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Truman

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. This warm biography of Harry Truman is both an historical evaluation of his presidency and a paean to the man's rock-solid American values. Truman was a compromise candidate for vice president, almost...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Excellent read. Highly recommend!

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Although it is close to 1000 pages long, the pages flew by. Truman was truly a wonderful person and excellent president. David McCullough’s writing really brings this out through anecdotes and personal stories told by Truman and those close to him. If you’re hesitant to embark on a biography of this size and scope, do not be dismayed! I read it in about three weeks and loved every minute of it.

The biography of an authentic American

I am a great fan of biographies of great men. This is the first time I have ached to spend time in the company of the subject of a biography. There is something about Harry Truman --underestimated, shrewd, fallible, magnificent, decent and straight-taliking -- that comes across in this biography. I highly recommend this book.

Superb Coverage Of An Amazing Man's Life and Times!

Into the press of circumstance and the irony of history strode the diminutive and bespectacled Harry S. Truman, who promptly grinned his way into becoming the single most surprising President of the 20th century. Written off as a party hack of the Missouri democratic machine until very late in his political career, Truman astounded everyone by picking up the shambles left in the wake of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's sudden death and turning in a deft and remarkable performance against the most formidable of odds. In this best-selling biography by noted author and historian David McCullough (The Path Between The Seas), one is treated to a massively informative and yet immensely readable treatment of Truman's life and times. The author uses a treasure-trove of newly available archives, personal interviews, and historical records to show how the unassuming man from Missouri who everyone under-appreciated became responsible for everything from the successful conclusion of WWII to the Marshall Plan to the formation of NATO to the Berlin Airlift rose to assume the Presidency in one of our nation's darkest moments. From his first halting steps as a young man rising out of poverty and a farm family background to become a sudden war hero who led men bravely in combat, from his frequent missteps and failures as a post-war businessman to a first failed try for local political office, from his quick rise from county-level politics to become the darling and frequent benefactor of the quite colorful Pendergast political machine, this is the stuff of a momentous 20th century life, told as well as it can be by a master of historical biographies. Truman, who arose from a family beset by tragedy, missteps, and misfortune, was saddled before adulthood with the responsibilities and burdens that were so common for those coming of age early in this century. His is the story of a man who kept trying, arising again and again when life and misfortune knocked him down, and like the proverbial hero of one of Horatio Alger's novels, Truman's persistence and dogged courage before personal defeat eventually brought him to public prominence and to the United States Senate.Once established in the Senate, Truman quite rapidly (and totally unexpectedly) proved himself a consummate diplomat, negotiator, and dogged proponent for what was right, rational, and reasonable. In doing so, he earned himself a reputation as man with uncommon moral character and indefatigable energy. Later this strength of character and ability to do the hard things when pressed to do so proved invaluable, as in the decision to employ the atomic bomb against Japan and to fire that most vexing and perplexing of military war heroes, the legendary Douglas MacArthur. McCullough's treatment reveals for us the drama of Truman's sudden and unexpected tour as President; a terrifying, wrenching and extraordinarily difficult balancing act for someone left so singularly unprepared and unprepared as was Truman. Yet so ma

Surprising for a biography, this was a page-turner.

At first the size of this book can seem daunting. However, from the very first page I found it fascinating. For most of the 1,000 or so pages it read like a novel, a real page-turner. Because of the kind of time commitment necessary to read a book of this size, I read it in sections over a couple months, reading other things in between. Having lived through most of the significant events discussed in the book, I found them presented with accuracy. Mr. McCullough showed all sides of every significant conflict. The book gives a fascinating insight into the difficulties of public office and the setting of public policy. It also presents Harry S. Truman as a man of real integrity and one who will, in the long run, undoubtedly go down as one of our great presidents. Throughout this book I was consistently impressed with Mr. Mccullough's writing style. Anyone who can keep the pages turning for 1,000 pages of biography is an extremely skilled writer! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in 20th century American history, but also to anyone interested in just plain good writing!

Truman Mentions in Our Blog

Truman in Resolving to Read More History
Resolving to Read More History
Published by Lance Pettit • March 07, 2018

Getting inspiration and learning more about times past.

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