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A Cross of Iron

A Cross of Iron
Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945–1954

$45.99 (G)

  • Date Published: December 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521795371

$ 45.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • A Cross of Iron provides the fullest account yet of the national security state that emerged in the first decade of the Cold War. Michael J. Hogan traces the process of state-making through struggles to unify the armed forces, harness science to military purposes, mobilize military manpower, control the defense budget, and distribute the cost of defense across the economy. President Harry S. Truman and his successor were in the middle of a fundamental contest over the nation's political identity and postwar purpose, and their efforts determined the size and shape of the national security state that finally emerged.

    • Based on comprehensive research in all available archival and manuscript material
    • A comprehensive treatment of its subject
    • Deals with a subject that resonates in discussions of military strategy, defense spending and tax policy at the end of the Cold War
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Michael Hogan has not only given us--again--an indispensable, superbly done book for our understanding of the Cold War, but a fascinating, original model that provides great insight into the American people's politics and society, as well as into the foreign policy they pieced together to become a superpower." Walter LaFeber, Cornell University

    "comumprehensive and compelling account of the crucial months in the Truman Administration when a free-wheeling democracy narrowly avoided becoming a 'garrison state.' Or did it? Michael Hogan is a fair and enlightening guide through the politics and pressures of one of the most important but least-recalled periods of American history." Tom Wicker

    "Even-handed, smoothly written, and based on extensive research in recently published documents, this mature account of America's Cold War build-up, the domestic propaganda that accompanied it, and the dissent--on the Right as well as Left--it provoked is sure to command the attention of Truman's admirers and detractors alike." Walter A. McDougall, University of Pennsylvania

    "...the author succeeds brilliantly in demonstrating the impact of political culture on the formation of a new American state fundamentally different from that which existed before." Foreign Affairs

    "In what is easily the most comprehensive and conceptually innovative study of the institutionalization of the cold war, Hogan makes it painfully clear that we are still living with the massive consequences of the postwar choices that he so expertly describes." Boston Book Review

    "...readers will find Cross of Iron at the center of any discussion of the national security state for years to come." Journal of Military History

    "Hogan has made use of a wide variety od unpublished and published primary sources to explore important and previously neglected topics, such as the debate over universal military training, and he has combined these with existing secondary studies of better-known controversies to produce a truly outstanding piece of original research, synthesis, and interpretation. Indeed, I find the result even more impressive than his award-winning study of the Marshall Plan." American Historical Review

    "...a book that is impressively researched, brilliant, and powerful." Richard S. Kirkendall, Pacific Historical Review

    "Hogan does a good and impartial job of detailing the often contentious debates. He adds to our understanding of events by extending his analysis beyond the corridors of power and examining the arguements used in letters to the editors of local papers and in local political demonstrations..." Ronald J. Granieri, The Historian

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521795371
    • length: 540 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 154 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface and acknowledgements
    1. The National Security discourse: ideology, political culture and state making
    2. Magna Charta: the National Security Act and the specter of the Garrison state
    3. The high price of peace: guns-and-butter politics in the early Cold War
    4. The time tax: American political culture and the UMT debate
    5. 'Chaos and conflict and carnage confounded': budget battles and defense reorganization
    6. Preparing for permanent war: economy, science and secrecy in the National Security state
    7. Turning point: NSC-68, the Korean war and the National Security response
    8. Semiwar: the Korean war and rearmament
    9. The Iron Cross: solvency, security and the Eisenhower transition
    10. Other voices: the public sphere and the National Security mentality
    11. Conclusion
    Selected bibliography

  • Author

    Michael J. Hogan, Ohio State University

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