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The Soldier from Independence: A Military Biography of Harry Truman Hardcover – September 10, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

“You have a fine looking bunch of men, Captain. And I hope you will take them home as clean morally and physically as they were when they came over so that the people at home can be as proud of them as I am.”

—General John J. Pershing to Captain Harry S. Truman

 

Truman took great pride in hearing these words when American Expeditionary Force commander General Pershing, accompanied by the young Prince of Wales, performed his farewell inspection in January 1919. Unfortunately, the event turned embarrassing when a politically motivated private of Irish descent, with no love lost for England, blurted out, “Captain, ask that little son-of-a-bitch when he’s going to free Ireland.”

As always, Truman had done his best, but grew increasingly concerned with getting all of his men home alive. Even with the combat over, sickness and death were becoming a regular occurrence throughout the American army in France. Meanwhile, as his adventure in the Great War wound down, Truman’s thoughts turned homeward, to resolving the long-delayed marriage to his beloved Bess.

 

From the book:

“The sounds of battle had sunk back into one of their periodic lulls, so if the wind was right, the nearly horizontal, high-velocity stream of shells passing exactly a half mile to the south might have even reached the ears of the men at the observation post. They certainly would have heard the close-in detonations across the Aire seconds after the earth and smoke shot skyward, and Truman later boasted, “I’m the only battery commander in the 129th who ever saw what he fired at and I think that is some distinction.”1 So accurate was Truman’s and Kelley’s computations, and the work of the 2nd and 3rd Gun Sections, that Dizzy D only fired 49 rounds at the target, with perhaps the last half-dozen or so hanging in the air, when Truman ordered a cease fire. Scratch one Hun battery.”

 

 

The Soldier from Independence recounts the World War I military adventure that would mark a turning point in the life of a humble man who would go on to become commander-in-chief as the thirty-third president of the United States.

 

D. M. Giangreco served as an editor at Military Review, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for twenty years and has lectured widely on national security matters. An award-winning author of nine books on military and sociopolitical subjects, he has also written extensively for various national and international publications and news agencies. Giangreco’s work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Russian (pirated), Japanese, and Chinese. His most recent books are Dear Harry on the correspondence of “everyday Americans” with the Truman White House (2000), Artillery in Korea: Massing Fires and Reinventing the Wheel (2003), Eyewitness D-Day (2004), and Eyewitness Vietnam (2006).

From the Back Cover

As commander-in-chief, President Harry S. Truman authorized dropping The Bomb. Despite making what is arguably the most momentous decision in the history of the world, critics have dismissed the “the Kansas City haberdasher” as having no significant military credentials, discounting his service in World War I as a field artillery battery commander in combat. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth, as The Soldier from Independence: A Military Biography of Harry Truman makes clear.

 

Author D. M. Giangreco’s biography of Truman adds a whole new dimension to the already fascinating character of the thirty-third president of the United States. Giangreco shows how, as a commander in combat, Truman was already making the hard decisions that he knew to be right, regardless of personal consequences. He describes how Truman saved a neighboring infantry regiment from a surprise German attack, only to be rebuked by his regimental commander. Truman would have been court-martialed, which certainly would have derailed any future career in politics had it not been for General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing’s words of approval for the result.

 

The Soldier from Independence supplies a heretofore missing—and critical—chapter in the story of one of the nation’s most important presidents.

 

Foreword by Alonzo L. Hamby, author of Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman


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Product details

  • Publisher : Zenith Press; First edition (September 10, 2009)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0760332096
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0760332092
  • Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

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