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Harry S. Truman Paperback – May, 1993

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 602 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (P) (May 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380721120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380721122
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,688,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Margaret Truman treats the reader to an intimate biography of her father. She tells the traditional stories of his courtship and life long love affair with Bess, his life on the farm, his service in World War I and his unsuccessful haberdashery venture. She continues on through his entry into politics and involvement with the Pendergast machine. The senate campaigns of 1934 and 1940 and the choice for Vice President set the stage for Harry Truman's role of a lifetime. His succession to the Presidency started a dizzying sequence of crises including the founding of the United Nations, the use of the atomic bomb and the surrender of Japan. He then lead the country through a rash of post war strikes and inflation leading to Democratic defeat in the 1946 Congressional elections. Rebounding, Truman fought off the Berlin Blockade and won a stunning upset victory in the 1948 elections. In his second term he restored the decaying White House, was harassed by Joseph McCarthy and had his presidency redefined by the Korean War. Deciding not to seek reelection, Truman began his unsuccessful effort to mold Adlai Stevenson into his successor. After leaving the White House, Truman found most of his satisfaction in his family and in teaching others about government.

I like this book for its intimate view of Harry Truman's life. Margaret provides a perspective lacking in all other biographers. Her view of family life and the quotes from Harry's diaries and letters make this book a unique delight.

In dealing with aspects of Truman's life this book lacks the depth found in some other biographies. In some respects, Margaret is a bit too strident in defense of her Father. I recommend other works for an initial Truman biography and this one to deepen the reader's understanding of Harry. Other books provide a better understanding of the historical Harry Truman. Margaret provides an excellent introduction to her Dad.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dennis C. Brown on September 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this Truman biography for my 94-year old mother-in-law at her request. She was thrilled with it. Loved the fact that "there has been a president who loved his wife and daughter." Even more so that it was written by the daughter. Even as a life-long Republican, the facts above led her to conclude that "Truman was a wonderful man." The delivery was very timely and the edition received in good shape.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By pat Rick on February 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was an interesting view of Truman as seen through the eyes of his daughter Margaret who by the way became one of the outstanding American mystery authors of the 20th century. Seening the presidency this way was really interesting as it is from a person who was there not someone just researching and gathering information. Who could know him better then the whole family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on November 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a highly personal and surprisingly good biography by First Daughter Margaret Truman (1924-2008). Ms. Truman affectionately examines her father's Missouri upbringing, courtship with Bess, experiences in World War I, as a haberdasher, and as County Judge (Administrator). Readers follow as President Truman (1884-1972) graduates to the U.S. Senate in 1934, his surprise selection for Vice President in 1944, and his ascension to the top upon President Roosevelt's death in April, 1945. Then we follow along through Truman's Presidency, which he later said was akin to riding a tiger - keep abreast of events or get swallowed up. As many know, Truman's nearly eight years in the oval office involved ceaseless pressure from Potsdam, the Atom Bomb, postwar strikes, Israel, the 1948 election, Korea, confronting McCarthyism, etc. No wonder he called the White House the big white jail. Then it was back to Independence in early 1953 as private citizen and elder statesman.

Ms. Truman takes an nicely intimate look, with revealing quotes from his diaries and letters. Yet she doesn't always dig deeply enough, at times she's critical of other Truman biographers, and can we expect true objectivity from one who (understandably) addresses her subject as Dad? Still, this book is clearly worth a look. Just be sure to see another solid Truman biography (such as David McCullough's) for a more rounded view.
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By ellison on May 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Story of Harry S. Truman as told by his only child/daughter Margaret Truman. The book opens in the midst of the hard fought 1948 Presidential campaign against Thomas Dewey, at the end Harry went to sleep at an Excelsior Springs, MO hotel and awoke the next morning to find out he won the election.

From there the read takes us back to Harry's growing up years in Independence, MO and school, he played piano and considered becoming a professional. He eventually marries Bess Wallace and they have Margaret.

Harry ends up going to Europe and Captains a gun there.

Upon his return he struggles in business, he farms but hardly of any worth, he and a friend have a clothing shop which tanks, and he invests in minerals which also does poorly.

He becomes a judge and has contact with local strong-man Tom Pendergast. His influence still hangs over Kansas City today due to fear of how much power he had, the Mayor's office does not have as much power as other cities' mayors.

Harry becomes a U.S. Senator and begins his Washington career as he forms the Truman Committee to see how $ is handled in the War Department and finds it is being wasted.

He is basically conscripted to be FDR's Vice President in 1944. About six months later FDR is dead and Harry is the President. He had seen FDR two times. He is happy that V-E Day occurs on his birthday, May 8. He meets at Potsdam with Churchill and Stalin to figure out what to do about Japan, it is there he receives news that the Atomic Bomb does work and that it is almost a supernatural weapon. Stalin does not want to negotiate anything as Communism's ultimate goal is to stretch to the Atlantic Ocean!
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