Truman’s Search for a Middle East Policy

  • T. G. Fraser


President Roosevelt died at Warm Springs, Georgia, on 12 April 1945. He was succeeded by Harry S. Truman, a politician of plain Missouri origin who had come through the tough world of Kansas City politics to become the respected chairman of the Senate Special Committee Investigating the National Defense Program in World War 2. Judging Truman to be the kind of man who could see through Congress what would inevitably be controversial plans for post-war reconstruction, Roosevelt adopted him as his running mate in 1944. He had scant experience of foreign affairs, had never ventured abroad apart from his military service in World War 1, and was largely unconsulted by Roosevelt during their brief period together; yet he was fated to be the President who would preside over the era of the atomic bomb, the disintegration of the war-time alliance, the Cold War, the reconstruction of Western Europe, and ultimately war in East Asia. His handling of all these has earned him a notable place amongst American leaders. In Israel he is remembered with affection as a man whose decisive interventions eased the path to Jewish statehood.


Middle East Displace Person Jewish State Military Assistance Jewish Leader 
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  1. 1.
    J. Snetsinger, Truman, The Jewish Vote and the Creation of Israel (Stanford, 1974) initiated this line of enquiry. It was countered in Clark M. Clifford. ‘Recognizing Israel: The Behind-the-Scenes Struggle in 1948 Between the President and the State Department’, American Heritage, April 1977, pp. 4–14. Truman’s relationship with American Zionism is extensively covered inGoogle Scholar
  2. Z. Ganin, Truman, American Jewry, and Israel, 1945–1948 (New York, 1979). A useful collection of essays isGoogle Scholar
  3. A. Weinstein and M. Ma’oz (eds), Truman and the American Commitment to Israel (Jerusalem, 1981).Google Scholar
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    M. Davis, ‘Reflections on Harry S. Truman and the State of Israel’, in Weinstein and Ma’oz (eds), Truman and the American Commitment to Israel, p. 83; M. Miller, Plain Speaking, An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (London, 1974) p. 218.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© T. G. Fraser 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. Fraser
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UlsterUK

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