Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Chapter 22: Roosevelt the Failed High Priest

Chapter 22: Roosevelt the Failed High Priest

The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy:

How America’s Civil Religion Betrayed the National Interest


McDougall Book Jacket

The original draft of this book contained 172 pages of endnotes, which had to be shed in the name of economy. Thanks to the Internet, readers can access them here. Unfortunately, of course, the author had to substitute page and paragraph numbers for the original superscripts in the text, but in most cases it should be clear which sentences in a given paragraph match up with which sources.

Paragraphs appearing in their entirety on a single page are identified by the page number (e.g., p. 122). Paragraphs divided between two pages are identified by those pages (e.g., pp. 92-93). Paragraphs that share a page with another complete paragraph are identified by the page number and paragraph number (e.g., p. 103, ¶ 1).





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Chapter 22: Roosevelt the Failed High Priest:

224: Warren F. Kimball, The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1991), p. 13; Studs Terkel, “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War Two (New York: Pantheon, 1984); Thomas Fleming, The New Dealers’ War: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the War within World War II (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. 122-34 (Isaiah Berlin quote, p. 164); Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation (New York: Random House, 1998); Maury Klein, A Call to Arms: Mobilizing America for World War II (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2013), pp. 597-622. On “The American Soldier,” see Joseph W. Ryan, Samuel Stouffer and the GI Survey: Sociologists and Soldiers during the Second World War (Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 2013). Although his team was technically housed in the War Department, Stouffer bypassed Secretary Henry Stimson, who did not approve of the surveys, and reported instead to Marshall.

224-25: Samuel Stouffer, et al., The American Soldier, vol. 1: Adjustment during Army Life (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1949), pp. 430-85 (quote p. 485).

225-26: Samuel Stouffer, et al., The American Soldier, vol. 2: Combat and its Aftermath (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1949), pp. 86-153, 590-95 (“making a better,” p. 109; “that soldiers had no,” p. 595). Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (New York: Henry Holt, 2013), pp. 401-2, 527-30, 589-90 (“Still having trouble,” p. 590) and William I. Hitchcock, The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe (New York: Free Press, 2008), describe the ambivalence, distaste, and disgust, as one soldier’s candid burst encapsulated.  “Our bunch of GI’s was not fighting for mother, country, and apple pie.  Bullshit.  We wanted to live.  Our ties were to those unfortunates fighting next to us, sharing the same fate” (Hitchcock, pp. 5-6).  See also Thomas C. Childers, Soldier from the War Returning: The Greatest Generation’s Troubled Homecoming from World War II (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), a piercing account of the psychological burdens borne by veterans.

226-27: For example, Walter Duranty (“the greatest liar I ever knew” said Malcolm Muggeridge), The Kremlin and Its People (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941) and Joseph E. Davies, Mission to Moscow (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1941). Davies described Stalin as a “clean-living, modest, retiring, single-purposed man” whose Russia was “barely socialist.” See also William L. O’Neill, A Better World: The Great Schism: Stalinism and the American Intellectuals (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), pp. 75-97; Justin Hart, “‘In Terms of Peoples Rather Than Nations: World War II Propaganda and Conceptions of U.S. Foreign Policy,” In G. Kurt Piehler and Sidney Pash, eds., The United States and the Second World War: New Perspectives on Diplomacy, War, and the Home Front  (New York: Fordham University, 2010), pp. 68-98; Allan M. Winkler, The Politics of Propaganda: The Office of War Information, 1942-1945 (New Haven, Ct.: Yale University, 1978).  Henry A. Wallace, The Century of the Common Man (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1943), pp. 80-81, and Wendell Willkie, One World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1943), pp. 85-87 (“Our Ally, Russia”) and 196-206 (“One World”) were among FDR’s leading cheerleaders for the USSR.  See also Fleming, New Dealers War, pp. 286-304, and Robert Dallek, Franklin Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 (New York: Oxford University, 1995), pp. 533-52 (“one hell of a people,” p. 543).

227: Ralph B. Levering, American Opinion and the Russian Alliance 1939-1945 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1976), pp. 98-107 (“double-cross,” p. 107), 122-36; David S. Foglesong, The American Mission and the “Evil Empire”: The Crusade for a “Free Russia” since 1881 (New York: Cambridge University, 2007), pp. 83-106.

227-28: Lloyd C Gardner, A Covenant with Power: America and World Order from Wilson to Reagan (New York: Oxford University, 1984), p. 57; William H. McNeill, America, Britain, and Russia: Their Cooperation and Conflict (New York: Oxford University, 1953), first suggested that FDR imagined Stalin a big labor boss. Interestingly, there is reason to suspect that Truman initially imagined Stalin the boss of a political machine, like Kansas City’s Tom Pendergast writ large. See Deborah Welch Larson, Origins of Containment: A Psychological Explanation (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1985), pp. 177-78.

228-29: John Earl Haynes & Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University, 1999), esp. 8-22, 259-61, 331-37. Thanks to the release of the Venona files and KGB archives after the Cold War the once secret story of Soviet espionage was nearly complete by the time Vladimir Putin slammed the door on research. See Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America – The Stalin Era (New York: Random House, 1999); John Earl Hynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev, Spies: The Rise of Fall of the KGB in America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University, 2009); M. Stanton Evans, Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government (New York: Threshold Editions, 2012).

229: Willkie, One World. pp. 187-95, rued Americans’ treatment of Negroes. “Our very proclamations of what we are fighting for have rendered our own inequities self-evident…. If we want to talk about freedom, we must mean freedom for others as well as ourselves, and we must mean freedom for everyone inside our frontiers as well as outside.  During a war, this is especially important” (p. 191).  Unfortunately, the Army’s surveys revealed that 90 percent of southern white soldiers and 80 percent of northern white soldiers approved of the segregation of units by race, and 71 percent of whites said Negro veterans should emerge from the war with the same or fewer rights than they had before (Stouffer, et al., American Soldier, vol. 1: 486-599).

230: Walter Lippmann, United States Foreign Policy: Shield of the Republic (Boston: Little, Brown, 1943); Carl Becker, How New Will the Better World Be? A Discussion of Post-War Reconstruction (New York: Knopf, 1944); D.B. Robertson, ed., Love and Justice: Selections from the Shorter Writings of Reinhold Niebuhr (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1967 <1944>), p. 205.

230-31: John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life (New York: Penguin, 2011) on Kennan’s recommendation. Mary E. Glantz, FDR and the Soviet Union: The President’s Battles over Foreign Policy (Lawrence: University of Kansas, 2005), suggests the generational conflict; quote in Levering, American Opinion and the Russian Alliance, p. 206.

231: Walter LaFeber, “FDR’s Worldviews, 1941-1945,” in David B. Woolner, Warren F. Kimball, and David Reynolds, eds., FDR’s World: War, Peace, and Legacies (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 215-41 (quote, p. 225).

231-32: Fraser Harbutt, Yalta 1945: Europe and America at the Crossroads (New York: Cambridge University, 2010).

232-33: Roosevelt Address to Congress:

233-34: Heather A. Warren, Theologians of a New World Order: Reinhold Niebuhr and the Christian Realists 1920-1948 (New York: Oxford University, 1997), pp. 94-115. Truman speech on UNO:

234-35: Marc Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1999), pp. 22-28; Trachetenberg, “The United States and Eastern Europe in 1945: A Reassessment,” Journal of Cold War Studies 10, No. 4 (Fall 2008): 94-132. On the atomic denouement of the Pacific War see Wilson D. Miscamble, The Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs, and the Defeat of Japan (New York: Cambridge University, 2011), and From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima, and the Cold War (New York: Cambridge University, 2007).


Kennedy’s World: The Civil Church Triumphant

237-38: Michael Barone, “The Surprising Roots of Liberal Nostalgia,” Wall Street Journal (June 22, 2011):

238-39: McGeorge Bundy, “The Test of Yalta,” Foreign Affairs 27, no. 4 (July 1949): 618-29 (quote pp. 628-29). This conclusion, though accurate, was a bit disingenuous since the Eastern Establishment certainly took a hand in “scaring the hell out of the American people.” . Daniel Yergin, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977), pp. 339-40.

239-40: Truman Inaugural Address (Jan. 20, 1949):

240, ¶ 1: Kennedy Inaugural Address (Jan. 20, 1961):

240, ¶ 2: Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965), pp 2-3.

240-41: Lewis Mumford, The Myth of the Machine: The Pentagon of Power (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1970 <1964>), p. 431.

241: Murray Morgan, Century 21: The Story of the Seattle World’s Fair, 1962 (Seattle: Acme Press, 1963).

241-42: “The World of Already,” TIME (June 5, 1964), pp. 40-52.

242: Lawrence R. Samuel, The End of the Innocence: The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University, 2007); Johnson quote, p. 33.

243: Samuel, End of the Innocence, quote p. 23 (from Christianity Today).

243-44: Daniel Boorstin, The Image, or Whatever Happened to the American Dream (New York: Atheneum, 1962), p. 239-41; Michael Adas, Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America’s Civilizing Mission (Harvard, 2006), p. 227. The author of the “arbiter” quote was Hans Morgenthau.


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