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Ronald Radosh

Autor(a) de The Rosenberg File

13+ Works 565 Membros 6 Reviews

About the Author

Mr. Radosh lives with his wife and son in the Washington, D.C. area.

Obras de Ronald Radosh

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Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
New York, New York, USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD - History)



Very informative and well written, this account uses the inherent drama of the events narrated to excellent effect. My favorite moment was George C. Marshall refusing to resign or publicly differ with Truman's world-changing decision to recognize the new state of Israel even though both he and the State Department pros he led vehemently disagreed with that decision.
markbstephenson | 1 outra resenha | Jun 2, 2010 |
A Most Reluctant Ally

The formation of the state of Israel is one of the most remarkable narratives in the history of the 20th century. There are no "good" guys and "bad" guys here, but rather a series of complex web of networks and interests which resulted in a most improbable outcome. I think given the politics of today, it was a given that the U.S. would be the first to recognize the state of Israel, but as Radosh shows, that was clearly not so.

The central thesis of the book is to show how President Harry S. Truman came around to becoming the first leader to officially recognize Israel as a nation-state, without which Israel would probably not have survived according to Radosh. American policies towards the issue of Palestine had always been ambivalent going all the way back to FDR.

One of the central questions of the immediate postwar period centered around the issue of the Jewish DPs. It was estimated some quarter of a million Jewish refugees -- survivors of Hitler's "Final Solution" -- wanted to leave Europe, but to where? According to Radosh, the majority wanted to go to Palestine. This is disputable as many scholars claim the majority wanted to join relatives in the U.S. Regardless, the U.S. had not liberalized their immigration quotas yet and a strong nativist sentiment still existed at the time, which made mass resettlement to Palestine the prime solution. Problem, was that the British colonial administration stuck to its policy of limiting Jewish immigration into Palestine, going back to the pre-war White Paper, influenced by the Arab majority.

With the British government insolvent, they turned over administration of Palestine to the newly created United Nations who decided that given the tensions between the Jews and Arabs, a 2-state solution should be implemented, UN resolution 181. After the last British troops withdrew, the Jews proclaimed their nation-state, their Arab neighbors attacked, but the Jews not only survived by resoundingly defeated the Arabs.

Truman's role in all of this? Succumbing to intense pressure from lobby groups like the Jewish Agency and personal relationships with influential Jews like Chaim Weizmann and Rabbi Wise, Truman adopted the 2-state solution and was the first leader to officially recognize Israel. Also crucial was the fact that he did not intervene militarily to enforce the U.N. partition plan after Israel won the war and occupied more land than they were initially allocated.

While Radosh is not able to conclusively show exactly why Truman acted as he did, it appears from the evidence provided that he did so more out of political motivations -- votes and the Cold War -- than out of any ideological stance on Zionism. It was important to secure as much Jewish support in the 1948 elections and to beat the Soviets to the punch in recognizing Israel, more so than any personal convictions.

We all know how the story eventually turns out, a miracle for the Jewish diaspora, and a nightmare for Palestinian Arabs. There is a heavy tinge of irony in reading this history given that it is now the Jews who seek to maintain the status quo by opposing UN resolution 181 advocating for a 2-state solution, refusing to receive the Palestinian-Arab refugees, and fighting Palestinian-Arab terrorists. Not so much a holy war but a battle over a tiny strip of land.

One of the most interesting tidbits I found was the contention raised by Radosh that many Americans supported a Jewish state through the analogous comparison of America's Manifest Destiny to settle the west. Indeed, FDR asked TVA man David E. Lilienthal whether Palestine could be transformed into an agricultural breadbasket through industrial modernization. Something definitely to be researched further.

Overall, I think this is an important and well-researched book with incredible relevance to the current situation. It is only by understanding the history that we can begin to comprehend the real problems of the present and formulate suitable solutions for the future.
… (mais)
1 vote
bruchu | 1 outra resenha | Aug 1, 2009 |
The New Leviathan is a collection of essays by seven authors that describes the growth of the scope and roles of the Federal U.S. government in the twentieth century. The contributors range from far left to far right to libertarian. Subjects range from the founding of the Federal Reserve to the New Deal to the Cold War. Presidents range from Roosevelt (Teddy) to Nixon.
Trying to classify the collection is tough. It combines history, political science, economics, and collectivism. One firm message comes through: That from the late nineteenth century the U.S. has been evolving into an elite-led, somewhat collectivist state which might be generally classed as ‘corporate-liberal’.
While discussing broad changes, it introduced some factors I hadn’t considered before. While it’s a bit ‘heavy’ for casual reading, I’d firmly recommend it for study by people interested in the subject area.
… (mais)
ServusLibri | Jul 30, 2008 |
An examination of an early post-war Reds-under-the bed case.
Fledgist | Oct 23, 2007 |



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