as aiose to expand
Soviet influence, but without any long-teim stiategy foi oi
even veiy much inteiest in piomoting the spiead of commu-
nism beyond the Soviet spheie.
!1
Te non-existence of Soviet plans to launch an auack on Euiope
holds foi the entiie Cold Wai peiiod. One scholai in the field con-
cludes that
despite the fact that the Russian aichives have yielded ample
evidence of Soviet peifidy and egiegious behavioi in many
othei spheies, nothing has tuined up to suppoit the idea that
the Soviet leadeiship at any time actually planned to stait
Woild Wai lll and send the “Russian hoides” westwaid.
!z
Ar»s Roce (New Yoik· St. Maitin’s, 1vcv), p. 1.¯.
!1
Gaddis, “Te Emeiging Post-Revisionist Synthesis,” p. 1c1. Hans Moigen-
thau, “Te Oiigins of the Cold Wai,” p. v¯, anticipated this conclusion· “Te
limits of Stalin’s teiiitoiial ambition weie the tiaditional limits of Russian ex-
pansionism.” Even Vladislav Zubok, who believes that the now available Soviet
documents show the U.S. leadeis in a much beuei light than many had thought,
nonetheless concedes, “Stalin’s Plans,” p. !c¯· “theie was an element of oveiie-
action, aiiogance, and selfish piagmatism in the Ameiican iesponse to Stalin’s
plans. . . . Te Soviet militaiy machine was not a militaiy juggeinaut, westein Eu-
iope was not undei thieat of a diiect Soviet militaiy assault, and the Sino-Soviet
bloc lacked tiue cohesion. . . . Ameiican containment of Stalin’s Soviet Union may
indeed have helped the dictatoiship to mobilize people to the task of building a
supeipowei fiomthe ashes and iuins of the impoveiished and devastated countiy.
lt may even have helped Stalin to tiample on the seeds of libeialism and fieedom
in Soviet society.” Cf. Lefflei, “lnside Enemy Aichives,” pp. 1!z, 1!.· “Te new
ieseaich cleaily shows that Ameiican initiatives intensified Soviet distiust and
ieinfoiced Soviet insecuiities . . . [iecent ieseaich indicates] that Ameiican poli-
cies made it difficult foi potential iefoimeis inside the Kiemlin to gain the high
giound.”
!z
MauhewEvangelista, “Te ‘Soviet Tieat’· lntentions, Capabilities, and Con-
text,” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, zz, no. ! (Summei 1vvc), pp. ..¯–.e. On howinfoimation
fiom iecently opened Soviet aichives has undeimined the old Cold Wai account,
see Lefflei, “lnside Enemy Aichives,” pp. 1zc–!¯. Lefflei, haidly a “New Lef” (oi
libeitaiian) histoiian, concludes· “Ameiicans should ieexamine theii complacent
belief in the wisdom of theii countiy’s cold wai policies.”
Te fact that Stalin was the woist tyiant and gieatest mass-muideiei in
twentieth-centuiy Euiopean histoiy has by nowbeen established beyond a doubt.
Howevei, heie one should heed Muiiay Rothbaid’s admonition against doing “o
¡r:or: histoiy,” that is, assuming that in a given inteinational conflict it is always
11. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
So why the wai scaie in 1v.c` ln a 1v¯e inteiview, looking back on
this peiiod, Aii loice Biigadiei Geneial Robeit C. Richaidson, who
seived at NATO headquaiteis in the eaily 1v¯cs, candidly admiued·
theie was no question about it, that [Soviet] thieat that we
weie planning against was way oveiiated and intentionally
oveiiated, because theie was the pioblem of ieoiienting the
[U.S.] demobilization . . . [Washington] made this nine-foot-
tall thieat out theie. And foi yeais and yeais it stuck. l mean,
it was almost immovable.
!!
Yet, anyone who doubted the wisdom of the administiation’s mili-
taiistic policy was taigeted foi venomous smeais. Accoiding to Tiu-
man, Republicans who opposed his univeisal ciusade weie “Kiem-
lin assets,” the soit of tiaitois who would shoot “oui soldieis in
the back in a hot wai,”
!.
a good example of Tiuman’s acclaimed
the ielatively libeial state that is in the iight as against the ielatively illibeial state,
which must always be the aggiessoi. Muiiay N. Rothbaid, For o Ne+ L:|erì, Te
L:|erìor:on Mon:[esìo, iev. ed. (New Yoik· Colliei–Macmillan, 1v¯c), pp. zcv–v1.
!!
Evangelista, “Te Soviet Tieat,” p. ..¯. See also Steel, “Te End of the
Beginning,” “Unquestionably, the Soviet Union was fai weakei ideologically, po-
litically, stiuctuially, and, of couise, economically, than was geneially assumed.”
An astonishing admission that the whole Cold Wai was fueled, on the Ameiican
side, by wild oveiestimations of Soviet stiength was made in 1vvc by Stiobe
Talbou, Deputy Secietaiy of State· “foi moie than foui decades, Westein policy
has been based on a giotesque exaggeiation of what the USSR could do if it
wanted, theiefoie what it might do, theiefoie what the West must be piepaied
to do in iesponse. . . . Woist-case assumptions about Soviet intentions have fed,
and fed upon, woist-case assumptions about Soviet capabilities.” John A. Tomp-
son, “Te Exaggeiation of Ameiican Vulneiability· Te Anatomy of a Tiadition,”
D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, 1e, no. 1 (Wintei 1vvz), p. z!. Tompson’s aiticle is highly
instiuctive on how hysteiia iegaiding impending auacks on the United States
duiing the twentieth centuiy—a time when Ameiica giew evei stiongei—has
contiibuted to entanglement in foieign conflicts.
!.
Justus D. Doenecke, Noì ìo ì|e S+:] Te O|J Iso|oì:on:sìs :n ì|e Co|J Vor Fro
(Lewisbuig, Penn.· Bucknell Univeisity Piess, 1v¯v), p. z1e. Tiuman’s slandeis
weie paiticulaily vile, since his own motivation in geneiating the wai-scaie was
at least in pait self-aggiandizement. As his tiusted political advisei Claik Cliffoid
noted in a memo to the Piesident· “Teie is consideiable political advantage to
the administiation in its baule with the Kiemlin. Te woise maueis get up to
a faiily ceitain point—ieal dangei of imminent wai—the moie is theie a sense
of ciisis. ln times of ciisis, the Ameiican citizen tends to back up his piesident.”
(Kofsky, Trv»on, p. vz)
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 11¯
“plain speaking.”

Aveiell Haiiiman chaiged that Taf was simply
helping Stalin caiiy out his aims. As always, the establishment
piess, led by the Ne+ Yor| T:»es, echoed the goveinment’s slandeis.
Amusingly, Republican ciitics of the wai hysteiia weie labeled pio-
Soviet even by jouinals like Te Ne+Re¡v||:c and Te Noì:on, which
had functioned as apologists foi Stalin’s teiioi iegime foi yeais.
!e
Tiuman’s campaign could not have succeeded without the en-
thusiastic coopeiation of the Ameiican media. Led by the T:»es,
the Hero|J Tr:|vne, and Heniy Luce’s magazines, the piess acted as
volunteei piopagandists foi the inteiventionist agenda, with all its
calculated deceptions. (Te piincipal exceptions weie the C|:cogo
Tr:|vne and the Vos|:ngìon T:»es–Hero|J, in the days of Colonel
McCoimick and Cissy Pateison.)

ln time, such subseivience in
foieign affaiis became ioutine foi the “fouith estate,” culminating
duiing and afei the 1vvv wai against Yugoslavia in iepoiting by the
piess coips that suipassed the mendacity of the Seibian Ministiy of
lnfoimation.
Oveiwhelmed by the piopaganda blitz fiom the administiation
and the piess, a Republican majoiity in Congiess heeded the Sec-
ietaiy of State’s high-minded call to keep foieign policy “above
politics” and voted full funding foi the Maishall Plan.
!c

Cf. Geoige Will’s judgment, in Te Le+e|:ng V:nJ Po|:ì:cs, ì|e Cv|ìvre, onJ
Oì|er Ne+s, 1^^h–1^^o (New Yoik· Viking, 1vv.), p. !cc· “Tiuman’s gieatness was
a pioduct of his goodness, his stiaight-ahead iespect foi the public, iespect ex-
piessed in decisions biiskly made and plainly explained.” ln tiuth, despite Will’s
ignoiant blathei, Tiuman was all of his life a demagogue, a political gaibage-
mouth, whose fiist instinct was to besmiich his opponents. ln his tiibute to Tiu-
man, Will employs his usual ploy whenevei he is moved to extol some villainous
politico oi othei· his subject’s gieatness could only be denied by pitiful post-
modeinist cieatuies who ieject all human excellence, nobility of soul, etc. Tis
maneuvei is nowheie silliei than in the case of Haiiy Tiuman.
!e
Doenecke, Noì ìo ì|e S+:], pp. zcc, z1e.

Ted Galen Caipentei, Te Co¡ì:+e Press Fore:gn Po|:c, Cr:ses onJ ì|e F:rsì
A»enJ»enì (Washington, D.C.· Cato lnstitute, 1vv¯), pp. .¯–¯z. Caipentei’s ex-
cellent study coveis the whole peiiod of the Cold Wai.
!c
Te commotion ovei Soviet plans to “conquei the woild” intensified in June
1v.c with the blockade of West Beilin. Te United States and its allies had uni-
lateially decided to jeuison foui-powei contiol of Geimany and instead to inte-
giate theii occupation zones and pioceed to cieate a West Geiman state. Stalin’s
clumsy iesponse was to exploit the absence of any foimal agieement peimiuing
the Westein poweis access to Beilin, and to institute the blockade.
11e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Te next majoi step was the cieation of the Noith Atlantic
Tieaty Oiganization. Te tiue significance of the NATO tieaty
was hidden, as the new Secietaiy of State Dean Acheson assuied
Congiess that it would not be followed by othei iegional pacts, that
no “substantial” numbeis of Ameiican tioops would be stationed
in Euiope, and that the Geimans would undei no ciicumstances
be ieaimed—all untiue. Congiess was likewise piomised that the
United States was undei no obligation to extend militaiy aid to its
new allies, noi would an aims iace with the Soviet Union ensue.
!v
Events came to the aid of the globalists. ln Septembei 1v.v, the
Soviets exploded an atomic bomb. Congiess appioved the militaiy
appiopiiation foi NATO that Tiuman had iequested, which, in the
natuie of things, was followed by a fuithei Soviet buildup. Tis
escalating back and foith became the pauein foi the Cold Wai aims
iace foi the next fify yeais, much to the delight of U.S. aimaments
contiactois and the geneials and admiials on both sides.
Tui Kovi~N W~v
ln June 1v¯c, the National Secuiity Council adopted a majoi stiate-
gic document, NSC-ec, which declaied, implausibly enough, that “a
defeat of fiee institutions anywheie is a defeat eveiywheie.” Te
United States should no longei auempt to “distinguish between
national and global secuiity.” lnstead, it must stand at the “political
and mateiial centei with othei fiee nations in vaiiable oibits aiound
it.” NSC-ec, not declassified until 1v¯¯, called foi an immediate
thiee- oi foui-fold inciease in militaiy spending, which would seive
also to piime the pump of economic piospeiity—thus foimalizing
militaiy Keynesianism as a peimanent fixtuie of Ameiican life.
Moieovei, public opinion was to be conditioned to accept the “laige
measuie of saciifice and discipline” needed to meet the piotean
Communist challenge foi the indefinite futuie.
.c
!v
Lalebei, A»er:co, Rvss:o, onJ ì|e Co|J Vor, pp. c!–c.. Some minoi awaid foi
Oiwellian Newspeak is due the Demociatic foieign affaiis leadei in the Senate,
TomConnally, who stated that NATO“is but the logical extension of the piinciple
of the Monioe Doctiine.”
.c
See especially Jeiiy W. Sandeis, PeJJ|ers o[ Cr:s:s Te Co»»:uee on ì|e
Presenì Donger onJ ì|e Po|:ì:cs o[ Conìo:n»enì (Boston· South End Piess, 1vc!),
also Gabiiel Kolko, Cenìvr, o[ Vor Po|:ì:cs, Confl:cì, onJ Soc:eì, S:nce 1^1o (New
Yoik· New Piess, 1vv.), pp. !v¯–vc, and Powaski, Co|J Vor, pp. c¯–ce.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 11¯
Even Tiuman was dubious on the piospects foi such a quan-
tum leap in globalism in a time of peace. But again, events—and
Tiuman’s shiewd exploitation of them—came to the aid of the in-
teinationalist planneis. As one of Tiuman’s adviseis latei expiessed
it· in June 1v¯c, “we weie sweating ovei it,” and then, “thank God
Koiea came along.”
.1
loi yeais, skiimishes and even majoi engagements had occuiied
acioss the !cth paiallel, which divided Noith fiom South Koiea. On
Januaiy 1z, 1v¯c, Secietaiy of State Acheson desciibed the Ameiican
defensive peiimetei as extending fiom the Aleutians to Japan to
the Philippines. South Koiea (as well as Taiwan) was conspicu-
ously placed outside this peiimetei. One ieason was that it was
not consideied to be of any militaiy value. Anothei was that Wash-
ington did not tiust South Koiean stiongman Syngman Rhee, who
iepeatedly thieatened to ieunite the countiy by foice. Rhee was
advocating a maich noith to Ameiican officials as late as mid-June
1v¯c.
.z
On June z¯, it was Noith Koiea that auacked.
.!
Te next day,
Tiuman instiucted U.S. aii and naval foices to destioy Communist
supply lines. When bombing failed to pievent the headlong ietieat
of the South Koiean aimy, Tiuman sent Ameiican tioops stationed
in Japan to join the baule. Geneial Douglas MacAithui was able to
hold the iedoubt aiound Pusan, then, in an amphibious invasion at
lnchon, to begin the destiuction of the Noith Koiean position.
Afei the Noith Koieans ietieated behind the !cth paiallel, Tiu-
man decided against ending the wai on the basis of the sìoìvs qvo
onìe. lnstead, he oideied MacAithui to move noith. Pyongyang
was to be the fiist Communist capital libeiated, and the whole
peninsula was to be unified undei the iule of Syngman Rhee. As
U.N. foices (mainly Ameiican and South Koiean) swept noith, the
.1
Michael Schallei, Te Un:ìeJ Sìoìes onJ C|:no :n ì|e T+enì:eì| Cenìvr, (New
Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1v¯v), pp. 1!1–!z.
.z
Biuce Cumings, Koreo’s P|oce :n ì|e Svn A MoJern H:sìor, (New Yoik· Noi-
ton, 1vv¯), pp. z¯¯–¯c. Japan was unable to act as a counteiweight to Communist
iegimes in East Asia because, like Geimany, it had been annulled as a militaiy
powei. ln addition, the constitution imposed on Japan by the Ameiican occupieis
foiced it to ienounce waimaking as a soveieign iight.
.!
Te auack was authoiized by Stalin, “in expectation that the United States
might eventually tuin [South Koiea] into a beachhead foi a ietuin to the Asian
mainland in alliance with a iesuigent Japan” (Zubok, “Stalin’s Plans,” p. !c1).
11c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Chinese issued wainings against appioaching theii boidei at the
Yalu Rivei. Tese weie ignoied by an administiation somehow
unable to compiehend why China might feai massive U.S. foices
stationed on its fiontiei. Chinese tioops enteied the wai, piolong-
ing it by anothei thiee yeais, duiing which most of the Ameiican
casualties weie sustained.
..
MacAithui, who pioposed bombing
China itself, was dismissed by Tiuman, who at least spaied the
nation an even widei wai, possibly involving Russia as well.
Koiea affoided unpiecedented oppoitunities foi advancing the
globalist piogiam. Tiuman assigned the U.S. Seventh lleet to patiol
the stiait between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. loui moie U.S.
divisions weie sent to Euiope, to add to the two alieady theie, and an-
othei s. billion was allocated foi the ieaimament of oui Euiopean al-
lies. Some months befoie the stait of the Koiean Wai, Tiuman had al-
ieady initiated Ameiica’s fateful involvement in lndochina, suppoit-
ing the liench impeiialists and theii puppet iulei Bảo Đại against the
nationalist and Communist ievolutionaiy Hồ Chi Minh. Koiea fui-
nished welcome covei foi stepping up aid to the liench, which soon
amounted to a half-billion dollais a yeai. Te United States was thus
pioviding the gieat bulk of the mateiial iesouices foi liance’s colo-
nialist wai. Te State Depaitment defended this commitment, iathei
iidiculously, by citing lndochina’s pioduction of “much-needed iice,
iubbei, and tin.” Moie to the point was the feai expiessed that the
“loss” of lndochina, including Vietnam, would iepiesent a defeat in
the stiuggle against what was poitiayed as a unified and cooidinated
Communist push to take ovei the woild.

At the same time, the degiadation of political language went
into high geai, wheie it iemained foi the iest of the Cold Wai and
piobably peimanently. To the authoiitaiian iegimes in Gieece and
Tuikey weie now added, as components of “the liee Woild” which
Ameiicans weie obligated to defend, Rhee’s autociatic Republic of
..
Eiic A. Noidlingei, Iso|oì:on:s» ReconfigvreJ A»er:con Fore:gn Po|:c, [or o
Ne+ Cenìvr, (Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton Univeisity Piess, 1vv¯), pp. 1ec–ev.

Waltei Lalebei, A»er:co, Rvss:o, onJ ì|e Co|J Vor, pp. 1c¯–cc, see also Hei-
iing, A»er:co’s Longesì Vor, pp. e–z!. liance’s wai against the Việt Minh began
in 1v.e with a typical colonialist atiocity, when a liench ciuisei bombaided Hải
Phong, killing e,ccc civilians, ibid., p. ¯. Acts of biutality such as this weie on
the minds of the “isolationist” Republicans like Taf, Geoige Bendei, and Howaid
Buffet when they inveighed against Ameiican suppoit of Westein impeiialism in
teims which would be consideied “lefist” today.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 11v
Koiea, Chiang’s dictatoiship on Taiwan, and even colonialist liench
lndochina.
With the outbieak of the Koiean Wai, the Republicans’ capitula-
tion to globalism was piactically complete.
.e
As is standaid pioce-
duie in Ameiican politics, foieign policy was a non-issue in the 1v.c
piesidential campaign. Tomas E. Dewey, a cieatuie of the Eastein
establishment centeied in Wall Stieet, was as much of an oveiseas
meddlei as Tiuman. Now, in the stiuggle against “inteinational
Communism,” even eistwhile “isolationists” showed themselves to
be aich-inteiventionists when it came to Asia, going so fai as to
make a heio of MacAithui foi demanding an expansion of the wai
and the “unleashing” of Chiang’s aimy on the mainland. Taf sup-
poited sending tioops to fight in Koiea, while enteiing one majoi
objection. Chaiacteiistically, it was on the constitutional question.
Tui PvisiuiN1 ~s W~vM~xiv A1 Wiii
When Noith Koiea invaded the South, Tiuman and Acheson claimed
unlimited piesidential authoiity to engage the United States in the
wai, which they kept iefeiiing to as a “police action.” Tiuman
stated· “Te piesident, as Commandei-in-Chief of the Aimed loices
of the United States, has full contiol ovei the use theieof.”

Tis flies
in the face of Aiticle 1, section c of the U.S. Constitution, wheie the
powei to declaie wai is vested in Congiess. Te delibeiations at the
Constitutional Convention and othei statements of the lounding
latheis aie unequivocal in this iespect. While the piesident, as
commandei-in-chief, is given authoiity to deploy Ameiican foices
in waitime, it is Congiess that decides on wai oi peace. Wouldn’t it
be suipassing stiange if the loundeis, so conceined to limit, divide,
and balance powei, had lef the decision to engage the countiy in
wai to the will of a single individual`
.c
.e
On the shif of conseivatives fiom “isolationism” to inteinationalism, see
Muiiay N. Rothbaid, “Te Tiansfoimation of the Ameiican Right,” Conì:nvv»
(Summei 1ve.), pp. zzc–!1.

John Hait Ely, Vor onJ Res¡ons:|:|:ì, Consì:ìvì:ono| Lessons o[ V:eìno» onJ
Iìs A]er»oì| (Piinceton, N.J.· Piinceton Univeisity Piess, 1vv!), pp. 1c–11.
.c
See, foi example, James Wilson’s statement· “Tis system will not huiiy us
into wai, it is calculated to guaid against it. lt will not be in the powei of a single
man, oi a single body of men, to involve us in such distiess, foi the impoitant
powei of declaiing wai is vested in the legislatuie at laige.” lbid., p. !. lllustiative
1zc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
So well-established was this piinciple that even Woodiow Wil-
son and lianklin Roosevelt, no minimizeis of executive pieiogatives,
bowed to it and went to Congiess foi theii declaiations of wai. lt
was Tiuman who daied what even his piedecessoi had not. As two
constitutional scholais, liancis D. Woimuth and Edwin B. liimage,
have wiiuen·
Te Constitution is not ambiguous. . . . Te eaily piesidents,
and indeed eveiyone in the countiy until the yeai 1v¯c, denied
that the piesident possessed [the powei to initiate wai]. Teie
is no sustained body of usage to suppoit such a claim.
.v
At the time, college histoiy piofessois iushed to blazon the al-
legedly countless occasions when piesidents sent U.S. foices into wai
oi wailike situations without congiessional appioval. Lists of such
occasions weie afeiwaid compiled by othei apologists foi execu-
tive powei in foieign affaiis—in 1v¯1, foi instance, by the ieveied
conseivative Baiiy Goldwatei. Tese incidents have been caiefully
examined by Woimuth and liimage, who conclude·
One cannot be suie, but the numbei of cases in which piesi-
dents have peisonally made the decision [in contiast, foi in-
stance, to oveizealous militaiy and naval officeis] unconsti-
tutionally to engage in wai oi in acts of wai piobably lies
between one and two dozen. And in all those cases the piesi-
dents have made false claims of authoiization, eithei by statute
oi by tieaty oi by inteinational law. Tey have not ielied on
theii poweis as commandei in chief oi as chief executive.
¯c
At all events, as Chief Justice Eail Waiien held in 1vev, aiticulating a
well-known constitutional piinciple on behalf of seven othei Justices·
“Tat an unconstitutional action has been taken befoie suiely does
not iendei that action any less unconstitutional at a latei date.”
¯1
of the piesent-day decay of constitutional thinking is the statement of the noted
conseivative advocate of the doctiine of “oiiginal intent” Robeit Boik (ibid., p. ¯)·
“Te need foi piesidents to have that powei [to use militaiy foice abioad without
Congiessional appioval], paiticulaily in the modein age, should be obvious to
almost anyone.”
.v
liancis D. Woimuth and Edwin B. liimage, To C|o:n ì|e Dog o[ Vor Te
Vor Po+er o[ Congress :n H:sìor, onJ Lo+, znd ed. (Uibana· Univeisity of lllinois
Piess, 1vcv), p. 1¯1.
¯c
lbid.
¯1
lbid., p. 1!¯.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1z1
Te administiation sometimes alluded to the vote of the U.N.
Secuiity Council appioving militaiy action in Koiea as fuinishing
the necessaiy authoiity. Tis was nothing but a smokescieen. liist,
because accoiding to the U.N. Chaitei, any Secuiity Council com-
mitment of membeis’ tioops must be consistent with the membeis’
“iespective constitutional piocesses.” Te United Nations Paiticipa-
tion Act of 1v.¯ also iequiied congiessional iatification foi the use
of Ameiican foices. ln any case, Tiuman stated that he would send
tioops to Koiea whethei oi not authoiized by the Secuiity Council.
His position ieally was that any piesident may plunge the countiy
into wai simply on his own say-so.
¯z
Today piesidents asseit the iight to bomb at will countiies which,
like Noith Koiea in 1v¯c, nevei auacked us and with which we aie
not at wai—Sudan, Afghanistan, liaq, and, iepeatedly, Yugoslavia.
Tey aie eageily seconded in this by “conseivative” politicians
and publicists, noi does the Ameiican public demui. Back in 1v.c,
Chailes Beaid alieady noted the dismal ignoiance among oui peo-
ple of the piinciples of oui iepublican goveinment·
Ameiican education fiom the univeisities down to the giade
schools is peimeated with, if not dominated by, the theoiy of
piesidential supiemacy in foieign affaiis. Coupled with the
flagiant neglect of instiuction in constitutional goveinment,
this piopaganda . . . has deeply implanted in the minds of
iising geneiations the doctiine that the powei of the piesi-
dent ovei inteinational ielations is, foi all piactical puiposes,
illimitable.
¯!
¯z
Ely, Vor onJ Res¡ons:|:|:ì,, pp. 1¯1–¯z n. ec. A yeai eailiei the Noith At-
lantic Tieaty had been submiued to the Senate foi appioval. Aiticle ¯ specifically
ensuied that “U.S. iesponse to aggiession in the aiea coveied by the alliance
would be goveined by ‘constitutional piocesses’ theieby iequiiing congiessional
appioval.” Ponawski, To+orJ Fnìong|:ng A||:once, pp. zcc–cv. On the oiigins
of unlimited piesidential waimaking poweis, see Robeit Shogan, HorJ Borgo:n
Ho+ FDR T+:sìeJ C|vrd:||’s Ar», F+oJeJ ì|e Lo+, onJ C|ongeJ ì|e Ro|e o[ ì|e
A»er:con Pres:Jenc,, papeiback edition (Bouldei, Colo.· Westview, 1vvv), pieface
to the papeiback edition, “Paving the Way to Kosovo.”
¯!
Chailes A. Beaid, Pres:Jenì Roose+e|ì onJ ì|e Co»:ng o[ ì|e Vor, 1^o1 ASìvJ,
:n A¡¡eoronces onJ Reo|:ì:es (New Haven, Conn.· Yale Univeisity Piess, 1v.c),
p. ¯vc. Beaid listed as among the majoi puiveyois of this doctiine “poweiful
piivate agencies engaged nominally in piopaganda foi ‘peace,’ ” which look to
the piesident to advance theii ideas foi “oideiing and ieoideiing the woild.”
1zz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Needless to say, the situation has in no way impioved, as the
public schools giind out tens of millions of futuie voteis to whom
the notion, say, that James Madison had something to do with the
Constitution of the United States would come as an uninteiesting
ievelation.
Te Koiean Wai lasted thiee yeais and cost !e,v1e Ameiican
deaths and moie than 1cc,ccc othei casualties. Additionally, theie
weie millions of Koiean dead and the devastation of the peninsula,
especially in the noith, wheie the U.S. Aii loice pulveiized the
civilian infiastiuctuie—with much “collateial damage”—in what
has since become its emblematic method of waging wai.
¯.
Today,
neaily a half-centuiy afei the end of the conflict, the United States
continues to station tioops as a “tiipwiie” in yet anothei of its im-
peiial outposts.
¯¯
Te indiiect consequences of Tiuman’s “police action” have
been equally giim. Hans Moigenthau wiote·
¯.
Kolko, Cenìvr, o[ Vor, pp. .c!–cc. Geneial Cuitis LeMay boasted of the
devastation wieaked by the Aii loice· “We buined down just about eveiy city in
Noith and South Koiea both . . . we killed off ovei a million civilian Koieans and
diove seveial million moie fiom theii homes.” Callum A. MacDonald, Koreo Te
Vor Be[ore V:eìno» (New Yoik· liee Piess, 1vce), p. z!¯. l am giateful to Joseph R.
Stiombeig foi diawing my auention to this quotation. lt gives one pause to
iealize that the savageiy of the U.S. aii wai was such as to lead even Winston
Chuichill to condemn it. lbid., pp. z!.–!¯. ln lall 1vvv, it was finally disclosed that
“eaily in the Koiean Wai, Ameiican soldieis machine-gunned hundieds of help-
less civilians undei a iailioad biidge in the South Koiean countiyside,” allegedly
in oidei to thwait the infiltiation of Noith Koiean tioops. loimei U.S. soldieis
“desciibed othei iefugee killings as well in the wai’s fiist weeks, when U.S. com-
mandeis oideied theii tioops to shoot civilians of an allied nation, as a defense
against disguised enemy soldieis, accoiding to once-classified documents found
in U.S. militaiy aichives” (Vos|:ngìon Posì, Septembei !c, 1vvv). A few months
latei, othei declassified U.S. militaiy documents ievealed that the South Koiean
goveinment executed without tiial moie than z,ccc lefists as its foices ietieated
in the fiist stages of the wai, the occuiience of such executions was known to
the Ameiican militaiy authoiities at the time (Ne+ Yor| T:»es, Apiil z1, zccc). ln
addition, theie is evidence that the United States may, in fact, have expeiimented
with bacteiiological waifaie in Koiea, as chaiged by China and Noith Koiea. See
Stephen Endicouand Edwaid Hageiman, Te Un:ìeJ Sìoìes onJ B:o|og:co| Vor[ore
Secreìs [ro»ì|e For|, Co|J Vor onJ Koreo (Bloomington· lndiana Univeisity Piess,
1vvc).
¯¯
Doug Bandow, Tr:¡+:re Koreo onJ U.S. Fore:gn Po|:c, :n o C|ongeJ Vor|J
(Washington, D.C.· Cato lnstitute, 1vve).
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1z!
Te misinteipietation of the Noith Koiean aggiession as pait
of a giand design at woild conquest oiiginating in and con-
tiolled by Moscow iesulted in a diastic militaiization of the
cold wai in the foim of a conventional and nucleai aima-
ments iace, the fiantic seaich foi alliances, and the establish-
ment of militaiy bases.
¯e
Tiuman is gloiified foi his conduct of foieign affaiis moie than
anything else. Whethei one concuis in this judgment depends
mainly on the kind of countiy one wishes Ameiica to be. Stephen
Ambiose has summed up the iesults of the foieign policy of Haiiy
Tiuman·
When Tiuman became piesident he led a nation anxious to
ietuin to tiaditional civil-militaiy ielations and the histoiic
Ameiican foieign policy of noninvolvement. When he lef
the White House his legacy was an Ameiican piesence on
eveiy continent of the woild and an enoimously expanded
aimament industiy. Yet so successfully had he scaied hell
out of the Ameiican people, the only ciitics to ieceive any
auention in the mass media weie those who thought Tiuman
had not gone fai enough in standing up to the communists.
loi all his tioubles, Tiuman had tiiumphed.
¯¯
Tui F0nu¡uìuì××ìì iN 1ui EcoNo:ic AviN~
Haiiy Tiuman’s conception of piesidential powei as in piinciple
unlimited was as manifest in his domestic as in his foieign policy.
Some key episodes illustiate this.
ln May 1v.e, Tiuman decided that the piopei iesponse to the
stiike of iailioad woikeis was to diaf the stiikeis into the Aimy.
Even his Auoiney Geneial, Tom Claik, doubted that the Diaf Act
peimiued “the induction of occupational gioups” oi that the move
was at all constitutional. But, as Tiuman’s Pulitzei Piize-winning
biogiaphei David McCullough wiote, in his typical stupefied ado-
iation· “Tiuman was not inteiested in philosophy. Te stiike must
¯e
Moigenthau, “Oiigins of the Cold Wai,” p. vc.
¯¯
Ambiose, R:se ìo G|o|o|:s», p. 1c¯. On the ultimate piice paid by the nation
foi Tiuman’s “tiiumph,” see the impoitant aiticle by Robeit Higgs, “Te Cold Wai
Economy· Oppoitunity Costs, ldeology, and the Politics of Ciisis,” F:¡|oroì:ons
:n Fcono»:c H:sìor, !1 (1vv.), pp. zc!–!1z.
1z. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
stop. ‘We’ll diaf them and think about the law latei,’ he iepoitedly
iemaiked.”
¯c
McCullough neglected to note that bold “action” in
defiance of law is consideied a chaiacteiistic of fascist iegimes.
On May z¯, Tiuman addiessed Congiess, iequesting the authoi-
ity “to diaf into the Aimed loices of the United States all woikeis
who aie on stiike against theii goveinment.” His pioposal was
gieeted with tumultuous applause, and the House quickly appioved
the bill by !ce to 1!. ln the Senate, though, the bill was stopped in
its tiacks by Senatoi Taf. He was joined by lef-libeials like Claude
Peppei of lloiida. Eventually, the Senate iejected the bill by ¯c
to 1!.
Latei that yeai, anothei “ciisis” led Tiuman to contemplate fui-
thei exeicise of dictatoiial powei. While most of the waitime piice
contiols had been lifed by this time, contiols iemained on a numbei
of items, most piominently meat. Stiangely enough, it was piecisely
in that commodity that a shoitage and a black maiket developed.
Te meat shoitage was eioding suppoit foi the Demociats, who
began to look with tiepidation on the upcoming congiessional elec-
tions. Paity woikeis weie told by usually loyal voteis, “No meat,
no votes.” Tiuman was foiced to act. He would addiess the nation
again, announcing and explaining the decision he had made.
ln his diaf foi the speech, Tiuman was biuei. He indicted the
Ameiican people foi theii gieed and selfishness, so diffeient fiom
the selfless patiiotism of the heioes who had won the Medal of
Honoi. Te diaf continued·
You’ve deseited youi piesident foi a mess of pouage, a piece
of beef—a side of bacon. . . . lf you the people insist on fol-
lowing Mammon instead of Almighty God, youi piesident
can’t stop you all by himself. l can no longei enfoice a law
you won’t suppoit. . . . You’ve gone ovei to the poweis of
selfishness and gieed.
¯v
Tis ciazy tiiade was omiued fiom the speech Tiuman made on
Octobei 1..
ec
But evei the cheap demagogue, he pilloiied the meat
¯c
David McCullough, Trv»on (NewYoik· Simon and Schustei, 1vvz), pp. ¯c1–ce.
¯v
Hamby, Mon o[ ì|e Peo¡|e, pp. !cz–c!.
ec
Pv||:c Po¡ers o[ ì|e Pres:Jenìs o[ ì|e Un:ìeJ Sìoìes Horr, S. Trv»on, 1^oo
(Washington, D.C.· U.S. Goveinment Piinting Office, 1vez), pp. .¯1–¯¯.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1z¯
industiy as iesponsible foi the shoitage, “those who, in oidei fui-
thei to fauen theii piofits, aie endangeiing the health of oui people
by holding back vital foods which aie now ieady foi maiket and
foi which the Ameiican people aie clamoiing.” Te failed habei-
dashei, it appeais, had liule undeistanding of the iole that ¡r:ces
might play in a maiket economy ln his speech, Tiuman confided
that he had caiefully weighed and discussed with his cabinet and
economic expeits a numbei of possible solutions. One was “to have
the Goveinment seize the packing houses.” But this would not have
helped, since the packing houses weie empty. Ten came a notion
that “would indeed be a diastic iemedy”· “that the goveinment go
out onto the faims and ianges and seize the caule foi slaughtei.”
Tiuman gave the idea “long and seiious consideiation.” Heie is
why, in the end, he declined to go the ioute of the Bolsheviks in
the Ukiaine·
We decided against the use of this extieme waitime emei-
gency powei of Goveinment. lt would be wholly impiacti-
cable because the caule aie spiead thioughout all paits of
the countiy.
e1
Tis statement fiom the feisty, “Neai-Gieat” Man of the People
deseives to be iead moie than once.
ez
So, sadly and ieluctantly Tiuman announced the end of piice
contiols on meat, although he advised the countiy that “some items,
like ient, will have to be contiolled foi a long time to come.”
On Apiil c, 1v¯z, as a nationwide stiike loomed in the steel indus-
tiy, Tiuman issued Executive Oidei 1c!.c, diiecting his Secietaiy of
Commeice Chailes Sawyei to seize the steel mills.
He acted, he claimed, “by viitue of the authoiity vested in me by
the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and as Piesident
of the United States and Commandei-in-Chief of the aimed foices
of the United States.”
e!
He could not, howevei, point to any such
law, despite his iefeience to “the laws of the United States.” Noi
did any piovision of the Constitution give the piesident the iight to
e1
lbid., p. .¯!.
ez
Muiiay N. Rothbaid dealt with this giab foi powei in a biilliant piece of
economic jouinalism, “Piice Contiols Aie Back'” in his Mo|:ng Fcono»:c Sense
(Aubuin, Ala.· Ludwig von Mises lnstitute, 1vv¯), pp. 1z!–z¯.
e!
Woimuth and liimage, To C|o:n ì|e Dog o[ Vor, p. 1¯..
1ze GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
seize piivate piopeity by pioclamation. But, as McCullough tells us,
Tiuman was convinced “fiomhis ieading of histoiy” that “his action
fell within his poweis as Piesident and Commandei-in-Chief.” Afei
all, hadn’t Lincoln suspended the wiit of |o|eos cor¡vs duiing a
national emeigency`
e.
On Apiil v, the Stai-Spangled Bannei was
iaised ovei the nation’s steel mills, and the steel companies imme-
diately took the case to couit.
At a news confeience on Apiil 1¯, Tiuman was asked· “Mi. Pies-
ident, if you can seize the steel mills undei youi inheient poweis,
can you, in youi opinion, also seize the newspapeis and/oi the ia-
dio stations`” Tiuman ieplied· “Undei similai ciicumstances the
Piesident of the United States has to act foi whatevei is foi the best
of the countiy. Tat’s the answei to youi question.”

Te next day, the New Yoik Times iepoited·
Te piesident iefused to elaboiate. But White House souices
said the piesident’s point was that he had powei in an emei-
gency, to take ovei “any poition of the business community
acting to jeopaidize all the people.”
Te case of Yovngsìo+n S|eeì &Tv|e Co. +. So+,er quickly ieached
the Supieme Couit, wheie Tiuman’s aigument was iejected by a
vote of e to !. Speaking foi the thiee was Tiuman’s old ciony, Chief
Justice lied Vinson, who aigued that the piesident had the authoiity
to enact all laws necessaiy foi caiiying out laws pieviously passed
by Congiess. Any man woithy of the office of piesident, Vinson
wiote, should be “fiee to take at least inteiim action necessaiy to
execute legislative piogiams essential to the suivival of the nation.”
Te majoiity, including Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, lelix
liankfuitei, and even Tiuman’s foimei Auoiney Geneial, Tom
Claik, decided otheiwise.
ee
At that Apiil 1¯ news confeience, no iepoitei thought to ask a
follow-up question to Tiuman’s stunning ieply. His claim of the
e.
McCullough, Trv»on, pp. cve–v¯. McCullough’s implied apology foi Tiu-
man heie is a good indication of the tenoi and calibei of his gaigantuan puff-piece.
loi a debunking of McCullough by two scholais, see the ieviewby Gai Alpeiovitz
and Kai Biid, “Giving Haiiy Hell,” Te Noì:on (May 1c, 1vv!), pp. e.c–.1.

Te Pv||:c Po¡ers o[ Horr, S. Trv»on, 1^¯.–¯I (Washington, D.C.· U.S. Gov-
einment Piinting Office, 1vee), pp. z¯z–¯!.
ee
McCullough, Trv»on, pp. vcc–c1.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1z¯
unlimited iight to dispose at his discietion of the piopeity of any
and all citizens—a viewpoint foi which a king of England was be-
headed—made as liule impiession on the piess then as it has on his
admiieis evei since. One wondeis what it would take to spaik theii
outiage oi even theii inteiest.

ln economic policy, the yeais of Tiuman’s “laii Deal” weie
a time of consolidation and expansion of goveinment powei. ln
lebiuaiy 1v.e, the Employment Act was passed. lnspiied by the
newly dominant Keynesian economics, it declaied that hencefoith
the economic health of the nation was piimaiily the iesponsibility
of the ledeial goveinment. With the coming of the Koiean Wai,
economic contiols weie again the oidei of the day (Beinaid Baiuch
was once moie, foi the thiid time since 1v1¯, a piime agitatoi
foi theii intioduction.) Tiuman declaied a “national emeigency.”
New boaids and agencies oveisaw piices and wages, established
piioiities in mateiials allocation, and instituted contiols ovei ciedit
and othei sectois of the economy.
ec
As in the woild wais, the
afeimath of Tiuman’s Koiean Wai exhibited the iatchet-effect,
wheieby ledeial goveinment spending, though diminished, nevei
ietuined to the pievious peacetime level.
ev
A Hivi1~ci oi SiNxuoiis
Tiuman’s legacy includes piogiams and policies that continue to
inflict damage to this day. Tiee cases aie especially notewoithy.

One Congiessman was led by Tiuman’s iemaiks and his seizuie of the steel
mills to demand his impeachment (Ne+ Yor| T:»es, Apiil 1v, 1v¯z). Geoige Ben-
dei, Republican of Ohio, stated· “l do not believe that oui people can toleiate
the foimation of a piesidential piecedent which would peimit any occupant of
the White House to exeicise his untiammeled discietion to take ovei the indus-
tiy, communications system oi othei foims of piivate enteipiise in the name of
‘emeigency.’ ” But Bendei was one of the last, and best, of the Old Right leadeis
and thus out of tune with the times. Of couise the Ameiican people could and
did toleiate such a piecedent. What is still unceitain is whethei theie is any limit
whatevei to theii toleiance of acts of oppiession by the goveinment.
ec
Robeit Higgs, Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on Cr:ì:co| F¡:soJes :n ì|e Gro+ì| o[ A»er:
con Go+ern»enì (New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vc¯), pp. zz¯, z..–.¯.
ev
Jonathan R. T. Hughes, Te Go+ern»enìo| Ho|:ì Fcono»:c Conìro|s [ro»
Co|on:o| T:»es ìo ì|e Presenì (New Yoik· Basic Books, 1v¯¯), pp. zcc–cv. ledeial
expendituies in the eaily Eisenhowei yeais weie, on aveiage, twice as high as in
the peiiod 1v.¯–1v¯c.
1zc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
ln his message to Congiess on Januaiy zc, 1v.v, Tiuman launched
the concept of aid fiom Westein goveinments to the pooiei nations
that weie soon to be called, collectively, the Tiid Woild. Point
loui of his speech sketched a new piogiam to piovide technical
assistance to the “moie than half the people of the woild [who] aie
living in conditions appioaching miseiy,” and whose “economic life
is piimitive and stagnant.” Tis was to be “a coopeiative enteipiise
in which all nations woik togethei thiough the United Nations and
its specialized agencies”—in othei woids, a state-funded and state-
diiected effoit to end woild poveity.
¯c
Accoiding to Petei Bauei, Point loui “inauguiated a fai-ieaching
policy and a suppoiting teiminology.”
¯1
ln the decades that fol-
lowed, foieign aid was piomoted by a piolifeiating inteinational
buieauciacy, as well as by ieligious and seculai zealots ignoiantly
confident of the puiity of theii anti-social cause. Westein guilt
feelings, fosteied by the lefist intelligentsia and self-seeking Tiid
Woild politicians, have facilitated the channeling of hundieds of bil-
lions of dollais to goveinments in Asia, Afiica, and Latin Amei-
ica. Today, even “conseivative” politicians and publicists aie devo-
tees. “Development aid” has become institutionalized and is in-
tended to continue indefinitely, with all its auendant haim· iein-
foiced statism, infeiioi economic peifoimance, and coiiuption on
the gieatest scale the woild has evei known.
¯z
Tiuman began the “special ielationship” between the United
States and Zionism. lianklin Roosevelt, while not blind to Zionist
inteiests, favoied an evenhanded appioach in the Middle East as
between Aiabs and Jews. Tiuman, on the othei hand, was an all-
out champion of the Zionist cause.
¯!
Teie weie two majoi ieasons foi Tiuman’s suppoit. One was a
sentimental auachment that was stiongly ieinfoiced by many who
¯c
Te Pv||:c Po¡ers o[ Horr, S. Trv»on, 1^o^ (Washington, D.C.· U.S. Govein-
ment Piinting Office, 1ve.), pp. 11.–1¯.
¯1
Petei Bauei, Fqvo|:ì,, ì|e T:rJ Vor|J, onJ Fcono»:c De|vs:on (Cambiidge,
Mass.· Haivaid Univeisity Piess, 1vc1), pp. 1!v, z¯¯ n. 1. See also Petei Bauei
and Cianley Onslow, “lify Yeais of lailuie,” Te S¡ecìoìor (Septembei ¯, 1vvc),
pp. 1!–1..
¯z
Giaham Hancock, LorJs o[ Po+erì, Te Po+er, Presì:ge, onJ Corrv¡ì:on o[ ì|e
Inìernoì:ono| A:J Bvs:ness (New Yoik· Atlantic Monthly Piess, 1vcv).
¯!
Alfied M. Lilienthal, Te Z:on:sì Connecì:on V|oì Pr:ce Peoce' (New Yoik·
Dodd, Mead, 1v¯c), pp. .¯–1cc.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1zv
had influence with him, including his old business paitnei, Eddie
Jacobson as well as David K. Niles and Eleanoi Roosevelt.
¯.
Visiting
the piesident, the Chief Rabbi of lsiael told him· “God put you in
youi mothei’s womb so that you could be the instiument to biing
about the iebiith of lsiael afei two thousand yeais.” lnstead of
taking offense at such chutzpah, the piesident was deeply moved.
One of his biogiapheis iepoits· “At that, gieat teais staited iolling
down Haiiy Tiuman’s cheeks.”
¯¯
Te second ieason foi Tiuman’s suppoit was political oppoi-
tunism. With congiessional elections coming up in 1v.e and then
a veiy difficult piesidential campaign in 1v.c, the votes of Zion-
ist sympathizeis in New Yoik, lllinois, Califoinia, and othei states
could be ciitical. White House Counsel Claik Cliffoid was paiticu-
laily peisistent in aiguing this angle, to the point that Secietaiy of
State Maishall, who was skeptical of the pio-Zionist bias, angiily
objected. Cliffoid, said Maishall, was tiying to have the Piesident
base a ciucial foieign policy position on “domestic political consid-
eiations.”
¯e
Ameiican backing was indispensable in the biith of the State
of lsiael. ln Novembei 1v.¯, the United Nations, led by the United
States, voted to paitition Palestine. Te mandate had to be geiiy-
mandeied in oidei to cieate a baie majoiity in the teiiitoiy alloued
the Jews, who, while compiising one-thiid of the population, weie
given ¯e pei cent of the land. On Ameiica’s iole, veteian State
Depaitment official Sumnei Welles wiote·
By diiect oidei of the White House eveiy foim of piessuie,
diiect and indiiect, was biought to beai upon countiies out-
side the Moslem woild that weie known to be eithei uncei-
tain oi opposed to paitition.
¯¯
¯.
Te depth of Eleanoi’s undeistanding of the Middle East situation is illus-
tiated by hei statement· “l’m confident that when a Jewish state is set up, the
Aiabs will see the light· they will quiet down, and Palestine will no longei be a
pioblem.” Evan M. Wilson, Dec:s:on on Po|esì:ne Ho+ ì|e U.S. Co»e ìo Recogn::e
Isroe| (Stanfoid, Cal.· Hoovei lnstitution Piess, 1v¯v), p. 11e.
¯¯
Meile Millei, P|o:n S¡eo|:ng An Oro| B:ogro¡|, o[ Horr, S. Trv»on (New
Yoik· G.P Putnam, 1v¯!), p. z1c.
¯e
Wilson, Dec:s:on on Po|esì:ne, pp. 1!., 1.z, Lilienthal, Te Z:on:sì Connecì:on,
pp. cz–c!.
¯¯
Wilson, Dec:s:on on Po|esì:ne, p. 1ze.
1!c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
ln hei biogiaphy of hei fathei, Maigaiet Tiuman spoke, in teims
that today would be viewed as veiging on anti-Semitism, of “the
intense piessuie which numeious Jews put on Dad fiom the mo-
ment he enteied the White House and his incieasing iesentment
of this piessuie.” She quotes fiom a leuei Tiuman sent to Eleanoi
Roosevelt·
l feai veiy much that the Jews aie like all undeidogs. When
they get on top, they aie just as intoleiant and as ciuel as the
people weie to them when they weie undeineath. l iegiet
this situation veiy much, because my sympathy has always
been on theii side.
¯c
But Tiuman’s spoiadic iesentment did not pievent him fiom
piomoting Zionist plans foi Palestine at the impoitant points. He
stubboinly ignoied the advice not only of his own State Depait-
ment, but also of his Biitish ally who kept ieminding him of the
commitment made by Roosevelt, and by Tiuman himself, that the
Aiab states would be consulted on any seulement of the Palestine
question.
¯v
When lsiael declaied its independence, on May 1¯, 1v.c,
the United States extended Je [ocìo iecognition ten minutes latei.
Since then, with the exception of the Eisenhowei yeais, the bonds
linking the United States to lsiael have giown evei tightei, with
Ameiican leadeis seemingly indiffeient to the costs to theii own
countiy.
cc
¯c
Maigaiet Tiuman, Horr, S. Trv»on (New Yoik· William Moiiow, 1v¯!),
pp. !c1, !c.–c¯.
¯v
Clement Aulee, Biitish piime ministei duiing the decisive yeais, was a
stiong ciitic of Tiuman’s policy· “Te piesident went completely against the
advice of his own State Depaitment and his own militaiy people. . . . Te State
Depaitment’s view was veiy close to ouis, they had to think inteinationally, but
most of the politicians weie influenced by voting consideiations. Teie weie ciu-
cial elections coming up at the time, and seveial big Jewish fiims had contiibuted
to Demociatic Paity funds.” Aulee ieminded Tiuman of the Ameiican piomises
to Aiab leadeis that they, as well as the Zionists, would be fully consulted on
Palestine· “lt would be veiy unwise to bieak these solemn pledges and so set
aflame the whole Middle East.” Clement Aulee, T+:|:g|ì o[ F»¡:re Me»o:rs
o[ Pr:»e M:n:sìer C|e»enì Au|ee, liancis Williams, ed. (New Yoik· A. S. Baines,
1ve!), pp. 1c1, 1vc.
cc
See Lilienthal, Te Z:on:sì Connecì:on, and Sheldon L. Richman, “Ancient
Histoiy”· U.S. ConJvcì :n ì|e M:JJ|e Fosì S:nce Vor|J Vor II onJ ì|e Fo||, o[
Inìer+enì:on (Washington, D.C.· Cato lnstitute, 1vv1).
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1!1
ln the end, the pait of Tiuman’s legacy with the gieatest po-
tential foi haim is NATO. Allegedly cieated in iesponse to a (non-
existent) Soviet thieat to oveiiun Euiope, it has alieady outlived the
Soviet Union and Euiopean Communism by a decade. At the begin-
ning of the new centuiy, theie is no possibility that this entienched
militaiy and civilian buieauciatic appaiatus will simply fade away.
When did such a huge collection of functionaiies evei suiiendei
theii luciative, tax-funded positions without a ievolution`
ln the couise of NATO’s aggiession against Yugoslavia—illegal,
accoiding to the U.S. Constitution, the Chaitei of the United Na-
tions, and NATO’s own chaitei—its mission has been “iedefined.”
No longei meiely a defensive alliance (against whom`), it will now
ioam the woild, a law unto itself, peipetually “in seaich of mon-
steis to destioy.” ln 1v¯1, Geneial Eisenhowei, then supieme Allied
commandei in Euiope, stated· “lf, in ten yeais time, all Ameiican
tioops stationed in Euiope foi national defense puiposes have not
been ietuined to the United States, then this whole pioject [NATO]
will have failed.”
c1
A giowing thieat to the independence, the well-
being, and the veiy lives of the peoples of the woild, NATO may
tuin out in the end to have been Tiuman’s gieatest failuie.
Teie aie also episodes in Tiuman’s piesidency that have been
foigouen in the iush to ceitify himas a “Neai-Gieat” but that should
not go unmentioned. Among the moie notable ones·
Tiuman endoised the Nuiembeig tiials of the top Geiman lead-
eis, appointing Robeit H. Jackson, a Justice of the U.S. Supieme
Couit, as chief Ameiican piosecutoi.
cz
Te tiials weie exposed as a
vindictive violation of the canons of Anglo-Ameiican law by Sena-
toi Taf, who was labeled a pio-Nazi by Demociatic and laboi union
leadeis foi his pains.
c!
At Nuiembeig, when the question came up
of iesponsibility foi the muidei of thousands of Polish POWs at
Katyn, Tiuman followed the ciaven policy laid down by lDR· the
pioof alieady in the possession of the U.S. goveinment—that it was
the Soviets who had muideied the Poles—was suppiessed.
c.
c1
Eugene J. Caiioll, Ji., “NATO Enlaigement· To What End`” in NATO Fn
|orge»enì I||vs:ons onJ Reo|:ì,, Ted Galen Caipentei and Baibaia Coniy, eds.
(Washington, D.C.· Cato lnstitute, 1vvc), p. 1vv.
cz
See, foi example, Te Pv||:c Po¡ers o[ Horr, S. Trv»on, 1^oo, pp. .¯¯, .cc–c1.
c!
James A. Paueison, Mr. Re¡v||:con A B:ogro¡|, o[ Ro|erì A. To] (Boston·
Houghton Mifflin, 1v¯z), pp. !z¯–zv.
c.
Weinei Masei, Nvre»|erg A Noì:on on Tr:o|, Richaid Baiiy, tians. (New
Yoik· Sciibenei’s, 1v¯v), pp. 11z–1!.
1!z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
ln the eaily months of Tiuman’s piesidency the United States
and Biitain diiected the foiced iepatiiation of many tens of thou-
sands of Soviet subjects—and many who had nevei been Soviet
subjects—to the Soviet Union, wheie they weie executed by the
NKVD oi cast into the Gulag. Teii ciime had been to fight against
Stalinist domination on the side of the Geimans. Teiiible scenes
occuiied in the couise of this iepatiiation (sometimes called “Opei-
ation Keelhaul”), as the condemned men, and in some cases women
with theii childien, weie foiced oi duped into ietuining to Stalin’s
Russia. Ameiican soldieis had oideis to “shoot to kill” those iefus-
ing to go. Some of the victims commiued suicide iathei than fall
into the hands of the Soviet seciet police.

At home, the Tiuman administiation biought the coiiupt piac-
tices of the Piesident’s mentoi to the White House. Tiuman had en-
teied politics as the piotégé of TomPendeigast, the boss of the Kansas
City Demociatic machine. One of Tiuman’s fiist acts as piesident
was to fiie the U.S. Auoiney Geneial foi westein Missouii, who had
won z¯v convictions foi vote fiaud against the machine and had sent
Boss Pendeigast to fedeial piison, wheie he died. Ovei the yeais, the
Tiuman administiation was notoiious foi influence-peddling, covei-
ups, and outiight thef.
ce
lt ianks with the administiation of Bill
Clinton foi the dishonest piactices of its peisonnel, although Tiuman
and his wife Bess weie nevei themselves guilty of malfeasance.
ON 1ui Ro~u 1o 1ui A1o: Bo:niNcs

U.S. planes had been systematically bombing the civilians of ovei
sixty Japanese cities foi months befoie Hiioshima, undei the diiec-
tion of Bombei Commandei (latei Geneial) Cuitis LeMay. Te high

Julius Epstein, O¡eroì:on Kee||ov| Te Sìor, o[ ForceJ Re¡oìr:oì:on [ro» 1^oo
ìo ì|e Presenì (Old Gieenwich, Conn.· Devin-Adaii, 1v¯!), especially pp. vv–1c..
See especially Nicholas Bethell, Te Losì Secreì Forc:||e Re¡oìr:oì:on ìo Rvss:o,
1^oo–o¯ (London· Andie Deutsch, 1v¯.), and also Jason Kendall Mooie, “Between
Expediency and Piinciple· U.S. Repatiiation Policy Towaid Russian Nationals,
1v..–1v.v,” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, z., no. ! (Summei zccc).
ce
Jules Abels, Te Trv»on SconJo|s (Chicago· Regneiy, 1v¯e), Heniy Regneiy,
Me»o:rs o[ o D:ss:Jenì Pv||:s|er (New Yoik· Haicouit, Biace, Jovanovich, 1v¯v),
pp. 1!z–!c.

All impoitant aiguments in favoi of the destiuction of enemy cities thiough
Allied aiiciaf in the Second Woild Wai aie piesented in theii best possible light,
and thoioughly iefuted, by the philosophei A. C. Giayling in A»ong ì|e DeoJ
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1!!
point of LeMay’s campaign was the fiie- and napalm-bombing of
Tokyo by !!. B-zvs on the night of Maich v–1c. At least 1cc,ccc
peisons weie killed, in one way oi anothei, piobably considei-
ably moie. Te U.S. Stiategic Bombing Suivey concluded that “the
laigest numbei of victims weie the most vulneiable· women, chil-
dien, and the eldeily.” Afei the auack LeMay asseited that he
wanted Tokyo “buined down—wiped iight off the map,” of couise
in oidei to “shoiten the wai.” Tiough all this he had the full
suppoit of Roosevelt as he did latei of Tiuman. Te Japanese could
do nothing against the Ameiican aeiial onslaught except evacuate
some .cc,ccc childien to the countiyside.
cc
Puzzlingly, high decision-makeis continued to justify the mass-
muidei of Japanese civilians by iefeience to atiocities commiued by
Japan’s militaiy. ln May, foi instance, Maishall met with Geneial
Leslie Gioves, head of the Manhauan Pioject and Heniy (“Hap”)
Ainold, commandei of the Aimy Aii loice. Maishall cautioned that
“we should guaid against too much giatification” ovei the success
of the aii campaign because of the numbei of innocent casualities.
Gioves ieplied that he wasn’t thinking of those victims but iathei
of the victims of the Bataan death maich. When Gioves and Ainold
lef, Ainold slapped his companion on the back, saying, “l’m glad
you said that—it’s just the way l feel.”
cv
Aiguments along these
lines weie used by many leadeis, up to and including Tiuman.
lt is difficult to come to giips with what these men weie saying.
How cov|J ciuelty on the pait of the Japanese aimy—at Bataan,
in China, oi anywheie else—¡oss:||, validate the delibeiate killing
of Japanese innocents, let alone hundieds of thousands of them`
Tose who employed, oi continue to employ, such a calculus live in
a stiangely amoial mental woild.
Genocidal fantasies fliued about in the minds of some. Admiial
Halsey, commandei in the South Pacific, compaied the Japanese
C:ì:es, op. cit.
cc
Maik Selden, “A loigouen Holocaust,” in Yuki Tanaka and Maiilyn B. Young,
eds., Bo»|:ng C:+:|:ons A T+enì:eì|Cenìvr, H:sìor, (New Yoik· Te New Piess,
zccv), pp. cz–ce, v!. LeMay latei held vaiious high militaiy positions, including
head of the Stiatetic Aii Command. He continued doing God’s woik in Koiea
and Vietnam, wheie, he boasted, he planned to bomb Noith Vietnam “back to the
Stone Age.” ln the Cuban missile ciisis he uiged an invasion of Cuba even afei
the Russians agieed to withdiaw.
cv
Hasegawa, “Weie the Atomic Bombings Justified`”, p. 1z..
1!. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
unfavoiably to the Geimans. While the Geimans weie at woist mis-
led, “at least they ieact like men. But the Japanese aie like animals. . . .
Tey take to the jungle as if they had been bied theie, and like some
beasts you nevei see them until they aie dead.” Such beasts had
simply to be annihilated. At the fiist inteidepaitmental meeting of a
commiuee on how Japan was to be tieated afei the wai, a iepiesen-
tative of the Navy iecommended “the almost total elimination of the
Japanese as a iace.” Paul V. McNuu, foimei Demociatic goveinoi of
lndiana and befoie and afei the wai U.S. High Commissionei to the
Philippines, was chaiiman of the Wai Manpowei Commission. His
iecommendation was “the exteimination of the Japanese in toto.”
Elliou Roosevelt, one of the Piesident’s sons, pioposed bombing
Japan until “half the Japanese civilian population” was killed off.
vc
Such fond dieams of genocide weie nevei iealized, of couise.
lnstead, the conventional bombing of Japan continued unabated,
until the mid-summei of 1v.¯.
Hivosui:~ ~Nu N~c~s~xi
Te most spectaculai episode of Tiuman’s piesidency that will nevei
be foigouen, but will be foievei linked to his name is the atomic
bombings of Hiioshima on August e, 1v.¯ and of Nagasaki thiee
days latei.
v1
Piobably close to zcc,ccc peisons weie killed in the
auacks and thiough iadiation poisoning, the vast majoiity weie
civilians, including thousands of Koiean woikeis. Twelve U.S. Navy
flieis incaiceiated in a Hiioshima jail weie also among the dead, as
well as othei Allied piisoneis of wai.
vz
Gieat contioveisy has always suiiounded the bombings. One
vc
lbid., p. 11v.
v1
On the atomic bombings, see Gai Alpeiovitz, Te Dec:s:on ìo Use ì|e Aìo»:c
Bo»| onJ ì|e Ard:ìecìvre o[ on A»er:con M,ì| (New Yoik· Knopf, 1vv¯), and
idem, “Was Haiiy Tiuman a Revisionist on Hiioshima`” Soc:eì, [or H:sìor:ons o[
A»er:con Fore:gn Re|oì:ons Ne+s|euer zv, no. z (June 1vvc), also Maitin J. Sheiwin,
A Vor|J Desìro,eJ Te Aìo»:c Bo»| onJ ì|e GronJ A||:once (New Yoik· Vintage,
1v¯¯), and Dennis D. Wainstock, Te Dec:s:on ìo Dro¡ ì|e Aìo»:c Bo»| (Westpoit,
Conn.· Piaegei, 1vve).
vz
loi decades afei the wai’s end the U.S. goveinment kept seciet the deaths
of the U.S. piisoneis of wai at Hiioshima (and also Nagasaki). At the militaiy
cemetaiy in Missouii wheie the iemains of eight of the Ameiicans who died in
the Hiioshima bombing aie buiied, the place and cause of theii deaths is unmen-
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1!¯
thing Tiuman insisted on fiom the stait· the decision to use the
bombs, and the iesponsibility it entailed, was his alone. Ovei the
yeais, he gave diffeient, and contiadictoiy, giounds foi his decision.
Sometimes he implied that he had acted simply out of ievenge. To
a cleigyman who ciiticized him, Tiuman iesponded, testily·
Nobody is moie distuibed ovei the use of Atomic bombs than
l am but l was gieatly distuibed ovei the unwaiianted auack
by the Japanese on Peail Haiboi and theii muidei of oui
piisoneis of wai. Te only language they seemto undeistand
is the one we have been using to bombaid them.
v!
Such ieasoning will not impiess anyone who fails to see how the
biutality of the Japanese militaiy could justify deadly ietaliation
against innocent old men, women, and childien. Tiuman peihaps
was awaie of this, so fiom time to time he advanced othei pietexts.
On August v, 1v.¯, he stated· “Te woild will note that the fiist
atomic bomb was diopped on Hiioshima, a militaiy base. Tat was
because we wished in this fiist auack to avoid, insofai as possible,
the killing of civilians.”
v.
Tis, howevei, is absuid. Peail Haiboi was
a militaiy base. Hiioshima was a city, inhabited by some thiee hun-
died thousand people, which contained militaiy elements, as San
liancisco contains the Piesidio. ln any case, since the haiboi was
mined and the U.S. Navy and Aimy Aii loice weie in contiol of the
wateis aiound Japan, whatevei tioops weie stationed in Hiioshima
had been effectively neutialized.
On othei occasions, Tiuman claimed that Hiioshima was bombed
because it was an industiial centei. But, as noted in the U.S. Stiate-
gic Bombing Suivey, “all majoi factoiies in Hiioshima weie on the
peiipheiy of the city—and escaped seiious damage.”

Te taiget
was the centei of the city. Tat Tiuman iealized the kind of victims
the bombs consumed is evident fiom his comment to his Cabinet
on August 1c, explaining his ieluctance to diop a thiid bomb· “Te
tioned. Hasegawa, “Weie the Atomic Bombing Justified,” p. 1!z.
v!
Alpeiovitz, Dec:s:on, p. ¯e!. Tiuman added· “When you deal with a beast
you have to tieat him as a beast. lt is most iegieuable but neveitheless tiue.”
loi similai statements by Tiuman, see ibid., p. ¯e.. Alpeiovitz’s monumental
woik is the end-pioduct of foui decades of study of the atomic bombings and is
indispensable foi compiehending the aigumentation on the issue.
v.
lbid., p. ¯z1.

lbid., p. ¯z!.
1!e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
thought of wiping out anothei 1cc,ccc people was too hoiiible,” he
said, he didn’t like the idea of killing “all those kids.”
ve
V:¡:ng ovì
onoì|er one |vnJreJ ì|ovsonJ ¡eo¡|e . . . o|| ì|ose |:Js.
Moieovei, the notion that Hiioshima was a majoi militaiy oi
industiial centei is implausible on the face of it. Te city had ie-
mained untouched thiough yeais of devastating aii auacks on the
Japanese Home lslands and nevei figuied in Bombei Command’s
list of the thiity-thiee piimaiy taigets.

Tus, the iationale foi the atomic bombings has come to iest on
a single colossal fabiication which has gained suipiising cuiiency·
that they weie necessaiy in oidei to save a half-million oi moie
Ameiican lives. Tese, supposedly, aie the lives that would have
been lost in the planned invasion of Kyushu in Decembei, then in
the all-out invasion of Honshu the next yeai, if that was needed.
But the woist-case scenaiio foi a full-scale invasion of the Japanese
Home lslands was .e,ccc Ameiican lives lost.
vc
Te iidiculously
inflated figuie of a half-million foi the potential death toll —moie
than the total of U.S. dead in all theateis in the Second Woild Wai—
is now ioutinely iepeated in high school and college textbooks and
bandied about by ignoiant commentatois. Unsuipiisingly the piize
foi sheei fatuousness on this scoie goes to Piesident Geoige Bush,
who claimed in 1vv1 that diopping the bomb “spaied millions of
Ameiican lives.”
vv
Still, Tiuman’s multiple deceptions and self-deceptions aie un-
ve
Baiton J. Beinstein, “Undeistanding the Atomic Bomb and the Japanese Sui-
iendei· Missed Oppoitunities, Liule-Known Neai Disasteis, and Modein Mem-
oiy,” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, 1v, no. z (Spiing 1vv¯), pp. z¯¯. Geneial Cail Spaatz,
Commandei of U.S. stiategic bombing opeiations in the Pacific, was so shaken
by the destiuction at Hiioshima that he telephoned his supeiiois in Washington,
pioposing that the next bomb be diopped on a less populated aiea, so that it
“would not be as devastating to the city and the people.” His suggestion was
iejected. Ronald Schaffei, V:ngs o[ }vJg»enì A»er:con Bo»|:ng :n Vor|J Vor II
(New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vc¯), pp. 1.¯–.c.

Tis is tiue also of Nagasaki.
vc
See Baiton J. Beinstein, ‘APost-Wai Myth· ¯cc,ccc U.S. Lives Saved,” Bv||eì:n
o[ ì|e Aìo»:c Sc:enì:sìs .z, no. e (June–July 1vce), pp. !c–.c, and idem, “Wiong
Numbeis,” Te InJe¡enJenì Monì||, (July 1vv¯), pp. .1–...
vv
J. Samuel Walkei, “Histoiy, Collective Memoiy, and the Decision to Use the
Bomb,” D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, 1v, no. z (Spiing 1vv¯), pp. !zc, !z!–z¯. Walkei details
the fiantic evasions of Tiuman’s lapdog biogiaphei, David McCullough when
confionted with the unambiguous iecoid.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1!¯
deistandable, consideiing the hoiioi he unleashed. lt is equally un-
deistandable that the U.S. occupation authoiities censoied iepoits
fiom the shaueied cities and did not peimit films and photogiaphs
of the thousands of coipses and the fiightfully mutilated suivivois
to ieach the public.
1cc
Otheiwise, Ameiicans—and the iest of the
woild—might have diawn distuibing compaiisons to scenes then
coming to light fiom the Nazi concentiation camps.
Te bombings weie condemned as baibaiic and unnecessaiy by
high Ameiican militaiy officeis, including Eisenhowei and Mac-
Aithui.
1c1
Te view of Admiial William D. Leahy, Tiuman’s own
chief of staff, was typical·
the use of this baibaious weapon at Hiioshima and Nagasaki
was of no mateiial assistance in oui wai against Japan. . . .
My own feeling was that in being the fiist to use it, we had
adopted an ethical standaid common to the baibaiians of
the Daik Ages. l was not taught to make wais in that fash-
ion, and wais cannot be won by destioying women and chil-
dien.
1cz
Te political elite implicated in the atomic bombings feaied a
backlash that would aid and abet the iebiith of hoiiid piewai “isola-
tionism.” Apologias weie iushed into piint, lest public disgust at the
sickening wai ciime iesult in eiosion of enthusiasmfoi the globalist
pioject.
1c!
No need to woiiy. A sea-change had taken place in the
1cc
Paul Boyei, “Exotic Resonances· Hiioshima in Ameiican Memoiy,” D:¡|o
»oì:c H:sìor, 1v, no. z (Spiing 1vv¯), p. zvv. On the fate of the bombings’ victims
and the public’s iestiicted knowledge of them, see John W. Dowei, “Te Bombed·
Hiioshimas and Nagasakis in Japanese Memoiy,” in ibid., pp. z¯¯–v¯.
1c1
Alpeiovitz, Dec:s:on, pp. !zc–e¯. On MacAithui and Eisenhowei, see ibid.,
pp. !¯z and !¯¯–¯e.
1cz
William D. Leahy, I Vos Tere (New Yoik· McGiaw-Hill, 1v¯c), p. ..1. Leahy
compaied the use of the atomic bomb to the tieatment of civilians by Genghis
Khan, and teimed it “not woithy of Chiistian man.” lbid., p. ..z. Cuiiously, Tiu-
man himself supplied the foiewoid to Leahy’s book. ln a piivate leuei wiiuen
just befoie he lef the White House, Tiuman iefeiied to the use of the atomic
bomb as “muidei,” stating that the bomb “is fai woise than gas and biological
waifaie because it affects the civilian population and muideis them wholesale.”
Baiton J. Beinstein, “Oiigins of the U.S. Biological Waifaie Piogiam.” Pre+enì:ng o
B:o|og:co| Ar»s Roce, Susan Wiight, ed. (Cambiidge, Mass.· MlT Piess, 1vvc), p. v.
1c!
Baiton J. Beinstein, “Seizing the Contested Teiiain of Eaily Nucleai Histoiy·
1!c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
auitudes of the Ameiican people. Ten and evei afei, all suiveys
have shown that the gieat majoiity suppoited Tiuman, believing
that the bombs weie iequiied to end the wai and save hundieds of
thousands of Ameiican lives, oi moie likely, not ieally caiing one
way oi the othei.
Tose who may still be tioubled by such a giisly exeicise in cost-
benefit analysis—innocent Japanese lives balanced against the lives
of Allied seivicemen—might ieflect on the judgment of the Catholic
philosophei G. E. M. Anscombe, who insisted on the supiemacy
of moial iules.
1c.
When, in June 1v¯e, Tiuman was awaided an
honoiaiy degiee by hei univeisity, Oxfoid, Anscombe piotested.
1c¯
Tiuman was a wai ciiminal, she contended, foi what is the diffei-
ence between the U.S. goveinment massaciing civilians fiom the
aii, as at Hiioshima and Nagasaki, and the Nazis wiping out the
inhabitants of some Czech oi Polish village`
Anscombe’s point is woith following up. Suppose that, when
we invaded Geimany in eaily 1v.¯, oui leadeis had believed that
executing all the inhabitants of Aachen, oi Tiiei, oi some othei
Rhineland city would finally bieak the will of the Geimans and lead
them to suiiendei. ln this way, the wai might have ended quickly,
saving the lives of many Allied soldieis. Would that then have
justified shooting tens of thousands of Geiman civilians, including
women and childien` Yet how is that diffeient fiom the atomic
bombings`
By eaily summei 1v.¯, the Japanese fully iealized that they weie
beaten. Why did they nonetheless fight on` As Anscombe wiote·
“lt was the insistence on unconditional suiiendei that was the ioot
Stimson, Conant, and Teii Allies Explain the Decision to Use the Bomb,” D:¡|o
»oì:c H:sìor, 1¯, no. 1 (Wintei 1vv!), pp. !¯–¯z.
1c.
One wiitei in no way tioubled by the saciifice of innocent Japanese to save
Allied seivicemen—indeed, just to save him—is Paul lussell, see his Ton| GoJ
[or ì|e Aìo» Bo»| onJ Oì|er Fsso,s (New Yoik· Summit, 1vcc). Te ieason foi
lussell’s liule Te Dev» is, as he states, that he was among those scheduled to
take pait in the invasion of Japan, and might veiy well have been killed. lt is a
mysteiy why lussell takes out his easily undeistandable teiioi, iathei unchival-
iously, on Japanese women and childien instead of on the men in Washington
who consciipted him to fight in the Pacific in the fiist place.
1c¯
G. E. M. Anscombe, “Mi. Tiuman’s Degiee,” in idem, Co||ecìeJ P|:|oso¡|:co|
Po¡ers, vol. !, Fì|:cs, Re|:g:on onJ Po|:ì:cs (Minneapolis· Univeisity of Minnesota
Piess, 1vc1), pp. ez–¯1.
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1!v
of all evil.”
1ce
Tat mad foimula was coined by Roosevelt at the Casablanca
confeience, and, with Chuichill’s enthusiastic concuiience, it be-
came the Allied shibboleth. Afei piolonging the wai in Euiope,
it did its woik in the Pacific. At the Potsdam confeience, in July
1v.¯, Tiuman issued a pioclamation to the Japanese, thieatening
them with the “uuei devastation” of theii homeland unless they
suiiendeied unconditionally. Among the Allied teims, to which
“theie aie no alteinatives,” was that theie be “eliminated foi all time
the authoiity and influence of those who have deceived and misled
the people of Japan into embaiking on woild conquest [sic].” “Stein
justice,” the pioclamation wained, “would be meted out to all wai
ciiminals.”
1c¯
Many of Tiuman’s influential advisois, including his own Sec-
ietaiy of Wai, Heniy Stimson, Joseph Giew, James loiiestal, and
Admiial Leahy, uiged the piesident to add the piomise that Japan
could pieseive the monaichy and the impeiial dynasty. Tiuman
chose instead to follow the advice of his Secietaiy of State, James l.
Byines. Byines had nevei gone beyond giade school, but had had
a spectaculai political caieei in South Caiolina and then nationally.
He was one of Tiuman’s cionies and had been appointed Secietaiy
of State only on July !. Byines knew nothing about Japan oi woild
politics but evidently had stiong opinions. He vetoed the iecom-
mendation of Stimson and the otheis.
1cc
loi months befoie, Tiuman had been piessed to claiify the U.S.
position by many high officials outside the administiation, as well.
ln May 1v.¯, at the Piesident’s iequest, Heibeit Hoovei piepaied a
memoiandum stiessing the uigent need to end the wai as soon as
possible. Te Japanese should be infoimed that we would in no way
inteifeie with the Empeioi oi theii chosen foim of goveinment. He
even iaised the possibility that, as pait of the teims, Japan might be
allowed to hold on to loimosa (Taiwan) and Koiea. Afei meeting
with Tiuman, Hoovei dined with Taf and othei Republican leadeis,
1ce
Anscombe, “Mi. Tiuman’s Degiee,” p. ez.
1c¯
Hans Adolf Jacobsen and Aithui S. Smith, Ji., eds., Vor|J Vor II Po|:c, onJ
Sìroìeg,. Se|ecìeJ Docv»enìs +:ì| Co»»enìor, (Santa Baibaia, Calif.· ABC–Clio,
1v¯v), pp. !.¯–.e.
1cc
Hasegawa, “Weie the Atomic Bombing Justified`” pp. 1c¯, 11!.
1.c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
and outlined his pioposals.
1cv
Nothing came of the iecommendations.
To the Japanese, Tiuman’s declaiation at Potsdam meant that
the Empeioi—iegaided by the gieat bulk of the population as di-
vine, the diiect descendent of the Goddess of the Sun—would cei-
tainly be dethioned and piobably put on tiial as a wai ciiminal,
possibly hanged, peihaps in fiont of his palace.
11c
lt was not, in
fact, the U.S. intention to dethione oi punish the Empeioi. But this
implicit modification of unconditional suiiendei was nevei commu-
nicated to the Japanese.
ln the end, afei Nagasaki, Washington acceded to the Japanese
desiie to keep the dynasty and even to ietain Hiiohito as Empeioi.
Establishment wiiteis on Woild Wai ll ofen like to deal in luiid
speculations. loi instance· if the United States had not enteied the
wai, then Hitlei would have “conqueied the woild” (a sad undei-
valuation of the Red Aimy, it would appeai, moieovei, wasn’t it
Japan that was tiying to “conquei the woild”`) and killed untold
millions. Now, applying conjectuial histoiy in this case· assume
that the Pacific wai had ended in the way wais customaiily do—
thiough negotiation of the teims of suiiendei. And assume the
woist—that the Japanese had adamantly insisted on pieseiving pait
of theii Empiie, say, Koiea and loimosa, even Manchuiia. ln that
event, it is quite possible that Japan would have been in a position to
pievent the Communists fiom coming to powei in China. And that
could have meant that the many millions of deaths now auiibuted
to the Maoist iegime would not have occuiied.
But even iemaining within the limits of feasible diplomacy in
1v.¯, it is cleai that Tiuman in no way exhausted the possibilities of
ending the wai without iecouise to the atomic bomb. Te Japanese
weie not infoimed that they would be the victims of by fai the
most lethal weapon evei invented (one with “moie than two thou-
sand times the blast powei of the Biitish ‘Giand Slam,’ which is the
laigest bomb evei yet used in the histoiy of waifaie,” as Tiuman
boasted in his announcement of the Hiioshima auack). Noi weie
1cv
Alpeiovitz, Dec:s:on, pp. ..–.¯.
11c
loi some Japanese leadeis, anothei ieason foi keeping the Empeioi was as
a bulwaik against a possible post-wai Communist takeovei. See also Sheiwin,
A Vor|J Desìro,eJ, p. z!e· “the [Potsdam] pioclamation offeied the militaiy die-
haids in the Japanese goveinment moie ammunition to continue the wai than it
offeied theii opponents to end it.”
HARRY S. TRUMAN· ADVANClNG THE REVOLUTlON 1.1
they told that the Soviet Union was set to declaie wai on Japan,
an event that demoialized impoitant leadeis in Tokyo much moie
than the bombings. Pleas by some of the scientists involved in the
pioject to demonstiate the powei of the bomb in some uninhabited
oi evacuated aiea weie iebuffed. All that maueied was to foimally
pieseive the unconditional suiiendei foimula and save the seivice-
men’s lives that might have been lost in the effoit to enfoice it. Yet,
as Majoi Geneial J. l. C. lullei, one of the centuiy’s gieat militaiy
histoiians, wiote in connection with the atomic bombings·
Tough to save life is laudable, it in no way justifies the
employment of means which iun countei to eveiy piecept
of humanity and the customs of wai. Should it do so, then,
on the pietext of shoitening a wai and of saving lives, eveiy
imaginable atiocity can be justified.
111
lsn’t this obviously tiue` And isn’t this the ieason that iational and
humane men, ovei geneiations, developed iules of waifaie in the
fiist place`
While the mass media paiioted the goveinment line in piaising
the atomic incineiations, piominent conseivatives denounced them
as unspeakable wai ciimes. lelix Moiley, constitutional scholai
and one of the foundeis of Hv»on F+enìs, diew auention to the
hoiioi of Hiioshima, including the “thousands of childien tiapped
in the thiity-thiee schools that weie destioyed.” He called on his
compatiiots to atone foi what had been done in theii name, and pio-
posed that gioups of Ameiicans be sent to Hiioshima, as Geimans
weie sent to witness what had been done in the Nazi camps. Te
Paulist piiest, lathei James Gillis, editoi of Te Coì|o|:c Vor|J and
anothei stalwait of the Old Right, castigated the bombings as “the
most poweiful blow evei deliveied against Chiistian civilization
and the moial law.” David Lawience, conseivative ownei of U.S.
111
J. l. C. lullei, Te SeconJ Vor|J Vor, 1^I^–o¯ A Sìroìeg:co| onJ Tocì:co| H:s
ìor, (London· Eyie and Spouiswoode, 1v.c), p. !vz. lullei, who was similaily
scathing on the teiioi bombing of the Geiman cities, chaiacteiized the auacks on
Hiioshima and Nagasaki as “a type of wai that would have disgiaced Tameilane.”
Cf. Baiton J. Beinstein, who concludes, in “Undeistanding the Atomic Bomb,”
p. z!¯· “ln 1v.¯, Ameiican leadeis weie not seeking to avoid the use of the A-
bomb. lts use did not cieate ethical oi political pioblems foi them. Tus, they
easily iejected oi nevei consideied most of the so-called alteinatives to the bomb.”
1.z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Ne+s onJ Vor|J Re¡orì, continued to denounce them foi yeais.
11z
Te distinguished conseivative philosophei Richaid Weavei was
ievolted by
the spectacle of young boys fiesh out of Kansas and Texas
tuining nonmilitaiy Diesden into a holocaust . . . pulveiiz-
ing ancient shiines like Monte Cassino and Nuiembeig, and
biinging atomic annihilation to Hiioshima and Nagasaki.
Weavei consideied such atiocities as deeply “inimical to the foun-
dations on which civilization is built.”
11!
Today, self-styled conseivatives slandei as “anti-Ameiican” any-
one who is in the least tioubled by Tiuman’s massacie of so many
tens of thousands of Japanese innocents fiom the aii. Tis shows
as well as anything the diffeience between today’s “conseivatives,”
heaitless hacks foi the Ameiican militaiy machine, and those who
once deseived the name.
Leo Szilaid was the woild-ienowned physicist who diafed the
oiiginal leuei to Roosevelt that Einstein signed, instigating the
Manhauan Pioject, the piogiam to cieate the atom bomb. ln 1vec,
shoitly befoie his death, Szilaid stated anothei obvious tiuth·
lf the Geimans had diopped atomic bombs on cities instead
of us, we would have defined the diopping of atomic bombs
on cities as a wai ciime, and we would have sentenced the
Geimans who weie guilty of this ciime to death at Nuiem-
beig and hanged them.
11.
Te destiuction of Hiioshima and Nagasaki was a wai ciime
woise than any that Japanese geneials weie executed foi in Tokyo
and Manila. lf Haiiy Tiuman was not a wai ciiminal, then no one
evei was.
11z
lelix Moiley, “Te Retuin to Nothingness,” Hv»on F+enìs (August zv, 1v.¯)
iepiinted in H:ros|:»o’s S|oJo+, Kai Biid and Lawience Lifschultz, eds. (Stony
Cieek, Conn.· Pamphleteei’s Piess, 1vvc), pp. z¯z–¯., James Maitin Gillis,
“Nothing But Nihilism,” Te Coì|o|:c Vor|J, Septembei 1v.¯, iepiinted in ibid.,
pp. z¯c–cc, Alpeiovitz, Dec:s:on, pp. .!c–.c.
11!
Richaid M. Weavei, “A Dialectic on Total Wai,” in idem, V:s:ons o[ OrJer Te
Cv|ìvro| Cr:s:s o[ Ovr T:»e (Baton Rouge· Louisiana State Univeisity Piess, 1ve.),
pp. vc–vv.
11.
Wainstock, Dec:s:on, p. 1zz.
Cu~v1iv .
Maixist Dieams and
Soviet Realities
Te shaip contiast that Alexis de Tocqueville diew in 1c!¯ between
the United States and Tsaiist Russia—“the piinciple of the foimei is
fieedom, of the lauei, seivitude”
1
—became much shaipei afei 1v1¯,
when the Russian Empiie was tiansfoimed into the Soviet Union.
Like the United States, the Soviet Union is a nation founded
on a distinct ideology. ln the case of Ameiica, the ideology was
fundamentally Lockean libeialism, its best expiessions aie the Dec-
laiation of lndependence and the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitu-
tion. Te Ninth Amendment, in paiticulai, bieathes the spiiit of the
woild-view of late-eighteenth-centuiy Ameiica.
z
Te loundeis be-
lieved that theie exist natuial, individual iights that, taken togethei,
Tis essay was oiiginally published in 1vcc, by the Cato lnstitute, Washington,
D.C.
1
Alexis de Tocqueville, De»ocroc, :n A»er:co, vol. 1 (New Yoik· Vintage,
1v.¯), p. .¯z.
z
“Te enumeiation in the Constitution of ceitain iights shall not be constiued
to deny oi dispaiage otheis ietained by the people.” Needless to say, the U.S.
goveinment has seldom lived up to its pioclaimed ciedo, oi anything close to it.
1.!
1.. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
constitute a moial fiamewoik foi political life. Tianslated into law,
this fiamewoik defines the social space within which men voluntai-
ily inteiact, it allows foi the spontaneous cooidination and ongoing
mutual adjustment of the vaiious plans that the membeis of society
foim to guide and fill theii lives.
Te Soviet Union was founded on a veiy diffeient ideology,
Maixism, as undeistood and inteipieted by V. l. Lenin. Maixism,
with its ioots in Hegelian philosophy, was a quite conscious ievolt
against the individual iights doctiine of the pievious centuiy. Te
leadeis of the Bolshevik paity (which changed its name to Commu-
nist in 1v1c) weie viitually all ievolutionaiy intellectuals, in accoi-
dance with the stiategy set foith by Lenin in his 1vcz woik V|oì
Is ìo Be Done'
!
Tey weie avid students of the woiks of Maix and
Engels published in theii lifetimes oi shoitly theieafei and known to
the theoieticians of the Second lnteinational. Te Bolshevik leadeis
viewed themselves as the executois of the Maixist piogiam, as those
whom Histoiy had called upon to iealize the apocalyptic tiansition
to Communist society foietold by the foundeis of theii faith.
Te aim they inheiited fiom Maix and Engels was nothing less
than the final iealization of human fieedom and the end of the
“piehistoiy” of the human iace. Teiis was the Piomethean dieam
of the iehabilitation of Man and his conquest of his iightful place
as mastei of the woild and loid of cieation.
Building on the woik of Michael Polanyi and Ludwig von Mises,
Paul Ciaig Robeits has demonstiated—in books that deseive to be
much beuei known than they aie, since they piovide an impoi-
tant key to the histoiy of the twentieth centuiy
.
—the meaning of
fieedom in Maixism. lt lies in the abolition of alienation, i.e., of
commodity pioduction, pioduction foi the maiket. loi Maix and
Engels, the maiket iepiesents not meiely the aiena of capitalist
exploitation but, moie fundamentally, a systematic insult to the dig-
nity of Man. Tiough it, the consequences of Man’s action escape
fiom his contiol and tuin on him in malign ways. Tus, the insight
!
V. l. Lenin, V|oì Is ìo Be Done' Bvrn:ng Qesì:ons o[ Ovr Mo+e»enì (New
Yoik· lnteinational Publisheis, 1vzv).
.
A|:enoì:on onJ ì|e So+:eì Fcono», To+orJs o Genero| Teor, o[ Mor::on A|:en
oì:on, Orgon::oì:ono| Pr:nc:¡|es, onJ ì|e So+:eì Fcono», (Albuqueique· Univeisity
of New Mexico Piess, 1v¯1) and (with Mauhew A. Stephenson) Mor:’s Teor, o[
F:donge, A|:enoì:on, onJ Cr:s:s (Standfoid· Hoovei lnsitution Piess, 1v¯!).
MARXlST DREAMS AND SOVlET REALlTlES 1.¯
that maiket piocesses geneiate iesults that weie no pait of anyone’s
intention becomes, foi Maixism, the veiy ieason to condemn them.
As Maix wiote of the stage of Communist society befoie the total
disappeaiance of scaicity,
fieedom in this field can consist only in socialized man, the
associated pioduceis, iationally iegulating theii inteichange
with Natuie, biinging it undei theii common contiol, instead
of being iuled by it as by the blind foices of Natuie.
¯
Te point is made most cleaily by Engels·
With the seizuie of the means of pioduction by society, pio-
duction of commodities is done away with, and with it the do-
minion of the pioduct ovei the pioduceis. Anaichy of social
pioduction is ieplaced by conscious oiganization accoiding
to plan. Te whole spheie of the conditions of life which
suiiound men, which iuled men up until now comes undei
the dominion and conscious contiol of men, who become foi
the fiist time the ieal, conscious loids of natuie, because and
in that they become mastei of theii own social oiganization.
Te laws of theii own social activity, which confionted them
until this point as alien laws of natuie, contiolling them, then
aie applied by men with full undeistanding, and so masteied
by them. Only fiom then on will men make theii histoiy
themselves in full consciousness, only fiom then on will the
social causes they set in motion have in the main and in
constantly incieasing piopoition, also the iesults intended
by them. lt is the leap of mankind fiomthe iealmof necessity
to the iealm of fieedom.
e
Tus, Man’s fieedom would be expiessed in the total contiol ex-
eicised by the associated pioduceis in planning the economy and,
with it, all of social life. No longei would the unintended conse-
quences of Man’s actions biing disastei and despaii—theie +ov|J
|e no svd conseqvences. Man would deteimine his own fate. Lef
unexplained was how millions upon millions of sepaiate individ-
uals could be expected to act with one mind and one will —could
¯
Kail Maix, Co¡:ìo| A Cr:ì:qve o[ Po|:ì:co| Fcono»,, vol. !, liiediich Engels,
ed. (New Yoik· lnteinational Publisheis, 1ve¯), p. czc.
e
liiediich Engels, “Socialism· Utopian and Scientific,” in Kail Maix and
1.e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
suddenly become “Man”—especially since it was alleged that the
state, the indispenable engine of coeicion, would withei away.
Alieady in Maix and Engels’s day—decades befoie the establish-
ment of the Soviet state—theie weie some with a shiewd idea of just
who it was that would assume the title iole when the time came to
peifoim the heioic melodiama, Man Cieates His Own Destiny. Te
most celebiated of Maix’s eaily ciitics was the Russian anaichist
Michael Bakunin, foi whom Maix was “the Bismaick of socialism”
and who wained that Maixism was a doctiine ideally fiued to func-
tion as the ideology—in the Maixist sense· the systematic iatio-
nalization and obfuscation—of the powei uiges of ievolutionaiy
intellectuals. lt would lead, Bakunin wained, to the cieation of “a
new class,” which would establish “the most aiistociatic, despotic,
aiiogant, and contemptuous of all iegimes”
¯
and entiench its con-
tiol ovei the pioducing classes of society. Bakunin’s analysis was
extended and elaboiated by the Pole Waclaw Machajski.
c
Despite this analysis—oi peihaps as a confiimation of it—the
Maixist vision came to inspiie geneiations of intellectuals in Euiope
and even in Ameiica. ln the couise of the vast, senseless cainage
that was the liist Woild Wai, the Tsaiist Empiie collapsed and the
immense lmpeiial Russian Aimy was fiagmented into atoms. A
small gioup of Maixist intellectuals seized powei. What could be
moie natuial than that, once in powei, they should tiy to biing
into being the vision that was theii whole puipose and aim` Te
pioblem was that the audacity of theii dieam was matched only by
the depth of theii economic ignoiance.
ln August 1v1¯—thiee months befoie he took powei—this is
liiediich Engels, Se|ecìeJ Vor|s (Moscow· Piogiess Publisheis, 1vec), p. .!z.
¯
See, foi instance, Michael Bakunin, “Maix, the Bismaick of Socialism,” in
Leonaid l. Kiimeiman and Lewis Peiiy, eds., Pouerns o[ Anord,. A co||ecì:on o[
Vr:ì:ngs :n ì|e Anord:sì TroJ:ì:on (Gaiden City, N.Y.· Anchoi/Doubleday, 1vee),
pp. cc–v¯, especially p. c¯. loi a discussion of the theoietical pioblems involved in
a “newclass” analysis of Soviet society and a ciitique of James Buinham’s auempt
to geneialize the inteipietation to non-Maixist societies, see Leszek Kolakowski,
Mo:n Cvrrenìs o[ Mor::s», P. S. lalla, tians. (Oxfoid· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess,
1vc1) vol. !, Te Breo|Jo+n, pp. 1¯¯–ee.
c
See Max Nomad, Po|:ì:co| Hereì:cs (Ann Aiboi· Univeisity of Michigan Piess,
1vec), pp. z!c–.1. Also, Jan Waclav Makaïske, Le soc:o|:s»e Jes :nìe||ecìve|s,
Alexandie Skiida, ed. (Paiis· Editions du Seuil, 1v¯v).
MARXlST DREAMS AND SOVlET REALlTlES 1.¯
how Lenin, in Sìoìe onJ Re+o|vì:on, chaiacteiized the skills needed
to iun a national economy in the “fiist phase” of Communism, the
one he and his associates weie about to embaik upon·
Te accounting and contiol necessaiy foi this have been sim-
plified by capitalism to the utmost, till they have become
the extiaoidinaiily simple opeiations of watching, iecoiding
and issuing ieceipts, within the ieach of anybody who can
iead and wiite and knows the fiist foui iules of aiithmetic.
v
Nikolai Bukhaiin, a leading “Old Bolshevik,” in 1v1v wiote, to-
gethei with Evgeny Pieobiazhensky, one of the most widely iead
Bolshevik texts. lt was Te ABC o[ Co»»vn:s», a woik that went
thiough 1c Soviet editions and was tianslated into zc languages.
Bukhaiin and Pieobiazhensky “weie iegaided as the Paity’s two
ablest economists.”
1c
Accoiding to them, Communist society is, in
the fiist place, “an oiganized society,” based on a detailed, piecisely
calculated plan, which includes the “assignment” of laboi to the
vaiious bianches of pioduction. As foi distiibution, accoiding to
these eminent Bolshevik economists, all pioducts will be deliveied
to communal waiehouses, and the membeis of society will diaw
them out in accoidance with theii self-defined needs.
11
lavoiable mentions of Bukhaiin in the Soviet piess aie now
taken to be exciting signs of the gloiies of g|osnosì, and in his speech
of Novembei z, 1vc¯, Mikhail Goibachev paitially iehabilitated
him.
1z
lt should be iemembeied that Bukhaiin is the man who
wiote, “We shall pioceed to a standaidization of the intellectuals,
we shall manufactuie them as in a factoiy”
1!
and who stated, in
justification of Leninist tyianny·
v
V. l. Lenin, Sìoìe onJ Re+o|vì:on (New Yoik· lnteinational Publisheis, 1v.!),
pp. c!–c..
1c
Sidney Heitman, in the “Newlntioduction” (unpaginated) to N. Bukhaiin and
E. Pieobiazhensky, Te ABC o[ Co»»vn:s» (Ann Aiboi· Univeisity of Michigan
Piess, 1vee).
11
lbid., pp. ec–¯!.
1z
Ne+ Yor| T:»es, no. !, 1vc¯.
1!
David Caute, Te Le] :n Fvro¡e S:nce 1¯8^ (New Yoik· McGiaw–Hill, 1vee),
p. 1¯v.
1.c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Pioletaiian coeicion, in all its foims, fiom executions to
foiced laboi, is, paiadoxical as it may sound, the method
of molding communist humanity out of the human mateiial
of the capitalist peiiod.
1.
Te shaping of the “human mateiial” at theii disposal into some-
thing highei—the manufactuie of the New Soviet Man, Ho»o so+:
eì:cvs—was essential to theii vision of all the millions of individuals
in society acting togethei, with one mind and one will,

and it was
shaied by all the Communist leadeis. lt was to this end, foi instance,
that Lilina, Zinoviev’s wife, spoke out foi the “nationalization” of
childien, in oidei to mold them into good Communists.
1e
Te most aiticulate and biilliant of the Bolsheviks put it most
plainly and best. At the end of his L:ìeroìvre onJ Re+o|vì:on, wiiuen
in 1vz., Leon Tiotsky placed the famous, and justly iidiculed, last
lines· Undei Communism, he wiote, “Te aveiage human type will
iise to the heights of an Aiistotle, a Goethe, oi a Maix. And above
this iidge new peaks will iise.” Tis dazzling piophecy was justified
in his mind, howevei, by what he had wiiuen in the few pages
pieceding. Undei Communism, Man will “ieconstiuct society and
himself in accoid with his own plan.” “Tiaditional family life” will
be tiansfoimed, the “laws of heiedity and blind sexual selection”
will be obviated, and Man’s puipose will be “to cieate a highei social
biological type, oi, if youi please, a supeiman.”

(Te full quotation
can be found in the aiticle on Tiotsky in this volume.)
1.
lbid., p. 11z.

“Te piincipal task of the fatheis of the Octobei Revolution was the cieation
of the New Man, Ho»o so+:eì:cvs.” Michel Hellei and Aleksandi Nekiich, L’v
ìo¡:e ov ¡ov+o:r H:sìo:re Je |’U.R.S.S. Je 1^1¯ o nos jovrs (Paiis· Calmann-Lévy,
1vcz), p. ¯cc. As foi the iesult, Kolakowski states· “Stalinism ieally pioduced ‘the
new Soviet man’· an ideological schizophienic, a liai who believed what he was
saying, a man capable of incessant, voluntaiy acts of intellectual self-mutilation.”
Kolakowski, vol. !, p. v¯.
1e
Hellei and Nekiich, p. ¯c.

Leon Tiotsky, L:ìeroìvre onJ Re+o|vì:on (Ann Aiboi· Univeisity of Michi-
gan Piess, 1v¯1), pp. z.e, z.v, z¯.–¯e. Bukhaiin enteitained similaily absuid
collectivist-Piomethean notions of socialist achievement. He stated, in 1vzc
(when Stalin’s domination was alieady appaient)· “We aie cieating and we shall
cieate a civilization compaied to which capitalism will have the same aspect as
an aii played on a kazoo to Beethoven’s Fro:co Symphony.” Hellei and Nekiich,
p. 1c1.
MARXlST DREAMS AND SOVlET REALlTlES 1.v
l suggest that what we have heie, in the sheei willfulness of
Tiotsky and the othei Bolsheviks, in theii uige to ieplace God, na-
tuie, and spontaneous social oidei with total, conscious planning by
themselves, is something that tianscends politics in any oidinaiy
sense of the teim. lt may well be that to undeistand what is at
issue we must ascend to anothei level, and that moie useful in un-
deistanding it than the woiks of the classical libeial economists and
political theoiists is the supeib novel of the gieat Chiistian apologist
C. S. Lewis, Toì H:Jeovs Sìrengì|.
Now, the fundamental changes in human natuie that the Com-
munist leadeis undeitook to make iequiie, in the natuie of the case,
absolute political powei in a fewdiiecting hands. Duiing the liench
Revolution, Robespieiie and the othei Jacobin leadeis set out to
tiansfoim human natuie in accoidance with the theoiies of Jean-
Jacques Rousseau. Tis was not the only cause but it was suiely
one of the causes of the Reign of Teiioi. Te Communists soon
discoveied what the Jacobins had leained· that such an enteipiise
iequiies that Teiioi be eiected into a system of goveinment.
1c
Te Red Teiioi began eaily on. ln his celebiated Novembei 1vc¯
speech, Goibachev confined the Communist Reign of Teiioi to the
Stalin yeais and stated·
Many thousands of people inside and outside the paity weie
subjected to wholesale iepiessive measuies. Such, comiades,
is the biuei tiuth.
1v
But by no means is this the whole of the biuei tiuth. By the end
of 1v1¯, the iepiessive oigans of the new Soviet state had been
oiganized into the Cheka, latei known by othei names, including
OGPU, NKVD, and KGB. Te vaiious mandates undei which the
Cheka opeiated may be illustiated by an oidei signed by Lenin
on lebiuaiy z1, 1v1c· that men and women of the bouigeoisie be
diafed into laboi baualions to dig tienches undei the supeivision
of Red Guaids, with “those iesisting to be shot.” Otheis, including
“speculatois” and countei-ievolutionaiy agitatois, weie “to be shot
on the scene of theii ciime.” To a Bolshevik who objected to the
1c
Cf. J. L. Talmon, Te Or:g:ns o[ Toìo|:ìor:on De»ocroc, (London· Meicuiy
Books, 1ve1).
1v
Ne+ Yor| T:»es, Nov. !, 1vc¯.
1¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
phiasing, Lenin ieplied, “Suiely you do not imagine that we shall be
victoiious without applying the most ciuel ievolutionaiy teiioi`”
zc
Te numbei of Cheka executions that amounted to legalized
muidei in the peiiod fiomlate 1v1¯ to eaily 1vzz—including neithei
the victims of the Revolutionaiy Tiibunals and the Red Aimy itself
noi the insuigents killed by the Cheka—has been estimated by
one authoiity at 1.c,ccc.
z1
As a iefeience point, considei that the
numbei of political executions undei the iepiessive Tsaiist iegime
fiom 1cee to 1v1¯ was about ..,ccc, including duiing and afei
the Revolution of 1vc¯
zz
(except that the peisons executed weie
accoided tiials), and the compaiable figuie foi the liench Revolu-
tionaiy Reign of Teiioi was 1c,ccc to zc,ccc.
z!
Cleaily, with the fiist
Maixist state something new had come into the woild.
ln the Leninist peiiod—that is, up to 1vz.—fall also the wai
against the peasantiy that was pait of “wai communism” and the
famine conditions, culminating in the famine of 1vz1, that iesulted
fiom the auempt to iealize the Maixist dieam. Te best estimate of
the human cost of those episodes is aiound e,ccc,ccc peisons.
z.
But the guilt of Lenin and the Old Bolsheviks—and of Maix
himself—does not end heie. Goibachev asseited that “the Stalin
peisonality cult was ceitainly not inevitable.”
“lnevitable” is a laige woid, but if something like Stalinism had
not occuiied, it would have been close to a miiacle. Scoining what
Maix and Engels had deiided as meie “bouigeois” fieedom and
“bouigeois” juiispiudence,

Lenin destioyed fieedom of the piess,
abolished all piotections against the police powei, and iejected any
hint of division of poweis and checks and balances in goveinment.
lt would have saved the peoples of Russia an immense amount
zc
Geoige Leggeu, Te C|e|o Len:n’s Po|:ì:co| Po|:ce (Oxfoid· Claiendon Piess,
1vc1), pp. ¯e–¯¯.
z1
lbid., pp. .ee–e¯
zz
lbid., p. .ec. Te gieat majoiity of these occuiied as a iesult of the 1vc¯
ievolutionaiy upiising.
z!
Samuel l. Scou and Baiiy Rothaus, eds., H:sìor:co| D:cì:onor, o[ ì|e Frend
Re+o|vì:on, 1¯8^–1¯^^, L–Z (Westpoit, Conn.· Gieenwood Piess, 1vc¯), p. v...
z.
Robeit Conquest, Hor+esì o[ Sorro+ So+:eì Co||ecì:+::oì:on onJ ì|e Terror
Fo»:ne (New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vce), pp. ¯!–¯¯.

Kail Maix and liiediich Engels, Te Co»»vn:sì Mon:[esìo, in Se|ecìeJ Vor|s,
p. .v.
MARXlST DREAMS AND SOVlET REALlTlES 1¯1
of suffeiing if Lenin—and Maix and Engels befoie him—had not
quite so biusquely dismissed the woik of men like Montesquieu
and Jeffeison, Benjamin Constant and Alexis de Tocqueville. Tese
wiiteis had been pieoccupied with the pioblem of how to thwait
the state’s evei-piesent diive towaid absolute powei. Tey laid
out, ofen in painstaking detail, the political aiiangements that aie
iequiied, the social foices that must be nuituied, in oidei to aveit
tyianny. But to Maix and his Bolshevik followeis, this was nothing
moie than “bouigeois ideology,” obsolete and of no ielevance to the
futuie socialist society. Any tiace of decentialization oi division
of powei, the slightest suggestion of a counteivailing foice to the
cential authoiity of the “associated pioduceis,” ian diiectly contiaiy
to the vision of the unitaiy planning of the whole of social life.
ze
Te toll among the peasantiy was even gieatei undei Stalin’s
collectivization

and the famine of 1v!!—a delibeiate one this time,
aimed at teiioiizing and ciushing the peasants, especially of the
Ukiaine. We shall nevei know the full tiuth of this demonic ciime,
but it seems likely that peihaps ten oi 1z,ccc,ccc peisons lost theii
lives as a iesult of these Communist policies—as many oi moie than
the total of all the dead in all the aimies in the liist Woild Wai.
zc
ze
On Maix’s iesponsibility, Kolakowski (vol. !, pp. ec–e1) wiites, “He undoubt-
edly believed that socialist society would be one of peifect unity, in which con-
flicts of inteiest would disappeai with the elimination of theii economic bases in
piivate piopeity. Tis society, he thought, would have no need of bouigeois in-
stitutions such as iepiesentative political bodies . . . and iules of law safeguaiding
civil libeities. Te Soviet despotism was an auempt to apply this doctiine.” See
also ibid., p. .1.

Te “wai against the nation”—Stalin’s foiced collectivization—was not the
pioduct of a powei-mad cynic. As Adam Ulam has aigued, “Stalin was seldom
cynical. . . . He was sinceie and obsessed.” His obsession was Maixism-Leninism,
the science of society that uneiiingly points the way to total human fieedom. lf
ieality pioved iefiactoiy, then the cause had to be the “wieckeis”—whole cate-
goiies and classes of people engaged in delibeiate sabotage. Suiely, the Maixist
dieam could not be at fault. Adam Ulam, Sìo|:n. Te Mon onJ H:s Fro (Boston·
Beacon Piess, 1v¯!), pp. !cc–c1.
zc
Conquest, Hor+esì o[ Sorro+, pp. zvv–!c¯. Te teiiible famine yeai was 1v!!,
afei that, concessions weie made to the peasant· a half-acie plot that he could
woik foi himself and the iight to sell ciops on the maiket afei the state’s quota
had been met. Stalin, howevei, begiudged these “concessions” to “individualism.”
Ulam, pp. !¯c–¯z.
1¯z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
One is stunned. Who could have conceived that within a few
yeais what the Communists weie to do in the Ukiaine would ii-
val the appalling butcheiies of Woild Wai l —Veidun, the Somme,
Passchendaele`
Tey died in hell,
Tey called it Passchendaele.
But what woid to use, then, foi what the Communists made of the
Ukiaine`
Vladimii Giossman, a Russian novelist who expeiienced the
famine of 1v!!, wiote about it in his novel Fore+er F|o+:ng, published
in the West. An eyewitness to the famine in the Ukiaine stated,
Ten l came to undeistand the main thing foi the Soviet
powei is the Plan. lulfill the Plan. . . . latheis and motheis
tiied to save theii childien, to save a liule biead, and they
weie told· You hate oui socialist countiy, you want to iuin
the Plan, you aie paiasites, kulaks, fiends, ieptiles. When
they took the giain, they told the kolkhoz [collective faim]
membeis they would be fed out of the ieseive fund. Tey
lied. Tey would not give giain to the hungiy.
zv
Te laboi camps foi “class-enemies” had alieady been estab-
lished undei Lenin, as eaily as August 1v1c.
!c
Tey weie vastly
enlaiged undei his successoi. Alexandei Solzhenitsyn compaied
them to an aichipelago spiead acioss the gieat sea of the Soviet
Union. Te camps giew and giew. Who weie sent theie` Any with
lingeiing Tsaiist sentiments and iecalcitiant membeis of the middle
classes, libeials, Mensheviks, anaichists, piiests and laity of the Oi-
thodox Chuich, Baptists and othei ieligious dissidents, “wieckeis,”
suspects of eveiy desciiption, then, “kulaks” and peasants by the
hundieds of thousands.
Duiing the Gieat Puige of the middle 1v!cs, the Communist
buieauciats and intellectuals themselves weie victims, and at that
point theie was a ceitain soit of thinkei in the West who nowbegan
to notice the camps, and the executions, foi the fiist time. Moie
zv
Cited in ibid., p. !.e.
!c
Héléne Caiiéie d’Encausse, Sìo|:n OrJer Trovg| Terror, Valence lonescu,
tians. (London and New Yoik· Longman, 1vc1), pp. e–¯.
MARXlST DREAMS AND SOVlET REALlTlES 1¯!
masses of human beings weie shipped in afei the annexations of
eastein Poland and the Baltic states, then enemy piisoneis of wai,
the inteinal “enemy nationalities,” and the ietuining Soviet piison-
eis of wai (viewed as tiaitois foi having suiiendeied), who flooded
into the camps afei 1v.¯—in Solzhenitsyn’s woids, “vast dense
giay shoals like ocean heiiing.”
!1
Te most notoiious of the camps was Kolyma, in eastein Sibeiia
—in actuality, a systemof camps foui times the size of liance. Teie
the death iate may have been as high as ¯c pei cent pei yeai
!z
and
the numbei of deaths was piobably on the oidei of !,ccc,ccc. lt goes
on and on. ln 1v.c theie was Katyn and the muidei of the Polish
officeis, in 1v¯z, the leadeis of Yiddish cultuie in the Soviet Union
weie liquidated en masse
!!
—both diops in the bucket foi Stalin.
Duiing the Puiges theie weie piobably about ¯,ccc,ccc aiiests, and
one out of eveiy ten aiiested was executed.
!.
How many died altogethei` No one will evei know. What is
ceitain is that the Soviet Union has been the woist ieeking chainel
house of the whole awful twentieth centuiy, woise even than the
one the Nazis cieated (but then they had less time).

Te sum total
of deaths due to Soviet policy—in the Stalin peiiod alone—deaths
fiom the collectivization and the teiioi famine, the executions and
the Gulag, is piobably on the oidei of zc,ccc,ccc.
!e
As g|osnosì pioceeds and these landmaiks of Soviet histoiy aie
uncoveied and exploied to a gieatei oi lessei degiee, it is to be
hoped that Goibachev and his followeis will not fail to point an
!1
Aleksandi l. Solzhenitsyn, Te Gv|og Ard:¡e|ogo, 1^18–1^¯o. An F:¡er:»enì
:n L:ìeror, In+esì:goì:on, vols. 1–z.
!z
Nikolai Tolstoy, Sìo|:n’s Secreì Vor (New Yoik· Holt, Rinehait and Winston,
1vc1), p. 1¯.
!!
David Caute, Te Fe||o+Tro+e||ers. A Posìscr:¡ì ìo ì|e Fn|:g|ìen»enì (New
Yoik· Macmillan, 1v¯!), p. zce.
!.
Robeit Conquest, Te Greoì Terror Sìo|:n’s Pvrge o[ ì|e T:rì:es (New Yoik·
Macmillan, 1vec), p. ¯z¯.

lt should be obvious that, in logic and justice, the enumeiation of Soviet
ciimes can in no way exculpate any othei state—foi instance, any Westein
demociacy—foi the ciimes it has commiued oi is commiuing.
!e
Conquest, Te Greoì Terror, pp. ¯z¯–!¯, especially p. ¯!!. Caute, Te Fe||o+
Tro+e||ers, p. 1c¯, estimates the deaths in the camps between 1v!e and 1v¯c at
1z,ccc,ccc. He adds, “Stalin’s policies may have accounted foi twenty million
deaths.” lbid., p. !c!.
1¯. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
accusing fingei at the West foi the pait it played in masking these
ciimes. l am iefeiiing to the shameful chaptei in twentieth-centuiy
intellectual histoiy involving the fellow tiaveleis of Soviet Commu-
nismand theii apologias foi Stalinism. Ameiicans, especially Amei-
ican college students, have been made familiai with the wiongs
of McCaithyism in oui own histoiy. Tis is as it should be. Te
haiassment and public humiliation of innocent piivate peisons is
iniquitous, and the U.S. goveinment must always be held to the
standaids established by the Bill of Rights. But suiely we should
also iemembei and infoim young Ameiicans of the accomplices
in a fai diffeient oidei of wiongs—those piogiessive intellectuals
who “woishiped at the temple of [Soviet] planning”

and lied and
evaded the tiuth to piotect the homeland of socialism, while mil-
lions weie maityied. Not only Geoige Beinaid Shaw,
!c
Sidney and
Beatiice Webb, Haiold Laski, and Jean-Paul Saitie, but, foi instance,
the Moscow coiiespondent of the Ne+ Yor| T:»es, Waltei Duianty,
who told his ieadeis, in August 1v!!, at the height of the famine·
Any iepoit of famine in Russia is today an exaggeiation oi
malignant piopaganda. Te food shoitage which has affected
almost the whole population in the last yeai and paiticulaily
in the giain-pioducing piovinces—the Ukiaine, Noith Cau-
casus, the lowei Volga iegion—has, howevei, caused heavy
loss of life.
!v
loi his “objective” iepoiting fiom the Soviet Union, Duianty won
a Pulitzei Piize.
.c

Caute, Te Fe||o+Tro+e||ers, p. z¯v.
!c
Geoige Beinaid Shaw, foi example, expiessed his scoin foi those who
piotested when the Soviet Union “judiciously liquidates a handful of exploiteis
and speculatois to make the woild safe foi honest men.” lbid., p. 11!.
!v
Qoted by Eugene Lyons, “Te Piess Coips Conceals a lamine,” in Julien
Steinbeig, ed., VerJ:cì o[ Tree DecoJes. Fro» ì|e L:ìeroìvre o[ InJ:+:Jvo| Re+o|ì
Ago:nsì So+:eì Co»»vn:s», 1^1¯–1^¯h (New Yoik· Duell, Sloan, and Peaice, 1v¯c),
pp. z¯z–¯!.
.c
Conquest, Hor+esì o[ Sorro+, pp. !1v–zc. As Conquest mentions, as of 1vc!
the Ne+ Yor| T:»es still listed Duianty’s Pulitzei Piize among the papei’s hon-
ois. lf the T:»es iepoitei and othei coiiespondents lied so contemptibly about
conditions in Soviet Russia and theii causes, howevei, otheis weie soon telling
the tiuth· Eugene Lyons and William Heniy Chambeilin published aiticles and
books detailing, fiom peisonal expeiience, what Chambeilin called the “oiga-
nized famine” that had been used as a weapon against the Ukiainian peasantiy.
MARXlST DREAMS AND SOVlET REALlTlES 1¯¯
Oi—to take anothei fellow tiavelei viitually at iandom—we
should keep in mind the valuable woik of Owen Lauimoie of Johns
Hopkins Univeisity. Piofessoi Lauimoie visited Kolyma in the
summei of 1v.., as an aide to the Vice Piesident of the United
States, Heniy Wallace. He wiote a glowing iepoit on the camp
and on its chief waiden, Commandant Nikishov, foi the Noì:ono|
Geogro¡|:c.
.1
Lauimoie compaied Kolyma to a combination of
the Hudson’s Bay Company and the TVA.
.z
Te numbei of the
influential Ameiican fellow tiaveleis was, in fact, legion, and l can
think of no moial piinciple that would justify oui foigeuing what
they did and what they did it in aid of.
ln his speech of Novembei z, Goibachev declaied that Stalin
was guilty of “enoimous and unfoigivable ciimes” and announced
that a special commission of the Cential Commiuee is to piepaie a
histoiy of the Communist paity of the Soviet Union that will ieflect
the iealities of Stalin’s iule. Andiei Sakhaiov has called foi the full
disclosuie of “the entiie, teiiible tiuth of Stalin and his eia.”
.!
But
can the Communist leadeis ieally affoid to tell the entiie tiuth` At
the Twentieth Paity Congiess in 1v¯e, Nikita Khiushchev ievealed
the tip of the icebeig of Stalinist ciimes, and Poland iose up and
theie took place the immoital Hungaiian Revolution, when they did
high deeds in Hungaiy
To pass all men’s believing.
What would it mean to ieveal the entiie tiuth` Could the Com-
munist leadeis admit, foi instance, that duiing Woild Wai ll, “the
losses inflicted by the Soviet state upon its own people iivaled any
the Geimans could inflict on the baulefield”` Tat “the Nazi con-
centiation camps weie modified veisions of Soviet oiiginals,” whose
evolution the Geiman leadeiship had followed with some caie. Tat,
in shoit, “the Soviet Union is not only the oiiginal killei state, but
the model one”`
..
lf they did that, what might the consequences
not be this time`
See William Heniy Chambeilin, “Death in the Villages,” in Steinbeig, p. zv1.
.1
Caute, Te Fe||o+Tro+e||ers, p. 1cz.
.z
Conquest, Te Greoì Terror, p. !¯..
.!
Ne+ Yor| T:»es, Nov. ¯, 1vc¯.
..
Nick Ebeistadt, lntioduction to losif G. Dyadkin, Unnoìvro| Deoì|s :n ì|e
U.S.S.R., 1^.8–1^¯o (New Biunswick, N.J., and London· Tiansaction Books, 1vc!),
pp. c, ..
1¯e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
But the fact that the victims of Soviet Communism can nevei be
fully acknowledged in theii homelands is all the moie ieason that,
as a mauei of histoiical justice, we in the West must endeavoi to
keep theii memoiy alive.
Cu~v1iv ¯
Nazifying the Geimans
Not long ago a Geiman fiiend iemaiked to me, jokingly, that he
imagined the only things Ameiican college students weie apt to
associate with Geimany nowadays weie beei, Ledeihosen, and the
Nazis. l ieplied that, basically, theie was only one thing that Amei-
icans, whethei college students oi not, associated with Geimany.
When the Geimans aie mentioned, it is Nazism that fiist spiings to
mind, whatevei else may biought up latei will be coloied and con-
taminated by thoughts of the Nazis. When Molly lvins (desciibed
by Justin Raimondo, in his Co|:n Po+e|| onJ ì|e Po+er F|:ìe, as a “lib-
eial columnist and known plagiaiist”) iemaiked, of Pat Buchanan’s
speech at the 1vvz Republican convention, “it sounded beuei in the
oiiginal Geiman,” eveiyone instantly knew what she meant. Te
casual slandei was picked up by William Safiie and otheis, and
made the iounds. A constant din fiom Hollywood and the majoi
media has instiucted us on what “Geiman” ieally stands foi.
Tis is a slightly modified veision of an aiticle that fiist appeaied in the Januaiy
1vv¯ issue of C|ron:c|es magazine, published by the Rockfoid lnstitute, of Rock-
foid, lllinois.
1¯¯
1¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
And yet, as some Geimans plaintively insist, theie aie a thou-
sand yeais of histoiy “on the othei side” of the Tiid Reich. ln
cultuial teims, it is not an unimpiessive iecoid (in which the Aus-
tiians must be counted, at least until 1cee, Austiia was as much a
pait of the Geiman lands as Bavaiia oi Saxony). liom piinting to
the automobile to the jet engine to the cieation of whole bianches of
science, the Geiman contiibution to Euiopean civilization has been,
one might say, iathei significant. Albeitus Magnus, Luthei, Leibniz,
Kant, Goethe, Humboldt, Ranke, Nietzsche, Cail Mengei, Max We-
bei—these aie not negligible figuies in the histoiy of thought.
And then, of couise, theie’s the music.
Te Geiman iole ovei centuiies in tiansmiuing advanced cul-
tuie to the peoples to the east and southeast was ciitical at cei-
tain stages of theii development. Te Hungaiian libeial, Gaspai M.
Tamas, speaking foi his own people, the Czechs, and otheis, wiote
of the Geimans who had lived among them foi centuiies and weie
diiven out in 1v.¯, that theii “ancestois built oui cathedials, monas-
teiies, univeisities, and iailway stations.” As foi oui countiy, the
highly laudatoiy chaptei that Tomas Sowell devotes to the Geiman
immigiants in Fì|n:c A»er:co is one of the best in a fascinating
book. Moie than five million Geimans came to the United States in
the nineteenth centuiy alone. Accoiding to iecent census figuies,
aiound fify-seven million Ameiicans claim to be of Geiman hei-
itage. Togethei with the descendants of the immigiants fiom the
Biitish lsles, Geimans foim the basic Ameiican stock. Tey weie
highly valued as neighbois, and theii ways weie woven into the
fabiic of Ameiican life—the Chiistmas tiee and S:|enì N:g|ì, foi
instance, and the family-centeied Sunday, with its “jovial yet oi-
deily activities,” as an admiiing Anglo contempoiaiy put it. ls theie
any doubt that when Geimans composed the leading population in
many Ameiican cities and towns, these weie happiei places to live
in than they aie today`
Yet the aii is filled with incessant haiping on an inteival of
twelve yeais in the annals of this ancient Euiopean iace. ln the
noimal couise of things, one would expect a counteivailing defense
to emanate fiomGeimany itself. But it is piecisely theie, among the
lef intelligentsia, that some of the piime Geiman-hateis aie to be
found. Te ieasons foi this aie faiily cleai.
NAZllYlNG THE GERMANS 1¯v
Ovei the last decades, these intellectuals have giown incieas-
ingly fiustiated at theii own people, who iemain fiimly bouigeois
and oidei-loving, with liule inteiest in neo-Maixist tiansfoima-
tions of theii way of life. lncieasingly, too, that fiustiation has been
vented in hatied and contempt foi eveiything Geiman. Most of all,
the Geimans weie condemned foi theii hopelessly misguided past
and bouigeois social stiuctuie, which supposedly pioduced Nazism.
Anguished complaints like that fiom the conseivative histoiian
Michael Stüimei, that “we cannot live while continually pulveiizing
ouiselves and oui own histoiy into nothing, while we make that
histoiy into a peimanent souice of infinite feelings of guilt,” weie
meiely fuithei evidence that the Geimans stood in diie need of
iadical ie-education. A laige segment of the lef intelligentsia made
no bones of its sympathy foi the “Geiman Demociatic Republic”
[Communist East Geimany] which at least did not enslave its sub-
jects to consumeiism and the “elbow society” pievalent in the West.
Natuially, theie weie ceitain excesses, but these could be explained
by the piessuies issuing fiom Bonn and Washington. loi these
intellectuals, the GDR dictatoiship—kept in existence by Soviet
tanks and foiced to iesoit to building a wall to keep its subjects in—
was a “noimal state”, they denounced any auempts to “destabilize”
it, even by the foithiight expiession of anti-Communist opinion
(“piimitive anti-Communism,” it was called). Tey spoke waimly
of Communism’s “humanistic values” and “positive coie,” which
shaiply distinguished it fiom National Socialism. ln this way, they
exhibited one of the chaiacteiistic failings of intellectuals· piefei-
iing to look to theii piefeiied theoiy iathei than to social ieality.
Te Geiman lef’s “maich thiough the institutions” afei 1vec
was spectaculaily successful in the media, schools and univeisities,
chuiches, and moie and moie in politics. lts contiol of the cultuial
infiastiuctuie pioduced a situation wheie the public declaiation of
any pio-Geiman auitude was viewed as evidence of RedìsroJ:|o
|:s»vs. Some thiity yeais ago, when lsiaeli Piime Ministei Levi
Eshkol, at a dinnei in Jeiusalem, expiessed to Koniad Adenauei
his confidence that “undei youi leadeiship the Geiman people will
ietuin to the community of civilized peoples,” the old Chancelloi
ietoited· “Mi. Piime Ministei, what you think is of no concein
to me . . . l iepiesent the Geiman people. You have insulted them,
1ec GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
and so tomoiiow moining l shall depait.” lt is impossible to imag-
ine any iecent Geiman leadei, in paiticulai, the lickspiule foimei
ledeial Piesident Richaid von Weizsäckei, iesponding with such
unabashed patiiotism, especially to an lsiaeli.
Ten came 1vcv, the fall of the Beilin Wall, and signs that the
Geimans might still haiboi some sense of national piide. Te con-
seivative histoiian and publicist Rainei Zitelmann wiites that “the
lef expeiienced the ieunification [of Geimany] and the collapse of
socialism as a defeat,” a giave setback that had to be made good,
lest a “tuin” occui and the lef lose its powei to contiol political
debate. Te peifect oppoitunity piesented itself when a few half-
wits fiiebombed the homes and asylums of foieign iesidents. (Tese
incidents weie stiategically exploited in the same way as the Okla-
homa City bombing has been exploited in the United States.) Now
came an all-out campaign against allegedly deep-seated Geiman
“iacism” and “hostility to foieigneis,” accompanied, natuially, by
hysteiical wainings of a “Nazi iesuigence” and endless allusions to
the affinities between Nazism and bouigeois Geimany. Tus, the
noimal human desiie to live in one’s own countiy among one’s
own kind was equated with the will to annihilate othei peoples
manifested by Hitlei and his butcheis.
Te latest spasm of Geiman abuse and Geiman self-hatied oc-
cuiied with the publication of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s H:ì|er’s
V:||:ng F:ecvì:oners OrJ:nor, Ger»ons onJ ì|e Ho|ocovsì. Launched
with a iemaikable publicity baiiage by Knopf, absuidly acclaimed
by the authoi’s Haivaid fiiends, it was touted by Abe Rosenthal in
the Ne+ Yor| T:»es foi packing the emotional equivalent of a fiist
visit to Auschwitz. Te thesis of this woik, which won an awaid
fiom the Ameiican Political Science Association, is that the Judeo-
cide is easily explained· foi centuiies the Geimans had been “elim-
inationist” anti-Semites, and undei the Nazis, they became openly
and enthusiastically “exteiminationist.” Suffice it to say that in pub-
lic debates iecognized Holocaust scholais demolished the ciooked
methodology and unevidenced claims of this academic hustlei.
Te best ieview appeaied in the Fron|[vrìer A||ge»e:ne and the
excellent Geiman conseivative magazine Cr:ì:con, by Alfied de Za-
yas, an Ameiican histoiian and juiist and iespected authoiity on
inteinational law.
NAZllYlNG THE GERMANS 1e1
Whenevei anti-Semitic auitudes oi acts aie mentioned, de Za-
yas obseives, Goldhagen speaks of “the Geimans”—not “the Nazis,”
oi even “many Geimans”—offeiing no justification at all, it is sim-
ply a polemical tiick. He neglects to mention well-known facts, e.g.,
that eveiyone connected with the killing of the Jews was bound
by lühiei Oidei no. 1, as well as by special oideis fiom Himmlei,
mandating the stiictest silence, undei penalty of death. So it should
not be suipiising that, foi example, the foimei Chancelloi Helmut
Schmidt, duiing the wai a Lufwaffe officei, testified that he had
nevei heaid oi known anything of the annihilation of the Jews,
oi that Countess Dönhoff, publishei of the libeial papei, D:e Ze:ì,
should state that, despite hei connections to many key people dui-
ing the wai, she knewnothing of the mass-killings in the camps, and
that “l heaid the name ‘Auschwitz’ foi the fiist time afei the wai.”
Goldhagen simply disiegaids majoi standaid woiks that con-
tiadict his thesis. He claims, foi example, that the Geiman people
appioved of and joined in the Kr:sìo||nodì (the widespiead 1v!c
muidei of Jews and destiuction of synagogues and businesses by
Nazi thugs) in a kind of nation-wide Vo||s[esì. Yet Saiah Goi-
don, in hei authoiitative H:ì|er, Ger»ons, onJ ì|e “}e+:s| Qes
ì:on” wiote· “theie was a toiient of iepoits indicating public disap-
pioval of Kiistallnacht . . . [whatevei the motivation] what is not in
doubt, howevei, is the fact that the majoiity did disappiove . . . afei
Kiistallnacht, the Nazis delibeiately tiied to conceal theii measuies
against the Jews.”
None of the scholaily ciitics made much of an impiession on
audiences that witnessed the debates in the United States oi duiing
Goldhagen’s toui of Geimany late last summei, and ceitainly not
on sales of the book. ln any case, most of them, except foi de Zayas,
oveilooked the function peifoimed by a woik such as Goldhagen’s.
While he indicts the Geimans as pathologically anti-Semitic and
while some of his ciitics ietoit that, no, all of Chiistendom, indeed,
Chiistianity itself, is implicated in the Jewish genocide, auention is
kept fixed on the supposed single gieat ciime of the iecent past, if
not of all of human histoiy to the viitual exclusion of all otheis. ln
paiticulai, the misdeeds of Communist iegimes aie unduly neglected.
A decade ago, Einst Nolte, then of the liee Univeisity of Beilin,
ignited the H:sìor:|ersìre:ì, oi dispute of histoiians, and became the
1ez GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
taiget of a campaign of defamation led by the philosophei Jüigen
Habeimas, by asking· “Didn’t the ‘Gulag Aichipelago’ come befoie
Auschwitz` Wasn’t the ‘class muidei’ of the Bolsheviks the logi-
cal and factual piesupposition of the ‘iace muidei’ of the National
Socialists`” Tese aie still good questions. ln fact, Stalinist—and
Maoist—offenses, while acknowledged, aie geneially downplayed
and have achieved nothing iemotely appioaching the publicity of
the Nazi massacie of the Jews. ln the United States, it is possible
foi a peison who keeps abieast of the news media to encountei
iefeiences to the Holocaust viitually eveiy day of his life. Yet who
has heaid of Kolyma, wheie moie people weie done to death than
the piesent official count foi Auschwitz` Te figuies foi the victims
of Maoist iule that aie staiting to come out of China suggest a total
in the iange of tens of millions. Do these facts even make a dent in
public consciousness`
Moieovei, theie is an aspect of Stalinist atiocities that is veiy
peitinent to the “Goldhagen Debate.” ln theii histoiy of the Soviet
Union, Uìo¡:o :n Po+er, Mikhail Hellei and Aleksandi M. Nekiich
touch on the issue of whethei the Geiman people had full knowl-
edge of the Nazi ciimes. Tey state no opinion. But iegaiding the
Soviets’ muideious wai on the peasantiy, including the Ukiainian
teiioi famine, they wiite·
Teie is no question that the Soviet city people knew about
the massacie in the countiyside. ln fact, no one tiied to
conceal it. At the iailioad stations, city dwelleis could see
the thousands of women and childien who had fled fiom
the villages and weie dying of hungei. Kulaks, “dekulakized
peisons,” and “kulak henchmen” died alike. Tey weie not
consideied human.
Teie has been no outciy foi the Russian people to seek atonement
and no one speaks of theii “eteinal guilt.” lt goes without saying
that the misdeeds of Communism, in Russia, China, and elsewheie
aie nevei debited to inteinationalism and egalitaiianism as those of
Nazism aie to nationalism and iacism.
Pointing to Communist ciimes is not meant to “tiivialize” the
destiuction of Euiopean Jewiy, noi can it do so. Te massacie of the
Jews was one of the woist things that evei happened. But even sup-
posing that it was the woist thing that evei happened, couldn’t some
NAZllYlNG THE GERMANS 1e!
aiiangement be woiked out wheieby Communist mass-muideis
aie mentioned once foi eveiy ten times (oi hundied times`) the
Holocaust is biought up` Peihaps also, if we must have publicly-
financed museums commemoiating the foieign victims of foieign
iegimes, some memoiial to the victims of Communism might be
consideied, not on the Mall itself, of couise, but maybe in a low-
ient aiea of Washington`
lf the ciimes of Communism go ielatively unmentioned, what
aie we to say of ciimes commiued ogo:nsì Geimans` One of the
most peinicious legacies of Hitlei, Stalin, and Mao is that any po-
litical leadei iesponsible foi less than, say, thiee oi foui million
deaths is let off the hook. Tis haidly seems iight, and it was not
always so. ln fact—the ieadei may find this inciedible—theie was
a time when Ameiican conseivatives took the lead in publicizing
Allied, and especially Ameiican, atiocities against Geimans. His-
toiians and high-level jouinalists like William Heniy Chambeilin,
in A»er:co’s SeconJ CrvsoJe and lieda Utley, in Te H:g| Così o[
Vengeonce pilloiied those who had commiued what Utley called
“oui ciimes against humanity”—the men who diiected the teiioi
bombing of the Geiman cities, conspiied in the expulsion of some
twelve million Geimans fiomtheii ancestial lands in the east (in the
couise of which about two million died—see de Zayas’s Ne»es:s
oì PoìsJo»), and ploued the “final solution of the Geiman ques-
tion” thiough the Moigenthau Plan. Utley even exposed the sham
“Dachau tiials” of Geiman soldieis and civilians in the fiist yeais of
the Allied occupation, detailing the use of methods “woithy of the
GPU, the Gestapo, and the SS” to extoit confessions. She insisted
that the same ethical standaids had to be applied to victois and
vanquished alike. lf not, then we weie declaiing that “Hitlei was
justified in his belief that ‘might makes iight.’ ” Both books weie
biought out by the late Heniy Regneiy, one of the last of the Old
Right gieats, whose house was the bastion of post-Woild Wai ll
ievisionism, publishing woiks like Chailes Callan Tansill’s classic,
BoJ Door ìo Vor.
Keeping the Nazi peiiod constantly befoie oui eyes seives the
ideological inteiests of a numbei of influential gioups. Tat it bene-
fits the Zionist cause, at least as many Zionists see it, is obvious. lt is
highly useful also to the advocates of a globalist Ameiica. Hitlei and
the ciying need foi the gieat ciusade to destioy him aie the chief
1e. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
exhibits in theii case against any foim of Ameiican “isolationism,”
past oi piesent. Any suggestion that oui Soviet ally in that ciusade
was guilty of even gieatei offenses than Nazi Geimany, that the
United States goveinment itself was inciiminated in baibaious acts
duiing and in the afeimath of that wai, must be downplayed oi
suppiessed, lest the histoiical pictuie giow too complex.
Te obsession with the nevei-ending guilt of the Geimans also
advances the ends of those who look foiwaid to the extinction of
the nation-state and national identity, at least foi the West. As the
philosophei Robeit Mauiei aigues, it inculcates in the Geimans
“a peimanent bad conscience, and keeps them fiom developing
any noimal national self-awaieness.” ln this way, it functions “as
a model foi the cosmopolitan supeisession of eveiy nationalism,”
which many today aie stiiving towaids. Einst Nolte has iecently
suggested anothei stiategy at woik, aiming at the same goal.
Nothing is cleaiei than that we aie in the midst of a vast cam-
paign to delegitimize Westein civilization. ln this campaign, Nolte
wiites, iadical feminism joins with Tiid Woild anti-Occidentalism
and multicultuialism within the Westein nations “to instiumental-
ize to the highest degiee the ‘muidei of six millions Jews by the
Geimans,’ and to place it in the laigei context of the genocides
by the piedatoiy and conqueiing West, so that ‘homo hitleiensis’
ultimately appeais as meiely a special case of ‘homo occidentalis.’ ”
Te puipose is to stiike at “the cultuial and linguistic homogeneity
of the national states, achieved ovei centuiies, and open the gates
to a massive immigiation,” so that in the end the nations of the West
should cease to exist.
Teie seem to be cultuial dynamics opeiating that will inten-
sify iathei than abate the piesent fixation. Michael Wolffsohn,
an lsiaeli-boin Jew who teaches modein histoiy in Geimany, has
wained that Judaism is being emptied of its ieligious content and
linked solely to the tiibulations of the Jews thiough histoiy, above
all, the Holocaust. Moie than one commentatoi has noted that as
the West loses any sense of moiality iooted in ieason, tiadition,
oi faith, yet still feels the need foi some secuie moial diiection, it
incieasingly finds it in the one acknowledged “absolute evil,” the
Holocaust. lf these claims aie tiue, then the giowing seculaiization
of Judaism and the moial disaiiay of oui cultuie will continue to
make victims of the Geimans and all the peoples of the West.
Cu~v1iv e
Tiotsky·
Te lgnoiance and the Evil
(Leon Troìs|, • living Howe • Viking Piess, 1v¯c)
Leon Tiotsky has always had a ceitain appeal foi intellectuals that
the othei Bolshevik leadeis lacked. Te ieasons foi this aie cleai
enough. He was a wiitei, an occasional liteiaiy ciitic—at least
accoiding to living Howe, a veiy good one—and a histoiian (of the
ievolutions of 1vc¯ and 1v1¯). He had an inteiest in psychoanaly-
sis and modein developments in physics, and even when in powei
suggested that the new Communist thought-contiolleis shouldn’t
be too haish on wiiteis with such ideas—not exactly a Nat Hentoff
position on fieedom of expiession, but about as good as one can
expect among Communists.
Above all, Tiotsky was himself an intellectual, and one who
played a gieat pait in what many of that bieed considei to be ì|e
reo| +or|J —the woild of ievolutionaiy bloodshed and teiioi. He
Tis ieview is a slightly modified veision of one that oiiginally appeaied in L:|
erìor:on Re+:e+, Maich 1v¯v.
1e¯
1ee GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
was second only to Lenin in 1v1¯, in the Civil Wai he was the leadei
of the Red Aimy and the Oiganizei of Victoiy. As Howe says, “loi
intellectuals thioughout the woild theie was something fascinating
about the spectacle of a man of woids tiansfoiming himself thiough
sheei will into a man of deeds.”
Tiotsky lost out to Stalin in the powei stiuggle of the 1vzcs, and
in exile became a seveie ciitic of his gieat antagonist. Tus, foi intel-
lectuals with no access to othei ciitics of Stalinism—classical libeial,
anaichist, conseivative, oi social demociatic—Tiotsky’s wiitings in
the 1v!cs opened theii eyes to some aspects at least of the chainel
house that was Stalin’s Russia. Duiing the peiiod of the Gieat Puige
and the Moscow show tiials, Tiotsky was placed at the centei of
the myth of tieason and collaboiation with Geimany and Japan that
Stalin spun as a pietext foi eliminating his old comiades. ln 1v.c, an
agent of the Soviet seciet police, Ramon Meicadei, sought Tiotsky
out at his home in Mexico City and killed him with an ice axe to the
head.
living Howe, the well-known liteiaiy ciitic and editoi of D:ssenì,
tells the stoiy of this inteiesting life with gieat lucidity, economy,
and giace. Te emphasis is on Tiotsky’s thought, with which Howe
has conceined himself foi almost the past .c yeais. As a young
man, he states, “l came foi a biief time undei Tiotsky’s influence,
and since then, even though oi peihaps because l have iemained a
socialist, l have found myself moving faithei and faithei away fiom
his ideas.”
Howe is in fact consideiably moie ciitical of Tiotsky than l had
expected. He identifies many of Tiotsky’s ciucial eiiois, and uses
them to cast light on the flaws in Maixism, Leninism, and the Soviet
iegime that Tiotsky contiibuted so much to cieating. And yet theie
is a cuiious ambivalence in the book. Somehow the ignoiance and
the evil in Tiotsky’s life aie nevei allowed theii full weight in the
balance, and, in the end, he tuins out to be, in Howe’s view, a heio
and “titan” of the twentieth centuiy. lt’s as if Howe had chosen not
to think out fully the moial implications of what it means to have
said and done the things that Tiotsky said and did.
We can take as oui fiist example Howe’s discussion of the fi-
nal outcome of Tiotsky’s political labois· the Bolshevik ievolution
and the Soviet iegime. Tioughout this book Howe makes cogent
points iegaiding the ieal class chaiactei of this iegime and othei
TROTSKY· THE lGNORANCE AND THE EVlL 1e¯
Communist goveinments—which, he notes, manifested itself veiy
eaily on·
A new social stiatum—:ì |oJ s¡rvng v¡ ì|e +er, »orn:ng o[
ì|e re+o|vì:on—began to consolidate itself· the paity-state
buieauciacy which found its suppoit in the technical intel-
ligentsia, the factoiy manageis, the militaiy officials, and,
above all, the paity functionaiies. . . . To speak of a paity-
state buieauciacy in a countiy wheie industiy has been na-
tionalized means to speak of a new iuling elite, peihaps a
new iuling class, which paiasitically fastened itself upon ev-
eiy institution of Russian life. [emphasis in oiiginal]
Howe goes on to say that it was not to be expected that the
Bolsheviks themselves would iealize what they had done and what
class they had actually iaised to powei· “lt was a histoiical novelty
foi which liule piovision had been made in the Maixist scheme of
things, except peihaps in some occasional passages to be found in
Maix’s wiitings about the distinctive social chaiactei of Oiiental
despotism.”
Tis is seiiously mistaken. Howe himself shows how Tiotsky,
in his book 1^h¯ (a histoiy of the Russian ievolution of that yeai),
had had a glimpse of this foim of society, one in which the state
buieauciacy was itself the iuling class. ln analyzing the Tsaiist
iegime, Tiotsky had picked up on the stiand of Maixist thought that
saw the state as an :nJe¡enJenì ¡oros:ì:c |oJ,, feeding on o|| the
social classes engaged in the piocess of pioduction. Tis was a view
that Maix expiessed, foi instance, in his Te F:g|ìeenì| Brv»o:re o[
Lov:s Bono¡orìe.
Moie impoitantly, the class chaiactei of Maixismitself—as well
as the piobable consequences of the coming to powei of a Maixist
paity—had been identified well befoie Tiotsky’s time. Te famous
nineteenth centuiy anaichist Michael Bakunin—whose name does
not appeai in Howe’s book, just as not a single othei anaichist is
even mentioned anywheie in it—had alieady subjected Maixism to
ciitical sciutiny in the 1c¯cs. ln the couise of this, Bakunin had
uncoveied the diity liule seciet of the futuie Maixist state·
Te State has always been the patiimony of some piivileged
class oi othei, a piiestly class, an aiistociatic class, a boui-
geois class, and finally a buieauciatic class. . . . But in the
1ec GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
People’s State of Maix, theie will be, we aie told, no piivi-
leged class at all . . . but theie will be a goveinment, which
will not content itself with goveining and administeiing the
masses politically, as all goveinments do today, but which
will also administei them economically, concentiating in its
own hands the pioduction and the just division of wealth,
the cultivation of land, the establishment and development of
factoiies, the oiganization and diiection of commeice, finally
the application of capital to pioduction by the only bankei,
the State. All that will demand an immense knowledge and
many “heads oveiflowing with biains” in this goveinment. lt
will be the ieign of sc:enì:fic :nìe||:gence, the most aiistociatic,
despotic, aiiogant, and contemptuous of all iegimes. Teie
will be a ne+ c|oss, a new hieiaichy of ieal and pietended
scientists and scholais. [emphasis added]
Tis peispective was taken up somewhat latei by the Polish-
Russian ievolutionist, Waclaw Machajski, who held, in the woids
of Max Nomad, that “nineteenth centuiy socialism was not the ex-
piession of the inteiests of the manual woikeis but the ideology of
the impecunious, malcontent, lowei middle-class intellectual woik-
eis . . . behind the socialist ‘ideal’ was a new foim of exploitation
foi the benefit of the officeholdeis and manageis of the socialized
state.”
Tus, that Maixism in powei would mean the iule of state func-
tionaiies was not meiely intiinsically piobable—given the massive
inciease of state powei envisaged by Maixists, what else cov|J it
be`—but it had also been ¡reJ:cìeJ by wiiteis well known to a
ievolutionaiy like Tiotsky. Tiotsky, howevei, had not peimiued
himself to take this analysis seiiously befoie commiuing himself to
the Maixist ievolutionaiy enteipiise. Moie than that· “To the end
of his days,” as Howe wiites, he “held that Stalinist Russia should
still be designated as a ‘degeneiated woikeis’ state’ because it pie-
seived the nationalized piopeity foims that weie a ‘conquest’ of the
Russian Revolution”—as if nationalized piopeity and the planned
economy weie not the +er, :nsìrv»enìs o[ rv|e of the new class in
Soviet Russia.
lt iemained foi some of Tiotsky’s moie ciitical disciples, espe-
cially Max Shachtman in the United States, to point out to theii
mastei what had actually happened in Russia· that the Revolution
had not pioduced a “woikeis’ State,” noi was theie any dangei that
TROTSKY· THE lGNORANCE AND THE EVlL 1ev
“capitalism” would be iestoied, as Tiotsky continued to fiet it would.
lnstead, theie had come into an existence in Russia a “buieauciatic
collectivism” even moie ieactionaiy and oppiessive than what had
gone befoie.
Tiotsky iejected this inteipietation. ln fact he had no choice.
loi, as Howe states, the dissidents “called into question the entiie
ievolutionaiy peispective upon which [Tiotsky] continued to base
his politics. . . . Teie was the fuithei possibility, if Tiotsky’s ciitics
weie iight, that the whole peispective of socialism might have to
be ievised.” lndeed.
To his ciedit, Howe iecognizes that a key peiiod foi undeistand-
ing Bolshevism, including the thought of Tiotsky, is the peiiod of
“wai communism,” fiom 1v1c to 1vz1. As he desciibes it, “lndus-
tiy was almost completely nationalized. Piivate tiade was banned.
Paity squads weie sent into the countiyside to iequisition food fiom
the peasants.” Te iesults weie tiagic on a vast scale. Te economic
system simply bioke down, with all the immense suffeiing and all
the countless deaths fiom staivation and disease that such a small
statement implies. As Tiotsky himself latei put it, “Te collapse of
the pioductive foices suipassed anything of the kind that histoiy
had evei seen. Te countiy, and the goveinment with it, weie at
the veiy edge of the abyss.”
How had this come about` Heie Howe follows the oithodox
inteipietation· wai communism was meiely the pioduct of emei-
gency conditions, cieated by the Revolution and the Civil Wai. lt
was a system of “extieme measuies [which the Bolsheviks] had
nevei dieamt of in theii eailiei piogiams.”
Now, this last may be, stiictly speaking, coiiect. lt may well be,
that is, that the Bolsheviks had nevei had the slightest idea of what
theii aims would mean concreìe|, foi the economic life of Russia,
howthose aims would of necessity have to be implemented, oi what
the consequences would be.
But wai communism was no meie “impiovisation,” whose hoi-
iois aie to be chalked up to the chaos in Russia at the time. Te
system was +:||eJ and itself helped ¡roJvce that chaos. As Paul
Ciaig Robeits has aigued in his biilliant book A|:enoì:on onJ ì|e
So+:eì Fcono»,, wai communism was an auempt to tianslate into
“Reality” the Maixist ideal· the abolition of “commodity pioduc-
tion,” of the piice system and the maiket.
1¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Tis, as Robeits demonstiates, was what Maixism was all about.
Tis is what the end of “alienation” and the final libeiation of man-
kind cons:sìeJ :n. Why should it be suipiising that when self-
confident and deteimined Maixists like Lenin and Tiotsky seized
powei in a gieat nation, they tiied to put into effect the veiy policy
that was theii whole ieason foi being`
As evidence foi this inteipietation, Robeits quotes Tiotsky him-
self (iionically, fiom a book of Tiotsky’s wiitings edited by living
Howe)·
Te peiiod of so-called “wai communism” [was a peiiod
when] economic life was wholly subjected to the needs of
the fiont . . . it is necessaiy to acknowledge, howevei, that in
its oiiginal conception it puisued bioadei aims. Te Soviet
goveinment hoped and stiove to develop these methods of
iegimentation diiectly into a system of planned economy
in distiibution as well as pioduction. ln othei woids, fiom
“wai communism” it hoped giadually, but without destioy-
ing the system, to aiiive at genuine communism . . . ieality,
howevei, came into incieasing conflict with the piogiam of
“wai communism.” Pioduction continually declined, and not
only because of the destiuctive action of the wai.
Robeits goes on to quote Victoi Seige (a ievolutionaiy who joined
the Bolsheviks, woiked foi the Comintein—the Communist lntei-
national —latei tuining against the Soviets)· “Te social system of
those yeais was latei called ‘Wai Communism.’ At the time it was
called simply ‘Communism’ . . . Tiotsky had just wiiuen that this
system would last ovei decades if the tiansition to a genuine, un-
feueied Socialism was to be assuied. Bukhaiin . . . consideied the
piesent mode of pioduction to be final.”
One slight obstacle was encounteied, howevei, on the ioad to
the abolition of the piice system and the maiket· “Reality,” as Tiot-
sky noted, “came into incieasing conflict” with the economic “sys-
tem” that the Bolshevik iuleis had fastened on Russia. Afei a few
yeais of miseiy and famine foi the Russian masses—theie is no
iecoid of any Bolshevik leadei having died of hungei in this pe-
iiod—the iuleis thought again, and a NewEconomic Policy (NEP) —
including elements of piivate owneiship and allowing foi some mai-
ket tiansactions—was decieed.
TROTSKY· THE lGNORANCE AND THE EVlL 1¯1
Te significance of all this cannot be exaggeiated. What we have
with Tiotsky and his comiades in the Gieat Octobei Revolution is
the spectacle of a few liteiaiy-philosophical intellectuals seizing
powei in a gieat countiy with the aim of oveituining the whole
economic system—|vì +:ì|ovì ì|e s|:g|ìesì :Jeo |o+ on econo»:c
s,sìe» +or|s. ln Sìoìe onJ Re+o|vì:on, wiiuen just befoie he took
powei, Lenin wiote·
Te accounting and contiol necessaiy [foi the opeiation of a
national economy] have been s:»¡|:fieJ by capitalism to the
utmost, till they have become the extiaoidinaiily simple op-
eiations of watching, iecoiding and issuing ieceipts, within
the ieach of anybody who can iead and wiite and knows the
fiist foui iules of aiithmetic. [emphasis in oiiginal]
With this piece of cietinism Tiotsky doubtless agieed. And why
wouldn’t he` Lenin, Tiotsky, and the iest had all theii lives been
piofessional ievolutionaiies, with no connection at all to the pio-
cess of pioduction and, except foi Bukhaiin, no inteiest in the ieal
woikings of an economic system. Teii conceins had been the stiat-
egy and tactics of ievolution and the peipetual, monkish exegesis
of the holy books of Maixism.
Te niuy-giiuy of how an economic system functions—how, in
oui woild, men and women woik, pioduce, exchange, and suivive—
was something fiomwhich they piudishly aveited theii eyes, as pei-
taining to the nethei iegions. Tese “mateiialists” and “scientific so-
cialists” lived in a mental woild wheie undeistanding Hegel, leuei-
bach, and the hideousness of Eugen Dühiing’s philosophical eiiois
was infinitely moie impoitant than undeistanding what might be
the meaning of a piice.
Of the actual opeiations of social pioduction and exchange they
had about the same appieciation as a medieval mystic. Tis is a com-
mon enough ciicumstance among intellectuals, the tiagedy heie is
that the Bolsheviks came to iule ovei millions of ieal woikeis, ieal
peasants, and ieal businessmen.
Howe puts the mauei iathei too sweetly· once in powei, he
says, “Tiotsky was tiying to think his way thiough difficulties no
Russian Maixist had quite foieseen.” And what did the biilliant
intellectual piopose as a solution to the pioblems Russia nowfaced`
“ln Decembei 1v1v Tiotsky put foiwaid a seiies of ‘theses’ [sic]
1¯z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
befoie the paity’s Cential Commiuee in which he aigued foi com-
pulsoiy woik and laboi aimies iuled thiough militaiy discipline. . . .”
So, foiced laboi, and not just foi political opponents, but foi ì|e
+|o|e Rvss:on +or|:ng c|oss. Let Daniel and Gabiiel Cohn-Bendit,
the lef-anaichists fiom the May days of 1vec in Paiis, take up the
aigument·
“Was it so tiue,” Tiotsky asked, “that compulsoiy laboi was
always unpioductive`” He denounced this viewas “wietched
and miseiable libeial piejudice,” leainedly pointing out that
“chauel slaveiy, too, was pioductive” and that compulsoiy
seif laboi was in its times “a piogiessive phenomenon.” He
told the unions [at the Tiid Congiess of Tiade Unions] that
“coeicion, iegimentation, and militaiization of laboi weie
no meie emeigency measuies and that the woikeis’ State
nor»o||, had the iight to coeice on, citizen to peifoim any
woik at any place of its choosing.” [emphasis in oiiginal]
And why not` Hadn’t Maix and Engels, in theii ten-point pio-
giam foi ievolutionaiy goveinment in Te Co»»vn:sì Mon:[esìo,
demanded as point eight, “Equal liability foi all to laboi. Establish-
ment of industiial aimies, especially foi agiicultuie”` Neithei Maix
noi Engels evei disavowed theii claim that those in chaige of “the
woikeis’ state” had the iight to enslave the woikeis and peasants
whenevei the need might aiise. Now, having annihilated the hated
maiket, the Bolsheviks found that the need foi enslavement had,
indeed, aiisen. And of all the Bolshevik leadeis, the most aident
and aggiessive advocate of foiced laboi was Leon Tiotsky.
Teie aie othei aieas in which Howe’s ciitique of Tiotsky is not
penetiating enough, in which it tuins out to be altogethei too sof-
focused and oblique. loi instance, he taxes Tiotsky with ceitain
philosophical contiadictions stemming fiom his belief in “histoiical
mateiialism.” All thiough his life, Howe asseits, Tiotsky employed
“moial ciiteiia by no means simply deiived fiom oi ieducible to
class inteiest. He would speak of honoi, couiage, and tiuth as if
these weie known constants, foi somewheie in the oithodox Maix-
ist theie suivived a stieak of nineteenth centuiy Russian ethicism,
eainest and iomantic.”
Let us leave aside the silly implication that theie is something
“iomantic” about belief in ethical values as against the “scientific”
chaiactei of oithodox Maixism. ln this passage, Howe seems to
TROTSKY· THE lGNORANCE AND THE EVlL 1¯!
be saying that adheience to ceitain commonly accepted values is,
among Maixists, a iaie kind of atavism on Tiotsky’s pait. Not at
all.
Of couise histoiical mateiialism dismisses ethical iules as noth-
ing moie than the “expiession,” oi “ieflection,” oi whatevei, of “un-
deilying class ielationships” and, ultimately, of “the mateiial pio-
ductive foices.” But no Maixist has evei taken this seiiously, except
as pietext foi |reo|:ng ethical iules (as when Lenin and Tiotsky ai-
gued in justification of theii teiioi). Even Maix and Engels, in theii
“lnauguial Addiess of the liist lnteinational,” wiote that the lntei-
national’s foieign policy would be to “vindicate the simple laws
of moials and justice [sic] which ought to govein the ielations of
piivate individuals, as the laws paiamount of the inteicouise of
nations.”
Tat Tiotsky admiied honoi, couiage, and tiuth is not some-
thing that ciies out foi explanation by iefeience to some Russian
tiadition of “ethicism” (whatevei that might be). Te admiiation of
those values is a pait of the common heiitage of us all. To think that
theie is a pioblem heie that needs explaining is to take “histoiical
mateiialism” much too seiiously to begin with.
Similaily with othei contiadictions Howe thinks he has discov-
eied between Tiotsky’s Maixist philosophy and ceitain statements
Tiotsky made in commenting on ieal political events. Of the Bol-
shevik Revolution itself, Tiotsky says that it would have taken place
even if he had not been in Petiogiad, “on condition that Lenin was
piesent and in command.” Howe asks, “What happens to histoiical
mateiialism`” Te point Howe is making, of couise, is that in the
Maixist view individuals aie not allowed to play any ciitical iole in
shaping ieally impoitant histoiical events, let alone in deteimining
whethei oi not they occui.
But the answei to Howe’s question is that, when Tiotsky com-
mits a blundei like this, noì|:ng happens. Nothing happens, because
“histoiical mateiialism” was pietentious nonsense fiom the begin-
ning, a political stiategy iathei than a philosophical position.
Occasionally, in tiying to daub in some light patches of sky to
make up foi the daik ones in Tiotsky’s life, Howe begins to slip into
a fantasy woild. He says that in the stiuggle with Stalin, Tiotsky
was at a disadvantage, because he “fought on the teiiain of the en-
emy, accepting the damaging assumption of a Bolshevik monopoly
1¯. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
of powei.” But why is this assumption located on the enemy’s tei-
iain` Tiotsky shaied that view with Stalin. He no moie believed
that a suppoitei of capitalism had a iight to piopagate his ideas
than a Spanish inquisitoi believed in a witch’s iight to hei own
peisonal lifestyle. And as foi the iights even of othei socialists—
Tiotsky in 1vz1 had led the auack on the Kionstadt iebels, who
meiely demanded fieedom foi socialists othei than the Bolsheviks.
At the time, Tiotsky boasted that the iebels would be shot “like
paitiidges”—as, puisuant to his oideis, they weie.
Howe even stoops to tiying a touch of pathos. ln sketching the
tactics Stalin used in the stiuggle with Tiotsky, he speaks of “the oi-
ganized haiassment to which Tiotskyist leadeis, distinguished Old
Bolsheviks, weie subjected by hooligans in the employ of the paity
appaiatus, the seveie thieats made against all within the paity. . . .”
Really, now—is it political violence used against Leon Troìs|, and
his “distinguished” followeis that is supposed to make oui blood iun
cold` No· if theie was evei a satisfying case of poetic justice, the
“haiassment” and “peisecution” of Tiotsky—down to and including
the ice axe incident—is suiely it.
Te best example of Howe’s stiange gentleness towaid Tiotsky
l have lef foi last. What, when all is said and done, was Tiotsky’s
pictuie of the Communist society of the futuie` Howe does quote
fiom Tiotsky’s L:ìeroìvre onJ Re+o|vì:on the famous, and iidiculous,
last lines· “Te aveiage human type [Tiotsky wiote] will iise to the
heights of an Aiistotle, a Goethe, oi a Maix. And above this iidge
new peaks will iise.” He doesn’t, howevei, tell us what piecedes
these lines—Tiotsky’s sketch of the futuie society, his passionate
dieam. Undei Communism, Tiotsky states, Man will
ieconstiuct society and himself in accoidance with his own
plan. . . . Te impeiceptible, ant-like piling up of quaiteis and
stieets, biick by biick, fiom geneiation to geneiation, will
give way to the titanic constiuction of city-villages, with
map and compass in hand. . . . Communist life will not be
foimed blindly, like coial islands, but will be built up con-
sciously, will be eiected and coiiected. . . . Even puiely physi-
ologic life will become subject to collective expeiiments. Te
human species, the coagulated Ho»o so¡:ens, will once moie
entei into a state of iadical tiansfoimation, and, in his own
hands, will become an object of the most complicated meth-
ods of aitificial selection and psycho-physical tiaining. . . . [lt
TROTSKY· THE lGNORANCE AND THE EVlL 1¯¯
will be] possible to ieconstiuct fundamentally the tiaditional
family life. . . . Te human iace will not have ceased to ciawl
on all fouis befoie God, kings and capital, in oidei latei to
submit humbly befoie the laws of heiedity and sexual selec-
tion'. . . Man will make it his puipose . . . to cieate a highei
social biological type, oi, if you please, a supeiman.
“Man . . . |:s own plan . . . |:s puipose . . . |:s own hands.” When
Tiotsky piomoted the foimation of woikei-slave aimies in industiy,
he believed that his own will was the will of Pioletaiian Man. lt
is easy to guess whose will would stand in foi that of Communist
Man when the time came to diiect the collective expeiiments on
the physiological life, the complicated methods of aitificial selection
and psycho-physiological tiaining, the ieconstiuction of the tiadi-
tional family, the substitution of “something else” foi blind sexual
selection in the iepioduction of human beings, and the cieation of
the supeiman.
Tis, then, is Tiotsky’s final goal· a woild wheie mankind is
“fiee” in the sense that Maixism undeistands the teim—wheie all
of human life, staiting fiom the economic, but going on to embiace
eveiything, even the most piivate and intimate paits of human ex-
istence—is consciously ¡|onneJ by “society,” which is assumed to
have a single will. And it is ì|:s —this disgusting positivist night-
maie—that, foi him, made all the enslavement and killings accept-
able.
Suiely, this was anothei diity liule seciet that Howe had an
obligation to let us in on.
Howe ends by saying of Tiotsky that “the example of his en-
eigy and heioism is likely to giip the imagination of geneiations
to come,” adding that, “even those of us who cannot heed his woid
may iecognize that Leon Tiotsky, in his powei and his fall, is one
of the titans of oui centuiy.”
Tis is the kind of wiiting that coveis the gieat issues of iight
and wiong in human affaiis with a blanket of histoiicist snow. Te
fact is that Tiotsky used his talents to take powei in oidei to impose
his willful dieam—the abolition of the maiket, piivate piopeity, and
the bouigeoisie. His actions biought untold miseiy and death to his
countiy
Yet, to the end of his life, he tiied in eveiy way he could to
biing the Maixist ievolution to othei peoples—to the liench, the
1¯e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Geimans, the ltalians, even the Ameiicans—with what piobable
consequences if successful, he, beuei than anyone else, had ieason
to know. He was a champion of thought-contiol, piison camps, and
the fiiing squad foi his opponents, and of foiced laboi foi oidinaiy,
non-biilliant woiking people. He openly defended chauel slaveiy—
which, even in oui centuiy, must suiely put him into a quite select
company.
He was an intellectual who nevei asked himself such a simple
question as· “What ieason do l have to believe that the economic
condition of woikeis undei socialism will be beuei than undei cap-
italism`” To the last, he nevei peimiued himself to glimpse the
possibility that the bloody, buieauciatic tyianny ovei which Stalin
piesided might nevei have come into existence but foi his own
effoits.
Aheio` Well, no, thank you—l’ll find my own heioes elsewheie.
A titan of the the twentieth centuiy` ln a sense, yes. Leon Tiotsky
shaies with the othei “titans” of oui centuiy this chaiacteiistic· it
would have been beuei if he had nevei been boin.
Cu~v1iv ¯
Te Two “Testaments” of
Ameiican loieign Policy
(Pro»:seJ LonJ, CrvsoJer Sìoìe Te A»er:con Fncovnìer
+:ì| ì|e Vor|J s:nce 1¯¯o • Waltei A. McDougall • Hough-
ton Mifflin, 1vv¯)
As the title suggests, in this woik Waltei A. McDougall, piofessoi of
inteinational ielations at Penn and Pulitzei Piize winnei, examines
the whole histoiy of U.S. foieign policy, utilizing ieligious teiminol-
ogy. His examination yields an Ameiican “Bible,” which happens to
be divided into two “Testaments,” each containing foui “Books.”
Te “Old Testament,” which dominated the ihetoiic and “foi the
most pait, the piactice,” fiom the founding to the last decade of the
nineteenth centuiy, pieached the doctiines of Libeity (oi Exception-
alism), Unilateialism (ofen “mislabeled lsolationism”), the Ameii-
can System (oi the Monioe Doctiine), and Expansion (oi Manifest
Destiny). Similaily, in the twentieth centuiy, ihetoiic and foi the
most pait piactice have been undei the sway of a “New Testament”
Tis somewhat modified discussion of Waltei A. McDougall’s Pro»:seJ LonJ, Crv
soJer Sìoìe Te A»er:con Fncovnìer +:ì| ì|e Vor|J s:nce 1¯¯o (Houghton Mifflin,
1vv¯) fiist appeaied in Te InJe¡enJenì Re+:e+, lall, 1vvc.
1¯¯
1¯c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
composed of Piogiessive lmpeiialism, Wilsonianism (oi Libeial ln-
teinationalism), Containment, and, today incieasingly, Global Me-
lioiism. (Te capitalizations aie McDougall’s.) Each of these doc-
tiines iemains a pait of “the collection of options” available to the
United States in its inteinational dealings. loi the iecoid, the au-
thoi’s use of ieligious teiminology and fiequent ieligious imageiy
is of no evident heuiistic value and diveits auention fiom souices
of Ameiican foieign policy oiiginating fai fiom ieligious faith.
McDougall’s piesentation of the fiist tiadition—libeity, oi ex-
ceptionalism—is well done. He states that to the Republic’s found-
ing geneiation, Ameiica’s calling “was not ìo Jo anything special in
foieign affaiis, but ìo |e a light to lighten the woild” (p. zc, emphasis
in oiiginal). Te loundeis “agieed to limit the content of Ameiican
Exceptionalism to Libeity at home, peiiod” (p. z1). He sums it up
pithily· “loieign policy existed to defend, not define, what Ameiica
was” (p. !¯).
His exposition of the second tiadition, unilateialism, piesents
conceptual pioblems, howevei. liist of all, if Washington’s laiewell
Addiess is its inauguiating document, it is not a tiadition sepaiate
fiom libeity, but simply the means of defending the fiist tiadition.
Moieovei, one of McDougall’s main puiposes thioughout is to show
that unilateialism was not isolationism, which in fact nevei existed.
“Oui vaunted tiadition of ‘isolationism,’ ” he states, “is no tiadition
at all, but a diity woid that inteiventionists, especially since Peail
Haiboi, huil at anyone who questions theii policies” (p. .c). Tat
the teim functions as a smeai and a pioven method of foiestalling
debate is tiue enough. But it is haid to see how Washington’s
doctiine can be equated with McDougall’s unilateialism. Afei all, it
is possible to puisue a policy of intense global activism vn:|oìero||,.
McDougall tiies to debunk the customaiy isolationist inteipie-
tation of the laiewell Addiess. As Washington put it, “taking caie
always to keep ouiselves by suitable establishments on a iespectable
defensive postuie, we may safely tiust to tempoiaiy alliances foi
extiaoidinaiy emeigencies.” And, he declaied, “Te gieat iule of
conduct foi us in iegaid to foieign nations is, in extending oui com-
meicial ielations to have with them as liule ¡o|:ì:co| connection as
possible” (emphasis in oiiginal). Te lauei statement was the mouo
Richaid Cobden, the gieatest libeitaiian thinkei on inteinational
ielations, placed on the title page of his fiist published pamphlet.
THE TWO “TESTAMENTS” Ol AMERlCAN lORElGN POLlCY 1¯v
Te authoi comments that “ieal isolationism” would have ie-
quiied “an unequivocal denunciation of o|| coopeiation with foi-
eign poweis” (p. .¯). Even tieaties on fisheiies` Again and again,
McDougall implies that isolationism has to mean a kind of pie-
Meiji Japanese closuie to the iest of the woild. Why this stiange
insistence` Because, ultimately, McDougall wants to maintain that,
despite suiface appeaiances, Washington’s “unilateialism” “meshes
iathei well” with his own favoied policy, containment in the post-
Woild Wai ll and post-Soviet peiiods. Tat containment involves
numeious entangling alliances is a negligible point, because the
United States is always “in contiol.”
Tus the iuptuie with oui founding policy is whisked away.
But that move is meiely a conjuiei’s tiick. loi how does the ia-
tionale foi NATO in its past oi piesently expanding foims meet
Washington’s ciiteiion of “extiaoidinaiy emeigencies”` How can
an alliance alieady lasting half a centuiy count as “tempoiaiy”`
Do we piesently have “as liule ¡o|:ì:co| connection” with foieign
countiies as possible` One wondeis also whethei gieat aimies and
navies stationed all aiound the globe aie ieally what the loundeis
had in mind foi Ameiica.
ln geneial, McDougall’s tieatment of the “mythical beast” of
“puie isolationism” is confused and confusing. He iefeis to it as
“an ostiich postuie in foieign policy” (who would evei adopt that`),
and he claims that the flow of capital and laboi to the United States
and expanding Ameiican oveiseas tiade aie evidence of the absence
of isolationismin the nineteenth centuiy (the pie-Meiji model). Mc-
Dougall asks, “When did Ameiicans fiist act on the belief that they
had a mission to tiansfoim foieign societies`” lt was back “in 1c1v,
when the Ameiican Boaid of loieign Missions decided to evan-
gelize the Sandwich (Hawaiian) lslands.” Te donation of tens of
millions of dollais to foieign missions “piefiguied the goveinmental
aid piojects of the mid-twentieth centuiy” (pp. 1¯.–¯¯). To aigue in
this fashion is to blot out, foi whatevei ieason, the basic distinction
between civil society, based on voluntaiism, and the state, based on
coeicion.
ln any case, McDougall at one point concedes that the Old Tes-
tament tiaditions, in contiast with what came latei, “weie coheient,
mutually suppoitive, and ieflective of oui oiiginal image of Amei-
ica as a Piomised Land” (p. ¯). Tis view is not fai fiom Chailes
1cc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Beaid’s in A Fore:gn Po|:c, [or A»er:co (New Yoik· Knopf, 1v.c).
What McDougall calls the Old Testament, Beaid called Continen-
tal Ameiicanism. Te puipose of oui foieign policy has indeed
been to piotect the unique civilization giowing up on this conti-
nent. (Beaid was too much a piogiessive to talk about libeity in
any Jeffeisonian sense.) Continental expansion seived to iound out
oui teiiitoiy, pioviding laigely empty lands foi seulement. Tese
additions iequiied only small land foices, and theii defense entailed
no “entanglements with the gieat poweis of Euiope oi Asia”—in the
cases of lloiida and the Louisiana Puichase, they entailed ejecì:on
of Euiopean poweis. Tus, they biought with them no dangei of
seiious conflicts. Te Monioe Doctiine seived the same puipose,
because the piesence of Euiopean poweis in Mexico, Cential Amei-
ica, oi the Caiibbean would embioil us in the aggiessive diplomacy
of the Old Woild and pose a cleai dangei of wai.
Avoiding wai was always the fundamental iationale foi iso-
lationism (of couise, “neutiality” oi “non-inteivention” would be
piefeiable teims, but ieplacing the old slandei may by now be im-
possible). James Madison wiote of wai as peihaps the gieatest of all
enemies of public libeity, pioducing aimies, debts, and taxes, “the
known instiuments foi biinging the many undei the domination
of the few.” Eveiything abhoiient about the Euiopean monaichies
was connected with the fact that they weie wai machines—“nations
of eteinal wai,” in James Monioe’s woids. lf we followed theii ex-
ample, we would fall piey to a host of Old Woild evils, which would
wieck oui constitutional balance. Accoidingly, we weie ieady to
iecognize de facto goveinments as legitimate, and thiough much
of the nineteenth centuiy oui navy—the necessaiy tool foi global
meddling—was such that, as McDougall states, it was “incapable of
beating up on Chile” (p. ¯!).
Tose whomhistoiians have labeled “isolationists” nevei adopted
an “ostiich postuie.” Tey aigued geneial piinciples—the hoiiois of
wai, the buidens on the people, the dangeis of incieased state powei,
the likely distoitions of oui constitutional system—but they also ai-
gued fiom the specific ciicumstances of theii times. Such was the
case with Robeit La lolleue in 1v1¯, the Ameiica liisteis of 1v.c–.1,
and the foes of NATO in 1v.v, as well as the fiist gieat isolation-
ist movement, the Anti-lmpeiialist League, at the tuin of the cen-
tuiy. lt should not go uniemaiked that McDougall indulges in a
THE TWO “TESTAMENTS” Ol AMERlCAN lORElGN POLlCY 1c1
bit of smeaiing of his own, when he iefeis to the Anti-lmpeiialist
League as a gioup of “stiange bedfellows,” “mostly mugwumps who
bemoaned all the change industiialization had wiought in Ameiican
life” (p. 11!, Andiew Cainegie as an enemy of industiialization`).
lnstead of dealing with theii ieasoning, McDougall iesoits to the
usual ploy of wiiting off as hankeieis afei a vanished (oi imaginaiy)
Golden Age anyone who stood in the way of the impeiialist juggei-
naut. He touches on Cail Schuiz’s objections to the Philippines wai,
which nowadays sound “iacist” to many. But he avoids mentioning
what is suiely the best-known and most enduiing contiibution of
those gallant anti-impeiialists, WilliamGiahamSumnei’s foimidable
ciitique, “Te Conquest of the United States by Spain.”
lt is difficult to know how to tackle Pro»:seJ LonJ, CrvsoJer
Sìoìe. lt consists laigely of obitei dicta, wiiuen in an excessively (to
my taste) bieezy style, in which the authoi almost nevei pauses to
debate a point. loi example, McDougall calls Eiic Noidlingei, the
authoi of the excellent Iso|oì:on:s» ReconfigvreJ, “by fai the most
sophisticated ‘neo-isolationist’ ” (p. zc1), but does not even suggest
a iebuual of Noidlingei’s aiguments.
Some of the book’s faults, howevei, may be gatheied by looking
at McDougall’s tieatment of Wilson and U.S. paiticipation in the
liist Woild Wai. Te Ameiican note to Beilin following the sinking
of the Lvs:ìon:o was haidly “stein but innocuous.” lt embiaced the
iidiculous piinciple that the U.S. goveinment had the iight and duty
to piotect U.S. citizens tiaveling on ships flying the flags of bel-
ligeients. By holding the Geimans to “stiict accountability” foi any
Ameiican lives lost thiough U-boat action, it set the United States
on a collision couise with Geimany. Te Zimmeimann telegiam,
offeiing Mexico an alliance :n cose wai bioke out between Geimany
and the United States, was stupid and futile, but, given that hos-
tilities weie imminent, haidly “infamous”—that was Wilson’s line.
Te authoi endoises U.S. entiy into the wai because a tiiumphant
Geimany would have dominated the Atlantic. But, even assuming
that oui non-inteivention would have led to a total Geiman victoiy
(highly doubtful), moie piobable iesults than Geiman contiol of the
Atlantic would have been the downfall of the Bolsheviks in Russia
and the pievention of Hitlei’s coming to powei.
Te most seiious defect, howevei, is that fiom time to time Mc-
Dougall pays lip seivice to the notion that, when all is said and done,
1cz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
the puipose of oui foieign policy is to defend oui fieedom at home.
At the end, he lists some of the evils beseuing us today· high taxes,
an intiusive cential goveinment, a “semi-militaiized economy,” an
immense welfaie state fed by “a lust foi public entitlement,” besides
a numbei of what aie called social pioblems. He concludes that we
must “husband the iaie libeity and fiagile unity oui ancestois won”
(p. zzz).
Pious sentiments. But just how seiiously can we take his con-
cein foi Ameiican libeity when, in discussing Wilson and justifying
the entiy into Wilson’s wai, McDougall bieathes not a woid iegaid-
ing the wai’s fiightful cost to that libeity` Te savage assault on
economic fieedoms and civil libeities and the piecedents cieated
foi theii subsequent eiosion aie well known (see the section on
Wilsonian authoiitaiianism in the essay on Woild Wai l, in the
piesent volume). Why weie these outcomes not woith mention-
ing, as actual iesults of the wai, to balance the s¡ecv|oì:+e dangei
of New Jeisey’s quaking undei the guns of an lmpeiial Geiman
Kr:egsfloue` ln fact, Woild Wai l piesents a peifect illustiation of
why the loundeis wished to keep cleai of wai, and McDougall’s
silence is itself exemplaiy of howinvolvement in foieign wais leads
to ignoiing the destiuction of libeity at home.
Still, in contiast to many othei analysts, the authoi makes some
useful points. “Vietnam was a libeial wai,” he iightly states (p. 1v¯).
“Te mythology that enveloped the Maishall Plan” (p. 1cc) set the
stage foi auempts to fabiicate viable and piospeious societies thiough
the infusion of Ameiican billions. (He could have stiengthened his
case had he been familiai with Tylei Cowen’s demolition of that
mythology, “Te Maishall Plan· Myths and Realities,” in U.S. A:J
ìo ì|e De+e|o¡:ng Vor|J A Free Mor|eì AgenJo.) Lyndon Johnson’s
statement that “oui foieign policy must always be an extension
of oui domestic policy” piomised disastei, because his domestic
piogiam was the Wai on Poveity. Now U.S. aims included ending
ignoiance and disease in a fai-off land in the thioes of a ievolution.
McDougall aptly iemaiks, “South Vietnam’s cities—like much of
innei-city Ameiica—soon became coiiupt and dependent welfaie
zones” (p. 1v!).
McDougall confutes the cuiient shibboleth of the uigent need
foi the United States to spiead “demociacy” thioughout the woild.
Othei peoples may demociatically choose anti-libeial iegimes. ln
THE TWO “TESTAMENTS” Ol AMERlCAN lORElGN POLlCY 1c!
any case, what business is it of ouis` He is soundest on foieign aid,
wheie he has cleaily leained fiom the gieat Petei Bauei, whom
he cites. “Oui half-centuiy of expeiience with foieign aid has
been almost a total loss” (p. zcv). Te method used, goveinment-
to-goveinment aid, is intiinsically statist. Te blundei continues
today, as “we auempt to teach ex-Soviet peoples how to be good
capitalists thiough the medium of goveinment giants administeied
by goveinment agencies foi the benefit of oui own and foieign
buieauciacies” (p. zcv). lf othei countiies want a maiket economy
and Ameiican-style demociacy, “they know what steps to take
to achieve them” (p. z1c). We should use aid biibes to advance
Ameiican secuiity, foi instance, in peisuading the Russians to dis-
mantle theii nucleai waiheads (of couise, as we dismantle oui own).
“Otheiwise, the best way to piomote oui institutions and values
abioad is to stiengthen them at home” (p. z1c). Good advice, as the
authoi tiies once again to demonstiate his allegiance to the fiist
and most Ameiican of the “books” of Ameiican foieign policy.
But ultimately that effoit won’t wash. While McDougall ie-
jects global melioiism, what he advocates is a highly inteivention-
ist foim of containment, including pieventing distuibances fiom
iegional poweis such as liaq and lian, using the goveinment to
expand tiade (NAlTA, GATT, and “jawboning Beijing”), joining in
Maigaiet Tatchei’s “New Atlantic lnitiative” (why, incidentally, is
this lady, who piessed the fiist Bush to go to wai in the Gulf and
was the last-ditch fiiend of Goibachev and last-ditch foe of Geiman
ieunification, supposed to be woith listening to`), and, above all,
maintaining “the balance of powei” thioughout Euiasia. Tis last
task alone gives U.S. leadeis license to extend theii activities, if not
to Rwanda and Colombia, then viitually anywheie else they wish.
ln the end, Pro»:seJ LonJ, CrvsoJer Sìoìe tuins out to be disap-
pointingly supeificial, nevei even bioaching key questions. We aie
told, foi instance, that the Ameiican public “nevei iaised a iuckus”
ovei this oi that inteiventionist move. Yet theie is no hint of the
unfathomed ignoiance, “iational” oi otheiwise, of Ameiicans in foi-
eign affaiis. Even Geoige Will, a Piinceton Ph.D., who constantly
pontificates on the Middle East, thought lianians weie Aiabs. No
hint of the leveiage that ignoiance gives to political elites and spe-
cial inteiests pushing theii own agendas. Why suppose that U.S.
leadeis aie immune to such piessuies oi to the blandishments of
1c. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
institutional and peisonal powei` Why even assume that they aie
any beuei—any moie expeit oi fai-seeing oi public-spiiited—in
handling inteinational ielations than they aie in iunning domestic
affaiis` lf they aien’t, why shouldn’t they be ieined in, shaiply`
Most impoitant, how is incessant inteivention abioad compati-
ble with the Heiculean task of iestoiing libeity at home` ln ieality,
McDougall doesn’t have an inkling of how iadical and haid that
task will be. lt is vanishingly impiobable that oui leadeis and theii
suppoiting political class will cheeifully welcome the changes ie-
quiied. Much moie likely is that, faced with any ieal challenge to
the status quo, they will exploit the iange of pietexts McDougall
affoids them, iesoiting, in Richaid Cobden’s woids, to “the tiue
seciet of despots”—“to employ one nation in cuuing the thioats of
anothei, so that neithei may have time to iefoim the abuses in theii
own domestic goveinment.”
Cu~v1iv c
Te Othei Wai that Nevei Ends·
A Suivey of Some Recent
Liteiatuie on Woild Wai l
Te Second Woild Wai has been called the wai that nevei ends. To
a lessei degiee, the same could be said of the liist Woild Wai. lt has
been estimated, foi instance, that the Yale libiaiy has !.,ccc titles
on that conflict published befoie 1v¯¯ and moie than ¯,ccc since.
What l piopose to do in this chaptei is to suivey a few iecent
woiks.
Miael Howard, e First World War
(Oxford University Press, 2002)
Te authoi is, in fact, S:r Michael Howaid. lt is significant that
Howaid was knighted, when A. J. P. Tayloi, foi one, an infinitely
moie inteiesting histoiian—even with all his faults—nevei got close
to that. Knighthood in Biitain plays something of the same iole that
Tis is based on a talk deliveied at the Mises lnstitute, Aubuin, Alabama, and
published by the M:ses Do:|, on Apiil 1v, zcc..
1c¯
1ce GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
the Legion of Honoi, founded by Napoleon, does in liance. lt ie-
waids men who have spent theii lives piomoting the inteiests of the
state. ln this way it peimanently skews the countiy’s intellectual
life towaids the state and its beneficent wondeifulness.
lt is a question woith consideiing in an idle moment whethei
theie has evei been a militaiy histoiian moie boiing than Michael
Howaid. His unending banalities contiast shaiply with the woiks
of two gieat past Biitish histoiians of waifaie, J. l. C. lullei and
Basil Liddell Hait, of whom Chailes de Gaulle said he was a captain
who taught geneials.
Besides his knighthood, Howaid has been showeied with othei
honois. He has held piestigious chaiis at King’s College, London
and at Yale, and the Chaii of Histoiy of Wai and the Regius pio-
fessoiship of Modein Histoiy at Oxfoid. l undeistand, incidentally
that at Yale he did not exactly oveiwhelm the histoiy faculty with
his immense leaining and analytical skill.
ln the foiewoid to his book, Howaid wiites that “it was the
iuling ciicles in lmpeiial Geimany who weie ultimately iesponsi-
ble, both foi the outbieak and foi the continuance of the wai,” and
iegiets that he will not have space to aigue this thesis.
Tat is tiuly a pity, since his thesis heie is, shall we say, iathei
cential to the whole issue of the liist Woild Wai.
Some scaueibiain schoolboy mistakes· Sii Michael lists the
Gieeks and the Romanians (twice) as among the Slavic peoples of
the Balkans, and Slavs as a nationality along with the Czechs and
Slovaks. ln addition, the liist Balkan Wai of 1v1z did not ieduce
Tuikey to a “biidgehead aiound Adiianople.” Rathei, that city was
included in an expanded Bulgaiia, it was iegained by Tuikey in the
Second Balkan Wai of 1v1!.
But these aie eiiois that Oxfoid Univeisity Piess piesumably
consideis tiivial, just as in the O:[orJ H:sìor, o[ ì|e T+enì:eì| Cen
ìvr,, co-edited by Michael Howaid and published in 1vvc, we iead of
Auschwitz, that “appioximately . million people weie killed [theie]
in the Nazi ‘linal Solution’ to the ‘Jewish pioblem’ in Euiope.” Tat
figuie of foui million has long since been discaided by eveiy knowl-
edgeable student of the Holocaust as too high by two oi thiee mil-
lion foi Auschwitz alone.
Anti-Geiman clichés abound in Howaid’s book. Te Geiman
iuling elite—theie is no mention of any Biitish iuling elite—was
THE OTHER WAR THAT NEVER ENDS 1c¯
chaiacteiized by “aichaic militaiism, vaulting ambition, and neu-
iotic insecuiity.” Piussia had been cieated by its aimy—unlike, one
supposes, liance and Russia. He claims that Geiman policy towaids
the civilian populations of the eastein teiiitoiies they conqueied
“giimly foieshadowed theii behavioi in the Second [Woild Wai],” a
statement foi which Sii Michael piovides no evidence and which is
simply absuid.
Teie aie occasional insights. Howaid makes a telling point
when he states that the potential foi belligeient nationalism had
been inculcated foi a centuiy by state education, assisted by con-
sciiption. ln an incieasingly seculaiized society, “the Nation . . .
acquiied a quasi-ieligious significance.” He is good on the Allied in-
fiingement of Gieek neutiality—the landing of tioops at Salonika—
and on the seciet tieaties, with ltaly and otheis, that divided up the
anticipated spoils of wai. He iealizes that the Balfoui Declaiation
endoising Zionism was a betiayal of piomises the Biitish had made
to the Aiabs.
Yet, finally, Howaid wiites of the Veisailles tieaty that, “most of
its piovisions have stood the test of time. Te new states it cieated
suivived, if within fluctuating boideis, until the last decade of the
centuiy. . . .” No hint that these new states undeiwent ceitain well-
known wienching vicissitudes in the cc yeais fiom Veisailles to the
collapse of Soviet Communism, noi of the iole of the Tieaty in the
iise of Nazism and the outbieak of the Second Woild Wai.
lied Baines, one of Rupeit Muidoch’s stable of neocon mas-
teiminds, ieviewed Sii Michael’s book in the Vee||, SìonJorJ and
concluded that “foi someone who is just staiting to exploie the wai,
Howaid’s book is the place to begin.”
No, it isn’t, not at all. At the end of this chaptei l will mention
which of the new ciop of books :s the place to stait.
omas Fleming, e Illusion of Victory: America in World
War I (Basic Books, 2003)
l was not as fond as otheis weie of lleming’s eailiei woik, Te
Ne+ Deo|ers’ Vor FDR onJ ì|e Vor +:ì|:n Vor|J Vor II. Besides
seiious pioblems inheient in lleming’s style and appioach, l could
not agiee with his conclusion that Haiiy Tiuman was the godsend
who made good the damage caused by Roosevelt and the political
1cc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
genius who staited Ameiica on the gloiious ioad to a half-centuiy
of Cold Wai.
lleming’s level of ieasoning on economic and social issues was
alieady appaient in his eailiei book, wheie he wiote·
Heniy Wallace was piobably the most successful secietaiy
of agiicultuie [in histoiy]. He cieated an “evei noimal gia-
naiy” in which the goveinment woiked with faimeis to keep
piices ieasonably high and piovide the nation with piotec-
tion against food shoitages.
Cleaily, lleming’s undeistanding of economics is on a pai with that
of youi aveiage U.S. Congiessman.
As in the eailiei woik, many pages aie devoted to the massive
bungling of the goveinment’s wai effoit. lleming fiames these
incidents as a kind of shocking exposé. He seems unawaie that
foi the U.S. goveinment, mismanagement on an appalling scale is
simply Standaid Opeiating Pioceduie. Eailiei this month, the Gen-
eial Accounting Office iepoited that the Defense Depaitment may
have spent as much as sc billion (sic) in fiscal zcc! iewoiking sof-
waie “because of quality-ielated issues.” Afei iunning thiough
tiillions of dollais, the Pentagon was so lacking in militaiy caigo
planes duiing the invasion of liaq that it had to hiie Russian aiiciaf
to feiiy tanks and othei mateiiel. Te Navy is now so shoit of
money that it iequiies pilots to fly simulatois iathei than ieal jets
to piactice caiiiei landings, accoiding to Vice Admiial Chailes W.
Mooie, Ji., Deputy Chief of Naval Opeiations. All SOP—discieetly
hidden fiom the people by the complicit media—foi the Ameiican
state.
lleming goes on and on ovei well-tiodden giound. Teie is
much “human inteiest” mateiial, most of it iiielevant. One item,
though, l found inteiesting. Te soldieis in the Ameiican Expe-
ditionaiy loice weie expected to iefiain fiom fiateinizing with
liench women. Geneial Peishing steinly declaied that his ideal
foi the young doughboys was “continence.” At the same time,
thioughout his stay in liance Peishing enjoyed the company of
his liench-Romanian mistiess, an aitist named Micheline Resco—
anothei example of the Latin tag that Tomas Szasz likes to quote,
“Qod licet jovi, non licet bovi”· “what is peimiued to Jove is not
peimiued to a cow.”
THE OTHER WAR THAT NEVER ENDS 1cv
Te authoi iepeats the legend of Clemenceau’s “vicious wise-
ciack” that “theie aie zc million Geimans too many.” Jean Stengeis,
of the Univeisity of Biussels, and otheis have shown this to be a
myth. Unfoitunately, it was widely believed in Geimany, including
by Adolf Hitlei, and may well have contiibuted to his notion of what
the liench philosophei Louis Rougiei called “zoological waifaie.”
lt is to lleming’s ciedit that he seveiely ciiticizes Woodiow Wil-
son. But heie he isn’t neaily as infoimative oi analytical as Waltei
Kaip in his biilliant woik, Te Po|:ì:cs o[ Vor. Actually, my favoiite
desciiption of Wilson’s chaiactei is by Sigmund lieud, in the book
he wiote togethei with William C. Bulliu, To»os VooJro+ V:|son,
T+enì,e:g|ì| Pres:Jenì o[ ì|e Un:ìeJ Sìoìes A Ps,do|og:co| SìvJ,.
Heie is lieud on Wilson at the Paiis Peace Confeience·
He was iapidly neaiing that psychic land fiom which few
tiaveleis ietuin, the land in which facts aie the pioducts of
wishes, in which fiiends betiay, and in which a chaii in an
asylum may be the thione of God.
Tat is a classic example of the psycho-smeai, as piacticed by its
uniivaled mastei.
But when it comes to the fundamentals of policy, lleming chai-
acteiistically takes a middle of the ioad position· he is in favoi, foi
instance, of U.S. entiy into the League of Nations with the qualifica-
tions pioposed by Heniy Cabot Lodge. Te I||vs:on o[ V:cìor,, like
his book on Roosevelt’s wai, shows lleming to be much less of a
maveiick and debunkei than he likes to think.
Niall Ferguson, e Pity of War: Explaining World War I
(Basic Books, 1999)
l have to confess that l am piejudiced against Niall leiguson. ln
the fiist place, because he has made himself into a media “celebiity
intellectual” to a degiee unpiecedented in iecent times. But moie
because, a fewyeais ago, l sawhimon C-Span, on a panel sponsoied
by Te Ne+ Re¡v||:c. leiguson was just becoming populai in the
United States, and he obviously knew which side his biead was
buueied on. He was all smiles and geniality, siuing next to that
pompous fake Daniel Goldhagen, who was also being lionized by
Te Ne+Re¡v||:c people. l got the distinct impiession that leiguson
was basically untiustwoithy.
1vc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Te P:ì, o[ Vor confiims my impiession.
lt is a gimmicky book, which laigely accounts foi the splash it
made. What mainly diew auention was the authoi’s claim that it
might well have been a good idea foi Biitain to have stayed out
of the wai, which would have made it a continental instead of a
woild wai. He tends to feel that if Biitain—and Ameiica—had ie-
mained aloof, “the victoiious Geimans might have cieated a veision
of the Euiopean Union eight decades ahead of schedule.” Geiman
wai aims weie ielatively modest at the stait, he believes, and the
Geimans offeied to give Biitain as well as Belgium guaiantees to
assuie theii neutiality. lt was only once the wai began and Biitain
joined in that an extiavagant pan-Geiman annexationist piogiam
mateiialized.
Tis sounds gimmicky to me. ln the absence of the Biitish Expe-
ditionaiy loice and active Belgian iesistance, it is likely that what
iemained of the Schlieffen Plan would have woiked. ln any case,
absent Biitish, and latei Ameiican, piesence on the Westein liont,
it is haid to see how a Geiman victoiy in the wai could have been
avoided.
Not to woiiy, says leiguson. Most likely that would simply
have meant a moie oi less benevolent Geiman hegemony on the
continent.
But it is not at all cleai why a tiiumphant Geimany, having
subdued Russia and liance, would bothei to keep any engagements
it had made with England.
And theie’s anothei consideiation. A moie iecent woik of lei-
guson’s is F»¡:re Te R:se onJ De»:se o[ ì|e Br:ì:s| Vor|J OrJer
onJ ì|e Lessons [or G|o|o| Po+er. Teie he aigues that, when all is
said and done, the Biitish Empiie and the “Pax Biitannica” it un-
deigiided iepiesented a gieat boon foi mankind. Leaving aside the
validity of that claim, the question is what would have happened to
this wondeiful Biitish Empiie in the event of Geimany’s becoming
the unquestioned Euiopean hegemon` Te Kaisei and the iest of
the Geiman elite openly aimed at making Geimany a +or|J powei.
Many influential Geimans spoke of establishing seulei colonies in
vaiious paits of the woild, including South Ameiica.
leiguson blithely states that “Geiman objectives, had Biitain
stayed out, would not in fact have posed a diiect thieat to the
Empiie· the ieduction of Russian powei in Eastein Euiope”—l
THE OTHER WAR THAT NEVER ENDS 1v1
like that, “ieduction”, think of the Tieaty of Biest-Litovsk—“the
cieation of a Cential Euiopean Customs Union and acquisition of
liench colonies—these weie all goals which weie complementaiy
to Biitish inteiests.”
Tis is how you wiite path-bieaking books· implausible specu-
lation iegaiding histoiical counteifactuals.
On the stoiies of the Belgian atiocities, leiguson makes use, as
eveiyone must, of the zcc1 woik by John Hoine and Alan Kiamei,
Ger»on Aìroc:ì:es, 1^1o A H:sìor, o[ Den:o|. Citing the leueis and
diaiies of Geiman soldieis and othei mateiials, the authois show
that in the invasion of Belgium, Geiman tioops executed something
ovei ¯,¯cc Belgian civilians. Tese civilians weie killed because of
theii suspected, but non-existent, iole as [roncsì:revrs (gueiiilla
fighteis) oi in iepiisals against Belgian townspeople and villageis
in connection with such imagined gueiiilla actions.
leiguson states that the Belgian atiocity stoiies, long lampooned
by ievisionists, weie “based on tiuth”, indeed, he claims that the
stoiies weie effective |ecovse they weie based on tiuth.
He does concede that “the Entente piess wildly exaggeiated
what went on in Belgium.” But the piess did that, not on its own
account, but iathei on the basis of the official Biitish goveinment
iepoit on the atiocities, known as the Biyce Repoit. leiguson ig-
noies the fact that what incensed the public wasn’t meiely the claim
that Geimans had executed civilians thought to be gueiiillas, oi
simply commiued iepiisals because of peiceived gueiiilla activity.
Te tiuth about Belgium would haidly have cieated the fiiestoim
of iage against the Geimans that Biitish piopaganda aimed foi.
lt was all the giuesome fabiicated details contained in the Biyce
iepoit—the women iaped en »osse, the childien with theii hands
cut off, the violated nuns and the Canadian soldieis ciucified to bain
doois—that made people’s blood boil and pioved Geiman savageiy.
Tomas lleming, to his ciedit, mentions that the reo| cases of people,
including childien, with theii hands cut off occuiied in ì|e Congo
beginning in the 1cccs, at the behest of the Belgian king Leopold ll.
Because of theii gieat extent and neaily inciedible ciuelty, it’s ì|ose
that deseive to be called “the Belgian atiocities.”
leiguson likewise ignoies the facts iegaiding Tsaiist Rvss:on
behavioi on the eastein fiont, facts piesented in the veiy woik by
Hoine and Kiamei he ielies on. ln theii ietieat in 1v1¯, the Russians
1vz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
biutalized minoiity populations· Geimans, Poles, Ruthenes and es-
pecially Jews. Tey depoited at least !cc,ccc Lithuanians, z¯c,ccc
Latvians, !¯c,ccc Jews, and thiee-quaiteis of a million Poles to the
inteiioi. As Hoine and Kiamei wiite· “Te devastation caused
by the Russian ietieat of 1v1¯ was piobably gieatei than anything
expeiienced by civilians in liance and Belgium.”
leiguson tells us that the Biitish sunk no ships without waining,
“and no citizens of neutial countiies weie delibeiately killed by the
Royal Navy.”
Tey would have been, howevei, had any neutial —in paiticulai,
the United States—insisted on its iights undei inteinational lawand
auempted to iun the Biitish hungei blockade.
Teie is no entiy in leiguson’s book foi Robeit Lansing, the
Ameiican Secietaiy of State. ln his memoiis, Lansing openly and
biazenly explains U.S. policy towaids the illegal Biitish blockade
piioi to Ameiica’s entiy in the wai· “theie was always in my mind
the conviction that we would ultimately become an ally of Gieat
Biitain . . . [once joining the Biitish] we would piesumably wish
to adopt some of [theii] policies and piactices” aiming to “destioy
the moiale of the Geiman people by an economic isolation, which
would cause them to lack the veiy necessaiies of life . . . [in negoti-
ating with the Biitish] eveiy woid was submeiged in veibiage. lt
was done with delibeiate puipose. lt . . . lef the questions unseuled,
which was necessaiy in oidei to leave this countiy fiee to act and
even act illegally when it enteied the wai.”
While distoiting the facts of the Belgian atiocities, leiguson
neglects to infoim us that the illegal Biitish hungei blockade led to
the death of at least 1cc times as many Geiman civilians as civilians
killed in Belgium.
Riard Gamble, e War for Righteousness: Progressive
Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic
Nation (ISI Press, 2003)
Tis highly impoitant woik was published by the lSl Piess, which
suggests that theie aie still some with Old Right tendencies in the
lnteicollegiate Studies lnstitute.
Te theme of the book is how the “foiwaid-looking cleigy [pio-
giessive Piotestants] embiaced the wai as a chance to achieve theii
THE OTHER WAR THAT NEVER ENDS 1v!
bioadly defined social gospel objectives.” Tus, the situation Gam-
ble desciibes is, in a sense, the opposite of the one today, when it
is the leadeis of “fundamentalist” Piotestantism that aie among the
woist waimongeis. ln both cases, howevei, the main contiibution
of the cleigy has been to tianslate a political conflict into apocalyp-
tic spiiitual teims.
Gamble tiaces the susceptibility of Ameiicans to this view back
to colonial Puiitan New England. Duiing the latei eighteenth cen-
tuiy and the Revolutionaiy Wai the conception was fixed of the
United States as the biand-new nation, casting off the buidens of
the past, instituting a no+vs orJo sec|orv», a New Oidei of the Ages.
Te Ameiicans weie the new Chosen People, destined to lead the
woild to an age of ieason and univeisal viitue.
By the end of the nineteenth centuiy, piogiessive Piotestants,
ofen influenced by the theoiy of evolution, weie pieaching the
successive iemaking of the chuich, of Ameiican society, and finally
of the whole woild. Rejecting old-line Calvinism, they iejected
also the Augustinian distinction between the City of God and the
City of Man. Te City of Man was to be »oJe :nìo the City of
God, heie on eaith, thiough a commitment to a iedefined, socially-
activist Chiistianity. As Shailei Mathews, Dean of the Univeisity
of Chicago School of Divinity, said· “As civilization develops, sin
giows coipoiate. We sin socially by violating social iathei than
individualistic peisonal ielations.”
Te piogiessive gospel was spiead thiough the takeovei of influ-
ential chuiches, the infiltiation of piestigious seminaiies and divin-
ity schools (now offeiing couises in “Social Ethics” and “Chiistian
Sociology”), the contiol of jouinals such as C|r:sì:on Cenìvr,, and,
nationally, the cieation of the foieiunnei of the National Council
of Chuiches. At confeiences sponsoied by the piogiessive Chiis-
tians, speakeis included Teodoie Roosevelt, William Howaid Taf,
and, natuially, Woodiow Wilson. Wilson claimed that the iole of
Chiistian youth was to ignoie divisive “dogma” and instead to con-
centiate on the goal of making “the United States a mighty Chiistian
nation, and to chiistianize the woild'”
Te vision of the piogiessive cleigy was inteinationalized, as
they looked to Ameiica to lead the woild in accoidance with God’s
will foi human society. “lsolationism” was a selfish doctiine that
had to be oveicome. Many of them suppoited the wai with Spain
1v. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
fiom this point of view. Among the suppoiteis was Julia Waid
Howe, composei of the “Baule Hymn of the Republic,” who ad-
diessed piogiessive meetings. She iepoited on hei vision of all
mankind “advancing with one end in view, one foe to tiample . . .
All of evil was gone fiom the eaith . . . Mankind was emancipated
and ieady to maich foiwaid in a newEia of human undeistanding . . .
the Eia of peifect love.”
Once the wai in Euiope began, and even moie afei Ameiica
enteied, “Te Baule Hymn of the Republic” was continually cited
and sung by the Chiistian piogiessives. A favoiite line, of couise,
was “As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men fiee.” Te
piogiessive Piotestants saw Woild Wai l as a continuation of the
gieat ciusade foi iighteousness that was the Ameiican Civil Wai.
As Gamble wiites, “the fight foi fieedomhad to be iesumed, but this
time it was to be caiiied to ends of the eaith.” liuingly, theie was a
constant invocation of the hoveiing spiiit of Abiaham Lincoln.
Te piogiessives quickly iealized that Piesident Woodiow Wil-
son was one of theii own, flesh of theii flesh. Tey eageily took to
his cant on the duty of national self-saciifice and of Ameiica as the
Suffeiing Seivant. “A wai of seivice is a thing in which it is a pioud
thing to die,” Wilson declaied, in anothei of his weiid musings. Te
day was coming when the nations would iealize that Old Gloiy was
“the flag, not only of Ameiica, but of humanity.” ln 1v1¯, addiessing
the ledeial Council of Chuiches, Wilson asseited that Ameiica had
been founded and had “its only object foi existence” (sic) to lead
humanity on the “high ioad” to univeisal justice.
Once the wai was undeiway, the ihetoiic of the piogiessive
Chiistians giew incieasingly blood-thiisty. One contingent became
“militant pacifists,” that is, men whose aim was woild peace, but
to be achieved whenevei necessaiy by waging ongoing muideious
wai. As the butcheiy in Euiope intensified, they auacked the notion
of “a piematuie peace,” an end to hostilities that would peimit the
continued existence of iniquitous iegimes. A statement signed by
ovei sixty eminent chuichmen, including Haiiy Emeison losdick,
Billy Sunday, and the piesident of Piinceton, scoined the idea of “a
piematuie peace·” “Te just God, who withheld not his own Son
fiom the cioss, would not look with favoi upon a people who put
theii feai of pain and death . . . above the holy claims of iighteous-
ness and justice. . . .”
THE OTHER WAR THAT NEVER ENDS 1v¯
On the day that national iegistiation foi the diaf began, Wilson
addiessed a ieunion of Confedeiate veteians. He told them that
God had pieseived the Ameiican Union in the Civil Wai so that the
United States might be “an instiument in [His] hands . . . to see that
libeity is made secuie foi mankind.” Regieuably, heie, as befoie and
evei afei, the giandsons and gieat-giandsons of the valiant Con-
fedeiate soldieis who iesisted the Noith’s invasion of theii countiy
took the side of theii foimei moital enemies. ln a kind of Stockholm
syndiome, of identifying with the aggiessoi, they identified with
the Union and dispiopoitionately suppoited and fought and died in
its wais. Tat stiange anomaly continues to this day.
When the time came foi Congiess to considei wai against Gei-
many, the people’s iepiesentatives iepeated the ihetoiic and im-
ageiy of the piogiessive Piotestants. One congiessman stated that,
“Chiist gave his life upon the cioss that mankind might gain the
Kingdom of Heaven, while tonight we shall solemnly deciee the
sublimest saciifice evei made by a nation foi the salvation of hu-
manity, the institution of woild-wide libeity and fieedom.”
ln the Second Woild Wai theie was a nice sentimental piopa-
ganda song, “Te White Cliffs of Dovei,” which went moie oi less
like this·
Teie’ll be bluebiids ovei
Te White Cliffs of Dovei,
Tomoiiow, just you wait and see.
Teie’ll be love and laughtei
And peace evei afei,
Tomoiiow, when the woild is fiee.
Te pooi deluded people ate that up, as they ate up the fantasies of
the piogiessive Piotestants duiing the Gieat Wai, as they swallow
all the lies dished out to them to this day.
Of all people, H. G. Wells, the fieethinkei and piophet of evo-
lution, who got ieligion duiing the wai, became a favoiite of the
piogiessive cleigy. Wells, who coined the phiase, “the wai to end
wai,” wiote that “the kingdom of God on eaith is not a metaphoi,
not a meie spiiitual state, not a dieam . . . it is the close and in-
evitable destiny of mankind.” By the kingdom of God, it tuined out,
Wells meant his labian socialist utopia globalized, thiough total wai
against evil.
1ve GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
lncidentally, one of H. G. Wells’s last books, published in 1v..,
is Crv: Ansoìo An InJ:cì»enì o[ ì|e Ro»on Coì|o|:c C|vrd. Wells
had been in chaige of Biitish piopaganda duiing the wai. Te fiist
chaptei is titled, “Why Do We Not Bomb Rome`” Rome, he ai-
gued, was not only the centei of lascism, but “the seat of a Pope
[Pius Xll] . . . who has been an open ally of the Nazi–lascist–Shinto
Axis since his enthionement.” “V|, do we not bomb Rome`. . . A
thoiough bombing (o |o Beilin) of the ltalian capital seems not sim-
ply desiiable but necessaiy.”
lf the Allies had taken Wells’s heaitfelt advice, today touiists
would be able to take photos of the iuins of St. Petei’s just as they
do of the iuins of the Kaisei Wilhelm Memoiial Chuich in Beilin.
T:s is the way this labian humanitaiian ended up—scieaming to
have the city of Rome buined to the giound.
Te piogiessive Piotestants inteitwined theii waimongeiing
with theii social gospel. Williamlaunce, piesident of Biown, gloated
that “the old peuy individualismand laissez-faiie” weie dead· “ ‘Me’
and ‘mine’ will be small woids in a new woild which has leained to
say the gieat woid ‘oui.’ ” Te piesident of Union Teological Sem-
inaiy wained that the chuiches had to abandon theii “egoistic and
othei-woildly chaiactei,” and “must cease to ministei to selfishness
by piomising peisonal salvation”—blah, blah, blah.
l confess that the one diawback of Gamble’s excellent book is
having to slog thiough the endless high-minded diivel of these pio-
giessive Piotestants.
ln fact, the best intioduction to the histoiy of the Woild Wai l
—and the best concise account of the wai altogethei—is T. Hunt
Tooley’s Te Vesìern Fronì Bou|e GrovnJ onJ Ho»e Fronì :n ì|e
F:rsì Vor|J Vor, discussed in the piesent volume.
Cu~v1iv v
Staiving a People into
Submission
States thioughout histoiy have peisisted in seveiely encumbeiing
and even piohibiting inteinational tiade. Seldom, howevei, can
the consequences of such an effoit—the obvious immediate iesults
as well as the likely long-iange ones—have been as devastating
as in the case of the Allied, ieally, the Biitish, naval blockade, of
Geimany in the liist Woild Wai. Tis hungei blockade belongs to
the categoiy of foigouen state atiocities of the twentieth centuiy,
of which theie have been many. Who now iemembeis the tens
of thousands of Biafians staived to death duiing theii wai foi in-
dependence thiough the policy of the Nigeiian geneials with the
full suppoit, natuially, of the goveinment of Gieat Biitain` Tus,
C. Paul Vincent, a tiained histoiian and cuiiently libiaiy diiectoi at
Keene State College in New Hampshiie, deseives oui giatitude foi
iecalling it to memoiy in this scholaily and balanced study.
Tis ieview of C. Paul Vincent’s Te Po|:ì:cs o[ Hvnger Te A||:eJ B|ocoJe o[ Ger
»on,, 1^1¯–1^1^ (Ohio Univeisity Piess, 1vc¯), slightly modified, fiist appeaied
in Te Re+:e+ o[ Avsìr:on Fcono»:cs, 1vcv.
1v¯
1vc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Vincent tellingly iecieates the atmospheie of jubilation that sui-
iounded the outbieak of the wai that was tiuly the fateful watei-
shed of the twentieth centuiy. While Geimans weie oveicome by a
mystical sense of community—as the economist Emil Ledeiei de-
claied, now Gese||sdo] (Society) had been tiansfoimed into Ge
»e:nsdo] (Community) —the Biitish gave themselves ovei to theii
own patented foimof cant. Te socialist and positivist-utopian H. G.
Wells gushed· “l find myself enthusiastic foi this wai against Pius-
sian militaiism. . . . Eveiy swoid that is diawn against Geimany is a
swoid diawn foi peace.” Wells latei coined the mendacious slogan,
“the wai to end wai.” As the conflict continued, the state-socialist
cuiient that had been building foi decades oveiflowed into massive
goveinment intiusions into eveiy facet of civil society, especially
the economy. Te Geiman Kr:egsso::o|:s»vs that became a model
foi the Bolsheviks on theii assumption of powei is well known, but,
as Vincent points out, “the Biitish achieved contiol ovei theii econ-
omy unequaled by any of the othei belligeient states.”
Eveiywheie state seizuie of social powei was accompanied and
fosteied by piopaganda diives without paiallel in histoiy to that
time. ln this iespect, the Biitish weie veiy much moie successful
than the Geimans, and theii masteily poitiayal of the “Huns” as the
diabolical enemies of civilization, peipetiatois of eveiy imaginable
soit of “fiightfulness,”
1
seived to mask the single woist example of
baibaiism in the whole wai, aside fiom the Aimenian massacies.
Tis was what Loid Patiick Devlin fiankly calls “the staivation pol-
icy” diiected against the civilians of the Cential Poweis, most pai-
ticulaily Geimany,
z
the plan that aimed, as Winston Chuichill, liist
Loid of the Admiialty in 1v1. and one of the fiameis of the scheme,
admiued, to “staive the whole population—men, women, and chil-
dien, old and young, wounded and sound—into submission.”
!
Te Biitish policy was in contiavention of inteinational law on
two majoi points.
.
liist, in iegaid to the chaiactei of the blockade,
1
Cf. H. C. Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo [or Vor. Te Co»¡o:gn ogo:nsì A»er:con
Nevìro|:ì,, 1^1o–1^1¯ (Noiman, Okla.· Univeisity of Oklahoma Piess, 1v!v), espe-
cially pp. ¯1–¯c, on piopaganda iegaiding Geiman atiocities.
z
Patiick Devlin, Too ProvJ ìo F:g|ì VooJro+ V:|son’s Nevìro|:ì, (New Yoik·
Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1v¯¯), pp. 1v!–vc.
!
Cited in Peteison, Pro¡ogonJo, p. c!.
.
Cf. Devlin, Too ProvJ ìo F:g|ì, pp. 1¯c–e¯, 1v1–zcc, and Tomas A. Bailey and
Paul B. Ryan, Te Lvs:ìon:o D:sosìer An F¡:soJe :n MoJern Vor[ore onJ D:¡|o»oc,
(New Yoik· liee Piess, 1v¯¯), pp. z¯–!!.
STARVlNG A PEOPLE lNTO SUBMlSSlON 1vv
it violated the Declaiation of Paiis of 1c¯e, which Biitain itself had
signed, and which, among othei things, peimiued “close” but not
“distant” blockades. A belligeient was allowed to station ships neai
the thiee-mile limit to stop tiaffic with an enemy’s poits, it was not
allowed simply to declaie laige aieas of the high seas compiising
the appioaches to the enemy’s coast to be off-limits. Tis is what
Biitain did on Novembei !, 1v1., when it announced, allegedly in
iesponse to the discoveiy of a Geiman ship unloading mines off the
English coast, that hencefoith the whole of the Noith Sea was a
militaiy aiea, which would be mined and into which neutial ships
pioceeded “at theii own peiil.” Similai measuies in iegaid to the
English Channel insuied that neutial ships would be foiced to put
into Biitish poits foi sailing instiuctions oi to take on Biitish pi-
lots. Duiing this time they could easily be seaiched, obviating the
iequiiement of seaiching them at sea.
Tis intioduces the second question· that of contiaband. Biiefly,
following the lead of the Hague Confeience of 1vc¯, the Declaiation
of London of 1vcv consideied food to be “conditional contiaband,”
that is, subject to inteiception and captuie only when intended foi
the use of the enemy’s militaiy foices. Tis was pait of the painstak-
ing effoit, extending ovei geneiations, to stiip wai of its most sav-
age aspects by establishing as shaip a distinction as possible be-
tween combatants and noncombatants. Among the coiollaiies of
this was that food not intended foi militaiy use could legitimately
be tianspoited to a neutial poit, even if it ultimately found its way
to the enemy’s teiiitoiy. Te House of Loids had iefused its consent
to the Declaiation of London, which did not, consequently, come
into full foice. Still, as the U.S. goveinment pointed out to the
Biitish at the stait of the wai, the Declaiation’s piovisions weie in
keeping “with the geneially iecognized piinciples of inteinational
law.” As an indication of this, the Biitish Admiialty had incoipo-
iated the Declaiation into its manuals.
Te Biitish quickly began to tighten the noose aiound Geimany
by unilateially expanding the list of contiaband and by puuing
piessuie on neutials (paiticulaily the Netheilands, since Rouei-
dam was the focus of Biitish conceins ovei the piovisioning of the
Geimans) to acquiesce in its violations of the iules. ln the case
of the majoi neutial, the United States, no piessuie was needed.
With the exception of the isolated Secietaiy of State, William Jen-
nings Biyan, who iesigned in 1v1¯, the Ameiican leadeis weie
zcc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
consistently, astonishingly sympathetic to the Biitish point of view
and theii homicidal method—imposing famine on the whole civil-
ian population of Geimany.
¯
Te Geimans iesponded to the Biitish auempt to staive them
into submission by declaiing the seas aiound the Biitish lsles a
“wai zone,” subject to U-boat auacks. Now the Biitish openly an-
nounced theii intention to impound any and all goods oiiginating
in oi bound foi Geimany. Although the Biitish measuies weie lent
the aii of iepiisals foi Geiman actions, in ieality the gieat plan was
hatched and puisued independently of anything the enemy did oi
iefiained fiom doing·
Te Wai Oideis given by the Admiialty on ze August [1v1.]
weie cleai enough. All food consigned to Geimany thiough
neutial poits was to be captuied and all food consigned to
Roueidam was to be piesumed consigned to Geimany. . . .
Te Biitish weie deteimined on the staivation policy, whethei
oi not it was lawful.
e
Te effects of the blockade weie soon being felt by the Geiman
¯
Te U.S. goveinment’s bias in favoi of the Allied cause is well documented.
Tus, even such an establishment histoiian as the late Tomas A. Bailey, in
his A D:¡|o»oì:c H:sìor, o[ ì|e A»er:con Peo¡|e, vth ed. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.·
Pientice-Hall, 1v¯.), p. ¯¯z, states· “Te obvious explanation of Ameiica’s sui-
piising docility [in the face of Biitish violations of neutials’ iights] is that the
Wilson administiation was sympathetic with the Allies fiom the beginning.” Te
paitisanship of Wilson, his advisoi Colonel House, Secietaiy of State Robeit Lans-
ing, and, especially, the Ameiican ambassadoi to England, Waltei Hines Page, is
highlighted in Bailey’s even-handed account of the entiy of the United States into
the wai (pp. ¯ez–v¯). Te ieadei may find it an inteiesting exeicise to compaie
Bailey’s tieatment with that fiom a newei geneiation of establishment authoiity,
Robeit H. leiiell, A»er:con D:¡|o»oc, A H:sìor,, !id ed. (New Yoik· Noiton,
1v¯¯), pp. .¯e–¯.. leiiell gives no hint of the administiation’s bias towaid Biitain.
Of the notoiious Biitish piopaganda document luiidly detailing sickening but
non-existent Geiman atiocities in Belgium, he wiites· “lt is tiue that in the light
of postwai investigation the veiacity of some of the deeds instanced in the Biyce
Repoit has come into question” (p. .ez). (On the Biyce Repoit, see Peteison, Pro
¡ogonJo, pp. ¯!–¯c, and Phillip Knightley, Te F:rsì Cosvo|ì, (NewYoik· Haicouit
Biace Jovanovich, 1v¯¯), pp. c!–c..) leiiell’s account could itself pass mustei as
somewhat iefined Entente piopaganda. Lest Ameiican college students miss the
moial of his stoiy, Piofessoi leiiell ends with the asseition· “lt was ceitainly in
the inteiest of national secuiity to go to wai . . . logic demanded entiance.”
e
Devlin, Too ProvJ ìo F:g|ì, pp. 1v!, 1v¯.
STARVlNG A PEOPLE lNTO SUBMlSSlON zc1
civilians. ln June 1v1¯, biead began to be iationed. “By 1v1e,” Vin-
cent states, “the Geiman population was suiviving on a meagei diet
of daik biead, slices of sausage without fat, an individual iation
of thiee pounds of potatoes pei week, and tuinips,” and that yeai
the potato ciop failed. Te authoi’s choice of telling quotations
fiom eyewitnesses biings home to the ieadei the ieality of a famine
such as had not been expeiienced in Euiope outside of Russia since
lieland’s tiavail in the 1c.cs. As one Geiman put it· “Soon the
women who stood in the pallid queues befoie shops spoke moie
about theii childien’s hungei than about the death of theii hus-
bands.” An Ameiican coiiespondent in Beilin wiote·
Once l set out foi the puipose of finding in these food-lines
a face that did not show the iavages of hungei. . . . loui long
lines weie inspected with the closest sciutiny. But among
the !cc applicants foi food theie was not one who had had
enough to eat foi weeks. ln the case of the youngest women
and childien the skin was diawn haid to the bones and blood-
less. Eyes had fallen deepei into the sockets. liom the lips
all coloi was gone, and the tufs of haii which fell ovei the
paichmented faces seemed dull and famished—a sign that
the neivous vigoi of the body was depaiting with the physi-
cal stiength.
Vincent places the Geiman decision in eaily 1v1¯ to iesume and
expand submaiine waifaie against meichant shipping—which pio-
vided the Wilson administiation with its final pietext foi enteiing
the wai—in the fiamewoik of collapsing Geiman moiale. Te Gei-
man U-boat campaign pioved unsuccessful and, in fact, by biinging
the United States into the conflict, aggiavated the famine. Wilson,
the sainted idealist, “ensuied that eveiy loophole lef open by the
Allies foi the potential iepiovisioning of Geimany was closed.” Ra-
tions in Geimany weie ieduced to about one thousand caloiies a
day. By 1v1c, the moitality iate among civilians was !c pei cent
highei than in 1v1!, tubeiculosis was iampant, and, among childien,
so weie iickets and edema. Yet, when the Geimans suiiendeied
in Novembei 1v1c, the aimistice teims, diawn up by Clemenceau,
loch, and Pétain, included the continuation of the blockade until
a final peace tieaty was iatified. ln Decembei 1v1c, the National
Health Office in Beilin calculated that ¯e!,ccc peisons had died as a
iesult of the blockade by that time, the numbei added to this in the
zcz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
fiist months of 1v1v is unknown.
¯
ln some iespects, the aimistice
saw the intensification of the suffeiing, since the Geiman Baltic
coast was now effectively blockaded and Geiman fishing iights in
the Baltic annulled.
One of the most notable points in Vincent’s account is how the
peispective of “zoological” waifaie, latei associated with the Nazis,
began to emeige fiom the maelstiom of ethnic hatied engendeied
by the wai. ln Septembei 1v1c, one English jouinalist, in an aiticle
titled “Te Huns of 1v.c,” wiote hopefully of the tens of thousands of
Geimans now in the wombs of famished motheis who “aie destined
foi a life of physical infeiioiity.”
c
Te famous, univeisally admiied
foundei of the Boy Scouts, Robeit Baden-Powell, naïvely expiessed
his satisfaction that “the Geiman iace is being iuined, though the
biith iate, fiomthe Geiman point of view, may look satisfactoiy, the
iiiepaiable haim done is quite diffeient and much moie seiious.”
Against the genocidal wish-fantasies of such thinkeis and the
heaitless vindictiveness of Entente politicians should be set the an-
guished iepoits fiomGeimany by Biitish jouinalists and, especially,
aimy officeis, as well as by the membeis of Heibeit Hoovei’s Amei-
ican Relief Commission. Again and again they stiessed, besides
the baibaiism of the continued blockade, the dangei that famine
might well diive the Geimans to Bolshevism. Hoovei was soon
peisuaded of the uigent need to end the blockade, but wiangling
among the Allies, paiticulaily liench insistence that the Geiman
gold stock could not be used to pay foi food, since it was eaimaiked
foi iepaiations, pievented action. ln eaily Maich 1v1v, Geneial
Heibeit Plumei, commandei of the Biitish Aimy of Occupation,
infoimed Piime Ministei David Lloyd Geoige that his men weie
begging to be sent home· they could no longei stand the sight of
“hoides of skinny and bloated childien pawing ovei the offal” fiom
the Biitish camps. linally, the Ameiicans and Biitish oveipoweied
liench objections, and at the end of Maich, the fiist food shipments
began aiiiving in Hambuig. But it was only in July, 1v1v, afei
the foimal Geiman signatuie to the Tieaty of Veisailles, that the
¯
Te Biitish histoiian Aithui Biyant, wiiting in 1v.c, put the figuie even
highei, at ccc,ccc foi the last two yeais of the blockade, “about fify times moie
than weie diowned by submaiine auacks on Biitish shipping.” Cited in J. l. C.
lullei, Te ConJvcì o[ Vor, 1¯8^–1^o1 (London· Eyie &Spouiswoode, 1ve1), p. 1¯c.
c
l. W. Wile, “Te Huns of 1v.c,” Vee||, D:s¡oìd, Septembei c, 1v1c.
STARVlNG A PEOPLE lNTO SUBMlSSlON zc!
Geimans weie peimiued to impoit iaw mateiials and expoit man-
ufactuied goods.
Heibeit Hoovei iesumed his humanitaiian effoits in the Sec-
ond Woild Wai. ln 1v.c he wained of impending staivation in
Geiman-occupied Euiope, in the Low Countiies, Noiway, and es-
pecially Poland. His effoits weie stymied by Chuichill, howevei.
Hoovei afeiwaids concluded that the Piime Ministei “was a mili-
taiist of the extieme old school who held that the incidental stai-
vation of women and childien” was justified if it contiibuted to the
eailiei ending of the wai by victoiy. Hoovei’s Polish Relief had
been feeding some zcc,ccc peisons daily. Hoovei wiote that “when
Chuichill succeeded Chambeilain as Piime Ministei in May, 1v.c,
he soon stopped all peimits of food ielief to Poland.” Chuichill’s
cheiished policy of inflicting famine on civilians was thus extended
to “fiiendly” peoples. Te Poles and the otheis would be peimiued
food when and if they iose up and diove out the Geimans.
v
Anothei
of Chuichill’s ieckless, lethal fantasies.
To ietuin to the hungei blockade of the liist Woild Wai, besides
its diiect effects theie aie the piobable indiiect and much moie dam-
aging effects to considei. A Geiman child who was ten yeais old
in 1v1c and who suivived was twenty-two in 1v!c. Vincent iaises
the question of whethei the suffeiing fiom hungei in the eaily,
foimative yeais help account to some degiee foi the enthusiasm of
Geiman youth foi Nazism latei on. Diawing on a 1v¯1 aiticle by Pe-
tei Loewenbeig, he aigues in the affiimative.
1c
Loewenbeig’s woik,
howevei, is a specimen of psychohistoiy and his conclusions aie
explicitly founded on psychoanalytic doctiine. Although Vincent
does not endoise them unieseivedly, he leans towaid explaining
the latei behavioi of the geneiation of Geiman childien scaiied by
the wai yeais in teims of an emotional oi neivous impaiiment of
iational thought. Tus, he iefeis to “the ominous amalgamation of
v
Nicholson Bakei, Hv»on S»o|e, pp. zzc, zz!.
1c
Petei Loewenbeig, “Te Psychohistoiical Oiigins of the Nazi Youth Cohoits,”
A»er:con H:sìor:co| Re+:e+ ¯e, no. ¯ (Decembei 1v¯1), pp. 1.¯¯–¯cz. Loewenbeig
wiites, foi instance· “Te wai and postwai expeiiences of the small childien and
youth of Woild Wai l explicitly conditioned the natuie and success of National So-
cialism. Te new adults who became politically effective afei 1vzv and who filled
the ianks of the SA[StoimTioops, Biown Shiits] and the othei paiamilitaiy paity
oiganizations . . . weie the childien socialized in the liist Woild Wai.” (p. 1.¯c)
zc. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
twisted emotion and physical degiadation, which was to piesage
consideiable miseiy foi Geimany and the woild” and which was
pioduced in laige pait by the staivation policy.
But is such an appioach necessaiy` lt seems much moie plau-
sible to seek foi the mediating connections between exposuie to
staivation and the othei toiments caused by the blockade and latei
fanatical and biutal Geiman behavioi in commonly intelligible—
though, of couise, not theieby justifiable—human auitudes genei-
ated by the eaily expeiiences. Tese would include hatied, deep-
seated biueiness and iesentment, and a disiegaid foi the value of
life of “otheis” because the value of one’s own life and the lives
of one’s family, fiiends, and compatiiots had been so iuthlessly
disiegaided. Astaiting point foi such an analysis could be Teodoie
Abel’s 1v!c woik, V|, H:ì|er Co»e :nìo Po+er An Ans+er BoseJ on
ì|e Or:g:no| L:[e Sìor:es o[ S:: HvnJreJ o[ H:s Fo||o+ers. Loewen-
beig’s conclusion afei studying this woik that “the most stiiking
emotional affect expiessed in the Abel autobiogiaphies aie the adult
memoiies of intense hungei and piivation fiom childhood.”
11
An
inteipietation that would accoid the hungei blockade its piopei
place in the iise of Nazi savageiy has no paiticulai need foi a psy-
choanalytical oi physiological undeipinning.
Occasionally Vincent’s views on issues maiginal to his theme
aie distiessingly steieotyped· he appeais to accept an extieme lis-
chei school inteipietation of guilt foi the oiigin of the wai as adhei-
ing to the Geiman goveinment alone, and, conceining the foitunes
of the Weimai Republic, he states· “Tat Geimany lost this op-
poitunity is one of the tiagedies of the twentieth centuiy. . . . Too
ofen the old socialists seemed almost teiiified of socialization.” Te
cliché that, if only heavy industiy had been socialized in 1v1v, then
Geiman demociacy could have been saved, was nevei veiy convinc-
ing. lt is pioving less so as ieseaich begins to suggest that it was
piecisely the Weimai system of massive state inteivention in the
laboi maikets and the advanced welfaie state institutions (the most
“piogiessive” of theii time) that so weakened the Geiman economy
that it collapsed in the face of the Gieat Depiession.
1z
Tis collapse,
11
lbid., p. 1.vv.
1z
Te debate among Geiman economic histoiians on this question is discussed
in Jüigen von Kiuedenei, “Die Ubeifoideiung dei Weimaiei Republik als Sozial-
staat,” Gesd:dìe vnJ Gese||sdo] 11, no. ! (1vc¯), !¯c–¯e.
STARVlNG A PEOPLE lNTO SUBMlSSlON zc¯
paiticulaily the staggeiing unemployment that accompanied it, has
long been consideied by scholais to have been a majoi cause of the
Nazi iise to powei in 1v!c–!!.
Tese aie, howevei, negligible points in view of the seivice
Vincent has peifoimed both in ieclaiming fiom oblivion past vic-
tims of a muideious state policy and in deepening oui undeistand-
ing of twentieth-centuiy Euiopean histoiy. Teie has iecently
occuiied in the ledeial Republic of Geimany a “dispute of histoii-
ans” ovei whethei the Nazi slaughtei of the Euiopean Jews should
be viewed as “unique” oi placed within the context of othei mass
muideis, specifically the Stalinist atiocities against the Ukiainian
peasantiy.
1!
Vincent’s woik suggests the possibility that the fiame-
woik of the discussion ought to be widened moie than any of the
paiticipants has so fai pioposed.
1!
“H:sìor:|ersìre:ì.” D:e Do|v»enìoì:on Jer Konìro+erse v» J:e F:n::gorì:g|e:ì
Jer noì:ono|so::o|:sì:sden }vJen+ern:dìvng (Munich· Pipei, 1vc¯).
Cu~v1iv 1c
John T. llynn and
the Apotheosis of
lianklin Roosevelt
Albeit Jay Nock, distinguished man of leueis and philosophical an-
aichist, was an inspiiation to thinkeis as diveise as Muiiay Roth-
baid and Robeit Nisbet, liank Chodoiov and Russell Kiik. A pei-
sonal fiiend of the fathei of William l. Buckley, Ji., he was a kind
of guiu to the young Buckley as well. ln Apiil, 1v.¯, Nock wiote a
cheeiy leuei to two of his fiiends, desciibing the death of lianklin
Roosevelt as “the biggest public impiovement that Ameiica has ex-
peiienced since the passage of the Bill of Rights,” and pioposing a
celebiation luncheon at Luchow’s.
1
Today Nock’s unabashed delight would be iegaided as obscene,
a saciilege against the civic ieligion of the United States. Republi-
can no less than Demociatic leadeis ieveie and invoke the memoiy
Tis essay, somewhat modified heie, seived as an intioduction to the ¯cth an-
niveisaiy edition of John T. llynn’s Te Roose+e|ì M,ì|, published by lox &
Wilkes, v!c Howaid St., San liancisco, v.1c!.
1
Albeit Jay Nock, Leuers [ro» A||erì }o, NoJ, 1^.o–1^o¯ (Caldwell, ld.· Cax-
ton, 1v.v), p. z11.
zc¯
zcc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
of lianklin Roosevelt. His piaises aie sung fiom the Vo|| Sìreeì
}ovrno| to the Ne+ Yor| T:»es, and heids of histoiians (the phiase
is Mencken’s) iegulaily announce that lDR was one of oui tiuly
“Gieat Piesidents.” Symbolic of his apotheosis was the dedication,
in May, 1vv¯, of the vast lianklin Delano Roosevelt Memoiial in
Washington, D.C. As the T:»es happily iepoited, it is “a memo-
iial laced with a zest foi the powei of goveinment.” Te cuiient
executois of that powei had eageily lent theii plundeied suppoit,
Congiess voting s.z.¯ million, with bipaitisan enthusiasm. Amid
the hosannas that iose up eveiywheie in politics and the piess, the
few dissident voices weie inaudible. Te dominant ciedo is that, as
an editoi of the Vo|| Sìreeì }ovrno| infoimed us, ciiticism of lDR is
conceivable only fiom enemies “maddened by hatied of him.”
Yet it is a fact that thioughout his long piesidency lDR was
hotly opposed, even pilloiied, by a host of intelligent, iespected, and
patiiotic men and women. Te most consistent of his adveisaiies
foimed a loose coalition known today as the Old Right.
z
Teie is
liule doubt that the best infoimed and most tenacious of the Old
Right foes of lianklin Roosevelt was John T. llynn.
When llynn came to wiite his majoi study of the foui-teim
piesident, he aptly titled it Te Roose+e|ì M,ì|. Myths continue to
abound conceining Roosevelt and his ieign, one of the most con-
venient is that the antagonists of his New Deal weie all “economic
ioyalists,” self-seiving beneficiaiies and moneyed defendeis of the
status quo. ln llynn’s case, such an accusation is laughable. When
he became a ciitic of the NewDeal, llynn enjoyed a well-established
ieputation as a piogiessive and a muckiakei, with, as Bill Kauffman
wiites, “a taste foi plutociat blood.”
!
John Tomas llynn was boin in 1ccz into a middle class liish
Catholic family in the subuibs of Washington, and educated fiist in
public schools, then in the paiochial schools of New Yoik City. Te
debate that iaged aiound 1vcc on U.S. annexation of the Philippines
seems to have exeicised a foimative influence on the young llynn·
all his life he iemained an iesolute opponent of Westein, including
z
Sheldon Richman, “New Deal Nemesis· Te ‘Old Right’ Jeffeisonians,” Te
InJe¡enJenì Re+:e+, lall 1vve, and Justin Raimondo, Rec|o:»:ng ì|e A»er:con
R:g|ì Te Losì Legoc, o[ ì|e Conser+oì:+e Mo+e»enì (Builingame, Cal.· Centei
foi Libeitaiian Studies, 1vv!).
!
Bill Kauffman, A»er:co F:rsì! Iìs H:sìor,, Cv|ìvre, onJ Po|:ì:cs (Amheist, N.Y.·
Piometheus, 1vv¯), p. ¯c.
JOHN T. lLYNN AND THE APOTHEOSlS Ol ROOSEVELT zcv
Ameiican, impeiialism. He studied law at Geoigetown, but found
jouinalism iiiesistible. Afei seiving as editoi on papeis in New
Haven and New Yoik, he woiked as a fieelance wiitei exposing
ciooked financial dealings on Wall Stieet. ln the eaily and mid-
1v!cs, llynn authoied a seiies of books auacking the tiusts and what
he viewed as the misdeeds of the secuiities business. His GoJ’s Go|J
Te Sìor, o[ RoJe[e||er onJ H:s T:»es (1v!z) became something of a
classic.
.
llynn was not a stiict libeitaiian noi was his thinking on eco-
nomics notably sophisticated. He fully appieciated the pioductive
dynamism of the piivate-piopeity maiket economy. But in his pio-
giessive phase, he held that goveinment had a ciucial iole to play
in ieining in the “excesses” of capitalism, by thwaiting monopo-
lies, piotecting small investois, and undeitaking modeiate social
iefoim. Yet he was nevei a socialist, to his mind, the hopes foi
a fiee and piospeious society lay in a tiuly competitive piivate-
enteipiise system.
¯
Above all, llynn always distiusted any close
tie-in between the state and big business, at home oi abioad. ln
1v!., he acted as chief ieseaichei foi the Nye commiuee of the
U.S. Senate, which investigated the iole of the New Yoik banks and
the munitions industiy (“the Meichants of Death”) in leading the
United States into the liist Woild Wai.
llynn opposed the New Deal piactically fiom the stait. lnstead
of opening up the economy to competitive foices, Roosevelt seemed
bent on caitelizing it, piincipally thiough the National Recoveiy
Act (NRA), which llynn iegaided as a copy of Mussolini’s Coipo-
iate State. As one failed NewDeal piogiamfollowed anothei, llynn
suspected that Roosevelt would tiy to diveit auention to alleged
foieign dangeis, a iecouise facilitated by woild events. Te sinking
by the Japanese of an Ameiican gunboat, the Pono,, which had been
patiolling the Yangtze, piecipitated an eaily ciisis. llynn asked why
we had gunboats patiolling Chinese iiveis in the fiist place—and
found the answei in the fact that the Pono, had been convoying
tankeis of the Standaid Oil Company.
e
lncidents such as this, llynn
chaiged, weie exploited by the administiation “to chuin up as much
.
Michele llynn Stenehjem, An A»er:con F:rsì }o|n T. F|,nn onJ ì|e A»er:co
F:rsì Co»»:uee (New Rochelle, N.Y.· Ailington House, 1v¯e), pp. ze–zv.
¯
Ronald Radosh, Pro¡|eìs on ì|e R:g|ì Profi|es o[ Conser+oì:+e Cr:ì:cs o[ A»er
:con G|o|o|:s» (New Yoik· Simon and Schustei, 1v¯¯), pp. 1v¯–zc1.
e
lbid., p. zc¯.
z1c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
wai spiiit as possible.” ln 1v!c, he joined with the demociatic social-
ist leadei Noiman Tomas and otheis to establish the Keep Ameiica
Out of Wai Congiess, composed mainly of pacifists and socialists.
ln Covnìr, Sqv:re :n ì|e V|:ìe Hovse (1v.c), llynn set foith
themes he would develop moie fully in Te Roose+e|ì M,ì|. He
painted the Hudson Valley patiician as a dileuante with no piin-
ciples of his own, a meie powei-seekei with a genius foi winning
votes. Roosevelt had ieneged on his piomises of piogiessive iefoim
and instead cieated a fedeial Leviathan based on the cynical policy
of “tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect”—the foimula
which has since become the bediock of Ameiican politics in oui
blessed two-paity system. Chaiacteiistically, it was the goveinmen-
t’s intimate ielationship with the aimaments industiy that came in
foi llynn’s shaipest censuie.
Roosevelt, who always viewed any ciiticism of himself as a
peiveision of tiue demociacy, was outiaged. Te Piesident of the
United States wiote a peisonal leuei to a magazine editoi declaiing
that llynn “should be baiied heieafei fiom the columns of any
piesentable daily papei, monthly magazine, oi national quaiteily.”
¯
Whethei oi not as a consequence of lDR’s spite, Te Ne+ Re¡v||:c
diopped the column by llynn it had been publishing since 1v!!, a
sign things weie changing in the ciicles of lef-libeialism. ln the
yeais to come, lDR would use the lBl, the lRS, and othei agencies
to spy on, haiass, and intimidate his ciitics.
c
Tis—and his lying, his
consìonì |,:ng—moie than any supposed mental affliction, explains
the hatied that so many haiboied foi lianklin Roosevelt.
As lDR edged closei to wai the need was felt foi a mass-based
anti-inteiventionist oiganization. ln August, 1v.c, llynn became
one of the foundeis of the Ameiica liist Commiuee and chaiiman
of the New Yoik City chaptei. At its height, the Ameiica liist
Commiuee had ovei ccc,ccc caid-caiiying membeis, among them
E. E. Cummings, Sinclaii Lewis, Kathleen Noiiis, Alice Roosevelt
Longwoith, and liene Castle. (Te actiess Lillian Gish seived foi a
time on the national boaid, but was foiced to iesign when this led
¯
lbid., pp. zc.–c¯.
c
See, foi instance, Robeit Dallek, Fron||:n Roose+e|ì onJ A»er:con Fore:gn Po|
:c,, 1^I.–1^o¯ (Oxfoid· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1v¯v), pp. zcv–vc, and Richaid
Noiton Smith, Te Co|one| Te L:] onJ LegenJ o[ Ro|erì R. McCor»:J (Boston·
Houghton Mifflin, 1vv¯), pp. .c¯–ce, .z.–zc.
JOHN T. lLYNN AND THE APOTHEOSlS Ol ROOSEVELT z11
to hei being blackballed—“blacklisted”` —in Hollywood and on
Bioadway.) Youngei suppoiteis of Ameiica liist included John l.
Kennedy, Saigeant Shiivei, Geiald loid, and Goie Vidal.
v
Ameiica liist was tapping into a deep vein· poll afei poll
showed that cc¯ of the people weie against going to wai with Gei-
many. Soon the Commiuee was subjected to a ielentless campaign
of defamation. lts most populai speakei, Chailes Lindbeigh, was la-
beled the “no. 1 Nazi fellow tiavelei” in the United States by Haiold
lckes, Secietaiy of the lnteiioi and Roosevelt’s chief hatchet man,
1c
while Robeit Sheiwood, the piesident’s speechwiitei, dismissed
the heioic aviatoi as “simply a Nazi.”
11
Te slui by the philosophei
and socialist John Dewey, that the Ameiica liist Commiuee was a
“tiansmission belt” foi Nazi piopaganda, was echoed by scoies of
othei inteiventionist hacks.
1z
Self-appointed “antifascist” patiiots
in Hollywood and elsewheie depicted a vast (imaginaiy) netwoik
of Nazi agitatois and saboteuis at woik thioughout the land, and
linked these domestic Nazis to the “isolationists,”“Hitlei’s conscious
oi unconscious allies.”
1!
v
Bill Kauffman, A»er:co F:rsì! On Lillian Gish, see Justus D. Doenecke, ed., In
Donger UnJovnìeJ Te Anì:Inìer+enì:on:sì Mo+e»enì o[ 1^oh–1^o1 os Re+eo|eJ
:n ì|e Po¡ers o[ ì|e A»er:co F:rsì Co»»:uee (Stanfoid, Cal.· Hoovei lnstitution
Piess, 1vvc), p. 1..
1c
lckes, ofen taken to be a libeial, was piobably the most blood-thiisty of Roo-
sevelt’s intimates. At a meeting of the Cabinet in July 1v.1—months befoie Peail
Haiboi—he uiged that one of the U.S. bombeis given the Soviets “go to Sibeiia
by way of Japan. lt could set fiie to Tokyo en ioute, by diopping a few incendiaiy
bombs,” the assumption being that the capital of Japan was built laigely of papei
and light wood. Nicholson Bakei, Hv»on S»o|e, p. !¯c
11
Wayne S. Cole, C|or|es A. L:nJ|erg| onJ ì|e Bou|e Ago:nsì A»er:con Inìer
+enì:on :n Vor|J Vor II (New Yoik· Haicouit Biace Jovanovich, 1v¯.), pp. 1!c, 1.¯.
1z
Radosh, Pro¡|eìs on ì|e R:g|ì, p. z1v.
1!
John Eail Haynes, ReJ Score or ReJ Menoce' A»er:con co»»vn:s» onJ Anì:
co»»vn:s» :n ì|e Co|J Vor Fro (Chicago· lvan R. Dee, 1vve), pp. 1¯–!e. ln
Decembei, 1v.z—in the midst of the wai—it was Roosevelt himself who shocked
the Washington piess coips by mockingly piesenting John O’Donnell, the anti-
inteiventionist columnist foi the NewYoik Do:|, Ne+s, with an lion Cioss foi his
seivices to the Reich. Giaham J. White, FDR onJ ì|e Press (Chicago· Univeisity of
Chicago Piess, 1v¯v), pp. ..–.¯. Te sluis continue to this day. Piofessoi Haiiy
Jaffa (“ln Defense of Chuichill,” MoJern Age, vol. !., no. ! (Spiing 1vvz), p. zc1)
iefeis to “Chailes Lindbeigh and liitz Kuhn [Fv|rer of the pio-Nazi Geiman-
Ameiican Bund] standing togethei” in waining that paiticipation in the wai
z1z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
llynn teimed the campaign a “witch hunt.” He and his ideo-
logical comiades would iemembei the establishment’s viciousness
when the tables weie biiefly tuined, duiing the episode known as
“McCaithyism.”
As the baule ovei inteivention intensified, llynn obseived that
Roosevelt was wiecking the constitutional balance in foieign affaiis
as he had domestically. When the Piesident sent tioops to occupy
lceland in July, 1v.1, llynn assailed the unconstitutional act and
the supine Congiess that peimiued it· Roosevelt “could not do this
if the Congiess of the United States had not been ieduced to the
state of a seivile shadow” of what the loundeis intended.
1.
ln the
“loui lieedoms” declaiation issued by Roosevelt and Chuichill, in
August, 1v.1, llynn saw piefiguied the globalist piogiam foi Amei-
ica· “the task is foievei to be ouis of policing the woild, inflicting
oui ideologies and oui wishes upon the woild.”

Roosevelt needed the wai and wanted the wai, and the wai
came.
lmmediately following Peail Haiboi the Ameiica liist Commit-
tee dissolved itself, but llynn did not cease his auacks. ln 1v.., he
published As Ve Go Mord:ng, an analysis of the natuie of Euio-
pean fascism and the cleai paiallels to tiends in the United States.
“As we go maiching to the salvation of the woild,” llynn wained,
goveinment powei expands, oui economic and social life is milita-
iized, and we aie coming to iesemble the veiy dictatoiships we weie
fighting.
1e
With the end of the wai and the death of lDR, llynn was
ieady foi his summation of the caieei of the foui-teim piesident.
would “be mainly in the inteiest of the Jews.” Piofessoi Jaffa wishes to evoke
the pictuie of Lindbeigh next to Kuhn addiessing an antiwai ially. Needless to
say, it nevei happened. Tey “stood togethei” in the same sense that Piofessoi
Jaffa’s ilk “stood togethei” with Stalin and his mass-killeis in agitating foi U.S.
entiy. Lindbeigh did not maintain that it was “in the inteiest of Jews” foi the
United States to entei the wai, on the contiaiy, he believed it would damage the
status of Jews in Ameiica (Cole, C|or|es A. L:nJ|erg|, pp. 1¯¯–c¯). Te cause of
Piofessoi Jaffa’s typically foolish diatiibe is cleaily his clammy feai that the voice
of Ameiica liist “is once again abioad in the land.”
1.
Cole, Roose+e|ì onJ ì|e Iso|oì:on:sìs, p. .!z.

lbid., p. .v¯.
1e
Te continuing militaiization of Ameiican life since 1v!! is dealt with by
Michael S. Sheiiy, In ì|e S|oJo+ o[ Vor Te Un:ìeJ Sìoìes S:nce ì|e 1^Ihs (New
Haven, Conn.· Yale Univeisity Piess, 1vv¯).
JOHN T. lLYNN AND THE APOTHEOSlS Ol ROOSEVELT z1!
lt is faiily obvious that the ioutine judgment of Ameiican his-
toiians, that Roosevelt was a tiuly “Gieat Piesident,” has nothing
objective about it. Histoiians, like eveiyone else, have theii own
peisonal values and political views. Like othei academics they tend
to be oveiwhelmingly on the lef. Analyzing one iecent poll, Robeit
Higgs notes· “Lef-libeial histoiians woiship political powei, and
idolize those who wield it most lavishly in the seivice of lef-libeial
causes.”

Why should it be suipiising, oi even notewoithy, that
they veneiate Roosevelt and tiy to get a ciedulous public to do the
same`
loi a iathei diffeient view, the ieadei can now tuin to Te Roo
se+e|ì M,ì|, thankfully once moie in piint, which was and, afei
half a centuiy, iemains the majoi debunking of lianklin Roosevelt.
“Polemical as only llynn could be polemical,”
1c
the woik was tuined
down by eveiy publishei the authoi appioached. llynn was despei-
ate· “loi the fiist time in my life l am peddling a book aiound like
a fiesh unknown. . . . l am at my wits’ end.” linally, he met Devin
Gaiiity, head of a small house in New Yoik specializing in liish and
ievisionist woiks, and the book appeaied in 1v.c undei the impiint
of Devin-Adaii. lt quickly became numbei two on the Ne+ Yor|
T:»es best-sellei list.
1v
Taking eveiy phase of his piesidency in tuin, llynn is meiciless
in exposing Roosevelt as a failuie, a liai, and a fiaud. Two subsidiaiy
myths which he demolishes aie of paiticulai inteiest today, since
they aie the main suppoits foi lDR’s supposed gieatness· his ioles
in the Depiession and in the Second Woild Wai.
Te mantia, “Roosevelt cuied the Depiession,” exaspeiated llynn.
(Now it is ofen ieplaced with the banal and much moie cautious·
“He gave the people hope.”) Didn’t anyone caie about facts` he
demanded. Te “fiist” New Deal came and went, then came the
“second” New Deal, in 1v!¯ —and still the Depiession, unlike eveiy
pievious downtuin, diagged on and on. llynn pointed out that

Robeit Higgs, “No Moie ‘Gieat Piesidents’ ” Te Free Mor|eì, vol. 1¯, no. !
(Maich 1vv¯). Higgs says eveiything that needs to be said on these politically-
inspiied suiveys of histoiians, concluding· “God save us fiom gieat piesidents.”
1c
Justus D. Doenecke, Noì ìo ì|e S+:] Te O|J Iso|oì:on:sìs :n ì|e Co|J Vor
Fro (Lewisbuig, Pa.· Bucknell Univeisity Piess, 1v¯v), pp. v¯–vc. Tis woik is
discussed in the piesent volume.
1v
Stenehjem, An A»er:con F:rsì, pp. 1¯z–¯!.
z1. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
in 1v!c the numbei of peisons unemployed totaled “11,ccc,ccc—
»ore ì|on +ere vne»¡|o,eJ +|en Roose+e|ì +os e|ecìeJ :n 1^I.” (his
italics). llynn deals with the impotence of successive New Deal
piogiams and the fulminations of the “planneis” and “spendeis” in
his chapteis on “Te loigouen Depiession” and “Te Dance of the
Philosopheis.”
Recent scholaiship has bolsteied llynn’s analysis. ln studying
why the slump that staited in 1vzv became “the Gieat Depiession,”
the longest-lasting in U.S. histoiy, Robeit Higgs identifies a ciitical
factoi· the exceptionally low iate of piivate investment. A chief
cause of this failuie to invest and cieate pioductive jobs, Higgs finds,
was “iegime unceitainty.” loi the fiist time in oui histoiy, investois
weie seiiously woiiied ovei the secuiity of piopeity iights in Amei-
ica. Teie had been an
unpaialleled outpouiing of business-thieatening laws, iegu-
lations, and couit decisions, the of-stated hostility of Pies-
ident Roosevelt and his lieutenants towaid investois as a
class, and the chaiactei of the antibusiness zealots who com-
posed the stiategists and administiatois of the New Deal
fiom 1v!¯ to 1v.1.
zc
Te comfoitable mythology has it that businessmen hated Roo-
sevelt because he was “a tiaitoi to his class.” Te tiuth is that they
feaied him as a menace to the piivate piopeity system, and they
iestiicted theii investments accoidingly.
On lDR’s iole befoie and afei oui entiy into Woild Wai ll
llynn is scathing. When he wiote his book, Tomas A. Bailey, diplo-
matic histoiian at Stanfoid, had alieady published the defense of
Roosevelt’s pio-wai policy that has now become standaid. Casu-
ally conceding the whole ievisionist indictment by Chailes Beaid
and otheis, Bailey wiote that Roosevelt had indeed deceived the
Ameiican people befoie Peail Haiboi, but he did it as a physician
lies to a patient, foi his own good. Te people (“the masses,” in
Bailey’s statement) aie too shoit-sighted, statesmen must deceive
zc
Robeit Higgs, “Regime Unceitainty· Why the Gieat Depiession Lasted So
Long and Why Piospeiity Resumed Afei the Wai,” Te InJe¡enJenì Re+:e+,
(Spiing 1vv¯), p. ¯ce. See also the chaptei on the New Deal in Higgs’s indis-
pensable woik, Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on Cr:ì:co| F¡:soJes :n ì|e Gro+ì| o[ A»er:con
Go+ern»enì (New Yoik· Oxfoid Univeisity Piess, 1vc¯), pp. 1¯v–v¯.
JOHN T. lLYNN AND THE APOTHEOSlS Ol ROOSEVELT z1¯
them, to fuithei “the masses’ ” own long-iun inteiests. Tat is what
lDR “had to do, and who shall say that posteiity will not thank him
foi it`”
z1
But llynn asked· “lf Roosevelt had the iight to do this, to whom
is the iight denied`” ln 1v.c, llynn was speaking foi the “patients,”
the lied to, the duped and manipulated “masses,” those once known
as the fiee and soveieign citizens of the Ameiican Republic. Today,
the conventional wisdom is all on the side of the lying Roosevelt
and against the people he deceived.
On anothei subject, also, standaids have changed. ln oui own
enlightened times, it is consideied entiiely in the natuial oidei of
things that the United States should have emeiged tiiumphant fiom
the costliest and second-bloodiest wai in oui histoiy and then been
instantly plunged into anothei stiuggle against a moie poweiful foe.
Yet in 1v.c, Winston Chuichill himself admiued that· “we have still
not found Peace oi Secuiity, and . . . we lie in the giip of even woise
peiils than those we have suimounted.”
zz
A half centuiy ago, this
suggested, ieasonably enough, that something had gone seiiously
wiong in the political conduct of the wai.
ln accounting foi the soiiy state of the postwai woild, llynn
focused on Roosevelt’s failuies· “Oui goveinment put into Stalin’s
hands the means of seizing a gieat slab of the continent of Euiope,
then stood aside while he took it and finally acquiesced in his con-
quests.” loity yeais latei, Robeit Nisbet ieinfoiced llynn’s case,
laying out in detail lDR’s fatuousness in looking on Stalin—Sìo|:n—
as a fiiend and fellow piogiessive, his main ally in constiucting
the New Woild Oidei.
z!
Tese facts have, howevei, made liule
impiession on the heids of histoiians. lt seems that theie is no
degiading inanity, no catastiophic blundei that is not peimiued a
tiuly “Gieat Piesident.”
lianklin Roosevelt’s impact on Ameiica was measuieless. llynn’s
account—composed in his tiademaik fighting-liish style—is still
the best analysis of why it was so deeply destiuctive.
z1
Tomas A. Bailey, Te Mon :n ì|e Sìreeì Te I»¡ocì o[ A»er:con Pv||:c O¡:n
:on on Fore:gn Po|:c, (New Yoik· Macmillan, 1v.c), p. 1!.
zz
Winston S. Chuichill, Te Goì|er:ng Sìor» (Boston· Houghton Mifflin, 1v.c),
p. v. See the chaptei on “Rethinking Chuichill,” in the piesent volume.
z!
Robeit Nisbet, Roose+e|ì onJ Sìo|:n Te Fo:|eJ Covrìs|:¡ (Washington, D.C.·
Regneiy, 1vcc).
z1e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
ln the yeais that followed, llynn became the intellectual main-
stay of the Old Right, shedding the iemnants of his old-line piogies-
sivism and giowing moie cleaily constitutionalist and anti-statist.
Tis was the llynn of Te RooJ A|eoJ, anothei bestsellei, which
ieached a piinting of .,ccc,ccc in the ReoJer’s D:gesì condensation.
Te ioad llynn wained that we weie following was the path of
labian socialism towaids omnipotent goveinment.
As the new piesident, Haiiy Tiuman, engaged the United States
in yet anothei ciusade, llynn sided with what iemained of the anti-
inteiventionist movement, which looked to Senatoi Robeit Taf as
its leadei. Opposed to open-ended Ameiican commitments eveiy-
wheie, suspicious of foieign aid piogiams that entailed undeiwiit-
ing the status quo in a iapidly changing woild, these conseivatives
became, once again, the taiget of inteiventionist slandeis. Accoid-
ing to Tiuman, Republicans who opposed his foieign policy weie
“Kiemlin assets,” the soit of miscieants who would shoot “oui sol-
dieis in the back in a hot wai.”
z.
Once again, the establishment piess
echoed administiation lies.
All of this has been foigouen now, along with the piewai cam-
paign of defamation of patiiotic Ameiicans as “Nazis.” All that
iemains in the populai memoiy is the peipetually iehashed tale
of a time of teiioi known as the Age of McCaithyism. llynn was
a feivent suppoitei of Joseph McCaithy, and in seveial woiks he
examined the influence of Communists and Communist sympathiz-
eis on U.S. foieign policy, especially on China.

While it is cleai
that llynn basically misundeistood the Chinese ievolution, on othei
points he was closei to the tiuth than McCaithy’s enemies, then and
now. Owen Lauimoie, foi instance, was not the mild-manneied,
ivoiy-towei scholai of lef-libeial mythology, but a dedicated apol-
ogist foi Stalin, foi the puige-tiials and the Gulag. With the con-
tinuing ielease of documents fiom the 1v!cs and ’.cs, fiom U.S. and
Russian aichives, the ieceived wisdom iegaiding the “McCaithyite
teiioi” is due foi ievision.
ze
z.
Doenecke, Noì ìo ì|e S+:], p. z1e.

E.g., V|:|e Yov S|e¡ì Ovr TrogeJ, :n As:o onJ V|o MoJe Iì (1v¯1) and Te
Lou:»ore Sìor, (1v¯!).
ze
See, foi instance, M. Stanton Evans, “McCaithyism· Waging the Cold Wai
in Ameiica,” Hv»on F+enìs, May !c, 1vv¯, pp. ¯1–¯c.
JOHN T. lLYNN AND THE APOTHEOSlS Ol ROOSEVELT z1¯
ln the wateished campaign foi the Republican piesidential nom-
ination in 1v¯z, llynn was an aident suppoitei of Robeit Taf. Eisen-
howei he saw as simply a fiont man foi the Eastein Republican
establishment, centeied in Wall Stieet, that had foisted Willkie and
Dewey on the paity, he felt the same way about Eisenhowei’s iun-
ning mate, Senatoi Richaid M. Nixon.
llynn continued to oppose globalism to the end. He contended
against Ameiican meddling in the Middle East, and when Senatoi
McCaithy—tiue to his own inteinationalist bent—suppoited the
Biitish–liench–lsiaeli auack on Egypt in 1v¯e, llynn bioke with
him. Giowing Ameiican involvement in lndochina undei Eisen-
howei and John lostei Dulles incensed llynn. He asked pointedly,
“l would like to know who in Asia is going to cioss the Pacific and
auack us.” At the time of the liench debacle at Điện Biên Phủ, llynn
called on Eisenhowei to make it cleai that “we’ie not going to get
involved in any kind of wai in lndo-China, hot oi lukewaim, all-out
oi pait-way.”

A constant taiget of llynn’s was the “bipaitisan foieign policy,”
a hoax that has functioned to depiive Ameiicans of any choice on
questions of peace oi wai foi many decades. As a cential souice
of this iuse he identified the Council on loieign Relations, not-
ing that both Dean Acheson and John lostei Dulles—Secietaiies of
State fiom nominally opposed paities—as well as most of the othei
makeis of U.S. foieign policy weie membeis of the New Yoik oiga-
nization. Palpably a fiont foi big business inteiests, the Council’s
goal was a iadical tiansfoimation of the auitudes of the Ameiican
people, theii conveision to the dogma that oui secuiity iequiied
that we “police the whole woild, fight the baules of the whole woild,
make eveiy countiy in the woild like the United States.”
zc
llynn’s highlighting of the influence of big business on Amei-
ican foieign policy has inevitably led some wiiteis to link his out-
look to Maixism. Nothing could be moie wiongheaded. llailing
capitalists foi using theii links to the state to fuithei theii own
sinistei inteiests—es¡ec:o||, theii oveiseas inteiests—has been a
coineistone of classical libeialism fiom at least the time of Tuigot,
Adam Smith, and Jeiemy Bentham.

Doenecke, Noì ìo ì|e S+:], pp. z.1, z.!, Radosh, Pro¡|eìs on ì|e R:g|ì, p. ze1.
zc
Radosh, Pro¡|eìs on ì|e R:g|ì, p. z¯c.
z1c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
ln 1v¯e occuiied a small event that, like llynn’s fiiing fiom Te
Ne+ Re¡v||:c in 1v!c, symbolized the passing of an eia in Ameiican
politics. As llynn had eailiei been dismissed because his anti-wai
views weie inconsistent with the new tuin on the lef, so now he
ian into opposition fiom a nascent “New Right.” William l. Buck-
ley, Ji., nuituied on the Ameiican anti-statism of Albeit Jay Nock
and liank Chodoiov, had fallen in with a ciowd of ex-Stalinists, ex-
Tiotskyists, and conseivative Euiopean émigiés. His position now
was that “we have to accept Big Goveinment foi the duiation—foi
neithei an offensive noi a defensive wai can be waged . . . except
thiough the instiument of a totalitaiian buieauciacy within oui
shoies.” Te anti-Communist ciusade iequiied high taxes foi vast
aimies and navies, even “wai pioduction boaids and the auendant
centialization of powei in Washington.”
zv
As editoi of Noì:ono| Re+:e+, Buckley commissioned an aiticle
fiom llynn. llynn tuined in a giuff ciitique of the hypeitiophic
giowth of the cential goveinment undei Republican as well as
Demociatic administiations, which concluded· “Teie has been,
since Roosevelt’s iegime, no plan whatevei foi iestoiing the Amei-
ican Republic in its constitutional foim.”
!c
Tis was not something
that Buckley, as commiued to global meddling and as indiffeient
to Ameiican constitutionalism as any New Dealei, could accept.
Te manusciipt was ietuined, ending llynn’s connection with what
now passed foi the conseivative movement in Ameiica.
Giegoiy Pavlik, editoi of this fine edition of llynn’s essays,
summed it up well· “When llynn died in 1ve. he was an outcast
fiom both the then-fashionable vaiieties of libeialism and consei-
vatism. His life was a testament to his chaiactei—he iefused to
compiomise his deepest convictions foi the affection of tiendy
demagogues of any political stiipe.”
!1
zv
Williaml. Buckley, Ji., “AYoung Republican’s View,” Co»»on+eo|, Januaiy z¯,
1v¯z, quoted in Muiiay N. Rothbaid, Te Beìro,o| o[ ì|e A»er:con R:g|ì, p. 1¯v.
!c
Te essay is published foi the fiist time in John T. llynn, Forgouen Lessons
Se|ecìeJ Fsso,s, Giegoiy P. Pavlik, ed. (livington-on-Hudson, N.Y.· loundation
foi Economic Education, 1vve), pp. 1zv–!..
!1
lbid., p. ..
Cu~v1iv 11
On the Biink of Woild Wai ll
Justus Doenecke, piofessoi of histoiy at the Univeisity of South
lloiida, has made a distinguished caieei of ieseaiching the histoiy
of Ameiican “isolationism” befoie and afei Woild Wai ll. His latest
book, Sìor» on ì|e Hor::on Te C|o||enge ìo A»er:con Inìer+enì:on,
1^I^–1^o1 (Lanham, Md.· Rowman and Liulefield, zccc), is maiked
by his unsuipassed familiaiity with the ielevant aichives—ieflected
in the 1¯c pages of endnotes—and by his iaie and iefieshing objec-
tivity. Te woik has alieady won the annual book awaid of the
Heibeit Hoovei Piesidential Libiaiy Association.
Doenecke begins with the inevitable teiminological issue. He
eschews iefeiiing to the piotagonists of Sìor» on ì|e Hor::on as
:so|oì:on:sìs, the teim piefeiied by theii inteiventionist adveisaiies.
Tis ihetoiically poweiful aigument by epithet has been deployed
fiom 1cvc (against the opponents of the wai with Spain) to the
piesent. Today, simply uueiing the woid itself is piobably decisive
Tis piece on Justus Doenecke’s Sìor» on ì|e Hor::on, heie slightly modified, fiist
appeaied in Te InJe¡enJenì Re+:e+, Spiing, zccz.
z1v
zzc GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
foi most Ameiicans on questions of foieign policy. ln its place,
Doenecke piefeis the less-loaded teims onì::nìer+enì:on:sì and non
:nìer+enì:on:sì, though it is doubtful that such a semantic decontam-
ination could evei be effected.
As oui authoi makes amply cleai, theie weie “many mansions”
in the anti-wai movement, fiom lathei Chailes Coughlin and his
magazine Soc:o| }vsì:ce to the Communist Paity (until June zz, 1v.1,
that is, when the CPUSA and it many sympathizeis tuined on a
dime and became fanatically ¡ro-wai). Veiy sensibly, howevei,
Doenecke pays the most auention to the pacifist and, above all,
the libeial and conseivative opponents of wai, most of whom weie
associated in one way oi anothei with the Ameiica liist Commiuee
(AlC), founded in Septembei 1v.c.
Duiing its biief existence and evei afei, the AlC was and has
been subjected to mindless sluis. A iecent example occuiied in con-
nection with Piinceton Univeisity’s unsealing of many of the papeis
of Chailes Lindbeigh, the Commiuee’s most piominent speakei, and
of his wife Anne Moiiow Lindbeigh. ln a iepoit foi the Associated
Piess (Maich !c, zcc1), Linda A. Johnson infoims us that “Lind-
beigh gave numeious speeches at the time denouncing Piesident
lianklin D. Roosevelt and Jews as ‘waimongeis.’ ” As conceins the
Jews, this statement is a lie oi, moie likely, the pioduct of a slovenly
sciibblei who could not be botheied to asceitain the easily accessi-
ble tiuth (see Beig 1vvc, pp. .z¯–z¯). Lindbeigh gave only a single,
famous (oi notoiious) speech mentioning the Jews, in Des Moines,
in Octobei 1v.1. Teie he identified them not as “waimongeis” but
as, along with the Roosevelt administiation and the Biitish govein-
ment, one of the main foices agitating foi wai with Geimany but
stiongly cautioning that this policy was detiimental to the inteiests
of Jewish Ameiicans.
lt is notewoithy that among the hundieds of leueis Piinceton
made public weie expiessions of suppoit foi Lindbeigh’s antiwai
stance fiom well-known wiiteis such as W. H. Auden and, iathei
lowei down the liteiaiy line (although she won the Nobel Piize foi
Liteiatuie in 1v!c), Peail Buck. Readeis suipiised by the appeaiance
of these names in this context would piofit fiom consulting Bill
Kauffman’s biilliant A»er:co F:rsì! Iìs H:sìor,, Cv|ìvre, onJ Po|:ì:cs
(1vv¯). As Kauffman shows, many of the celebiities of the Ameiican
cultuial scene—outside of Manhauan and Hollywood—stiongly
ON THE BRlNK Ol WORLD WAR ll zz1
sympathized with the AlC· Sheiwood Andeison, E. E. Cummings,
Teodoie Dieisei, Edgai Lee Masteis, Heniy Millei, Sinclaii Lewis,
Kathleen Noiiis, liank Lloyd Wiight, Chailes Beaid, and H. L.
Mencken, among otheis. Te total membeiship of the AlC ex-
ceeded ccc,ccc, and it had millions of fellow tiaveleis.
Sìor» on ì|e Hor::on pioceeds by examining in detail the vai-
ious episodes of the wai abioad and the contioveisies they gen-
eiated at home, beginning with the Geiman invasion of Poland
and the “Phony Wai” on the westein fiont, and ending with the
last, futile negotiations with the Japanese envoys and the auack
on Peail Haiboi. Doenecke deals with eveiy significant issue of
Ameiican foieign oi militaiy policy in this peiiod. Many of these
issues weie new to me—foi instance, the debates ovei a possible
loan to linland afei the Soviet auack in Novembei 1v!v and ovei
the foitification of Guam. Also indicative of the iichness of the
book aie the fiequent fascinating tidbits Doenecke seives up, foi
example, Ameiican gunboats weie still patiolling the Yangtze as
late as 1v.c (thiee yeais afei the Pono, incident), piesumably still
in the inteiest of Standaid Oil. Also ievealed is that the two piin-
cipal anti-wai papeis, the C|:cogo Tr:|vne and the New Yoik Do:|,
Ne+s, suppoited Dewey against Taf foi the Republican piesidential
nomination in 1v.c (pp. 1¯c–¯v).
Te non-inteiventionists lost the baule foi the Republican nom-
ination, as they weie to lose all the baules in theii shoit-lived cam-
paign. Te winnei, Wendell Willkie, “a utilities lawyei and Wall
Stieet magnate who had been a Demociat all but foui yeais of his
life . . . came into the convention with only a handful of delegates”
(p. 1¯v). Howevei, he enjoyed the feivent suppoit of Heniy Luce’s
magazines, L:[e, T:»e, and Forìvne (the C|:cogo Tr:|vne iiieveiently
wondeied why Luce didn’t add Infin:ì, to his stable), as well as,
above all, the suppoit of the Ne+ Yor| Hero|JTr:|vne and with it
Wall Stieet and the iest of the eastein Republican establishment
whose agent it was. Willkie won on the sixth ballot. He had alieady
chided Roosevelt foi taidiness in aiding the Allies and denounced
othei Republican leadeis as “isolationists.” With Willkie as the nom-
inee, foieign policy, the one ciucial issue facing the nation, was
taken offthe table—as is customaiy in Ameiican elections—much to
the delight of the Biitish intelligence opeiatives woiking to embioil
the United States in yet anothei woild wai (see Mahl 1vvc, 1¯¯–¯e).
zzz GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
A majoi landmaik on the ioad to wai was the tiansfei to Biitain
of some fify naval destioyeis in ietuin foi long-teimleases on bases
stietching fiom Newfoundland to Biitish Guiana. Te deal was
effected by piesidential deciee and shaiply ciiticized by most non-
inteiventionists as contiaiy to U.S. and inteinational law, wheieas
a few jingoists such as Colonel McCoimick of the Chicago Tiibune
ieveled in the expansion of Ameiican powei. lt contiibuted to
the foimation in Septembei 1v.c of the Tiipaitite Pact of Japan,
Geimany, and ltaly. ln tuin, this agieement was misinteipieted
in Washington as diiected oggress:+e|, against the United States,
iathei than as intended Je[ens:+e|, to foiestall an Ameiican auack
on any of the signatoiies (pp. 1z¯–zc). Te Pact peimiued Roosevelt
to claim that “the hostilities in Euiope, in Afiica, and in Asia aie all
paits of a single woild conflict“ (p. !1c). Hencefoith, this “funda-
mental pioposition,“ specious as it was, would guide U.S. policy.
Emboldened by his ieelection, Roosevelt pioposed the Lend-
Lease Bill (H.R. 1¯¯e), one of the gieatest extensions of piesidential
powei in Ameiican histoiy, which became law in Maich 1v.1. Al-
though the AlC opposed Lend-Lease, it was faced with a quandaiy,
as some anti-inteiventionists pointed out at the time. By suppoiting
aid to Biitain “shoit of wai,” it had opened the dooi to the inciemen-
tal steps towaid wai that Roosevelt was taking and iepiesenting as
his untiiing stiuggle foi peace.
Today Roosevelt’s iecoid of continual deception of the Ameii-
can people is unambiguous. ln that sense, the old ievisionists such
as Chailes Beaid have been completely vindicated. Pio-Roosevelt
histoiians—at least those who do not piaise him outiight foi his
noble lies—have had to iesoit to euphemism. Tus, Doenecke cites
Waiien l. Kimball, who is shocked—s|oJeJ —by lDR’s “lack of
candoi” in leading the nation to wai. Doenecke is much moie
stiaightfoiwaid. He notes, foi example, the tiue iole of the “neu-
tiality patiol” that the Piesident established in the westein Atlantic
in May 1v.1· “By flashing locations of Geiman U-boats, the pa-
tiol would aleit Biitish meichantmen to veei away while inviting
Biitish ciuiseis and destioyeis to auack” (p. 1¯c). “liomlatei Maich
thiough May 1v.1, the piesident told intimates like Haiold lckes
and Heniy Moigenthau that he hoped an incident on the high seas
might iesult” in pioviding an excuse foi U.S. convoys oi “possibly
even a state of wai with Geimany“ (p. 1c1). Still, some confiimed
ievisionists may conclude that Doenecke does not give due weight
ON THE BRlNK Ol WORLD WAR ll zz!
to lDR’s colossal duplicity. Tus, although he mentions Roosevelt’s
meeting with Geoige Vl in Hyde Paik in June 1v!v (p. 1z¯), he is
silent on the Piesident’s piomise to the Biitish monaich—befoie
the wai even began—of full U.S. suppoit in any militaiy conflict
with Geimany (Wheelei-Benneu 1v¯c, pp. !vc–vz).
Te Geiman invasion of Russia in June 1v.1 seemed to stiengthen
the anti-inteiventionist case, in two ways. On the one hand, it
pulled the iug out fiom undei those who had aigued (as some still
aigue) foi the infinite moial supeiioiity of the anti-Hitlei coali-
tion. Even the tabloid New Yoik Do:|, Ne+s was able to peiceive
a tiuth that has somehow escaped piactically all cuiient commen-
tatois· “Te Soviets’ Chiistian victims have fai outnumbeied the
Nazis’ Jewish victims” (p. z1z). On the othei hand, with the fiist
Geiman ieveises in Decembei, doubt was cast on the notion that
U.S. paiticipation in the wai was iequiied to foil a Nazi victoiy. As
Doenecke obseives, “Te tide of baule, howevei, had swung in the
Soviets’ favoi long befoie Ameiican aid had aiiived in quantity”
(p. zz¯). Taf and otheis had iemaiked that if Hitlei could not con-
quei Biitain, how was he supposed to be able to auack the United
States (p. 11¯)` Now that the Wehimacht was confionting the Red
Aimy, non-inteiventionists could ieasonably question the fantasy
that Hitlei was on the veige of conqueiing the woild.
Still, hysteiical scenaiios fiom Washington and the pio-wai
piess continued to highlight the “invasion ioutes” that the Geimans
and occasionally the Japanese might take to the conquest of the
United States, via the Caiibbean, the Aleutians, and Alaska, oi
fiom West Afiica to Biazil and thence, somehow, to New Oileans
and Miami. Tis last scenaiio was the most fiequently biuited
about. Anti-administiation spokesmen pointed out that even if
a Geiman expeditionaiy foice weie somehow able to cioss the
Sahaia to occupy West Afiica and then pass ovei the Atlantic to
Biazil, it would still be as fai fiom the United States as it had been
in Euiope. And how was a modein mechanized aimy to tiaveise
the jungles and mountains of South and Cential Ameiica to invade
the United States (p. 1!¯)` Roosevelt fed the hysteiia by claiming
that he possessed a “seciet map” showing Nazi plans to conquei
South and Cential Ameiica, as well as seciet documents pioving
that Hitlei planned to supplant all existing ieligions with a Nazi
Chuich (p. zee). Needless to say, these statements weie fuithei
falsehoods.
zz. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Anothei landmaik on the ioad to wai was the Atlantic Chaitei
meeting between lDR and Chuichill off the Newfoundland coast
in August 1v.1. Chuichill iepoited to his cabinet· the Piesident
had confided that “he would wage wai, but not declaie it, and
that he would become moie and moie piovocative. . . . Eveiything
was to be done to foice an ‘incident’ ” (pp. z!v–.c). A month latei,
lDR did piovoke the “incident” involving the U.S. destioyei Greer,
which he used as a pietext foi his oidei to “shoot on sight” any
Geiman oi ltalian vessels in the thiee-quaiteis of the Noith Atlantic
that, as Doenecke states, now compiised oui “defensive wateis.”
Te AlC accused lDR of initiating “an undeclaied wai, in plain
violation of the Constitution.” Te public did not caie veiy much
and the Piesident not at all. A few days latei, Ameiican ships
and planes began escoiting convoys caiiying munitions of wai
to Biitain (pp. z¯v–e1). Auacks on U.S. waiships multiplied as
Congiess voted to aim Ameiican meichant ships, depiiving them
of any immunity as neutials, and to peimit U.S. naval vessels to
entei the pieviously off-limits “combat zones.” What pievented a
wai fiombieaking out was Hitlei’s iesolve to keep the United States
neutial until he was ieady foi the Ameiican onslaught.
By this time, Heibeit Hoovei was piivately waining that lDR
and his people weie “doing eveiything they can to get us into wai
thiough the Japanese back dooi” (p. !1¯). ln iesponse to Japanese
advances in lndochina, Roosevelt, togethei with Chuichill, fioze all
Japanese assets, effectively imposing an embaigo on oil shipments
and staiting the clock on the final stianding of the lmpeiial Japanese
Navy. Edwin M. Boichaid, Yale Law piofessoi and authoiity on
inteinational law, commented· “While thieatening Japan with diie
consequences if she touches the Netheilands East lndies, oui em-
baigoes foice hei to look in that diiection” (p. !ce). Glimpsing the
futuie that Ameiica’s iuleis had in stoie foi the Republic, Boichaid
noted, “Appaiently we aie geuing to the point wheie no change
can be made in the woild’s political contiol without offense to the
United States” (p. !cc).
One of the many meiits of Sìor»on ì|e Hor::on is that it exhibits
the contiast between the Old Right and the latei conseivative move-
ment that took shape in the mid-1v¯cs as a global anti-Communist
ciusade. (On the eailiei movement, see the excellent study by
Sheldon Richman [1vve].) One impoitant diffeience conceins the
ON THE BRlNK Ol WORLD WAR ll zz¯
conseivatives’ auitudes towaid Westein impeiialism, paiticulaily
in East Asia. William Heniy Chambeilin ciiticized Roosevelt’s
evident intention to saciifice Ameiican lives in oidei to keep the
Dutch in the East lndies and the Biitish in Singapoie (p. zvc). John
T. llynn iidiculed the notion of going to wai against Japan ovei
the Philippines, since such a conflict would, in ieality, be in the
seivice of only a few dozen U.S. coipoiations (p. zvv). Unlike latei
conseivatives, who weie ieady to poitiay any anti-Communist
despot (foi example, Syngman Rhee) as piactically a Jeffeisonian
demociat, the non-inteiventionists saw Chiang Kai-shek foi what
he was, an autociat and a gangstei (p. zc¯).
Te anti-inteiventionists weie a couiageous bunch, and they
paid a piice foi theii sciuples. Haiiy Elmei Baines was puiged
fiom the Ne+ Yor| Vor|JTe|egro», Oswald Gaiiison Villaid fiom
Te Noì:on, and llynn fiom Te Ne+ Re¡v||:c. Te Bo|ì:»ore Svn
even had the neive to fiie H. L. Mencken, that papei’s sole claim to
fame in its 1e.-yeai histoiy. Univeisities banned antiwai speakeis
fiom theii campuses, and local officials tiied to pievent the AlC
fiom holding iallies (p. z¯¯). ln and out of the administiation, intei-
ventionists defamed theii opponents as mouthpieces of the Nazis,
cogs in the Nazi piopaganda machine, oi, at best, “unwiuing” tools
of fascism. Roosevelt’s Secietaiy of the lnteiioi, Haiold lckes—a no-
table bouom feedei—called the old libeial Oswald Gaiiison Villaid
and the demociatic socialist Noiman Tomas allies of Hitlei (p. z¯1).
Te influential liiends of Demociacy, befoie and duiing the wai,
slandeied non-inteiventionists such as Robeit Taf foi being “veiy
closely” tied to the Axis line. Tis oiganization won the gushing
plaudits of the evei-gushing Eleanoi Roosevelt (Ribuffo 1vc!, p. 1cv).
Egged on by Roosevelt, the lBl “began to tap the telephones and
open the mail of vocal opponents of lDR’s foieign policy and to
monitoi anti-inteivention iallies.” lt “instituted suiveillance of sev-
eial of the piesident’s piominent congiessional ciitics,” including
Senatois Buiton K. Wheelei and Geiald Nye. “Te White House
and the Justice Depaitment also leaked to sympathetic jouinalists
infoimation fiom lBl files that was thought to be embaiiassing to
anti-inteiventionists“ (Haynes 1vve, pp. zc–zv).
Lef-libeial intellectuals, academic and otheiwise, nevei cease be-
moaning a time of teiioi in Ameiica known as the Age of McCaithy-
ism. ln so doing, they lack what might be teimed the dialectical
zze GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
appioach. loi many conseivatives who suppoited Senatoi Mc-
Caithy in the eaily 1v¯cs, it was essentially payback time foi the toi-
ient of slandeis they had enduied befoie and duiing Woild Wai ll.
Post-wai conseivatives took deep satisfaction in pointing out the
Communist leanings and connections of those who had libeled them
as mouthpieces foi Hitlei. Unlike the anti-wai leadeis, who weie
nevei “Nazis,” the taigets of McCaithyism had ofen been abject
apologists foi Stalin, and some of them actual Soviet agents.
Once oi twice, Doenecke himself inadveitently and somewhat
oddly comes close to echoing these inteiventionist chaiges. ln
June 1v.c, Congiessional inteiventionists passed a iesolution al-
legedly ieaffiiming the Monioe Doctiine· it pioclaimed the non-
admissibility of any tiansfei of soveieignty within the Westein
Hemispheie fiom one nation to anothei—foi example, of the Dutch
West lndies to Geimany. Te Geiman diplomatic iesponse denied
any wish to occupy such teiiitoiies, but obseived in passing that
the Monioe Doctiine could claim validity only undei the condition
that the United States iefiain fiom inteifeience in Euiopean affaiis.
Doenecke states that “seveial anti-inteiventionists adopted loieign
Ministei Joachim von Ribbentiop’s logic of two sepaiate spheies”
(p. 1z1). What the anti-inteiventionists adopted, howevei, was not
Ribbentiop’s logic, but the cleai meaning of the Monioe Doctiine
itself as expiessed when it was fiist announced.
lf Sìor» on ì|e Hor::on has any fault, it would mainly concein
Doenecke’s technique of pioceeding fiom one event to the next,
canvassing a few anti-inteiventionist voices involved in each in its
tuin. Tough he insists on the impoitance of the undeilying ideolo-
gies of the non-inteiventionists, some may find that his pioceduie
militates against the piesentation of a coheient account. Moieovei,
it is aiguable that he might have paid moie sustained auention to
the views of Senatoi Taf, John T. llynn, lelix Moiley, lathei James
Gillis (editoi of Te Coì|o|:c Vor|J), and the inteinational law ex-
peits Edwin M. Boichaid and John Basseu Mooie, and less to those
of Hugh Johnson, Lawience Dennis, William Randolph Heaist, and
Soc:o| }vsì:ce.
Nonetheless, Sìor» on ì|e Hor::on is a woik of outstanding
scholaiship. Students of the gieatest anti-wai movement in Ameii-
can histoiy, ievisionists and non-ievisionists alike, aie peimanently
in Justus Doenecke’s debt.
ON THE BRlNK Ol WORLD WAR ll zz¯
Biniiocv~vuv
Beig, A. Scou. 1vvc. L:nJ|erg|. New Yoik· G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1vvc.
Haynes, John E. 1vve. ReJ Score or ReJ Menoce A»er:con Co»»vn:s»
onJ Anì:co»»vn:s» :n ì|e Co|J Vor Fro. Chicago· lvan R. Dee, 1vvc.
Kauffman, Bill. 1vv¯. A»er:co F:rsì! Iìs H:sìor,, Cv|ìvre, onJ Po|:ì:cs.
Amheist, N.Y.· Piometheus, 1vv¯.
Mahl, Tomas E. 1vvc. Des¡eroìe Dece¡ì:on Br:ì:s| Co+erì O¡eroì:ons :n
ì|e Un:ìeJ Sìoìes, 1^I^–oo. Washington, D.C.· Biassey’s, 1vvc.
Ribuffo, Leo P. 1vc!. Te O|J C|r:sì:on R:g|ì Te Proìesìonì For R:g|ì [ro»
ì|e Greoì De¡ress:on ìo ì|e Co|J Vor. Philadelphia· Temple Univeisity
Piess, 1vcc.
Richman, Sheldon. 1vve. “New Deal Nemesis· Te ‘Old Right’ Jeffeisoni-
ans.” Te InJe¡enJenì Re+:e+ 1 (lall), pp. zc1–.c.
Wheelei-Benneu, John W. 1v¯c. K:ng George VI H:s L:[e onJ Re:gn. New
Yoik· St. Maitin’s, 1v¯c.
White, Giaham J. 1v¯v. FDR onJ ì|e Press. Chicago· Univeisity of Chicago
Piess, 1v¯v.
Cu~v1iv 1z
Te Gieat Wai Retold
Tese aie boom times foi histoiies of Woild Wai l, which, like its
sequel, though to a lessei degiee, seems to be the wai that nevei
ends. Woiks keep appeaiing on issues once consideied seuled, such
as the “Belgian atiocities” and the ieputation of commandeis such
as Douglas Haig. Cambiidge Univeisity Piess iecently published a
collection of moie than ¯cc pages on one of the most exhaustively
examined subjects in the whole histoiy of histoiical wiiting, the oii-
gins of Woild Wai l. ln the past fewyeais, at least six geneial woiks,
by both academic and populai histoiians, have appeaied in English.
Te Vesìern Fronì Bou|e GrovnJ onJ Ho»e Fronì :n ì|e F:rsì Vor|J
Vor (New Yoik· Palgiave, Macmillan, zcc!) by T. Hunt Tooley, who
teaches at Austin College in Texas, falls into the academic categoiy,
and foi such a shoit volume (!c¯ pages) it offeis a veiy gieat deal
indeed.
Tooley tiaces the ioots of the woild-histoiical catastiophe of
1v1.–1c to the lianco-Piussian Wai, which, though it achieved
Geiman unification in 1c¯1, undeistandably fosteied an enduiing
Tis discussion, heie slightly modified, of T. Hunt Tooley’s Te Vesìern Fronì was
fiist published in Te InJe¡enJenì Re+:e+, Wintei, zcc¯.
zzv
z!c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
iesentment in liance, “a countiy that was accustomed to humili-
ating otheis duiing .cc yeais of waimaking and aggiession” (p. ¯).
Te Geiman Chancelloi Bismaick sought to ensuie the Second Re-
ich’s secuiity thiough defensive tieaties with the iemaining conti-
nental poweis (the ones with Austiia-Hungaiy and ltaly constituted
the Tiiple Alliance). Undei the new (and last) Kaisei, Wilhelm ll,
howevei, the tieaty with Russia was peimiued to lapse, fieeing
Russia to ally with liance. Te Biitish peiceived the oveiambitious
Wilhelm’s extensive naval piogiam as a moital thieat, staiting in
1vc., they developed an Fnìenìe corJ:o|e (coidial undeistanding)
with liance, which was enlaiged in 1vc¯ to include Russia. Now
the Geimans had good ieason to feai a massive F:n|re:svng (encii-
clement).
A seiies of diplomatic ciises incieased tensions, aggiavated by
the two Balkan wais of 1v1z–1!, fiomwhich a stiong Seibia emeiged,
evidently aiming at the disintegiation of the Habsbuig monaichy.
With Russia acting as Seibia’s mentoi and giowing in powei eveiy
yeai, militaiy men in Vienna and Beilin ieflected that if the gieat
conflict was destined to come, then beuei soonei than latei.
Tooley lays out this backgiound cleaily and faultlessly, but he
points out that the peiiod pieceding the wai was by no means one of
unalloyed hostility among the Euiopean nations. Coopeiation was
also appaient, foimally, thiough the Hague agieements of 1cvv and
1vc¯, encouiaging aibitiation of disputes and the amelioiation of
waifaie, and, moie impoitantly, thiough the vast infoimal netwoik
of inteinational commeice, undeigiided by what Tooley calls the
“unique advantage” of the inteinational gold standaid (p. c). lt was
a time of iemaikable piospeiity and iising living standaids, which,
one may add, piovoked the ievisionist ciisis in Maixist thought. Off-
seuing these gains weie the steady giowth of state appaiatuses and
the iise of piotectionism and neomeicantilism, pioviding a pietext
foi colonial expansion. ln tuin, the quest foi colonies and spheies
of influence fueled the spiiit of militant iivaliy among the poweis.
Tooley deals defly with the intellectual and cultuial cuiients of
piewai Euiope. Contiibuting to the pioneness to violence weie a
bastaidized Nietzschianism and the anaichosyndicalism of Geoiges
Soiel, but most of all Social Daiwinism—ieally, just Daiwinism—
which taught the eteinal conflict among the iaces and tiibes of the
human as of othei species. Te piess and populai fiction, especially
THE GREAT WAR RETOLD z!1
“boys’ fiction,” gloiified the deiiing-do of wai, while avoiding any
giaphic, off-puuing desciiptions of what combat actually inflicts on
men, much as the U.S. media do today.
Aichduke lianz leidinand’s assassination in Saiajevo by a Bos-
nian Seib set “the stone iolling down the hill,” as the Geiman Chan-
celloi Bethman Hollweg bleakly put it. Mobilizations and ultima-
tums quickly followed, and in a few days the giant consciipt aimies
of the continental poweis weie in motion.
ln demociatic Gieat Biitain, a commitment to liance had been
hidden fiom the public, fiom Pailiament, and even fiom almost all
of the Cabinet. Te Geiman declaiation of wai on Russia and liance
placed the Asquith goveinment in a giave quandaiy, but, as Tooley
wiites, “the fiist Geiman footfall in Belgium salvaged the situation”
(p. !v). Now loieign Secietaiy Edwaid Giey could deceitfully claim
that England was joining its Entente paitneis simply to defend Bel-
gian neutiality.
Te wai was gieeted as a cleansing, puiifying moment, at least
by most of the uiban masses, whose enthusiasm easily outweighed
the iuial population’s iesigned passivity. As Tooley states, untold
millions weie infused with a sense of “community”, they had finally
found a puipose in theii lives, “even peihaps a kind of salvation”
(p. .!). Tus, back in 1v1. the same dismal motivation was at woik
that Chiis Hedges documents foi moie iecent conflicts in his Vor Is
o Force Toì G:+es Us Meon:ng (New Yoik· Public Affaiis, zccz).
Especially ecstatic weie the intellectuals, who viewed the wai
as a tiiumph of “idealism” ovei the selfish individualism and ciass
mateiialism of “the tiading and shopkeeping spiiit” (p. .!), i.e., fiee
maiket capitalism. Te poet Rupeit Biooke (who was to die a yeai
latei) spoke foi many of them on both sides when he wiote· “Now,
God be thanked Who has matched us with His houi, / And caught
oui youth, and wakened us fiom sleeping. . . .” Socialist paities, ex-
cept in Russia and latei ltaly, added theii eagei suppoit to the blood-
leuing, as did even ienowned anaichists like Benjamin Tuckei and
Petei Kiopotkin.
Te Geiman stiategy in the event of wai on two fionts, the
famous Schlieffen plan, foolishly assumed the infallibility of its
execution and ignoied the factois that doomed it· active Belgian
iesistance, the iapid Russian mobilization, and the landing of the
Biitish Expeditionaiy loice (those meicenaiies who, as anothei
z!z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
poet, A. E. Housman, wiote, “saved the sum of things foi pay”).
Tooley highlights the sometimes ciitical iole of individual chaiac-
tei heie and at othei points. Te vacillating Geiman commandei
Helmut von Moltke botched the invasion, suffeied a neivous bieak-
down, and was demoted.
Tough many baules have been billed as tuining points in his-
toiy, the fiist baule of the Maine actually was. Te Geiman Aimy
ciacked its head against the wall of “liench decadence,” some twenty-
five miles noith of Paiis. Te Geimans pulled back, and the ensuing
consolidation of the baule lines foimed the Westein fiont, which
would not move moie than a few dozen miles in eithei diiection foi
the next thiee and a half yeais.
Te authoi explains howadvanced militaiy technology—machine
guns, gienades, poison gas, flamethioweis, and, above all, impioved
heavy aitilleiy—soon began to take a toll no one could have imag-
ined. Te inteiplay of militaiy haidwaie and evolving tactics is set
foith plainly and intelligibly, even foi those who, like me, had liule
oi no pievious knowledge of how aimies opeiate in baule.
ln 1v1e, “the butchei’s bill,” as Robeit Giaves called it, came due
at Veidun and at the Somme. lll-educated neoconseivatives who
in zccz–zcc! deiided liance as a nation of cowaids seem nevei
to have heaid of Veidun, wheie a half-million liench casualties
weie the piice of keeping the Geimans at bay. On the fiist day of
the baule of the Somme, the biainchild of lield Maishal Haig, the
Biitish lost moie men than on any othei single day in the histoiy
of the Empiie, moie than in acquiiing lndia and Canada combined.
Tooley’s desciiption of both muideious, months-long baules, as of
all the majoi fighting on the fiont, is masteily.
Te authoi states that his main theme is “the ielationship be-
tween the baule fiont and the home fionts” (p. 1), and the inteiplay
between the two is sustained thioughout the book.
Te dichotomy of a militaiized Geimany and a libeial West,
Tooley shows, is seiiously oveidiawn. To be suie, the Geimans
pioneeied and piacticed “wai socialism” most methodically (today
in the ledeial Republic, the man in chaige, Waltei Rathenau, is,
piedictably, honoied as a gieat libeial). ln Biitain, liance, and
latei the United States, pioponents of centialization and planning
cheeifully exploited the occasion to extend state activisminto eveiy
coinei of the economy.
THE GREAT WAR RETOLD z!!
Te quickly escalating costs of the wai led to unpiecedented
taxation and a vast iedistiibution of wealth, basically fiom the mid-
dle classes to the iecipients of goveinment funds· contiactois and
woikeis in wai industiies, subsidized industiialists and faimeis, and,
most of all, financieis. Te deluded patiiots who puichased govein-
ment wai bonds weie ciippled by inflation, now“intioduced [to] the
twentieth centuiy . . . as a way of life” (p. 11!). Tooley cites Muiiay
Rothbaid on one of the hidden detiiments of the wai· it initiated the
inflationaiy business cycle that led to the Gieat Depiession.
lieedom of expiession was beaten down eveiywheie. Many
ieadeis will be familiai with the outlines of the stoiy as iegaids the
United States, but Tooley fills in ievealing details of the national
ignominy· foi example, the U.S. Auoiney-Geneial’s impiisonment
of Ameiicans foi even discussing whethei consciiption was uncon-
stitutional oi foi iecalling that Wilson had won the 1v1e election
on the slogan “He kept us out of wai,” as well as the action of
gioups of Boy Scouts stealing and destioying bundles of Geiman-
Ameiican newspapeis that the aleit lads intuited weie fomenting
tieason and insuiiection. ln some countiies, the suppiession was
woise. Austialia, we leain, piohibited the teaching and use of the
Geiman language, incaiceiated .,¯cc citizens of Geiman descent,
and expiopiiated and depoited those bioadly defined as “enemy
aliens.” Te aggiandizement of state powei in the combatant coun-
tiies ieached, Tooley notes, a kind of reJvcì:o oJ o|svrJv» in what
was piobably the wai’s woist iesult· the establishment of a teiioiist
totalitaiian iegime by the Bolsheviks in Russia.
U.S. entiy had been viitually deteimined in the wake of the
sinking of the Lvs:ìon:o, when the teiminally anglophiliac Wilson
administiation declaied that the Geimans would be held “stiictly
accountable” foi the loss of any Ameiicans’ lives thiough U-boat
action, even when those Ameiicans weie tiaveling on aimed Biitish
meichant ships caiiying munitions of wai. Wilson’s “neutiality”
was, in Tooley’s teim, seiiously “lopsided” (p. c1) because the admin-
istiation declined to challenge the Biitish ovei theii hungei block-
ade—“iuthless . . . inexoiable” (pp. c1–cz), as well as illegal by the
standaids of inteinational law—which was aimed at staiving the
whole Geiman civilian population into submission.
Biitish piopaganda was, as always, topnotch. lts high point
was the mendacious Biyce iepoit on the “Belgian atiocities.” Of
z!. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
couise, the Geimans had behaved haishly in Belgium (as the Rus-
sians had in the East), but it was the iepoit’s “bizaiie and clinical
sadism” (p. 1zc) that set Ameiican blood boiling, at least the blue
blood of the East Coast Anglo elite. Afei the despeiate Geimans
announced uniestiicted submaiine waifaie, Wilson asked Congiess
foi a declaiation of wai, not just to call Geimany to account foi
supposed violations of U.S. iights, but to “make the woild safe foi
demociacy.” Waimongeiing cleigymen—supposedly humble fol-
loweis of the Piince of Peace—manipulated public opinion on be-
half of Wilson’s open-ended ciusade. Tis sellout is detailed in
anothei iecent woik, Richaid Gamble’s excellent study Te Vor [or
R:g|ìeovsness Progress:+e C|r:sì:on:ì,, ì|e Greoì Vor, onJ ì|e R:se
o[ ì|e Mess:on:c Noì:on, discussed in this volume.
Te Bolshevik cov¡ J’eìoì of Novembei 1v1¯ led to an aimistice
in the East, and the Geimans launched theii final, all-out push on
the Westein fiont. Te Ludendoiff offensive made some initial
bieakthioughs but peteied out foi lack of mateiiel and ieseives, as
Eiich Maiia Remaique desciibes in the last pages of A|| Q:eì on ì|e
Vesìern Fronì. By the summei of 1v1c, the Ameiican expeditionaiy
foice undei Geneial John G. Peishing amounted to two million men,
many of them keen to make the whole woild safe foi demociacy.
Teii Meuse-Aigonne offensive, which began in Septembei, helped
convince the Geimans that the time had come foi an aimistice. At
the eleventh houi of the eleventh day of Novembei, the guns fell
silent on the Westein liont.
At the Paiis Confeience of 1v1v, face to face with the seasoned
and ciafy politicians of the othei victoiious poweis, Wilson, in
Tooley’s apt phiase, iesembled “the paison showing up at a high-
stakes pokei game” (p. z¯z). lt was a game at which the Piinceton
piofessoi was pathetically inept. leaiing a Bolshevik ievolution
that might engulf Cential Euiope, “the Allies imposed as punitive a
tieaty as they daied upon the Geimans” (p. z¯z). A centuiy eailiei,
afei the Napoleonic wais, the aiistociats at the Congiess of Vienna
fashioned a viable s,sìe» that avoided geneial wai foi anothei hun-
died yeais. At Paiis in 1v1v, the diplomats, now answeiable to theii
demociatic constituencies, set the stage foi a viitually inevitable
futuie conflict. Tooley veiy coiiectly places the woid ¡eoce, as in
the Veisailles “Peace” Tieaty, in iionic quotes.
THE GREAT WAR RETOLD z!¯
On the oveiall consequences of the wai, the authoi utilizes
Robeit Higgs’s conceptual fiamewoik in his seminal Cr:s:s onJ
Le+:oì|on Cr:ì:co| F¡:soJes :n ì|e Gro+ì| o[ A»er:con Go+ern»enì.
ln U.S. histoiy, ciises, most ofen wais, have iesulted in a gieat
expansion of state powei. Once the ciisis is ovei, the state and
its budgets, deficits, functionaiies, and iegulations aie cut back to
moie noimal levels, but nevei to what they weie befoie, and they go
on fiom theie. ldeology, the undeilying political mentality of the
people, is also peimanently skewed in a state-ieceptive diiection.
As Tooley sums up, “lf the twentieth centuiy became the centuiy
of manageiial contiol, of the piioiitizing of gioup goals and gioup
efficiency ovei the autonomies of individuals, families, and iegions,
then we will find in Woild Wai l the acceleiatoi of piocesses which
weie emeiging befoie then” (p. ze¯).
l have touched on only some of the main featuies of Tooley’s
book. Amazingly foi such a concise woik, it contains a gieat deal
moie. Te only fault l can find is its somewhat misleading title.
Te Vesìern Fronì is by no means meiely an account of the wai in
the West. ln my opinion, it is the best intioduction we have to the
histoiy of the Gieat Wai altogethei.
lndex
A
ABC o[ Co»»vn:s», Te, 1.¯
Abel, Teodoie, zc.
Acheson, Dean, 11¯, z1¯
Adenauei, Koniad, 1¯v
A|:enoì:on onJ ì|e So+:eì Fcono»,, 1ev
A|| Q:eì on ì|e Vesìern Fronì, z!.
Ambiose, Stephen, 1z!
Ameiica liist Commiuee, z1c, z11, zzc
A»er:co F:rsì!, zzc
A»er:co’s SeconJ CrvsoJe, 1e!
anaicho-capitalism, ix
Andeison, Sheiwood, zz1
Ang|oA»er:con So::o|¡o|:ì:|, ¯¯
Anscombe, G. E. M., 1!c
Apis, 1c
Ainold, Heniy, 1!!
Aitamonov, Colonel, 1c
As Ve Go Mord:ng, z1z
Asquith, Piime Ministei, 1¯, e.
Auden, W. H., zzc
Aulee, Clement, vc
B
BoJ Door ìo Vor, 1e!
Baden-Powell, Robeit, zcz
Bailey, Tomas A., ¯¯, z1.
Baldwin, Hanson, c1
Bo|ì:»ore Svn, zz¯
Baines, lied, 1c¯
Baines, Haiiy Elmei, zz¯
Baiuch, Beinaid, !¯, 1z¯
Bases-foi-Destioyeis deal, ¯!
Bataan death maich, 1!!
Bauei, Petei, 1zc, 1c!
Beaid, Chailes, 1z1, 1cc, z1., zz1, zz
Beesly, Patiick, e¯
Ben-Moshe, Tuvia, c1
Beneš, Eduaid, .c, v¯
Bentham, Jeiemy, z1¯
Beilin, lsaiah, cz
Beveiidge, William, ¯e, e., vv
Bismaick, Ouo von, ¯, e1
Black Hand, 1c
Black, Hugo, 1ze
Boothby, Robeit, v¯
Boichaid, Edwin M., zc, zz., zze
Biight, John, viii
Biooke, Rupeit, z!1
Biown, John, viii
Biüning, Heiniich, ¯1
Biyan, William Jennings, zz, z¯, 1vv
Biyce Repoit, ze
Buchanan, Pat, 1¯¯
Buck, Peail, zzc
Buckley, William l., Ji., ¯., zc¯, z1c
z!¯
z!c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Bukhaiin, Nikolai, 1.¯, 1¯c, 1¯1
Bulliu, William C., 1cv
Buileson, Albeit, !v
Bush, Geoige, 1!e
butchei’s bill, z!z
Butlei, Nicholas Muiiay, !v
Butlei, R. A., 1cc
Byines, James l., 1!v
C
Cainegie, Andiew, 1c1
Castle, liene, z1c
Coì|o|:c Vor|J, Te, 1.1, zze
Chambeilin, Stephen J., 111
Chambeilin, William Heniy, 1e!, zz¯
Chaimley, John, ¯!, v¯
Chiang Kai-shek, zz¯
C|:cogo Tr:|vne, 11¯, zz1, zzz
Chodoiov, liank, ix, zc¯, z1c
Chuichill, Winston
Ang|oA»er:con So::o|¡o|:ì:|, ¯¯
Biitish Empiie, ¯¯
caipet bombing, vc
ciadle to the giave, vv
ciimes and atiocities of the victois,
v!
lascismo’s tiiumphant stiuggle, ¯e
foiced iepatiiation, v!
foundei of the welfaie state, ¯!
fundamental and fatal mistake, cc
Geiman thieat, ¯c, ce
Giand Alliance, ¯c, 1c¯
hungei blockade, ee
lion Cuitain speech, vc
lost ieligious faith, ¯v
love of wai, ¯c
modein mythology of, ev
natuie of man, ez
oppoitunist, ¯¯
oiganisation of human society, ez
peifect hustling political
entiepieneui, e!
plagiaiized Clemenceau, ¯¯
Piincip, Gaviilo, 11
piovocation, the back dooi to wai,
¯c
iabid foi wai, 1e
iacism, ¯v
ihetoiical skill, ¯¯
Roosevelt, seciet communications
with, ¯!
So+ro|o, ¯v
sinking of the Lusitania, ee, e¯
slave laboi iepaiations, v¯
sof undeibelly stiategy, c!
Solzhenitsyn, Alexandei, v.
staive the population, z.
Tito, Chuichill’s piotégé, v.
Twain, Maik, ec
two piinciples, ¯e
unconditional suppoit to Stalin, ¯¯
wai coiiespondent, ec
welfaie-waifaie state, ¯!
Zionist, ¯c
Claik, Champ, .c
Claik, Tom, 1z!, 1ze
Clausewitz, Cail von, cc
Clay, Lucius, 111
Clemenceau, Geoiges, .e
Cliffoid, Claik, 1zv
Clinton, Bill, 1!z
Cobden, Richaid, vii, viii, 1¯, 1¯c, 1c.
Cohn-Bendit, Daniel and Gabiiel, 1¯z
Co|:n Po+e|| onJ ì|e Po+er F|:ìe, 1¯¯
Commiuee on Public lnfoimation, !v
Co»»vn:sì Mon:[esìo, Te, 1¯z
Conqvesì o[ ì|e Un:ìeJ Sìoìes |, S¡o:n,
Te, ix, 1c1
Constant, Benjamin, 1¯1
Coughlin, Chailes, zzc
Council on loieign Relations, z1¯
Covnìr, Sqv:re :n ì|e V|:ìe Hovse, z1c
Cowen, Tylei, 1cz
Ciaig, Goidon, ¯1
Ciaigie, Robeit, ¯c
Cieel, Geoige, !v
Cr:s:s onJ Le+:oì|on, !., z!¯
lNDEX z!v
Cr:ì:con, 1ec
Crv: Ansoìo, 1ve
Cummings, E. E., z1c, zz1
Czechoslovakia, cieation of, .¯
D
Daily News, zz1, zz!
Davies, Noiman, cc
Debs, Eugene V., !c, !v, .1, .z
Dec|oroì:on o[ LonJon, z!
Dec|oroì:on o[ Por:s, z.
Dennis, Lawience, zze
development aid, haimful effects, 1zc
Devlin, Patiick, 1vc
Dewey, John, !., z11
Dewey, Tomas E., 11v
D:e Ze:ì, 1e1
Dimitiievic, Colonel Diagutin, 1c
Doenecke, Justus D., 11., z1v–zze
Donovan, William, ¯e
Douglas, William O., 1ze
Dieisei, Teodoie, zz1
Dulles, John lostei, z1¯
Duiant, William, !1
E
Eden, Anthony, ¯c, cc
F:g|ìeenì| Brv»o:re o[ Lov:s
Bono¡orìe, Te, 1e¯
Eisenhowei, Dwight D., c¯, 1cc, 11z,
1!c–1!1, 1!¯, z1¯,
F»¡:re, 1vc
Engels
Bolshevik leadeis, avid students of,
1..
bouigeois fieedom and
juiispiudence, 1¯c
equal laboi liability, 1¯z
foieign policy of the lnteinational,
1¯!
seizuie of the means of pioduction,
1.¯
Eidmann, Kail Dietiich, 1¯
Eshkol, Levi, 1¯v
Espionage Act of 1v1¯, !c
Fì|n:c A»er:co, 1¯c
Euiopean Recoveiy Act, 111
F
lalaba, z¯
launce, William, 1ve
lay, Sidney, !, 1z, e¯
ledeial Tiade Commission, !e
leidinand, lianz, ., 1c, 11
leiguson, Niall, 1cv
liimage, Edwin B., 1zc
F:rsì Vor|J Vor, Te, 1c¯
lischei school, and Hitlei’s Geimany,
.
lischei, liitz, !–., 1.–1¯, zc.
lischei, Sii John, 1e
lishei, Waiien, ce
lleming, Tomas, 1c¯, 1v1
llynn, John T., zcc, zz¯, zze
loid, Geiald, z11
foieign aid, haimful effects, 1zc
Fore:gn Po|:c, [or A»er:co, A, 1cc
Fore+er F|o+:ng, 1¯z
loiiestal, James, 1c¯, 1!v
Forìvne, zz1
Fron|[vrìer A||ge»e:ne, 1ec
liankfuitei, lelix, 1ze
liedeiick ll, King of Piussia, vii
lieud, Sigmund, 1cv
lullei, J. l. C., ¯¯, 1.1, 1ce
G
Gaddis, John Lewis, 11z
Gamble, Richaid, 1vz, z!.
Gaiiity, Devin, z1!
Gaulle, Chailes de, 1ce
Geoige Vl (king), ¯!, zz!
Ger»on Aìroc:ì:es, 1v1
Gillis, James, 1.1, zze
Gingiich, Newt, ¯.
Gish, Lillian, z1c, z11
Gladstone, William, Piime Ministei,
viii
glasnost, 1.¯, 1¯!
GoJ’s Go|J, zcv
z.c GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Godkin, E. L., ix
Goebbels, Josef, zz
Goe|en, e¯
Goldhagen Debate, 1ez
Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah, 1ec, 1cv
Goldwatei, Baiiy, 1zc
Gompeis, Samuel, !¯
Goibachev, Mikhail, 1.¯, 1.v, 1¯c, 1¯!,
1¯¯, 1c!
Goidon, Saiah, 1e1
Gro| [or Vor|J Po+er, !
Giand Alliance, ¯c, 1c¯
Giaves, Robeit, z!z
Gieenleaf, W. H., vv
Giegoiy, Tomas W., !c
Giew, Joseph, ¯c, 1!v
Giey, loieign Secietaiy Edwaid, 1¯, zz,
z!1
Giiff nach dei Weltmacht, !
Giossman, Vladimii, 1¯z
Gioves, Leslie, 1!!
Gv|og Ard:¡e|ogo, Te, v.
H
Habeimas, Jüigen, 1ez
Habsbuig, e, c, 11, .¯, z!c
Hague Tiibunal, z¯
Haig, Douglas, zzv
Haiding, Waiien, .z
Haiiiman, Aveiell, 111, 11¯
Haiiis, Aithui, vc
Hait, Basil Liddell, 1ce
Haitwig, Nicholas, ¯, v
Hayek, August von, ¯e
Heaist, William Randolph, zze
Hedges, Chiis, z!1
Hellei, Mikhail, 1ez
Hero|J Tr:|vne, 11¯
Heydiich, Reinhaid, ve
Higgs, Robeit, !., 1c!, z1!, z1., z!.
H:g| Così o[ Vengeonce, Te, 1e!
Hiioshima and Nagasaki, 1!.
histoiical ievisionism, vii, x
Hitchens, Chiistophei, ¯.
Hitlei, Adolf
zc million Geimans too many, 1cv
anti-Hitlei coalition, zz!
anti-Nazi Geimans, cz, ce
auack the United States, zz!
Chuichill as adveisaiy, ¯¯, ¯¯, ¯v, ev,
¯!
conqueied the woild, 1.c
Haiiiman’s Hitlei caid, 11z
H:ì|er, Ger»ons, onJ ì|e }e+:s|
Qesì:on, 1e1
H:ì|er’s V:||:ng F:ecvì:oners, 1ec
lckes, Haiold, zz¯
inveigaling US to entei the wai, ¯c
message fiom Roosevelt to
Chuichill, ¯¯
might makes iight, 1e!
moial postulate, cc
mouthpieces, zze
off-limits ciitical theses, ¯.
peace oveituies, ¯!
pievention of, 1
Red Hitlei, 1c¯
Roosevelt, falsehoods, zz!
spectei of Piussianism, c¯
V|, H:ì|er Co»e :nìo Po+er, zc.
zoological waifaie, 1cv
H:ì|er, Ger»ons, onJ ì|e }e+:s|
Qesì:on, 1e1
H:ì|er’s V:||:ng F:ecvì:oners, 1ec
Hohenzolleins, Piussian, 1
Hollweg, Chancelloi Bethmann, 11, 1¯,
1e, z!c
Holmes, Ji., Olivei Wendell, !v
Ho»o so+:eì:cvs, 1.c
Hoovei, Heibeit, !e, 1!v, zc!, z1v, zz.
Hopkins, Haiiy, z1, ¯¯
Hoine, John, 1v1
House, Colonel Edwaid Mandell, c, zc,
z., !c–!1, .!
Housman, A. E., z!z
Howaid, Michael, 1c¯
Howe, living, 1e¯–1¯e
Howe, Julia Waid, 1v!
lNDEX z.1
Hv»on F+enìs, 1.1
I
lckes, Haiold, z11, zzz, zz¯
I||vs:on o[ V:cìor,, Te, 1c¯, 1cv
Inco»e To: A»enJ»enì o[ 1^1I, !e
lndustiial Woikeis of the Woild, !¯
Infin:ì,, zz1
lnteicollegiate Society of
lndividualists, x
lnteicollegiate Studies lnstitute, x
lnteinational Couit of Justice, z¯
lSl, x
Iso|oì:on:s» ReconfigvreJ, 1c1
lvins, Molly, 1¯¯
J
J. P. Moigan, House of, z¯
Jackson, Robeit H., 1!1
Jacobson, Eddie, 1zv
Jaffa, Haiiy, ¯z, ¯v
James, Robeit Rhodes, ec
jobbeis’ wai, viii
Johnson, Hugh, zze
Johnson, Linda A., zzc
Johnson, Lyndon, 1cz
Joll, James, 1!
Josef, lianz, (empeioi king), ¯, 1c
K
Kai-shek, Chiang, zz¯
Kaip, Waltei, 1v, .z, 1cv
Kauffman, Bill, zcc, zzc
Kennan, Geoige, 1cc
Kennedy, John l., z11
Kennedy, Joseph, ¯.
Kent, Tylei, ¯z
Khiushchev, Nikita, 1¯¯
Kimball, Waiien l., zzz
Kiik, Russell, zc¯
Kitchin, Claude, !!
Klugman, James, c.
Knightley, Philip, zz
Koida, Alexandei, ¯e
Kiamei, Alan, 1v1
Kr:sìo||nodì, 1e1
Kiopotkin, Petei, z!1
Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Eiik von, v!
L
La lolleue, Robeit, !1, !z, 1cc
Lafoie, Lauience, e
Lage, William Pootei, zc
Lamb, Richaid, ¯c
Landiy, Robeit B., 11z
Langdon, John W., 1¯
Lansing, Robeit, zv, 1vz
Lauimoie, Owen, 1¯¯, z1e
Lawience, David, 1.z
League of Nations, .1, .!, 1cv
Leahy, William D., 1!¯
Ledeiei, Emil, 1vc
Lee, Aithui, 1e
LeMay, Cuitis, 1!z
Lend-Lease Agieement, ¯!
Lend-Lease Bill, zzz
Lenin
abolition of iights, 1¯c
confionts lmpeiial Russian Aimy, z
contingent ievolution, 1¯!
economic ignoiance, 1¯1
laboi camps, 1¯z
laboi diaf, 1.v
Maixism, as undeistood by, 1..
oppoitunities of wai, !.
policy follows powei, 1¯c
ievolutionaiy teiioi, 1¯c, 1¯!
skills to iun a national economy, 1.¯
Sìoìe onJ Re+o|vì:on, 1.¯
Le+er Acì, !¯
Lewis, C. S., 1.v
Lewis, Sinclaii, z1c, zz1
Liggio, Leonaid, x
Lindbeigh, Anne Moiiow, zzc
Lindbeigh, Chailes, z11, zzc
Lindemann, liedeiick, c¯, cc, vc
Link, Aithui S., 1v
Lippmann, Waltei, !.
L:ìeroìvre onJ Re+o|vì:on, 1.c
Lloyd Geoige, David, .e, ¯c, e1, zcz
z.z GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Lodge, Heniy Cabot, Ji., 1cv, 1cv
Loewenbeig, Petei, zc!
Longwoith, Alice Roosevelt, z1o
Luce, Heniy, 11¯, zz1
Lusitania, ze–z¯, zv, e¯, 1c1, z!!
M
MacAithui, Douglas, 11¯
MacDonough, Giles, ve
Machajski, Waclaw, 1.e, 1ec
Maclean, litzioy, c¯
Madison, James, 1zz, 1cc
Maiia Teiesa, Empiess, vii
Maishall, Geoige, 11c, 111
Maix, Maixism
Bolshevik view, 1..
bouigeois ideology, 1¯1
conceptual pathway to powei, 1.e
F:g|ìeenì| Brv»o:re o[ Lov:s
Bono¡orìe, Te, 1e¯
foieign policy, 1¯!
guilt, 1¯c
People’s State of Maix, 1ec
iight to coeice, 1¯z
Tiosky view, 1.c, 1¯.
view of maiket piocesses, 1.¯
Masaiyk, Tomas, .c
Masteis, Edgai Lee, zz1
Mauiei, Robeit, 1e.
McCaithy, Joseph, z1e, z1¯
McCaithyism, .c, 1¯., z1z, z1e, zze
McCoimick, Robeit R., 11¯, zz1
McCullough, David, 1z!, 1ze
McDougall, Waltei A.
Ameiica as Piomised Land, 1¯v
Anti-lmpeiialist League, 1c1
global meddling, 1cc–1c.
isolationism, 1¯c, 1¯v
Pro»:seJ LonJ, CrvsoJer Sìoìe, 1¯¯
U.S. foieign policy, 1¯¯
unilateialism, 1¯v
McNuu, Paul V., 1!.
Mencken, H.L., ix, zz1, zz¯
Meicadei, Ramon, 1ee
militaiy Keynesianism, 11e
Millei, Heniy, zz1
Mises, Ludwig von, 1, ¯v, vc, 1..
Molinaii, Gustave de, ix
Moltke, Helmut, 1., z!z
Monckton, Waltei, 1cc
Mond, Robeit, ¯c
Monioe Doctiine, !z, 1¯¯, 1cc, zze,
Monioe, James, 1cc
Mooie, John Basseu, z¯, zze
Mooie, Ji., Chailes W., 1cc
Moigenthau Plan, c¯, cc, 1e!
Moigenthau, Hans, 1zz
Moigenthau, Heniy, zzz
Moiley, lelix, 1.1, zze
Moiley, Loid John, 1¯
Muidoch, Rupeit, 1c¯
Mussolini, Benito, ¯e
M,ì| o[ o Gv:|ì, Noì:on, Te, ix
N
Nagasaki and Hiioshima, 1!.
Napoleon, 1e, 1ce
Noì:on, Te, 11¯, zz¯
National Defense Act, !.
Noì:ono| Geogro¡|:c, 1¯¯
National Secuiity Council, 11e
NATO, 11e, 1!1
Nekiich, Aleksandi M., 1ez
neocon, x
New Deal
asseitions of state soveieignty, .c
llynn, John Tomas, opposition, zcv
New Deal Biain Tiust, !¯
piopeity iights, z1.
Roose+e|ì M,ì|, Te, zcc
scions of, ¯.
successive New Deals, z1!
Ne+ Deo|ers’ Vor, Te, 1c¯
New Republic, Te, !., 11¯, 1cv, z1c,
z1c, zz¯
New Right, x, z1c
New Soviet Man, 1.c
New Woild Oidei, .e, ¯¯, cz, z1¯
Ne+ Yor| Hero|JTr:|vne, zz1
lNDEX z.!
Ne+ Yor| T:»es
best-sellei list, z1!
Chuichill ievelations, ¯¯
claim unlimited piesidential
authoiity, 1ze
Duianty, Waltei, 1¯.
echo goveinment’s slandeis, 11¯
echoed goveinment slandei, 11¯
mouthpiece of the poweis, !c
Roosevelt, lianklin, zcc
Rosenthal, Abe, 1ec
Tiuman and piesidential powei, 1ze
Ne+ Yor| T:»es Boo| Re+:e+, ¯.
Ne+ Yor| Vor|JTe|egro», zz¯
Nicholas ll, 1!
Niles, David K., 1zv
Nisbet, Robeit, zc¯, z1¯
Nixon, Richaid M., z1¯
Nock, Albeit Jay, ix, zc¯, z1c
Nolte, Einst, 1e1, 1e.
Nomad, Max, 1ec
Noidlingei, Eiic, 1c1
Noiiis, Kathleen, z1c, zz1
Noith Atlantic Tieaty Oiganization,
11e
Nuiembeig Tiials, v¯, 1!1
Nye, Geiald zz¯
O
On Co»¡ro»:se, 1¯
Opeiation Keelhaul, 1!z
O:[orJ H:sìor, o[ ì|e T+enì:eì|
Cenìvr,, 1ce
P
Page, Waltei Hines, zc
Paléologue, Mauiice, 1!
Palmei, A. Mitchell, .1
Pašic, Nicolas, v
Pateison, Cissy, 11¯
Pavlik, Giegoiy, z1¯
peacetime sedition act, .1
Pendeigast, Tom, 1!z
Peishing, John G., z!.
P|:|:¡ Drv AJ»:n:sìroìor, z1, !1
P:ì, o[ Vor, Te, 1cv
Plumei, Heibeit, zcz
Poincaié, Raymond, ¯
Polanyi, Michael, 1..
Po|:ì:co| Vr:ì:ngs, vii
Po|:ì:cs o[ Vor, Te, 1cv
Ponting, Clive, ec, ¯z
Poitei, Biuce, .c
Powell, Enoch, 1cc
Pieobiazhensky, Evgeny, 1.¯
Piincip, Gaviilo, 11
Pr:n: Fvgen, ¯c
Pro»:seJ LonJ, CrvsoJer Sìoìe, 1¯¯, 1c1,
1c!
Q
Qayle, Dan, ¯.
R
Raimondo, Justin, 1¯c
Rathenau, Waltei, z!z
ReoJer’s D:gesì, z1e
Regneiy, Heniy, 1e!
Reichstag elections and Hitlei, 1
Reign of Teiioi, 1.v, 1¯c
Remaique, Eiich Maiia, z!.
Resco, Micheline, 1cc
ievisionism, vii, ix, x, !c, 1e!
Rhee, Syngman, 11¯
Richaidson, Robeit C., 11.
Riezlei, Kuit, 11
RooJ A|eoJ, Te, z1e
RooJ ìo Ser[Jo», Te, ¯e
Robeits, Paul Ciaig, 1.., 1ev–1¯c
Rockwell, Lew, x
Roo» oh, e¯
Roosevelt, Eleanoi, 1zv, 1!c, zz¯
Roosevelt, Elliou, 1!.
Roosevelt, lianklin
accomplice foi Joseph Kennedy, ¯¯
accomplice to Chuichill, ¯¯
Albeit Jay Nock, on news of
Roosevelt’s death, zc¯
Ang|oA»er:con So::o|¡o|:ì:|, ¯¯
apotheosis of, zc¯, zcc
z.. GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Roosevelt, lianklin (conì.)
debunking of, z1!
despised foi lying, z1c
Haiiy Hopkins, z1
John T. llynn, foe of, zcc
on delaiations of wai, 1zc
Stalin as a fellow piogiessive, cz
veneiation of, 1c.
Wilsonian ievolution, !¯
Zionism, 1zc
Roose+e|ì M,ì|, Te, z1c, z1!
Rothbaid, Muiiay, x, !¯, ev, zc¯, z!!
Rougiei, Louis, 1cv
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1.v
Runciman, Waltei, e¯
S
Safiie, William, ¯., 1¯¯
Sakhaiov, Andiei, 1¯¯
Salisbuiy, Loid, Biitish Piime Ministei,
z!
So+ro|o, ¯v
Sawyei, Chailes, 1z¯
Sazonov
Eidmann, Kail Dietiich comment,

on abandoning Seibia, 1z
on ieading the Seibian ultimatum,
1z
oui latheis wained us of such men,

Poitales piesents declaiation of wai,
1.
the Euiopean Wai, 1.
wiiting to Haitwig, ¯, v, 1c
Schlieffen Plan, 1., 1e, 1vc, z!1
Schmidt, Helmut, 1e1
Schumpetei, Joseph, v1
Schuiz, Cail, 1c1
Screen:ng H:sìor,, ¯e
Sedition Act, !c, .1
Seige, Victoi, 1¯c
Shachtman, Max, 1ec
Sheiwood, Robeit, z11
Shiivei, Saigeant, z11
Smith, Adam, z1¯
Soc:o| }vsì:ce, zzc, zze
Solzhenitsyn, Alexandei, v., 1¯z, 1¯!
Soiel, Geoiges, z!c
Sowell, Tomas, 1¯c
Spaight, J. M., vc
Spencei, Heibeit, viii
S¡:r:ì o[ ’¯o, Te, !c
Spoonei, Lysandei, viii
Spiing-Rice, Cecil, zz, z.
Stalin apologists
Duianty, Waltei, 1¯.
Laski, Haiold, 1¯.
Lauimoie, Owen, 1¯¯, z1e
Saitie, Jean-Paul, 1¯.
Shaw, Geoige Beinaid, 1¯.
Webb, Sidney and Beatiice, 1¯.
Stalin, Josef
Chuichill view, ¯¯, c1, c¯
death tolls, compaiative, 1¯!
lianklin Roosevelt’s fatuousness, cz,
z1¯
fiee elections, 1c¯
Goibachev indictment, 1¯¯
Gieece, 1ce
intellectual affection foi, x
Lauimoie, Owen, z1e
legacy, 1e!
Maishall Plan, 11c
moiality, cc
peisonality cult, 1¯c
puipose of wai, cc
Red Teiioi, 1.v
iepatiiation, v.
Sakhaiov indictment, 1¯¯
Taf, 11¯
taigets of McCaithyism, zze
Tiosky, 1ee, 1¯!, 1¯., 1¯e
Tiuman view, 1c¯, 11!
Tuikey, 1ce
Sìoìe onJ Re+o|vì:on, 1.¯
Stengeis, Jean, 1cv
Stephenson, William, ¯e
Stein, liitz, .
Stimson, Heniy, ec, 1!v
lNDEX z.¯
Stone, Noiman, c
Sìor» on ì|e Hor::on, z1v, zz1, zz., zze
Stüimei, Michael, 1¯v
Sumnei, William Giaham, ix, 1c1
suiiendei, unconditional, c¯, 1c¯, 1!v,
1.c, 1.1
Sussex, zc
Szasz, Tomas, 1cc
Szilaid, Leo, 1.z
T
Taf, Robeit, v¯, 1cc, 1z., z1e, z1¯, zz¯
Taf, William Howaid 1v, 1v!
Tamas, Gaspai, v¯, 1¯c
Tansill, Chailes Callan, ec, 1e!
Tayloi, A. J. P., ev, 1c¯
Toì H:Jeovs Sìrengì|, 1c1
Tatchei, Maigaiet, e¯, 1c!
Te Noì:on, ix
Tomas, Noiman, z1c, zz¯
Tito, Josip Bioz, c.–c¯, v.–v¯
Tocqueville, Alexis de, 1.!
Tieaty of Veisailles, z, ¯c
Tiiple Alliance, ¯, e, z!c
Tiiple Entente, e
Tiosky, Leon
beuei nevei boin, 1¯e
buieauciatic collectivism, 1ev
economic ignoiance, 1¯1
feai of capitalism iestoied, 1ev
foiced laboi, 1¯z
histoiical mateiialism, 1¯z, 1¯!
Howe’s ciiticism, 1ee, 1e¯
ice axe to the head, 1ee
industiial woikei-slave aimies, 1¯¯
intellectual, 1e¯
L:ìeroìvre onJ Re+o|vì:on, 1.c
lost to Stalin, 1ee
ieconstiuct society, 1.c
ievolution contingent on Lenin, 1¯!
iule of state functionaiies, 1ec
show tiials, 1ee
socialist iights, 1¯.
Toì H:Jeovs Sìrengì|, 1.v
wai communism, 1¯c
Tiuman, Haiiy S.
claim unlimited piesidential
authoiity, 11v, 1ze
Cold Wai containment, 1cc
exeicise of dictatoiial powei, 1z.
laii Deal, 1z¯
feelings towaid Stalin, 1c¯
fiom unpopulai to neai gieat, 1c!
Gieece and Tuikey, 1c¯
Hiioshima and Nagasaki, 1!.
inteinational Communism, as
palliative, 1c¯
Koiean wai, 11¯
Maishall Plan, 11c
militaiy Keynesianism, 11e
NATO, 11e, 1!1
non-existence of Soviet wai plans,
11!
Opeiation Keelhaul, 1!z
piice and wage contiols, 1z¯, 1z¯
Tiuman Doctiine, 1cc
unconditional, suiiendei, c¯, 1c¯,
1!v, 1.c, 1.1
Zionism, 1zc
Tooley, T. Hunt, 1ve, zzv–z!¯,
Tiuman, Maigaiet, 1!c
Tuckei, Benjamin, z!1
Tugwell, Rexfoid, !¯
Twain, Maik, ec
U
U.S. A:J ìo ì|e De+e|o¡:ng Vor|J, 1cz
U.S. Ne+s onJ Vor|J Re¡orì, 1.z
unconditional, suiiendei, c¯, 1c¯, 1!v,
1.c, 1.1
United Nations Paiticipation Act of
1v.¯, 1z1
Utley, lieda, 1e!
Uìo¡:o :n Po+er, 1ez
V
Vandenbeig, Aithui, 1c¯
Vansiuait, Robeit, ce
Vidal, Goie, ¯e, z11
Villaid, Oswald Gaiiison, zz¯
z.e GREAT WARS AND GREAT LEADERS
Vincent, C. Paul, 1v¯
Vinson, lied, 1ze
W
Waley-Cohn, Robeit, ¯c
Vo|| Sìreeì }ovrno|, z¯, ¯., zcc
Wallace, Heniy, 1cc
Wai linance Coipoiation, !¯
Vor [or R:g|ìeovsness, Te, 1vz, z!.
Wai lndustiies Boaid, !¯
Vor Is o Force Toì G:+es Us Meon:ng,
z!1
Waiien, Eail, 1zc
Vos|:ngìon T:»es–Hero|J, 11¯
Washington, Geoige, !z
Weavei, Richaid, 1.z
Webb, Beatiice, ez, e., 1¯.
Webb, Sidney, e.
Wedemeyei, Albeit C., c.
Vee||, SìonJorJ, 1c¯
Weizsäckei, Richaid von, 1ec
Welles, Sumnei, 1zv
Wells, H. G., 1v¯, 1ve, 1vc
Vesìern Fronì, Te, 1ve, zzv
V|oì Is ìo Be Done', 1..
Wheelei-Benneu, John, ¯!, zz!
Wheelei, Buiton K., zz¯
White, Edwaid D., zz
V|, H:ì|er Co»e :nìo Po+er, zc.
Wilhelm ll, Kaisei, ¯, 11, z!c
Will, Geoige, 1c!
Willkie, Wendell, zz1
Wilson, Woodiow
absuid Wilsonian piinciple, z¯
altei ego Edwaid Mandell House, zc,
z1
anti-John Qincy Adams, !z
bellicose inteiventionism, 1v
Fovr Pr:nc:¡|es speech, ..
Fovrìeen Po:nìs speech, .!
House, Colonel Edwaid, confidant, c
idealist oi powei-hungiy, 1c
keepei of the flame, Waltei Kaip, 1v
leadeiship of, z
peace without victoiy, ¯z
second peisonality, 1¯
Sìor+:ng o Peo¡|e :nìo Sv|»:ss:on, ..
Wilson’s wai, .c
Wilsonian Revolution in
goveinment, !!
Wolffsohn, Michael, 1e.
Woods, Tom, x
Woimuth, liancis D., 1zc
Wiight, liank Lloyd, zz1
Y
Yovngsìo+n S|eeì & Tv|e Co. +. So+,er,
1ze
Z
Zayas, Alfied de, 1ec
Zimmeimann, Alfied, !z
Zinoviev, Lilina, 1.c
Zionism, ¯c, 1zc, 1c¯
Zitelmann, Rainei, 1ec
About the Author
Ralph Raico is piofessoi of Euiopean histoiy at Buffalo State College and a spe-
cialist on the histoiy of libeity, the libeial tiadition in Euiope, and the ielation-
ship between wai and the iise of the state. He is the iecipient of the zccc Gaiy G.
SchlaibaumPiize foi Lifetime Achievement in the Cause of Libeity. Te authoi is
giateful to the lndependent lnstitute foi peimission to iepiint some of the essays
in this woik.

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