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Truman, Franco's Spain, and the Cold War
by Wayne H. Bowen
University of Missouri Press, 2017
Cloth: 978-0-8262-2117-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8262-7384-0

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Well-deployed primary sources and brisk writing by Wayne H. Bowen make this an excellent framework for understanding the evolution of U.S. policy toward Spain, and thus how a nation facing a global threat develops strategic relationships over time.

President Harry S. Truman harbored an abiding disdain for Spain and its government. During his presidency (1945–1953), the State Department and the Department of Defense lobbied Truman to form an alliance with Spain to leverage that nation’s geostrategic position, despite Francisco Franco’s authoritarian dictatorship. The eventual alliance between the two countries came only after years of argument for such a shift by nearly the entire U.S. diplomatic and military establishment. This delay increased the financial cost of the 1953 defense agreements with Spain, undermined U.S. planning for the defense of Europe, and caused dysfunction over foreign policy at the height of the Cold War.

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