Harry and Arthur


Harry and Arthur

Truman, Vandenberg, and the Partnership That Created the Free World

Lawrence J. Haas

336 pages


April 2016


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December 2021


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April 2016


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April 2016


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About the Book

With Franklin Roosevelt’s death in April of 1945, Vice President Harry Truman and Senator Arthur Vandenberg, the Republican leader on foreign policy, inherited a world in turmoil. With Europe flattened and the Soviets emerging as America’s new adversary, Truman and Vandenberg built a tight, bipartisan partnership at a bitterly partisan time to craft a dramatic new foreign policy through which the United States stepped boldly onto the world stage to protect its friends, confront its enemies, and promote freedom. These two men transformed America from a reluctant global giant to a self-confident leader; from a nation that traditionally turned inward after war to one that remained engaged to shape the postwar landscape; and from a nation with no real military establishment to one that now spends more on defense than the next dozen nations combined.

Lawrence J. Haas, an award-winning journalist, reveals how, through the close collaboration of Truman and Vandenberg, the United States created the United Nations to replace the League of Nations, pursued the Truman Doctrine to defend freedom from communist threat, launched the Marshall Plan to rescue Western Europe’s economy from the devastation of war, and established NATO to defend Western Europe.

Author Bio

Lawrence J. Haas is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council and former communications director for Vice President Al Gore. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, and many other outlets. He has published five other books, including The Kennedys in the World: How Jack, Bobby, and Ted Remade America’s Empire (Potomac, 2021).


"Mr. Haas, a former communications director for Vice President Al Gore, writes with an admirable lightness of touch and a command of detail that is enhanced by his insider knowledge of how Congress and the White House operate. This is a first-class story, well told, of professional politicians working in tandem during a world crisis in the best interests of the republic."Richard Aldous, Wall Street Journal

"A well-written, timely and thoroughly researched book."Taylor Dibbert, Huffington Post

“Nowhere has this remarkable story of American leadership been so well researched and recorded as in Haas’s masterpiece, Harry and Arthur. Its special value lies in its timeliness. Not since 1945 have we faced such complex and dangerous threats. Haas frames the question perfectly: can we do it again?”—Robert McFarlane, national security advisor to President Reagan 

"Original and meticulously researched . . . . Informative and highly readable."—Ruth King, Family Security Matters

"Well researched and engaging. The author's writing style makes it read more like a fast paced novel than a piece of history."—Casey Wheeler, History Book Reviews

"A well-forged thesis builds a strong argument for the ongoing significance of this foreign policy."—Kirkus starred review

"An important, well-written, well-researched, authoritative, and fascinating look at a crucial four years in American and world history."Shoshana Bryen, InFOCUS Quarterly

"Enlightening."Kevin Canfield, Kansas City Star

"Harry & Arthur serves as a timely reminder of the power of bi-partisanship."—David Luhrssen, Shepherd Express

"Members of Congress—donkeys and elephants alike—take note: Bipartisan cooperation is possible. That is the central message of this well-conceived and well-written book."—Aaron Leibel, Washington Jewish Week

Table of Contents

Prologue: April 1945    
Introduction: Harry and Arthur    
Part 1: “A Victory against War Itself”     
Chapter 1: “President Wilson Tried to Work Out a Way”     
Chapter 2: “We May Perfect This Charter of Peace and Justice”     
Chapter 3: “As Dumb as They Come”     
Chapter 4: “Sensible Machinery for the Settlement of Disputes”     
Chapter 5: “America Wins!”     
Chapter 6: “A Solid Structure upon Which We Can Build”     
Part 2: “To Support Free Peoples”
Chapter 7: “What Is Russia Up To Now?”     
Chapter 8: “The Russians Are Trying to Chisel Away a Little Here, a Little There”     
Chapter 9: “Halfbright”     
Chapter 10: “Vandenberg Expressed His Complete Agreement with Me”     
Chapter 11: “The President’s Message Faces Facts”     
Chapter 12: “The Administration Made a Colossal Blunder in Ignoring the UN”     
Part 3: “The World Situation Is Very Serious”
Chapter 13: “Desperate Men Are Liable to Destroy the Structure of Their Society”     
Chapter 14: “I Have No Illusions about This So-Called ‘Marshall Plan’”     
Chapter 15: “The Perils of Hunger and Cold in Europe”     
Chapter 16: “The Commies Will Be Completely Back in the Saddle”     
Chapter 17: “A Problem Which They Themselves Must Meet”     
Chapter 18: “A Welcome Beacon in the World’s Dark Night”     
Part 4: “An Attack against Them All”
Chapter 19: “Their Hope Must Lie in This New World of Ours”     
Chapter 20: “A Sound Answer to Several Critical Necessities”     
Chapter 21: “Nothing Will Be Done without Consultation with You”     
Chapter 22: “Politics Shall Stop at the Water’s Edge”     
Chapter 23: “The Most Sensible, Powerful, Practicable, and Economical Step”     
Chapter 24: “The Senate Has Lost a Pillar of Strength”     
Epilogue: A Look Ahead    


A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Nonfiction Book of the Year

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