When people want an idea to be true, they will continue to believe it even after it has been exposed as untrue.
The popular American view, and the one put forth officially, was that the US was intervening around the world only to contain the Soviet threat. But historians can never let a popular view stand. Something else must always be true, because they need to demonstrate that they understand these things better than the masses. The revisionist historians of the 1950s and especially 1960s asserted that the US was intent on aggressive spread of capitalism, so that it could dominate extractive trade more easily. The Soviet Union was never going to invade America and wished only regional influence. It was the aggression of the Americans, in fact, that caused the Soviets to become so deeply involved around the world, propping up freedom movements trying to resist the US hegemony.
Let me note that this revisionist view is not entirely untrue. We did want to promote trade (I call that a good thing), but we did some terrible things in support of that. Most commonly, we supported leaders and parties in foreign countries who were oppressive bastards because they looked more favorable to trading with us. We also took unfair advantage in many places. Their opposite numbers, supported by the communists, were usually worse, and there were seldom any decent parties available with a ghost of a chance of wielding power. I think it is a fair discussion to examine harshly what America did and if there were better choices, as there usually were choices that were at least somewhat better. The difficulty is that this discussion itself rapidly became unfashionable among historians. The accusing narrative became the preferred, set against the exaggerations of goodness that most Americans told themselves. Certainly, there were exaggerations of goodness. Still are. But the destruction of those popular myths, not the uncovering of truth, became the real aim.
You will note that this coincides with the rise of the belief that there is no truth, only competing power narratives. That has always struck me as a convenient philosophy for them, as it steers away from gathering information and understanding it, preferring instead to engage in conflict based on accusation of bad motives.
Robert James Maddox was (is! I find he is still alive at 90 years old) an anti-revisionist historian who came out with a book about The New Left and the Origins of the Cold War in 1973, which challenged the revisionist view. Included in this challenge - indeed the heart of the challenge - was that when one checked the footnotes of the revisionist historians, they not only did not support the claimed thesis, but often directly contradicted it. They built it brick by brick and looked impressive, but a great many bricks were not themselves solid. Yet they all told each other how correct they were, and how clearly they were onto something. Maddox had just previously written in criticism of a NYTimes essay "Did Anyone Start the Cold War?" and was already under fire from other historians. But the NYTimes reviewed his 1973 book quite positively. And while we could not expect that this should have put an end to the matter, it should have been the beginning of the end for the revisionists. Misrepresenting (though perhaps only misunderstanding) one's sources is damning in academic writing.
Yet everyone went blithely on. Maddox, though eventually professor emeritus from Penn State, was simply outnumbered and had ideas that were unpopular.
Relatedly, here is Maddox on the myth that the Japanese wanted to surrender, but Truman was intent on sending the atomic bomb "message" to the Soviet Union, resulting in hundreds of thousands of needless deaths. Notice that when he is arguing with the revisionists, challenging them to find even wisps of facts to support the thesis, they accuse him of ignoring "a huge body of distinguished scholarship." But that was the professor's point. That huge body was based on nothing but a desire for it to be true.
I recall in the 90s, as I was shedding the last of my liberalism, that our behavior after the collapse of the Soviet Union was good evidence in favor of the originally popular view. When the USSR could no longer afford to prop up leftist movements, we departed as well, leaving countries to rule themselves, even if they didn't do as we wished. I thought we had made good on our claim. A reasonable discussion at least.
But my main point is about the footnotes, and the refusal to abandon treasured idea just because it has been exposed.