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Truman (1992)

by David McCullough

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5,436741,675 (4.39)223
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America's beloved and distinguished historian. The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters--Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson--and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man--a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined--but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman's story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman's own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary "man from Missouri" who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
A wonderful, abbreviated version of the David McCullough biography of President Harry S. Truman. No one narrates quite like McCullough (unless it’s Peter Cayote), and he is at his best with the narration of this book. If I came away with one thing having listened to this book it’s that Harry Truman should be recognized as one of the greatest president in our nation’s history. Unlikely as his rise to the White House was, he met the challenge with somewhat feigned confidence and total devotion to the job. And meet the challenges of the office he did. I have a new respect for Truman after listening to the McCullough biography. I’m glad I listened to it. ( )
  FormerEnglishTeacher | Nov 4, 2022 |
Bibliography: p. 1058. Includes index.
  TorontoOratorySPN | Aug 31, 2022 |
Bizarrely readable for its thousand pages, even when McCullough is harping on how healthy Truman is. Focus never departs from the subject, even though it must have been tempting to digress into analysis of the atomic bomb, the Korean war, life after the Presidency, etc. When there is conflicting information, McCullough often quotes both sources, and indicates which seems more accurate, which makes him seem trustworthy as a biographer. Although I should admit I never once looked at the endnotes or bibliography (992 pages is quite enough!). ( )
  bexaplex | Aug 20, 2022 |
For those who don't read history because they find it boring, this is a great starter book to change your mind. Extremely well written. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
Such a terrific book, a real masterpiece. Harry Truman was one of our greatest Presidents. ( )
  John_Hughel | Jun 23, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
THROUGH most of his nearly eight years as President, Harry Truman was profoundly unpopular. Joe Martin, the Republican Speaker of the House in the late 1940's, called Truman "the worst President in history." Liberals so despaired of him during his first term that they tried to draft Dwight D. Eisenhower to replace him as the Democratic nominee in 1948. Even among the many who liked Truman personally, there was always a tendency to view him as one member of the Cabinet did on April 12, 1945, the day Franklin Roosevelt died. Truman was sitting alone in a big leather chair against a wall in the Cabinet Room of the White House, waiting for the Chief Justice to arrive and swear him in as President. The Cabinet member glanced at him and later remembered thinking: "He looks like such a little man."

Truman's popularity revived at times during his Presidency, most notably during his remarkable campaign for re-election in 1948. But the revivals were always brief. The real rehabilitation of his reputation -- the process that has turned him into something of a folk hero -- began later, well after he left office, and has accelerated in the 20 years since his death. Its culmination may be "Truman," David McCullough's warm, affectionate and thoroughly captivating biography. "Truman," Mr. McCullough writes near the end of this long book, "held to the old guidelines: work hard, do your best, speak the truth, assume no airs, trust in God, have no fear." He was "a figure of world stature, both a great and good man, and a great American President." . . .
added by PLReader | editNY Times, Alan Brinkley (Jun 21, 1992)
 
No brief review can begin to do justice either to Truman or to the monumentally persuasive job McCullough has done re-creating his life and times.
 
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We can never tell what is in store for us.
---Harry S. Truman
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For Dorie Kane McCullough
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In the spring of 1841, when John Tyler was President, a Kentucky farmer named Solomon Young and his red-haired wife, Harriet Louisa Young, packed their belongings and with two small chidren started for the Far West.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America's beloved and distinguished historian. The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters--Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson--and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man--a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined--but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman's story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman's own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary "man from Missouri" who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.

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