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Truman Hardcover – Unabridged, June 15, 1992

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,434 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 1993 Pulitzer Prize, McCullough argues that history has validated most of Truman's war-time and Cold War decisions.

From Publishers Weekly

Cracker-barrel plain in speech and looks, this seemingly ordinary man turned out to be one of our most dynamic presidents. It was Harry S. Truman who ordered the atomic bomb dropped, halted Communists in Turkey and Greece, initiated the Marshall Plan, NATO and the Berlin Airlift, ordered desegregation of the armed forces, established the CIA and the Defense Department, committed U.S. forces to Korea and upheld the principle of civilian control over the military by firing Gen. Douglas MacArthur. McCullough ( Mornings on Horseback ) has written a surefooted, highly satisfying biography of the 33rd president, one that not only conveys in rich detail Truman's accomplishments as a politician and statesman, but also reveals the character and personality of this constantly-surprising man--as schoolboy, farmer, soldier, merchant, county judge, senator, vice president and chief executive. The book relates how Truman (1884-1972) overcame the stigma of business failure and debt (as well as the accusation that he was "bellboy" to Kansas City's Pendergast machine) and acquired a reputation for honesty, reliability and common sense. McCullough pays considerable attention to Truman's family, especially his fervent and touching courtship of Bess Wallace, the idolized love of his life. Her mother never felt Truman was good enough for her daughter, even after he became president. The book's re-creation of the 1948 presidential campaign, during which Newsweek 's poll of 50 political writers predicted that the incumbent would lose the election to Thomas Dewey, is the most complete account of that surprise victory to date. The book is an impressive tribute to a man whose brisk cheerfulness and self-confidence were combined with a God-fearing humility; a great and good man who, in McCullough's opinion, was a great president. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC main selection; History Book Club and QPB alternatives; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,434 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Tariki
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb biography of a good man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 18, 2018
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David Beeson
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read providing invaluable insight into a remarkable man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 21, 2017
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Mr. PJR
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and enjoyable biography of a great man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 7, 2015
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TV Producer (UK)
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great political biography
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2016
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brookc
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book so far this year
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2017
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Rupe from London
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2013
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GIA
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography of a great president
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2016
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Enviromas
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2016
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2017
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Leticia Neria
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 20, 2013
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Tiroli60
5.0 out of 5 stars Empfehlenswert
Reviewed in Germany on August 27, 2018
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RDT
5.0 out of 5 stars If we only had Harry today!
Reviewed in Canada on March 8, 2016
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Patronio
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning from failure
Reviewed in Spain on January 19, 2014
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Lynne Eisner
5.0 out of 5 stars A great president
Reviewed in Canada on June 8, 2014
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Judith P.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Man in a Most Difficult Time
Reviewed in Canada on June 23, 2015
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