It takes a bit of courage to start on a 1000 page biography of a lesser known president (relative to Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt(s)). However, for those of you decide to jump in may find yourself transformed at how you look at politics and America as a whole. David McCullough has been given much (very well deserved) praise for his biography on John Adams. McCullough clearly deserved the attention (and the Pulitzer to boot), but it seems that "John Adams" has caused his … more
Harry Truman was in the middle before he was born. His maternal grandparents were slave-holding Unionists in the border state of Missouri in the days before the American Civil War, while his uncle "Jim Crow" Chiles was a murderous Confederate renegade. Later on, Truman found himself in the middle again, a compromise choice for Vice President pushed into the Oval Office in the closing days of World War II. Truman saw that through to victory, then presided over the beginning … more
This work is a true joy to read. McCullough, like his subject, Truman, has a knack for "telling it like it is." I have quite a number of Truman Biographies in my collection and have read several others. This by far, in my opinion is the best. The author has been very ballanced in his study of this leader, showing warts and all. He does it nicely though. Now I must admit to being a big fan of Truman so I am sure my assessment of this work is flavored by that liking. Nevertheless, I do feel I know … more
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 an accidental president after Roosevelt's death 12 weeks into his fourth term. Truman's stunning come-from-behind victory in the 1948 election showed how his personal qualities of integrity and straightforwardness were appreciated by ordinary Americans, perhaps, as McCullough notes, because he was one himself. His presidency was dominated by enormously controversial issues: he dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, established anti-Communism as the bedrock of American foreign policy, and sent U.S. troops into the Korean War. In this winner of the 1993Pulitzer Prize, McCullough argues that history has validated most of Truman's war-time and Cold War decisions.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.