American Experience: Truman
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I've always liked Truman, he called it like he saw it, and he didn't take any guff from anyone. Watching both videos, it made me shake my head, and fear the future of our nation. We will never see men like Truman and FDR again.
The documentary covered Truman from birth to the end of his presidency, and brought up a fact about the Marshall Plan that I never knew. It was packed with his personal life and his public life, and put a human face on a simple farmboy, his struggles in life and his ability to overcome.
It showed what made Truman, TRUMAN.
This was a critical time in 20th century American history from the Depression thru the first years of the Cold War, and I can't imagine any other two Presidents doing anything close to the good jobs they did.
What really grabs one who is already familiar with the history, tho, about this Truman documentary, is the man. If there's one sentence in this 4.5 hours of film that stands out in my mind, it's his refusal to drop any more but the first two atomic bombs on Japan - "I don't want to kill any more kids."
That simple probably unrehearsed sentence says it all about him. Duty-bound in his own view to order those first two bombings to save what could have been hundreds of thousands of Japanese and American lives in a continuation of the traditional war and defending his decision to his death, he still knew what he had done, and he cared. And I believe that he was privately bothered about those kids in particular until he died.
And the presentation of that segment of the documentary, which pulled few punches with its imagery, was beautifully "neutral" in tone and style. It simply told the story of what he believed was needed and of what that led to.
Bravo, PBS. :)
Jason Robards does a wonderful job in narration. The commentators, especially McCullough, are concise and thoughtful. I discovered a wonderful insight into this man and his presidency. I continue to be amazed as to how a president can find himself so very unpopular at the time he left office only now to find himself routinely rated as one of the ten best presidents this country has seen.
For those of us who call ourselves American history buffs, this DVD is a must have.
The man who would take us through some of the most tumultuous times in our history came from a modest background. In school he met the love of his life, Bess and would spend his early years trying to earn a comfortable living to win her hand. He invested in drilling for oil but went broke just a couple of hundred feet before he would have struck it rich. War intervened and blind as a bat he entered the army by memorizing the eye chart. His men elected him captain. After the war, he went into the haberdashery business only to fail in four years. It took him 15 years to pay off his debts. The head of the Missouri political machine was Tom Pendergast who suggested that Harry run for U.S. Senator after he got him elected as a judge. With Pendergast's ability to deliver the vote, Truman was elected. He joined the FDR ticket in 1944, becoming vice president. He would hold that job for only 83 days.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You must see this. Truman took office after the great FDR but was not expected to amount to anything. He performed with humbleness, dignity and toughness. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Malachi Constant
Very compelling story of an often under-rated president. I enjoyed every minute of this documentary and would highly recommend it.Published 6 months ago by C. Ledford
Great show about a great president. Riveting watching. In depth coverage but always lively.Published 6 months ago by John P.
As you would expect the PBS series "American Experience: Truman" looks at the life and times as well as the presidency of Harry Truman. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Janet Chandler