Harry Hopkins - História

Harry Hopkins - História


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Harry Hopkins

1890- 1946

Diplomata americano

Harry Hopkins nasceu em Siox City Iowa em 17 de agosto de 1890. Hopkins estudou no Grinnel College. Depois de se formar, ele conseguiu um emprego na Christodora House. Harry Hopkins começou sua carreira como assistente social. Em 1915, ele foi nomeado chefe do Departamento de Bem-Estar Infantil da Cidade de Nova York. Um olho ruim o impediu de servir na Primeira Guerra Mundial. Ele trabalhou para a Cruz Vermelha, onde se tornou diretor da Região Sul.

Em 1931, Franklin Roosevelt nomeou Hopkins para chefiar a Agência de Socorro Temporário de Nova York; um trabalho que ele executou com zelo. Entre 1933 e 1938, Hopkins administrou alguns dos maiores programas do New Deal.

Em 1938, Hopkins desenvolveu câncer de estômago. Depois disso, Hopkins se tornou um assistente especial de Roosevelt e morou na Casa Branca. Hopkins compareceu a todas as principais conferências da Segunda Guerra Mundial e viajou extensivamente para Roosevelt, apesar de sua doença.

Livros


Harry Hopkins

"Roosevelt confiava em Hopkins implicitamente [totalmente] - confiava em seus instintos e em sua lealdade. Nenhum presidente jamais depositou tanta confiança em outro homem - nenhum presidente deu a outro homem tanto poder e influência."

junho hopkins, neta de harry hopkins, em harry hopkins: herói repentino, reformador impetuoso

De origens humildes, Harry Hopkins ascendeu no governo dos EUA durante as décadas de 1930 e 1940. O serviço leal de Hopkins ao seu país ajudou o presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945 serviu em 1933–45 ver entrada) guie os Estados Unidos durante a Grande Depressão (1929–41) e a Segunda Guerra Mundial (1939–45), duas das piores crises do século XX. Hopkins era o único qualificado para administrar os programas de ajuda humanitária do New Deal do governo Roosevelt. Tutelado por Roosevelt ao longo dos anos 1930 na arte da política e da diplomacia, Hopkins tornou-se o representante e mensageiro do presidente durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial.


Conteúdo

O Mk VIII foi o tanque leve projetado por Vickers-Armstrong para ser o sucessor do Mk VII Tetrarca do Exército Britânico. A empresa pretendia que o Mk VIII melhorasse o design do Tetrarca em várias áreas, particularmente na proteção de blindagem. Ele tinha uma armadura mais espessa do que o Tetrarca, com o casco frontal e a armadura da torre sendo aumentados para uma espessura de 38 milímetros (1,5 pol.) E a armadura lateral para 17 milímetros (0,67 pol.), E a torre e o casco receberam superfícies mais inclinadas do que o Tetrarca para ajudar a desviar os projéteis. [2] As dimensões do desenho do Tetrarca também foram alteradas, com o Mk VIII sendo mais longo em 6 polegadas (0,15 m), mais largo em 1 pé e 3 polegadas (0,38 m) e seu peso sendo aumentado essas alterações significavam que o tanque não poderia mais ser portátil, pois era muito pesado para ser carregado pelo planador General Aircraft Hamilcar. [2]

O mesmo motor de 12 cilindros do Tetrarca foi instalado no Mk VIII, embora o peso aumentado significasse que sua velocidade máxima diminuiu para 30 milhas por hora (48 km / h). O armamento permaneceu o mesmo do Tetrarca: uma metralhadora e uma arma principal de 2 libras de 40 milímetros (1,6 pol.). [2] O tanque também manteve o sistema de direção incomum usado no projeto do Tetrarca - este sistema mecânico e de direção realizava curvas pelo movimento lateral das rodas da estrada, que curvavam os trilhos. Quando o motorista girava o volante, todas as oito rodas não apenas giravam, mas também inclinavam para dobrar os trilhos e fazer o tanque girar, a ideia era reduzir a tensão mecânica e o desperdício de energia causado pelo sistema tradicional usado para girar os tanques por travando uma faixa. [3] Ao contrário do Tetrarca, o sistema de direção do Mk VIII era assistido por energia. [1]

Vickers-Armstrong submeteu o projeto do Mk VIII ao War Office em setembro de 1941 e, no mesmo mês, o Tank Board do War Office encomendou 1.000 tanques, aumentando em novembro para 2.410. O Conselho esperava que a produção pudesse começar em junho de 1942 a uma taxa de aproximadamente 100 por mês, a ser produzida pela Metro-Cammell, uma subsidiária da Vickers-Armstrong. Foi também nessa época que o tanque recebeu o número de especificação A25 e o nome de Harry Hopkins [2]. A produção começou em junho de 1942 como esperado, mas imediatamente começou a ter problemas que não foram especificados, mas parece que os testes de os protótipos do Mk VIII fornecidos pela Vickers-Armstrong levantaram uma série de questões. Uma ata enviada ao primeiro-ministro, Winston Churchill, em setembro pelo Ministério do Abastecimento, afirmava que haveria atrasos na entrega do tanque devido a problemas de desenvolvimento, e um relatório emitido pelo Gabinete de Guerra em dezembro afirmava que uma série de modificações seria necessário antes que a produção pudesse continuar, o sistema de suspensão dianteira foi apontado como exigindo extensas modificações. [2] Os problemas ainda estavam sendo encontrados em julho de 1943, com um relatório do Fighting Vehicle Proving Establishment indicando que sérios defeitos ainda estavam sendo encontrados nos modelos sendo testados. Os problemas se tornaram tão agudos que os testes do Mk VIII foram abandonados antes do programado . Em 31 de agosto de 1943, apenas seis tanques Mk VIII haviam sido produzidos, em comparação com uma exigência do War Office de 100 no início do ano. Embora o War Office persistisse em manter o projeto e emitisse uma exigência oficial em novembro de 1943 para a construção de 750 tanques, apenas cerca de 100 haviam sido construídos quando a produção terminou oficialmente em fevereiro de 1945. [4]

Em meados de 1941, oficiais do Gabinete de Guerra e do Exército finalmente decidiram que os tanques leves como conceito eram um risco e muito vulneráveis ​​para serem usados ​​pelo Exército Britânico. [5] Isso foi devido ao fraco desempenho dos tanques leves britânicos durante a Batalha da França, causado quando uma escassez de tanques projetados para enfrentar os tanques inimigos levou a que tanques leves fossem implantados contra blindados alemães, o que resultou em grandes baixas no Ministério da Guerra repensar a adequação do projeto do tanque leve. [6] O papel pré-guerra do tanque leve, o de reconhecimento, também foi melhor realizado por carros de patrulha que tinham tripulações menores e melhores habilidades de cross-country. [5] [6] Conseqüentemente, no momento em que um número significativo de Mk VIII estavam sendo produzidos pela Metro-Cammell, eles já haviam se tornado obsoletos e não haviam sido combatidos. Havia um requisito para um número limitado de tanques leves dentro da organização das divisões blindadas britânicas, mas isso já havia sido atendido pelo tanque leve Stuart M5, produzido nos Estados Unidos. [7] Um relatório de política emitido em dezembro de 1942 sugeriu que o tanque poderia ser emitido para regimentos de reconhecimento ou regimentos de tanques leves especiais criados para operações especializadas. Essas sugestões foram discutidas e descartadas e, em vez disso, foi decidido que os tanques construídos deveriam ser entregues à Força Aérea Real para uso na defesa de aeródromos e bases aéreas. [1]

O Mk VIII também foi discutido em termos de outro plano conhecido como Carrier Wing neste plano, superfícies voadoras, como asas, seriam equipadas ao Mk VIII para que pudesse ser rebocado por uma aeronave de transporte e, em seguida, deslizar para a batalha em apoio de forças aerotransportadas. O plano foi abandonado, no entanto, depois que o protótipo caiu depois de decolar. [1]

Uma única variante do Mk VIII foi projetada, o canhão autopropelido Alecto. Originalmente conhecido como Harry Hopkins 1 CS (para "Close Support"), o Alecto eventualmente recebeu o número de especificação do Estado-Maior Geral A25 E2. O Alecto montou um obus de 95 milímetros (3,7 pol.) Em uma versão leve do chassi Mk VIII, que teve a torre removida para que o obus pudesse ser colocado na parte inferior do casco e a blindagem foi reduzida a uma espessura de 10 a 4 mm (0,39 a 0,16 pol.) Para reduzir seu peso, resultando em uma velocidade máxima de 31 milhas por hora (50 km / h). [8] O Alecto foi projetado para substituir as meias-lagartas carregando armas de apoio, como obuseiros, que as formações aerotransportadas britânicas usaram durante o conflito, e foi desenvolvido pela primeira vez no final de 1942. Também poderia ter sido usado no lugar do canhão de 75 mm equipado carros blindados. [9] O War Office encomendou 2.200 Alectos, mas apenas um pequeno número foi produzido, nenhum dos quais viu serviço, muitos foram convertidos em escavadeiras para uso pelas unidades do Royal Engineer. [10]


Precisão na mídia

Um novo livro intitulado The Sword and the Shield atraiu considerável atenção da mídia, porque é baseado em cópias de documentos da KGB que foram contrabandeados para fora da União Soviética há seis anos. Vasily Mitrokhin, um arquivista da KGB, copiou meticulosamente os arquivos da KGB por muitos anos. Ele manteve suas cópias escondidas sob o chão de sua casa de campo até 1992, quando a inteligência britânica conseguiu tirar ele e seus seis baús de documentos copiados da Rússia. Christopher Andrew, um professor de Cambridge, publicou um livro baseado neles.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes e Nightline fizeram histórias substanciais sobre as revelações que Christopher Andrew extraiu do arquivo de Mitrokhin. Eles expuseram uma avó inglesa de 87 anos que alimentou os soviéticos com segredos atômicos durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial e que nunca foi processada. Eles falaram sobre os planos soviéticos de sabotar nossas instalações de energia elétrica e oleodutos em caso de guerra. Eles falaram sobre um esforço soviético para culpar os militares dos EUA pela disseminação do vírus da AIDS, desinformação que a Accuracy in Media expôs 12 anos atrás, quando Dan Rather publicou no CBS Evening News.

Mas todos eles esqueceram as maiores notícias do livro de Andrew? Nova evidência que prova que Harry Hopkins, o conselheiro mais próximo e influente do presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, era um agente soviético. Andrew havia relatado isso em um livro que escrevera em 1990, baseado em informações fornecidas por Oleg Gordievsky, um oficial de alto escalão da KGB que também havia sido contrabandeado para fora da União Soviética pela inteligência britânica. Gordievsky relatou que Iskhak Ahkmerov, o oficial da KGB que controlou os agentes soviéticos ilegais nos EUA durante a guerra, disse que Hopkins era "o mais importante de todos os agentes soviéticos do tempo de guerra nos Estados Unidos".

As reuniões secretas de Hopkins com Ahkmerov não eram conhecidas por ninguém até que Gordievsky as revelou. Eles começaram antes de Hopkins fazer uma viagem a Moscou em julho de 1941, um mês depois que os alemães invadiram a União Soviética. Sua insistência em que a ajuda seja estendida a Stalin sem amarras justifica a avaliação de Ahkmerov de seu desempenho. Há evidências de que Hopkins chegou ao ponto de providenciar o envio de urânio à União Soviética para ajudá-los a desenvolver a bomba atômica. Apesar disso, Andrew argumentou que Harry Hopkins era "mais um agente inconsciente do que consciente".

Os documentos de Mitrokhin mostraram que Hopkins havia alertado o embaixador soviético que o FBI descobrira, por meio de um bug colocado na casa de Steve Nelson, um agente ilegal soviético, que Nelson estava recebendo dinheiro da embaixada. Ele se encontrava com Ahkmerov de vez em quando, dando-lhe informações para enviar a Moscou e recebendo mensagens secretas de Stalin.

Andrew tenta colocar um rosto inocente nisso, dizendo que Hopkins estava usando Ahkmerov como um “canal de apoio” para se comunicar com Moscou. Ray Wannall, ex-diretor assistente do FBI para contra-inteligência, diz que sempre suspeitou que Hopkins fosse um agente soviético e que isso é prova de sua traição.

Reed Irvine e Cliff Kincaid

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Por que mais pessoas não sabem sobre Harry Hopkins

Harry Hopkins entrou na minha vida no meu último ano na St. Andrews University, na Escócia, quando meu tutor, que era do Texas, quis que eu avaliasse a reputação de um homem que havia caído “por um alçapão na história”.

Nunca tinha ouvido falar de Harry Hopkins antes e nem, como meu tutor observou com tristeza, ninguém mais no Reino Unido. No entanto, ele me disse que a sobrevivência da Grã-Bretanha durante a guerra em face do ataque nazista deveu muito a um homem a quem Winston Churchill chamou de "um farol de onde brilhavam os feixes que levavam grandes frotas ao porto".

A memória dessa conversa ficou comigo. Quarenta e cinco anos depois, espero ter lançado alguma luz sobre o papel crucial desempenhado por Harry Hopkins no esforço de guerra britânico durante os meses desesperados de 1941.

A história da missão de Harry Hopkins em Londres durante a guerra começa com a partida do desacreditado embaixador americano, Joseph Kennedy, em outubro de 1940. Kennedy foi bastante aberto sobre sua admiração pela Alemanha de Hitler e desprezou as chances da Inglaterra na guerra. Ele saiu no auge da blitz quando ficou claro que não era mais bem-vindo no Tribunal de St. James.

No entanto, Kennedy levantou uma questão que ecoou em Washington na virada daquele ano. A Grã-Bretanha poderia sobreviver? Valeu a pena enviar ajuda a um país que em breve seria forçado a negociar a rendição à Alemanha? Roosevelt decidiu enviar Harry Hopkins a Londres para descobrir. Quando o primeiro-ministro Winston Churchill ouviu a identidade do enviado, ele simplesmente disse: "Quem?" Foi uma boa pergunta. Ninguém em Londres sabia nada sobre Hopkins.

Como amigo e confidente do presidente Roosevelt, Hopkins ocupou uma posição de poder única em Washington. Ele não tinha um cargo formal na administração, mas morava na Casa Branca no esplendor do antigo escritório de Lincoln. Seu radicalismo durante o New Deal o deixou politicamente isolado - odiado pelos republicanos e desconfiado pela maioria dos democratas. Seu acesso incomparável ao Salão Oval irritou a maioria dos membros do gabinete. Assolado pela doença, ele seguiu um estilo de vida de playboy em desacordo com o caráter contido da Casa Branca de Roosevelt. Apesar disso, Eleanor Roosevelt o adorava e o tratava como um filho.

O mais estranho de tudo é que Hopkins foi o produto de uma criação estreita do meio americano que o deixou um isolacionista natural. Ele nasceu em Sioux City, mas passou seus primeiros anos em Grinnell, Iowa, onde fez faculdade. Lá no coração da América, o jovem Hopkins desenvolveu sua antipatia profundamente enraizada por classes e privilégios, aliada à suspeita de qualquer coisa a ver com os casacas vermelhas britânicas e seu império. No entanto, esse era o homem, um camarada não eleito da Casa Branca com uma profunda desconfiança no "exterior", que o presidente decidiu projetar no palco da diplomacia mundial. O motivo era simples. Hopkins era os olhos, orelhas - e pernas do presidente. Roosevelt não confiaria em ninguém mais em uma missão tão perigosa e politicamente sensível a Londres, numa época em que os britânicos estavam enfrentando a derrota.

Depois de um voo punitivo de quatro dias via Brasil, África e Portugal para a costa sul da Inglaterra, Harry Hopkins chegou a Londres na noite de 9 de janeiro para se encontrar no meio de um ataque incendiário. Desde setembro anterior, 28.000 pessoas foram mortas e 40.000 casas destruídas apenas em ataques aéreos noturnos em Londres. Ele foi recebido pelo encarregado da embaixada dos Estados Unidos, Herschel V. Johnson, e levado para o Hotel Claridges por meio de ruas envoltas em fogo. Em meio ao rugido ensurdecedor de armas antiaéreas no vizinho Hyde Park, o uivo de sirenes e o barulho de bombas caindo, Hopkins fez o check-in e foi direto para o bar.

Na manhã seguinte, ele foi levado ao número 10 da Downing Street para almoçar com o primeiro-ministro. Em uma carta * a Roosevelt enviada por mensageiro, Hopkins descreveu o encontro.

Um cavalheiro rotundo, sorridente e de rosto vermelho apareceu, estendeu a mão gorda, mas convincente, e me desejou as boas-vindas à Inglaterra. Um casaco preto curto, calças listradas e olhos claros e voz melosa foram a impressão do líder da Inglaterra quando ele me mostrou com óbvias fotos de orgulho de sua bela nora e neto. ”

Este foi o início de um namoro unilateral. Churchill precisava cortejar e conquistar um homem que seria seu canal para a Casa Branca. Hopkins, por outro lado, sabia que tinha que resistir ao famoso encanto do primeiro-ministro e suas habilidades oratórias e peneirar fatos da fantasia de Churchill.

Ao fazer de Hopkins seu enviado pessoal a Londres, Roosevelt habilmente neutralizou as suspeitas isolacionistas sobre a missão. A opinião no Congresso era que a retórica guerreira de Churchill teria pouco efeito sobre o filho de um fabricante de arreios criado no Corn Belt. Hopkins também estava bem ciente da atitude ambivalente de Roosevelt em relação ao futuro da Grã-Bretanha e seu líder em tempos de guerra.

Roosevelt não gostava de Churchill quando eles se conheceram - e brigaram - em Londres em 1918. O primeiro-ministro também era um defensor vocal do Império, o que não agradava a Washington. Além disso, Churchill havia feito campanha pelo apoio militar americano desde o momento em que se tornou primeiro-ministro, em maio anterior. Isso alarmou Roosevelt, que havia saído de seu caminho para assegurar às mães da América que seus filhos não seriam enviados para lutar em outra guerra estrangeira.

Mas Roosevelt e seus conselheiros também estavam profundamente perturbados com a perspectiva de uma vitória fascista na Europa. O projeto de Lend-Lease, que visava fornecer à Grã-Bretanha gêneros alimentícios básicos e equipamento militar, estava passando por um Congresso relutante. Churchill queria muito mais. Os comandantes militares de Roosevelt disseram-lhe que não adiantava enviar suprimentos para um país que estava prestes a capitular a Hitler.

Este era o campo minado político que aguardava Harry Hopkins em Londres.

Pelas primeiras duas semanas, Hopkins viu o primeiro-ministro todos os dias e jantou com ele quase todas as noites no número 10 da Downing Street ou em sua residência oficial de campo, Checkers. Ele ficou impressionado com a oratória crescente de Churchill, mas inicialmente cético sobre uma possível intervenção dos EUA. Ele também ficou chocado com as condições de trabalho. Tanto o Checkers quanto o 10 Downing Street estavam mal aquecidos no rigoroso inverno, e Hopkins foi forçado a trabalhar de sobretudo no único lugar quente de cada residência, o banheiro. Churchill também gostava de trabalhar no banheiro - enquanto tomava banho.

Assim, Hopkins se viu tentando fazer anotações enquanto o primeiro-ministro se defendia do banho em meio a nuvens de vapor e muitos respingos. Todas as portas se abriram para o enviado do presidente. Hopkins recebeu instruções dos principais comandantes e chefes de inteligência. O Rei George VI o recebeu no Palácio de Buckingham. Churchill insistiu que ele visitasse cidades na linha de frente da blitz, como Portsmouth, Southampton e Glasgow. Hopkins passou um tempo com os bombeiros, policiais e motoristas de ambulância que enfrentaram os horrores da blitz todas as noites nas ruas dessas cidades.

O enviado americano ficou profundamente impressionado. Ele percebeu que os discursos desafiadores de Churchill e a coragem sangrenta de homens e mulheres comuns estavam conduzindo os britânicos em sua prova de fogo. Temendo a influência persistente do embaixador Kennedy, Roosevelt ordenou a Hopkins que evitasse os canais diplomáticos e usasse comunicações navais para seus despachos. Por meio deles, o presidente soube que Hopkins compartilhava da visão de Churchill de que a guerra seria ganha ou perdida não no Canal da Mancha, mas no Atlântico. As perdas na navegação mercantil aumentavam acentuadamente e os estoques de alimentos e combustível caíam abaixo do ponto de sobrevivência nacional.

Hopkins havia chegado à Inglaterra hostil a qualquer envolvimento americano na segunda guerra europeia em uma geração. Sua postura mudou rapidamente e ele começou a instar o presidente a enviar suprimentos militares aos britânicos e a trocar unidades navais do Pacífico para o Atlântico para proteger os comboios vitais.

Em uma carta * escrita para a Casa Branca em 14 de janeiro, Hopkins disse:

As pessoas aqui são incríveis de Churchill para baixo e se a coragem sozinha pode vencer, o resultado será inevitável. Mas eles precisam de nossa ajuda desesperadamente e tenho certeza de que você não permitirá que nada se interponha no caminho ... esta ilha precisa de nossa ajuda agora, Sr. Presidente, com tudo o que podemos dar a eles. ”

Essas foram palavras poderosas de alguém em quem Roosevelt confiava intimamente. Mas enquanto Londres pegava fogo, o presidente se recusou a se comprometer e repetiu publicamente sua política não intervencionista.

Harry Hopkins voltou aos Estados Unidos na segunda semana de fevereiro como um homem mudado. Ele voltaria para Londres naquele verão para organizar o primeiro encontro em tempo de guerra entre Roosevelt e Churchill a bordo de seus respectivos navios de batalha na costa da Terra Nova. Ele ajudaria a hospedar a visita de Churchill a Washington no Natal de 1941 após Pearl Harbor. E ele teria um papel fundamental na diplomacia entre a Rússia, a Grã-Bretanha e os Estados Unidos, enquanto os aliados colocavam a Alemanha nazista de joelhos.

Mas nada mudou tanto para Harry Hopkins quanto as quatro semanas que ele passou na Grã-Bretanha, principalmente ao lado de Churchill, em janeiro e fevereiro de 1941. O filho do fabricante de arreios de Sioux City conquistou a confiança do primeiro-ministro sitiado, alertou seu presidente sobre o terrível perigo da Grã-Bretanha e tinha forjado uma linha de comunicação entre a Casa Branca e 10 Downing Street que levaria a uma guerra vencendo a aliança atlântica.

Com sua compreensão característica da história e amor pela linguagem, Churchill chamou Hopkins de Paladino, uma alusão aos antigos cavaleiros errantes que resgatavam donzelas em perigo.

Na opinião deste escritor, Hopkins fez isso e muito mais. Espero que meu romance sobre seu papel como enviado do presidente em tempos de guerra, que se baseia na história do período, ajude a lembrar as pessoas de ambos os lados do Atlântico de sua contribuição para a história.

*Os documentos da Casa Branca de Harry Hopkins por Robert E Sherwood (1948), volume 1.


As coisas mudaram

De maio de 1940 a fevereiro de 1945 Presidente Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretário de Estado de fato (você pode ignorar os secretários reais, eles não faziam a política) e Conselheiro de Segurança Nacional (um cargo que não existia na época) era um homem que não tinha título de trabalho, sem escritório e sem casa e viveu na Casa Branca durante a maior parte desse tempo, um jogador e carroceiro, um assistente social e um progressista New Dealer sem experiência anterior em política externa, em péssimo estado de saúde, com três quartos do estômago removido em 1937 por causa do câncer que o deixou com um trato digestivo mutilado, sobrevivendo com uma dieta de café, cigarros e transfusões de sangue, hospitalizado várias vezes durante a guerra, inclusive para uma grande cirurgia em 1944, e morrendo menos de seis meses após o fim da Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Ele era um homem de quem Winston Churchill, escreveu (referindo-se ao primeiro encontro):

Ele era um homem de quem o áspero e duro Chefe de Operações Navais dos EUA Almirante Ernest King (seu nome está próximo à definição de "bunda dura"no dicionário) escreveu:

Um homem que instigou General George C Marshall (Chefe do Estado-Maior do Exército), que raramente expressava seus sentimentos, para escrever à futura esposa de Hopkins expressando sua preocupação de que: "Para ser muito franco, estou intensamente interessado na saúde e felicidade de Harry e, portanto, em seu casamento iminente"como ele"é de grande importância para os nossos interesses nacionais. . . e ele é uma das pessoas mais imprudentes quanto à sua saúde que eu já conheci. . . Eu expresso a esperança de que você ache isso possível para refrear suas indiscrições e fazer com que ele tenha o descanso necessário."


Um homem que tinha a confiança do sucessor de FDR Harry Truman, que lhe deu grande liberdade em sua missão final, viajando para Moscou para se encontrar com Josef Stalin em junho de 1945 sobre a repressão soviética na Polônia, dizendo-lhe que:

Talvez a melhor soma do homem venha de Alan Brooke, o Chefe do Estado-Maior do Exército Britânico que era notoriamente crítico de seus aliados americanos e contou que Hopkins o puxou de lado para pedir para se encontrar com ele no meio de uma disputa acirrada na Casa Branca entre os militares britânicos e americanos:

Estas citações são de um bom livro novo, O toque de Hopkins: Harry Hopkins e a formação da aliança para derrotar Hitler por David Roll. Eu li muito sobre a Segunda Guerra Mundial ao longo dos anos e certamente conhecia Hopkins. Ele é como Zelig aparecendo em todos os lugares, mas nunca entendi muito bem seu papel. O livro de Roll, ao focar em Hopkins, torna as coisas muito mais claras. Enquanto The Hopkins Touch cobre toda a sua vida, Roll dedica apenas cerca de 10% do livro aos seus primeiros 50 anos, com o restante nos últimos cinco anos.

Harry Hopkins tornou-se confidente de FDR durante esses anos. Isto é, tanto quanto alguém poderia ser o confidente de um homem tão esquivo e indiferente. FDR era famoso por ser um enigma enigmático e frustrante para sua equipe e associados e era rápido em descartá-los quando sua utilidade para ele havia acabado ou ele sentia que estavam lhe dando menos do que sua atenção total e devotada. Até mesmo suas relações familiares eram tensas. Ele só teve um relacionamento profissional com sua esposa, Eleanor, desde a descoberta dela de seu caso com Lucy Mercer, mais de vinte anos antes (Hopkins observou que você precisava observar cuidadosamente o que FDR e Eleanor diziam em público porque era assim que eles se comunicavam ) e estava emocionalmente distante de seus filhos adultos. Não é nenhuma surpresa que, por três anos, FDR e Hopkins muitas vezes jantaram sozinhos na Casa Branca.

Antes de 1940, Hopkins havia sido uma figura controversa na administração, atuando como chefe da Works Progress Administration e como Secretário de Comércio. Antes disso, ele ganhou experiência administrativa e organizacional como líder da Divisão Sul da Cruz Vermelha e, em seguida, como diretor executivo da Associação de Tuberculose e Saúde de Nova York, que lidava com uma ampla gama de programas de prevenção de doenças e saneamento que em 1930 atendiam a três milhões pessoas na área da cidade de Nova York, experiência que o ajudou enquanto dirigia o Programa Lend-Lease durante a guerra de seu quarto na Casa Branca (as coisas funcionavam de maneira um pouco diferente naquela época).

De acordo com Roll, Hopkins assumiu seu novo papel porque preencheu um vazio na vida de Roosevelt. FDR achava que Hopkins sabia melhor do que ninguém o que tinha em mente, mesmo que não fosse expresso diretamente. Ele gostava das histórias e do senso de humor de Harry e eles também se uniam por causa de suas deficiências físicas. Como Roll coloca "cada um temia a dependência, embora o momento os forçasse à co-dependência"e Robert Sherwood (que serviu na administração e escreveu um livro sobre a relação de FDR e Hopkins) escreveu"um vínculo especial se desenvolveu entre Roosevelt e Hopkins, devido ao fato de ambos os homens terem lutado contra a morte de perto, ambos vivendo com tempo emprestado".

O livro nos leva através da manobra crítica em 1940 e 1941 quando FDR decide ajudar a Grã-Bretanha evitando entrar na guerra (conforme Hopkins se torna mais convencido de que os EUA devem se tornar um combatente) e então o estabelecimento da Grande Aliança com a Grã-Bretanha e o Soviete União em 1942 e 1943.

Hopkins esteve intimamente envolvido na tomada de decisões desde 1940 (em maio daquele ano, Vannevar Bush se reuniu com Hopkins para obter seu apoio em um projeto para recrutar cientistas americanos no desenvolvimento de armas com base nas últimas descobertas sobre o átomo que o presidente concordou em basear por recomendação de Harry), mas o cerne do livro são as dez viagens e conferências nas quais Hopkins desempenhou um papel fundamental durante 1941, 1942 e 1943. A primeira pode ter sido a mais importante, quando FDR enviou Hopkins a Londres em janeiro de 1941 para avaliar Churchill e a disposição dos britânicos em continuar lutando e não negociar a paz com Hitler (para uma lista das outras viagens, veja no final deste post). Neste ponto, a Grã-Bretanha estava sozinha contra a Alemanha, que dominava o continente e tinha a União Soviética como seu principal fornecedor de materiais de guerra e os ingleses estavam perdendo em todos os lugares (ver Churchill Ascends e Londres chamando para saber mais sobre este período). A opinião de Hopkins foi crítica na decisão de fornecer a onda de suprimentos de guerra solicitada pelos britânicos. Os militares dos EUA estavam relutantes em fazê-lo, porque cada navio, avião e munição enviado para a Inglaterra era um a menos para os EUA, que estavam rapidamente aumentando suas forças militares e se a Grã-Bretanha se rendesse, todo esse material seria perdido e talvez até usado contra a América.

Harry Hopkins, o assistente social progressista e reformador, não era favorável ao conservador aristocrático Winston Churchill antes de sua visita, mas eles imediatamente se deram bem em sua primeira reunião, uma de três horas em um almoço. Hopkins comentou com um membro do Gabinete Britânico posteriormente, "Jesus Cristo! Que homem!"Durante sua visita de três semanas, Hopkins passou o tempo sozinho com Churchill, incluindo fins de semana na casa de sua família, Chartwell, forjando um relacionamento íntimo que continuou durante a guerra. Como observou um biógrafo de Churchill"Hopkins rapidamente adquiriu uma posição pessoal no tribunal de Churchill".

Hopkins se convenceu de que os britânicos continuariam lutando e escreveu a FDR "Esta ilha precisa de nossa ajuda agora, Sr. Presidente, com tudo o que pudermos.". Para os britânicos, o momento mais lembrado da viagem foi em um jantar em Glasgow com grande parte do gabinete, quando Churchill pediu a Hopkins que dissesse algumas palavras.

Roll destaca que esta declaração de apoio explícito excedeu as instruções de FDR e teria causado um alvoroço na época se tivesse se tornado pública nos EUA, mas o efeito foi elétrico no jantar. Lord Moran (médico de Churchill) escreveu que o primeiro-ministro foi reduzido às lágrimas "Ele sabia o que significava. Mesmo para nós, as palavras pareciam uma corda atirada a um homem que se afogava".

Naquela visita, Hopkins desenvolveu um relacionamento próximo com toda a família Churchill e ele se sentia muito à vontade para provocar o primeiro-ministro. A esposa de Winston, Clementine, que costumava criticar os associados políticos de seu marido, escreveu sua filha: "cativado por ele". A nora de Churchill escreveu sobre Hopkins que"ele teria um uísque" mas "nunca parecia comer nada"e que ele olhou:

Nos três anos seguintes, Hopkins esteve no centro das principais questões estratégicas sobre como a guerra deveria ser travada. A questão que dominou as discussões entre FDR e Churchill e entre os militares americanos e britânicos foi quando ocorreria a abertura da Segunda Frente por meio de um desembarque na França, discussões nas quais Stalin instigou seus aliados exigindo a frente assim que possível.

Cientes do derramamento de sangue na Frente Ocidental e em Gallipoli na Primeira Guerra Mundial, os britânicos estavam relutantes em empreender um ataque frontal na França. FDR estava preocupado que, se as tropas americanas não entrassem em ação contra a Alemanha rapidamente, o público exigiria que elas fossem usadas contra os japoneses apesar de, conforme discutido em O dia depois de Pearl Harbor, a decisão dos líderes americanos e britânicos de fazer da guerra contra os nazistas a principal prioridade. O general Marshall queria que um desembarque inicial na França fosse feito em setembro de 1942 e resistiu às tentativas britânicas de promover ações no Mediterrâneo e uma vez que a decisão foi tomada pelos desembarques no norte da África em novembro de 1942, ele resistiu sem sucesso aos desembarques na Sicília e na Itália em 1943, todos do que resultou no adiamento dos desembarques franceses até junho de 1944. FDR e Hopkins acabaram, depois de muitas voltas e reviravoltas, ao lado dos britânicos, mas em Teerã em novembro de 1943, quando Churchill ainda tentava escapar de um compromisso de invasão de 1944, eles finalmente o prendeu. Today, most military historians agree that postponing the invasion until 1944 was the right move as the American and British forces did not have the overwhelming strength in resources and lacked fighting experience in 1942 and 1943 which made chances of success much more questionable.

Hopkins played an essential role in all of these often heated discussions. Lendo The Hopkins Touch, I was left with the impression that while Hopkins was carrying out FDR's wishes there were times when he seems to almost take on the role of neutral mediator between the Americans and the British. His ability to know when to push an issue and when not to and how to talk with people is uncanny and he would stand up to FDR. At one meeting with the President in which Marshall protested an agreement FDR made with Churchill and threatened to resign, Hopkins took Marshall's side and persuaded FDR to go back to the Prime Minister and tell him he had changed his mind. In fact, a common theme of the book is the constant worry of FDR's subordinates about his susceptibility to Churchill's powers of persuasion and their reliance on Hopkins to prevent the worst from happening. Hopkins role in this respect was not limited to the Americans. In one instance, Hopkins interceded with Churchill to get him to back down from disrupting a delicate agreement reached between the two nations' military chiefs for which Brooke thanked him.

Roll does a terrific job capturing the personalities, strategic issues and disputes in an understandable way. He also tackles FDR's misconceptions about the Soviets and specifically, Stalin (which were shared by Hopkins both felt the American and Soviet systems would, in some mysterious way, converge over time). Chip Bohlen, a Soviet State Department specialist, said of Hopkins that "Harry was inclined to dismiss ideology" and the same can be said of FDR. The President was convinced that his personal charm would allow him to develop a relationship with Stalin that would last into the post-war world. This was an enormous miscalculation about a man who was ideologically driven and as cold, brutal, cunning and cynical as Hitler (see, for instance The Court Of The Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore). It is very clear from Roll and everything else I've read that U.S. policy towards Stalin was driven by the President and not his advisers or the State Department. On occasion, Hopkins indicated more of a sense of realism about the Soviets and, according to Bohlen, on the return flight from Moscow after his mission to Stalin in June 1945, Hopkins expressed "serious doubts as to the possibility of genuine collaboration with the Soviet Union", predicting that the "American belief in freedom might lead to serious differences".

However, as a practical matter, FDR's failure to realistically assess Stalin had relatively little impact on the course of the war which was driven more by the facts on the ground. Poland and Eastern Europe were going to end up under Soviet domination regardless of whether FDR miscalculated or not because the Soviet Army got there first.

One of the things that the book conveys were the difficulties of communication and travel. Compared to today's world with the Internet, Skype and jet planes, the 1940s seem like an ancient land. Flights were slow and roundabout and every sea voyage was a serious undertaking (and, of course, the Nazis might attack you in the process). This was particularly trying on Hopkins whose health was always precarious. The worst was his trip from England to Moscow in July 1941 for his first meeting with Stalin.

The flight to Russia was 21 hours nonstop in the cold, unheated cabin of a small Catalina airboat with Hopkins jammed into the Plexiglass tail blister, which was equipped with a machine gun. Because of headwinds the return trip took more than 24 hours. Both coming and going there were several aborted takeoffs and landings on choppy seas. On his return to England, a critically ill Hopkins was given blood transfusions and sedated, sleeping eighteen hours.

The Hopkins Touch reinforces what I've read in other accounts about how the day after day pressures, pace of work and scale of decision making, which continued for years, took a toll on the leaders of the Allied efforts. While FDR and Hopkins faced disabilities prior to the war, there is no doubt that these pressures contributed to their early deaths. 1944 was a turning point for both of them. In early 1944, antes he decided to seek reelection, FDR was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and many who had not seen him for awhile remarked on how shocked they were at his evident physical and mental deterioration during his last year. For Hopkins, it was the surgery at the Mayo Clinic he underwent in a vain attempt to improve his digestive system's ability to absorb nutrients - surgery that he never really recovered from. They weren't alone - Churchill's physician wrote of his physical decline during the last years of the war and the memoirs and biographies of the military leaders are replete with references to physical collapses and hospitalizations.

And it wasn't only the leaders and the soldiers on the front lines who suffered from these pressures. In a new book about America's remarkable wartime industrial mobilization, Freedom's Forge, Arthur Herman writes that the death and injury rate for war-related industrial production workers in 1942 and 1943 was twenty times the combat casualty rate for American servicemen during the same period.

Another example of these pressures is that the need to quickly build up a huge Air Force and train crews led to about 10,000 servicemen dying in training and transport accidents within the territorial United States, including, most famously, a B-25 bomber lost in the fog crashing into the upper floors of the Empire State Building.

On a lighter note, The Hopkins Touch has the added attraction of reminding us of Winston Churchill's ornate rhetoric (see, also A Lesson In Rhetoric) and unique lifestyle. From a note he sent to FDR in November 1940:

And his instructions to the White House butler during his December 1941 visit:

Although this has been a very long post, it covers only a fraction of the many fascinating aspects of Hopkins' work described in The Hopkins Touch. Harry Hopkins was a man who gave all he had to give for his country, including one of his sons, a Marine killed by the Japanese on Kwajalein Atoll in February 1944.


OTHER TRIPS AND CONFERENCES OF HARRY HOPKINS (1941-3)

July 13-August 4, 1941: Visit to London for meetings with Churchill and British military. In the middle a trip to Moscow to meet with Stalin less than a month after the German invasion began.

August 4-12, 1941: The Newfoundland "Atlantic Charter" meeting, the first time Roosevelt and Churchill met since WWI and starting with a small dinner party consisting of FDR, the Prime Minister and Hopkins.

December 22, 1941-January 14, 1942: Churchill comes to Washington DC with his military staff in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor to decide on common military strategy.

April 4-19, 1942: Hopkins and Gen Marshall go to London to discuss the Second Front.

July 18-26, 1942: Hopkins, Marshall and Admiral King go to London to discuss the Second Front and invasion of North Africa.

January 11-24, 1943: Casablanca Conference between Churchill and FDR

May 5-20, 1943: Churchill in the U.S. for strategy discussions.

August 17-30, 1943: Quebec Conference. FDR and Churchill.

November 13- December 16, 1943: First and second Cairo conferences between Churchill and FDR and Tehran Conference with Stalin.


Conteúdo

Social worker

Harry Lloyd Hopkins was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the fourth child of David Aldona and Anna (née Pickett) Hopkins, devout Methodist parents who taught him the Social Gospel. He attended Grinnell College and soon after his graduation in 1912 took a job with Christodora House, a social settlement in New York City's Lower East Side ghetto. In the spring of 1913 he accepted a position with the New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor (AICP) as "friendly visitor" and superintendent of the Employment Bureau. In October 1913, Harry Hopkins married Ethel Gross and the couple eventually had three sons: David (1914-1980), Robert (1921-2007) and Stephen (1925-1944).

In 1915, New York City's Democratic Mayor John Purroy Mitchel appointed Hopkins executive secretary of the Bureau of Child Welfare which administered pensions to mothers with dependent children.

In 1917 with the nation's entry into World War I, Hopkins became the American Red Cross director of Civilian Relief, Gulf Division. Eventually, the Gulf Division of the Red Cross merged with the Southwestern Division and Hopkins, headquartered now in Atlanta, was appointed general manager in 1921. Hopkins helped draft a charter for the American Association of Social Workers (AASW) and was elected its president in 1923.

In 1922, Hopkins returned to New York City where he became general director of the New York Tuberculosis Association. During his tenure, the agency grew enormously and absorbed the New York Heart Association.

When the Great Depression hit, New York State Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt called on Hopkins to run the first state relief organization in the nation – the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA). Hopkins and Eleanor Roosevelt began a long friendship, which strengthened his role in relief programs.

Personal life

Hopkins married as a young man a fellow welfare worker. They had three sons. In 1930 his wife filed suit against him for divorce in New York State, the charge being infidelity. She secured the divorce and an order for the payment of $5,000 a year in alimony. Hopkins was making $10,000 a year at the time. Shortly after the divorce, he took a second wife. He became WPA Administrator at a salary of $10,000 a year. Marquis W. Childs, in an article in the Postagem de sábado à noite of April 19 and 26, 1941, said Hopkins was hard pressed for funds under the circumstances and was having a difficult time meeting the alimony payments to his first wife. To cure this situation, social workers were brought together to raise a fund of $5,000 a year to take care of Hopkins' alimony. A number of small salaried little social welfare workers were assessed to pay Hopkins' obligation to support his children. In theory the money was collected to pay him for lectures. This arrangement went on for two years. Then in January, 1936, his salary was raised to $12,000 and the welfare workers were relieved of the burden of Hopkins' alimony.

Childs relates in the same article, that during those WPA days, Hopkins, who was so pressed for funds was, with the men around him, playing poker with losses so stiff they ran to $500 or $600 an evening and that he found the time and the means to spend weekends in the homes wealthy friends and to make frequent visits to the race tracks at Saratoga, Pimlico and Warrenton. Revista life has printed much the same stories about him.

According to Mr. Felix Belair in an article in Vida, Postmaster General Walker, John D. Hertz, and other millionaire friends, raised a purse to pay Hopkins $5,000 a year as head of Franklin D. Roosevelt's library at Hyde Park. When the Lend Lease act was voted the President arranged a $10,000 a year salary for Hopkins under the Lend Lease program. During this period Tom Beck, the head of the CrowellCollier Publishing Company, began paying him $5,000 a piece for seven or eight articles in the American Magazine over a period of several years for articles written in Hopkins name. In the meantime, he had moved into the White House where he enjoyed the additional privilege of free board and lodging. His second wife had died and his daughter by this marriage lived with him in the White House. When Hopkins and his third wife later moved to Georgetown, his daughter, after remaining with them a while, went back to the White House. Mrs. Roosevelt writes how she fretted about the lonely life of this child and spoke to Hopkins about it. He said to her: "That's totally unimportant. The only thing that is important is to win the war." He found plenty of time, however, to pursue at intervals his favorite forms of diversions in the night clubs of New York and Washington.


Harry Hopkins, Soviet agent

As a law student in the late 1940s, I became fascinated with the revelations of Communist penetration of American society, including Soviet espionage against the U.S. government. The sworn testimony of former spy couriers Whittaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley made it plain at least to me that hundreds of highly placed American citizens had betrayed their country to advance the cause and ultimate victory of the Soviet Union.
That conviction, which was shared by millions of my fellow Americans, resulted in the ferocious controversy that divided the country for more than a decade after the end of World War II, as the Cold War began. As the situation escalated with the conviction of Alger Hiss, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for perjury in denying that he had been a Soviet spy, the battle seemed to sway in our favor. But the liberals, dreading the charge that they had ignored the peril, counterattacked, turning Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy into an all-purpose villain who allegedly smeared innocent victims with groundless charges of communism or pro-communism, and gradually the tide turned. By the end of the 1950s the battle was over, and it seemed clear that the “anti-anti-communists” had won.
What no one but a few intelligence professionals knew was that in the early 1940s our government had recorded thousands of coded messages from Soviet agents in Washington and New York to their Moscow superiors, and in the ensuing years they had managed to decode many of them. These messages clearly demonstrated that our side in the great controversy was right. Alger Hiss had indeed been a Soviet spy, as charged. So had Julius Rosenberg and scores of others.
Yet for reasons still not explained, this enormously important information was withheld from the American public until a few short years ago, when Sen. Daniel Moynihan, New York Democrat, insisted that the damning documents be declassified. Under their code name, “The Venona Papers” are now available to everyone through the Library of Congress.
To read these dispatches from Moscow’s top spies is to glimpse the scope and success of their efforts, and the priceless help they received from hundreds of American traitors. As a guide to them, one cannot do better than to read “The Venona Secrets” (Regnery 2000), a new book by Herbert Romerstein and the late Eric Breindel.
Nearly 50 years have passed since this controversy was at a boil, and at least 60 since Soviet espionage was at its peak, so it is hardly surprising that there are many millions of Americans to whom even the name Alger Hiss is utterly meaningless. But there are still many people alive who can remember when the chief confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt was a man named Harry Hopkins. And they will be understandably astonished to learn that in a message dated May 29, 1943, Iskhak Akhmerov, the chief Soviet “illegal” agent in the United States at the time, referred to an Agent 19 who had reported on discussions between Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in Washington at which the agent had been present. Only Harry Hopkins meets the requirements for this agent’s identity. Small wonder that Akhmerov, in a lecture in Moscow in the early 1960s, identified Hopkins by name as “the most important of all Soviet wartime agents in the United States.”
It took 50 years to bludgeon Alger Hiss’ defenders into admitting that this suave bureaucrat, who rose to be chief of the State Department’s Office of Special Political Affairs, had actually been a Soviet agent all along. And it will probably take another 50 to force Franklin Roosevelt’s admirers to concede that their hero’s closest confidant and adviser was yet another Soviet agent.
But the documents and the testimony are now on the public record, and they make it plain that those of us who sounded the warning about Soviet espionage and policy subversion 50 years ago didn’t know the half of it.
“The Venona Secrets” contains much else that will shock those too young to remember these ancient battles. And for those of us who do remember, it is comforting evidence that the truth, however belatedly, has a way of coming out.

William Rusher is a distinguished fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy.


Work History

FDR created millions of jobs in just a few months' time, but the same feat would be impossible today.

In the autumn of 1933, Harry Hopkins was worried about the coming winter. Since May, he had served in Franklin Roosevelt's administration as head of the federal government's new -- in fact, its first -- program to distribute funds to the unemployed. Neither unemployment insurance nor food stamps nor welfare had yet come into existence. Only a handful of states had relief programs, and they were rapidly going broke. And private charity was almost laughably inadequate to the problems of a nation where unemployment stood close to 25 percent.

Hopkins feared that millions of Americans would be without food or shelter in the coming cold months. In October, he met with the president and proposed something new: a temporary federal jobs program to see the nation through the winter. It would employ 4 million people and last for four months. Roosevelt did a quick calculation, figured it would cost $400 million, and decided to take that money from the budget of the Public Works Administration, run by his secretary of the interior, Harold Ickes.

In time, the PWA would build such enduring monuments as the Bonneville and Boulder dams, the Triborough and Oakland Bay bridges, and the carriers Empreendimento e Yorktown, which ended Japan's advance across the Pacific at the Battle of Midway. But the PWA was slow to get up and running. As Roosevelt himself later wrote, the delay was the result "of the unavoidable time-consuming process of planning, designing and reviewing projects, clearing up legal matters, advertising for bids and letting contracts." Hopkins, as Roosevelt was fully aware, intended to short-circuit those processes -- indeed, to skip them altogether. It wasn't Management 101, but, as Hopkins frequently pointed out, "Hunger is not debatable."

What happened next was astounding -- by the standards of 1933 and, for that matter, of 2010. Indeed, Hopkins' initiative and ambition should be a model for our response to today's Great Recession. Hopkins' program, the Civil Works Administration (CWA), began operating on Nov. 9. He summoned governors and mayors to meet with him in Washington on Nov. 15 and submit proposals to put people to work. As the proposals came in, he approved them: 122 on Nov. 20, 109 on Nov. 21. By Nov. 26, he had approved 920 projects for Indiana alone, and 48,500 Indianans were already on the job, on the CWA's payroll, by that day.

"Ickes was concerned about the return on the taxpayers' investment," Robert Sherwood writes in his 1948 biography Roosevelt and Hopkins. "Hopkins did not give a damn about the return his approach was that of a social worker who was interested only in getting relief to the miserable and getting it there quickly."

By Christmas, the CWA was employing 2.6 million Americans. A few weeks later, Congress appropriated an additional $950 million, funding the expansion of the program to encompass a total of 4,264,000 workers. Thirteen million Americans had been unemployed at the start of November by early February, that figure had dropped to 9 million.

The overwhelming majority of CWA jobs were laborers' jobs, requiring the use of shovels and pickaxes. CWA workers repaired streets, built playgrounds, and paved airport runways and roads connecting farms to market. Another 50,000 of the workers on CWA payrolls were teachers, and 3,000 were artists and writers. In their four months on the job, the CWA's workers paved 255,000 miles of roads, built or improved 40,000 schools and 998 airports, and painted the San Francisco cityscape murals (including a scene of a library prominently featuring works by Marx and Lenin) on the inside of Coit Tower.

Putting millions of people to work in a space of two months was an amazing achievement. The 4.26 million Americans employed by the CWA constituted roughly 3.5 percent of the nation's population of 125 million people. Today, the Census Bureau estimates that America is home to 309 million. If a modern-day public-works program were employed on the same scale, it would employ 10.8 million Americans. Since the current recession began, the United States has lost 8.4 million jobs and failed to add the additional 2.7 million jobs it would need to hold unemployment steady due to population growth. In short, the nation needs to create 11.1 million jobs to get back to pre-recession levels.

If a new Harry Hopkins heading a new CWA were to come along, employing the same percentage of Americans that the old Hopkins and the old CWA employed, in just a few short months the recession would be over. But so far the Obama administration has failed to put such a program in place. And if, as many economists fear, the private sector fails to create many new jobs even as the recession ends, then New Deal?style public-jobs programs remain an option -- perhaps, the only option -- to return America to anything resembling full employment.

barack 0bama came to the presidency with long-standing plans to create universal health coverage and to slow global warming. But neither he nor the Democratic Party -- nor anyone, for that matter -- had a plan for how to remedy the most serious economic meltdown since the Great Depression no one had anticipated the calamitous near-collapse of American finance. Then again, the collapse of the American economy was not something Roosevelt or anyone during the boom years of the 1920s had anticipated, either.

Yet in dealing with both economic depression and war, Roosevelt demonstrated a stunning ability to improvise and mobilize, to create programs unlike any the nation had seen before and bring them to epochal scale in a relatively short time. In dealing with the current recession, by contrast, Obama has not had to invent policies from whole cloth. He and his advisers know the lessons of Roosevelt's presidency and Keynesian economics that is why he pushed a $787 billion stimulus program through Congress shortly after he took office. But while the stimulus clearly saved jobs (an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million in 2009), chiefly in the public sector, it was insufficient to stop the cutbacks in state and local governments and unable to keep the level of private-sector joblessness from rising. There is no latter-day equivalent of the CWA or the WPA (the Works Progress Administration, the public-jobs program, headed by Hopkins, that ran from 1935 until 1943).

There are complex reasons why we have not built 21st--century versions of these job programs. For one thing, political resistance to such policies is higher today than it was 75 years ago -- in part because today's misery is less acute, since the nation now has programs such as unemployment insurance and food stamps. America lacks the sense of existential crisis that it experienced in the depths of the Depression. Also, a resurgent American right, panicked by Obama's ascent to the presidency, has stepped up its war against government initiatives. Its efforts have been augmented by those of the deficit-phobes, who have dominated public discourse at the worst possible moment for a nation in need of all the economic stimulus it can get.

Because of this opposition, the $1.2 trillion stimulus proposal that Christina Romer, head of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, was going to present to the president didn't even reach his desk. Romer was convinced that anything smaller than her proposed stimulus would fail to stanch the economic bleeding. The president's political aides, however, deemed it too high to be enacted, and economic policy chief Larry Summers believed it would induce panic about its impact on the federal deficit.

In the end, the stimulus package cut payroll taxes, provided more funds for unemployment insurance, gave significant aid to state governments (particularly to keep Medicaid recipients from losing their benefits), and devoted a smaller amount of funds -- but still a lot of money -- for public works. Anti--government ideology and misplaced deficit phobia took their toll on the size and character of the stimulus package, but they do not explain why so much of the stimulus has failed to bolster the economy -- particularly those parts of the economy, such as infrastructure construction, that we associate with the New Deal's jobs programs.

The real culprit wasn't underfunding or lack of political will. It was poor implementation. The White House hasn't made the massive push that's required to overcome the normal inertia of government. And matters are complicated by the checks that liberals created to keep the government from building roads, rails, and other infrastructure by executive fiat.

"I kept hearing that we had lots of projects that were shovel-ready," says one administration official. "But they weren't. We have think tanks that make a compelling case for Keynesian stimulus. What we need, it turns out, is a think tank that tells us how to actually do a stimulus -- how we can get the dollars out there now" to reduce unemployment.

Much of the stimulus money, to be sure, flowed to its beneficiaries without encountering any bottlenecks at all. The reduction in payroll taxes almost immediately boosted workers' paychecks. The additional funds for unemployment insurance and food stamps went straight to their recipients. The aid to state governments enabled those governments to keep people on the Medicaid rolls and to substantially limit the layoffs of teachers and other public employees.

What the funds haven't done is boost employment in the two sectors that have hemorrhaged the most jobs: construction (where unemployment stands at 24.9 percent) and manufacturing (where it's at 12.6 percent). The latter sector suffers from special problems, because it now is subject to global competition and must await the return of the American consumer's purchasing power. But construction is the sector that first comes to mind as the object of a public-jobs program -- in part the result of the hold that the New Deal job programs have on our historic consciousness.

To gauge what actually happens -- and doesn't happen -- when stimulus money is sent to a state, let's look at California. The recession has been particularly devastating for the once-Golden State. In February, its unemployment rate stood at 12.5 percent, while the national rate was 9.7 percent. As the Southern California exurban housing boom -- fueled by sub-prime mortgages -- has shuddered to a halt, unemployment in the state's construction sector has soared to nearly 30 percent.

America's mega-state is the targeted beneficiary of $85 billion of the $787 billion stimulus package (that's 10.8 percent of the total the state is home to 12 percent of America's population). Funds that went to existing government aid programs reached their California recipients fairly quickly. In 2009, federal stimulus dollars supplanted the state's waning contributions to its Medicaid program, enabling the state to maintain coverage for more than 190,000 children, according to a report from the nonpartisan California Budget Project. The stimulus awarded $8.2 billion to the state to help with Medicaid for a two-year period, and by the end of 2009, $4.7 billion of it had been spent for that purpose. Another $1.4 billion was allotted to California beneficiaries of food stamps for a two-year period, and half that amount, $705 million, was spent in 2009. A further $4.8 billion was provided to the state for K-12 and higher education. Facing massive cutbacks in public schools and universities, the state spent $4 billion of that to keep classrooms open and teachers on the job.

But many stimulus programs are long-range and will take years to implement. California is set to receive an estimated $1.9 billion, for instance, in federal funding to develop a health information-exchange infrastructure, including electronic record-keeping. But such programs take time to develop. By the end of 2009, no funds had yet been awarded to California.

The real problem, however, is that some programs that aren't supposed to be long-range are turning out that way. The New Deal?type programs in the stimulus come chiefly in the form of grants from the departments of Energy and Transportation -- and these have been the slowest to be implemented. California received $620 million in weatherization and energy-efficiency dollars in 2009 but by year's end had spent just $6.7 million of that. The state received $2.3 billion for intercity high-speed rail, but the construction of such projects could take decades.

The disparity in the speed at which different projects get going is evident in the state's own tally of jobs funded through the stimulus dollars. By the end of 2009, stimulus money had funded 50,138 jobs in education but just 1,656 in transportation. Totaling all infrastructure spending in the stimulus, $10.6 billion was slated to come to California, $5.6 billion had been awarded, and just $1.2 billion spent by the end of last year.

O que aconteceu? Big government -- spending, that is -- ran into good government -- regulation, competitive bidding, environmental safeguards, the works. "To be shovel-ready is much more complicated now than it was in 1933," says Laura Chick, the former Los Angeles city controller (and a liberal Democrat) whom Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed as the state's inspector general of stimulus spending. "Environmental-impact reviews, historic-preservation safeguards, unionization of government workers -- these are good things, but they've changed the way government can operate. Plus which, the federal government said, 'We'll give you a ton of money, and we want you to spend it faster -- and better.' There are no exemptions from regulations that came with the stimulus funds. They didn't waive the requirement for competitive bidding they stressed competitive bidding."

She continues, "You can't just build a new bridge. You've got to do environmental-impact reports, you have to open up the decision to community input, you face potential lawsuits. I'm not saying concern for environmental impacts should go away, but it makes it harder to deal with an economic crisis."

Chick rolls off a litany of speed bumps. The federal government wanted community-based organizations in poor urban communities to undertake home-weatherization projects. But many organizations couldn't pay the federally mandated prevailing wages for construction work or meet the increased reporting standards that Washington mandated. Weatherization work in Los Angeles almost ground to a halt.

There have also been instances where federal spending and state cutbacks have collided. Chick discovered that many projects were stalled in the state's Office of Historic Preservation, which needs to sign off on myriad construction or modernization endeavors. As a result of Schwarzenegger's budget cuts and the furloughs for state workers, Chick found it was taking 60 days for the chronically understaffed office to get to and approve the most routine structural improvements.

Even when there are no extraordinary bottlenecks, things proceed slowly. "We got $25 million of the $256 million in Department of Energy (DOE) grants to the state Energy Commission to make 250 state office buildings more energy-efficient," says Scott Harvey, the chief deputy director of California's Department of General Services. "We do competitive bidding for the jobs. We've needed interagency agreements. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to calculate the number of jobs this would generate that required a lot of give-and-take between us and the DOE." To date, of the $25 million, only $5.4 million has gone out to contractors.

There's a further difference between today's infrastructure work and that of the New Deal: It's much more productive, and hence employs fewer people. "The work itself has changed since the '30s -- or the '60s," says Robert Balgenorth, president of the state AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Council. An electrician, Balgenorth built high schools during the 1960s. "It took 15 to 20 electricians to build a high school then," he says. "It takes four or five today. Stuff that we had to assemble then comes pre-assembled today." Heavy equipment has changed as well. "You can haul more in bigger trucks today," he says. "You need fewer drivers."

And yet, some of these constraints were around in Roosevelt's day, too. The great projects of the PWA proceeded, at Ickes' insistence, with painstaking deliberation and constant fiscal oversight. Ickes required states and localities to come up with 55 percent of the funding for projects, which slowed things down even more. Hopkins made no such demands in 1936, state and local governments covered just 9.8 percent of the WPA's costs.

Roosevelt had Hopkins create and run the CWA and then the WPA because he knew Hopkins would pay no heed to fiscal and procedural strictures. The work would be simple the labor, cheap. The average monthly wage for WPA workers was $82 for PWA workers (more likely to be skilled craftsmen), it was $330. While the PWA was building the Oakland Bay Bridge, the WPA in Oakland was engaged in rat control, book repairs at libraries, park improvements, painting schools, and hacking away underbrush to create fire trails. There was no competitive bidding for these projects, no means test for workers, and not much in the way of skills requirements.

And therein lies the problem with Obama's stimulus package: To the extent that it follows in Roosevelt's footsteps, it doesn't really re-create the WPA at all. It re-creates the PWA -- a far smaller program than the WPA in the number of people it employed and a far slower program to get up and running. Re--creating the WPA would require a sense of economic emergency so urgent that it would overcome not just the bureaucratic inertia common to much of government but also the conservative objections to more government spending, and the liberal objections to short-circuiting some of the safeguards erected against quick and large-scale infrastructure projects.

That doesn't mean liberals must go down the same road to countercyclical economics that China has, unhampered by the procedural, environmental, and democratic constraints that Americans take for granted. But these are not normal or healthy times, and liberals should exercise a preferential option for the tens of millions of unemployed Americans (particularly since their plight is not likely to be lifted through the normal workings of the economy), for reasons both of compassion and nation-building here at home.

Recently, Rep. George Miller of California, the chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, introduced a stimulus bill of his own, which would allocate roughly $100 billion to state governments, still facing massive cutbacks, to save the jobs of their teachers, nurses, cops, and firefighters. It's a necessary measure, but it doesn't address the continuing crisis in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Blue-collar men constitute 57 percent of the Americans who've lost jobs in this recession blue-collar white men (who are 11 percent of the work force and 36 percent of the unemployed) are the group whose support for Obama and the Democrats, by the evidence of the polls, has fallen the furthest.

The way that the government can create the most jobs in the least time, however, is to create them in the home-care, child-care, and preschool industries. A February study from the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College found that a $50 billion investment in these industries would generate 1.2 million new jobs, while the same $50 billion applied to infrastructure would yield just 556,000 jobs. The case for such an investment is both economic and moral -- the beneficiaries would disproportionately be low-wage women of color -- but given the state of American politics today, the political obstacles to enacting such a program would be major. Only if it were linked to programs creating more construction jobs would it even be conceivable -- and only barely at that.

What the nation needs economically, then, and what Obama needs politically, is a jobs bill that invests in home care and child care, boosts tax credits for domestic manufacturing (this is, in fact, the subject of one White House proposal), and hurls money into infrastructure spending (the kind of spending that Republicans oppose least). Obama then needs his own Harry Hopkins. The new Hopkins won't be able to dispense funds as quickly as the original, but he must convey the urgency and zeal for cutting red tape that Hopkins brought to the New Deal's job programs.

The heaviest lift, however, remains Obama's. The globalization (and the attendant overcapacity) of production and the long-term effects of the financial crisis mean that the manufacturing and construction sectors, which have provided decent-paying jobs to millions of workers and economic vibrancy to the nation, aren't likely to recover on their own. Obama needs to talk to Americans about the constrained economic future they will face if those sectors don't revive, as well as the benefits of more early childhood education and senior care -- and why the nation needs a massive government commitment to those sectors to recapture its economic vibrancy.

With the enactment of health-care reform, Democrats now insist they have turned their focus to jobs, jobs, jobs. Saying so but not doing so will only bring down the wrath of the electoral gods. However arduous the task, they need to find their way to build a new WPA.


Why Does it Matter?

I realize the question of whether Hopkins was a “dupe” or “agent of influence” inside the White House 80 years ago will strike some as the essence of esoteric. However, as I learned the hard way, after presenting in “ American Betrayal” a portrait of Hopkins that builds on the research of Romerstein and others, that this man’s eternal innocence is a precious, vital mythology for academia’s cabal, and woe to anyone who dares dispute it.

Porque? In part, it may come down to this: If Americans judge the evidence for themselves and conclude, like Romerstein and others, that Hopkins was an agent of Soviet influence, his central role in FDR’s administration—first, in bringing the socialist revolution we know as the “New Deal,” and, later, the disastrous decision-making that seems to have prolonged the fighting in World War II, thus enabling the communists to occupy half of Europe and later seize China—appears in a new and terrible light.

Everything we have been taught, not only about FDR and World War II, but also about the Cold War and the “American Century,” is suddenly upended. Even our conception of ourselves starts to unravel.

This is bad juju—at least, for the Swamp, which perpetuates “court history” to ennoble itself. It is, however, good—if bitter—medicine for the cause of honesty, repair, and reconstruction of the American republic.

Might Kengor have shifted his Hopkins assessment because of the emergence of new evidence that neutralizes Romerstein’s case? If so, I have yet to see it. In fact, all that erupted from “the professors” in response to my own brief against Hopkins—for example, Hopkins warning the Soviet Embassy that the FBI was eavesdropping on communist agents engaged in atomic espionage sworn testimony that Hopkins sent embargoed uranium to Moscow in the midst of the Manhattan Project Hopkins urging FDR to return the important defector Victor Kravchenko to the Soviets (just like Soviet Ambassador Andrey Gromyko, Hopkins chillingly referred to Kravchenko as a “deserter”) and much more—were toxic clouds of disinformation, not facts.

When Romerstein died in 2013, Kengor wrote a warm appreciation of his exceptional scholarship and real-life communist investigations for Congress. Ironically, Kengor met Romerstein in 2005 while attempting to vet the very 1983 Kennedy document that Kengor and Levin discussed on TV. Also ironically, in light of Kengor’s downgrading of Hopkins to “probably” just a clueless dupe, he ends his appreciation with a testament to the care and caution Romerstein applied to the sensitive work of trying to identify America’s covert enemies within.

Given Romerstein’s professional assessment that Hopkins was a Soviet agent of influence, this section of Kengor’s appreciation is worth quoting.

Romerstein, Kengor wrote, “was no bomb-thrower. He was the epitome of responsible, informed anti-communism. He was careful about drawing the necessary lines of distinction between a liberal, a liberal anti-communist, a genuine progressive, a closet communist masquerading as a ‘progressive,’ a socialist, a small ‘c’ or big ‘C’ communist/Communist, a Party member or non-Party member, and so forth.

“He never wanted to falsely accuse anyone. I doubt his detractors on the left will pause to credit him for such prudence. For many on the left, every anti-communist rightly concerned with Soviet agents or agents of influence was merely another burgeoning Joe McCarthy.”

(It pains me, but I will have to let Kengor’s gratuitous “Joe McCarthy” dig pass.)

Kengor continued: “Herb Romerstein was anything but. And he wanted those of us who follow in his footsteps, or who are concerned about communism still—and about truth above all—to be likewise as careful and thoughtful. Perhaps our best tribute to Herb’s memory would be to do our best to expose what he exposed and remind Americans and the world of what he reminded.”

I agree. So here goes. Romerstein responsibly, carefully, and thoughtfully concluded that Hopkins, aka FDR’s “co-president,” was both a spy and an agent of influence.

Diana West is an award-winning journalist and the author of two books: “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character” and “The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.



Comentários:

  1. Abdul-Malik

    Antes de pensar o contrário, agradeço a ajuda nesta pergunta.

  2. Dovev

    Bravo, você foi visitado por um pensamento admirável

  3. Trung

    Noteworthy, it's the funny phrase



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