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Truman Fires MacArthur: (ebook excerpt of…

Truman Fires MacArthur: (ebook excerpt of Truman)

by David McCullough

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This is a fabulous biography. While the length may be intimidating to some, it's a fast and enlightening read. Mr. McCullough is a master at bringing people from history alive, and he doesn't fail here.

Of course, there is plenty of Mr. Truman in this book, but Truman's time was so eventful, one gets to experience some of the most significant events of the 20th Century. The Civil War, WW1, WW2 and Korea are all touched here.

As a man, Truman carried himself with integrity and respect for the office. He came from simple origins, worked hard, and with some luck achieved greatness. He should be a model for how future Presidents treat the office. It's unfortunate, but I don't think a person like him could reach the Presidency in today's political climate.

I didn't agree with all of his policies, but for his time he was a true progressive and continued Mr. Roosevelt legacy, even pushing for Universal Health Care. He fought for the common man and labor. He had a natural skepticism of Big Money and Wallstreet. These are all qualities I admire in any President.

Regardless of one's personal political ideology, one cannot go wrong with this book. Mr. Truman's story is truly a American story, one that anyone would greatly appreciate. This is definitely one of my top 10 favorite Biographies. Recommended. ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |

I don’t often read nonfiction of a political nature and it is amazing that I tackled this one at over 1000 pages. (And therein lies my main criticism and my 4 vs 5 stars; after reading half of this tome, I felt the need for a break.)
I knew little about President Truman and came to admire him very much. A quiet farmer from Missouri rose through the political ranks and was thrown into the White House, in the midst of WWII, with the death of the popular FDR - big shoes to fill. The weight of the world fell on his shoulders as he worked with Churchill, George Marshall, Eleanor Roosevelt and Dean Acheson and dueled with Stalin.
Strong, decisive and moral, he is the president responsible for the Truman Doctrine*, NATO, the Marshall Plan (for European recovery), the Berlin airlift and the beginnings of desegregation. He had the backbone to fire the well-liked General MacArthur after he made public announcements, against Truman’s directive, that contradicted the administration’s policy. But this pales in comparison to the immense weight of the decision to use the atom bomb to end the WWII.
The unassuming man from Missouri must have surprised all who knew him when he became the remarkable “Give ‘em hell Harry”. Sadly he had financial difficulties after leaving the White House as at that time there was no retirement package for Presidents or senators.
The book was meticulously researched historian-writer by David McCullough.

* The Truman Doctrine was the policy that lent support to countries such as Greece and Turkey after the Soviets expanded their reign early in the Cold War. (On a personal note, although the Truman Doctrine was drafted before I was born, it was directly responsible for the beginning of my father’s diplomatic career and the reason I grew up overseas.)
( )
  CindaMac | Mar 26, 2017 |
I was floored by this book. Although I studied American History in college and graduate school, I never seemed to make it past the Depression, and so I really had very little concept of what Harry Truman had accomplished.

What was most incredible to me is how much Truman (at least in McCullough's retelling) was truly willing to do what he thought was best for his constituents--whether that was his local district, or the entire country--no matter how much it might impact his political future.

In an environment like we are experiencing in the Summer of 2011, where the US Senate is so bound up in partisanship and ideology that they seem to prefer driving the economy into another recession rather than considering compromise, reading this book was truly an insight into the ways that modern media and technology has changed the nature of the political process.

Really a great book--and, as with all of the McCullough works that I have read, it remained consistently readable and interesting throughout.

I will say, however, that this is a great book to read on an e-book reader--this book is HEAVY! :-) ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
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