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Truman (1992)

av David McCullough

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4,964671,677 (4.39)198
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America's beloved and distinguished historian. The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters--Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson--and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man--a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined--but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman's story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman's own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary "man from Missouri" who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.… (mer)
  1. 30
    John Adams av David McCullough (readysetgo)
  2. 01
    The Untold History of the United States av Oliver Stone (PlaidStallion)
    PlaidStallion: How can you dispute an author who has received 31 honorary degrees? From the book (Stone’s, not McCollough’s hagiography) :

      That afternoon Truman met with his old Senate mentor James F. “Jimmy” Byrnes. Admitting his abject ignorance, Truman implored Byrnes to tell him about everything “from Tehran to Yalta” and “everything under the sun.” Because Byrnes had been part of the U.S. delegation at Yalta, Truman assumed he had accurate knowledge about what transpired. It would be many months before Truman discovered that that was not the case. In this and subsequent meetings, Byrnes reinforced Stettinius’s message that the Soviets were breaking the Yalta Agreement and that Truman needed to be resolute and uncompromising with them. He also gave Truman his first real briefing about the atomic bomb, which, he conjectured, “might well put us in a position to dictate our own terms at the end of the war.” He did not specify exactly to whom the United States would be dictating terms. Truman so trusted Byrnes that he made clear his intention to appoint him secretary of state as soon as Stettinius had gotten the United Nations off the ground. Truman’s close friend and appointments secretary Matthew Connelly later wrote, “Mr. Byrnes came from South Carolina and talked to Mr. Truman and immediately decided that he would take over. Mr. Truman to Mr. Byrnes, I’m afraid, was a nonentity, as Mr. Byrnes thought he had superior intelligence.” Superior intelligence, perhaps, but, between this unlikely pair, who would do so much to shape the postwar world, Truman had more formal education, having at least graduated from high school, whereas Byrnes had dropped out at age fourteen.
    … (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 66 (nästa | visa alla)
Truman was average.
But I think that is what makes him so admirable.
I disagree with him in method, but in values we had so much in common. And that, I think, is the brilliance of McCullough. He can take people that I don't really agree with and somehow help me see the relatablity of the man.

I loved the small-town, frank, genuine person that Truman became. Did he have his faults? Yes. Anger for one. His commendable loyalty for a corrupt system (the ever-powerful boss) was perhaps another.

I'll admit, it got rather dry after WWII, with pockets of interesting occurrences. I wouldn't say that this is McCullough's best work either, but it was good. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
The audio book format is probably a good compromise for readers reluctant to tackle the full 1000 page print book. The version I had was only six CDs, and therefore could be finished in a few days, depending on how much traffic you face on your daily drive. The CD version highlights all the key points of Truman's life and Presidency, without making you feel cheated of essential information. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Author David McCullough’s writing flowed with an ease and clarity that made this biography of Harry S Truman read like a novel. It captured the complexity beneath Truman’s common man simplicity, his capacity to grow and ‘prove equal to tasks seemingly too large for him’ and brought a sense of drama to the events and accomplishments of his presidency. For me, the greatest revelation was in how limited Truman's options were when he made the decision that ended WWII and that he later refused to consider using nuclear weapons against China during the Korean war.
Overall, this was an outstanding portrait of an extraordinary man and a fascinating overview of a pivotal time in American and world history. Reading it has been my evening quiet time companion for several months now and I am genuinely going to miss it. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 21, 2021 |
Born in Missouri a generation after it was the western frontier of the young nation, he led an emerging superpower into the atomic age at the end of the largest war in human history. Truman is all-encompassing biography of the 33rd President of the United States by one of the best biographers and historians of the past half century, David McCullough.

McCullough begins by quickly covering the lives of Truman’s grandparents and parents who relocated and lived on the frontier of Missouri beginning 40 years before his birth. McCullough then guides the reader through Truman’s childhood as his father attempt to succeed in various businesses with mild to no success while young Harry went through school and attempt to strike out on his own in nearby Kansas City until finally joining his family when they went working his maternal grandmother’s large farm that he would continue to work until he joined the Army in 1917 where he would see combat as a Captain of the artillery during the Hundred Days Offensive that led to the armistice. After the war, Truman opened a business that started well but failed during the recession of 1921 after which he turned to attention to politics and becoming a part of the Pendergast political machine. Successful in his first campaign to be a county administrative judge, he failed in reelection only to succeed in the next election to becoming the presiding judge which was a position he used to transform Jackson County with numerous public works that eventually gets him noticed by the new Roosevelt administration that eventually got him a position in the New Deal programs in Missouri. After Pendergast rejected Truman for a run for governor or Congress, he selected him a run for Senate in 1934 and Truman’s victory in the primary he was considered the Pendergast Senator not a Missourian. Through hard work during his term, Truman became a respected member of the Senate but when he went to be reelected, the Pendergast machine was in disarray due to various federal criminal trials and the Roosevelt administration didn’t support him, he was in a uphill battle. In a forerunner to his 1948 upset, Truman outworked his opponents and received support from the St. Louis political machine, which had opposed Pendergast’s Kansas City machine for decades, to a slim victory. During his second term, Truman became a national figure with his Select Committee to Investigate Defense Spending that investigated wasteful spending that saved roughly $15 billion that eventually would get him to be selected as Roosevelt’s 1944 Vice Presidential running mate that was essentially a nomination to be Roosevelt’s successor because everyone knew he would not live out his term. Truman’s nearly 8 years in office cover nearly 60% of the book that started off with his decisions and actions for the five months that dealt with challenges that no other President save Lincoln had to deal with. The challenges of a post-war America especially in the economic sphere led to a Republican takeover of Congress that many blamed Truman for, who used the loss to his advantage to stake differences between both parties that would eventually lead to his strategy for the 1948 Presidential campaign that led to him becoming President in his own right. Truman’s second term was dominated by his decision to military intervene in Korea that would lead to a confrontation with General Douglas McArthur that put civilian control of the military at stake, but also would continually lead to charges of Communist subversion of government jobs that reached a fever pitch with Joseph McCarthy. Once out of office, Truman transitioned to a regular citizen and began figuring out how to financially support his family, which eventually lead to Presidential pension laws for Truman and future holders of the office and creating the Presidential Library system that we know today. But after leaving office very unpopular, Truman’s popularity grew over the two decades of his post-Presidency so upon his death he was genuinely mourned by the public.

McCullough’s writing reads like a novel with his subject his main character and every other individual in a supporting character to reflect upon the protagonist. As I noted in my synopsis, most of the book covers Truman’s time in office that McCullough documents with detail and when doing a Presidential biography of the man who essentially had to deal with the end of the largest war in human history and the beginning of the Cold War is to be expected. With documentation of Truman’s early life not a prevalent, McCullough’s decision to turn a spotlight to his grandparents and parents at the beginning of the book and throughout Truman’s life added depth to the man and the also the area where he grew up and shaped him.

Truman brings the humble man from Missouri to life for those that have only seen him in black and white photographs and film, David McCullough’s writing hooks the reader from the beginning and makes you want to see how Harry S. Truman’s life played out in all facets. ( )
1 rösta mattries37315 | May 30, 2021 |
Too long and detailed. I didn't finish because I have to take it back to the library. I did read until HST became a senator, then I just looked up things of my interest in the index. Interesting about "The buck stops here" which he kept as a sign on his desk. I'm sure I'd rate it higher if I could plough through the whole book. ( )
  janerawoof | May 17, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 66 (nästa | visa alla)
THROUGH most of his nearly eight years as President, Harry Truman was profoundly unpopular. Joe Martin, the Republican Speaker of the House in the late 1940's, called Truman "the worst President in history." Liberals so despaired of him during his first term that they tried to draft Dwight D. Eisenhower to replace him as the Democratic nominee in 1948. Even among the many who liked Truman personally, there was always a tendency to view him as one member of the Cabinet did on April 12, 1945, the day Franklin Roosevelt died. Truman was sitting alone in a big leather chair against a wall in the Cabinet Room of the White House, waiting for the Chief Justice to arrive and swear him in as President. The Cabinet member glanced at him and later remembered thinking: "He looks like such a little man."

Truman's popularity revived at times during his Presidency, most notably during his remarkable campaign for re-election in 1948. But the revivals were always brief. The real rehabilitation of his reputation -- the process that has turned him into something of a folk hero -- began later, well after he left office, and has accelerated in the 20 years since his death. Its culmination may be "Truman," David McCullough's warm, affectionate and thoroughly captivating biography. "Truman," Mr. McCullough writes near the end of this long book, "held to the old guidelines: work hard, do your best, speak the truth, assume no airs, trust in God, have no fear." He was "a figure of world stature, both a great and good man, and a great American President." . . .
tillagd av PLReader | ändraNY Times, Alan Brinkley (Jun 21, 1992)
 
No brief review can begin to do justice either to Truman or to the monumentally persuasive job McCullough has done re-creating his life and times.
 
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In the spring of 1841, when John Tyler was President, a Kentucky farmer named Solomon Young and his red-haired wife, Harriet Louisa Young, packed their belongings and with two small chidren started for the Far West.
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America's beloved and distinguished historian. The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters--Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson--and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man--a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined--but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman's story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman's own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary "man from Missouri" who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.

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