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Affection and Trust: The Personal Correspondence of Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, 1953-1971 Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 2, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
This book contains the "personal correspondence" between former President Truman and Dean Acheson, his monumental Secretary of State, between 1953 and 1971, that is the period after Truman had left the White House. The book is very well designed by its editors, David Acheson (son of Dean) and Ray Geselbracht. First there is a brief Introduction by David McCullough, who has written extensively on Truman. The letters themselves are presented chronologically in eight chapters, identified by the prominent themes discussed. Each chapter has a superb picture and short introduction by the editors framing the larger context. Usually, each letter itself has a brief introduction explaining references, background, and context. There is a complete listing of all letters at the end of the book, as well as a quite detailed index which is very helpful.
The pictures really add to the contributions of the book. My favorite heads chapter 1, and shows Truman returning from his Wake Island Conference in 1950 with General MacArthur. Here is the essence of the Truman presidency, as HST stands surrounded by such luminary figures as Averell Harriman, George Marshall, Omar Bradley, and of course Acheson. Truman may be the shortest in physical stature, but he is the tallest in historical stature among these giant figures.Read more ›
Having said this, many of these collected letters are simple ones related to schedules, trips, speaking engagements, family matters, and the sort. Others exhibit sharp partisan zeal reminding the reader that deep national political divisions are not new to our country. The correspondence is written by both authors in plain, clear prose; President Truman's is more folksy, while Secretary Acheson's is more polished and lively.
I hasten to add that a number of the letters in this book are quite interesting for what they reveal about the domestic and international politics and political personalities of the 1950s and 60s.
(The headnotes to the letters by the son of Dean Acheson are concise and helpful. And the design of the dust jacket by Darren Haggar is superior.)
The book is a compilation of letters between Harry Truman and Dean Acheson, BFF in today’s terms with sub notes by Truman’s daughter Margret. Very interesting read. A behind the scenes sort of book. I truly wish Harry Truman was alive today to comment on the shenanigans going on in the government today. An Eye opener for sure. A must read to accompany his other books.
At first glance, Truman and Acheson might seem the 'odd couple.' Truman, the only 20th century U. S. president who never attended college, had spent much of his life in Missouri with scant distinction. By contrast, Acheson was an erudite, Saville-Row-draped Yale and Harvard Law School graduate who had clerked for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, had served in the Roosevelt administration, and was a distinguished lawyer before re-entering government and becoming Under Secretary of State and then Secretary of State in the Truman administration.
In fact, Truman was extremely well read and his letters reflected a firm grasp of history. When Truman returned to Washington after the Republicans had captured the House and the Senate in the 1946 election, Acheson was the only senior administration official who awaited Truman at Union Station. During the Cold War years, Truman and Acheson became bonded at the hip--they were both Cold War warriors who took decisive action and defended one another against Republican and media brick bats.
This correspondence was initiated by President Truman, following a January 20th farewell luncheon hosted by Acheson. Truman signed letters Harry Truman, Harry S. Truman, or, occasionally,Harry. A deferential Acheson referred to Truman as Mr. President, Boss, or, rarely, Mr. Truman. Despite such formality, this exchange was clearly between two dear friends who greatly respected one another.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The word "outstanding to me understates how great this book is. Analyzing the exchange of personal letters by President Harry S Truman and his former Secretary of State, Dean... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Robert Cunningham
I truly enjoyed this trip down memory lane as we got a glimpse into this friendship between two great leaders. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Rita A. Vehon
Their relationship was unique in American history.
We are grateful they were around at the right time!
Excellent insight into a long relationship between two powerful men. Very enlightening to how they actually thought. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Ted Graves
This book was an eye opener. I didn't expect such a warm connection between Truman and Acheson. They don't seem like the same type. It was heartwarming to read their letters.Published on June 7, 2014 by Mary Mertz