DescriptionHere at last is the first full-scale biography of Harry S. Truman, his life and times, by David McCullough, distinguished historian and prize-winning author.
Huge, ambitious, ten years in the writing, and perfectly realized, "Truman" is an American masterpiece about that most American of presidents, "the man from Missouri, " the seemingly simple, ordinary man who in fact was always much more than met the eye and who would achieve a greatness of his own after coming to office in FDR's giant shadow.
No one but David McCullough, with his sure grasp of the American past and his feeling for people, could have written this extraordinary, deeply moving biography, at once spare in style yet rich in emotion and insight.
Much of the story is drawn from newly discovered archival material and from extensive interviews with Truman friends, family, and figures once prominent in Truman's Washington. And much will com as a surprise to many readers.
The story begins with Truman's origins in the raw, expansive world of the Missouri frontier. It chronicles a small-town, turn-of-the-century boyhood, family love, family tragedy, and young harry's years on the farm - years of relentless, often brutal work always cheerfully performed; of dogged learning, dogged courtship, optimism in the face of defeat, and courage in the face of war in 19418, the experience that changed everthing for Truman.
Here in colorful detail is the story of his political beginnings with the powerful Pendergast machine that ruled Kansas City, and of Boss Tom Pendergast who sent Truman to the United States Senate, where rapidly, unexpectedly, he proved himself no small-time party hack but a man of uncommon vitality andstrength of character.
With a telling account of Truman at Potsdam and his momentous decision to use the atomic bomb, McCullough's "Truman" shows a gritty, untried, unprepared new President facing responsibilities such as had weighed on no man ever before, confronting a new age and the growing menace of Soviet power, and, in a handful of years, under terrible pressures, defining the course of American politics and diplomacy for the next forty years.
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About the Author
personalities. In this compelling saga of America's greatest common-man president, McCullough adds luster to an old-fashioned historical approach . . . the sweeping narrative, filled with telling details and an appreciation of the role individuals play in shaping the world."
--Walter Isaacson", Time"
"Since I've been in national politics, whenever I've been asked who my favorite political leader of the century is, I have always said Harry Truman.... David McCullough has always been a favorite of mine. The Truman biography is outstanding."
--Jimmy Carter, "The Boston Phoenix "
"Perhaps the highest tribute one can pay a biographer is to say that through him one comes to know his subject almost as though in person. In fostering the reader's acquaintance with Harry Truman, not once does McCullough get in the way. This is in every respect a splendid work."
--Myron A. Marty, "St. Louis Post-Dispatch "
"McCullough is a master storyteller whose considerable narrative skills have been put to exquisite use in re-creating the life and times of America's 33rd president."
--Robert Dallek, "Los Angeles Times Book Review "
"An impressive and valuable study of Truman, worthy of its subject."
--C. Vann Woodward, "The New York Review"
"Exemplary and riveting.... The book is like a comfortable Victorian three-decker novel. There are two plots, a hero and heroine, and a glittering cast of characters ranging from Dean Acheson, Churchill and General Marshall to the Pendergasts and General MacArthur, as well as a splendid collection of Shakespearean clowns.... McCullough's book will stand for a long time as the outstanding analysis of an extremely important subject: the greatness of Truman, and its role as an exogenous 'cause' in the history of his time."
--Eugene V. Rostow, "Times Literary Supplement, London"
"Truman is biography as good as it gets, as absorbing and readable as it is voluminous. McCullough writes like a novelist, digs like a zealous reporter and puts things in perspective like the superb historian he is."
--Lorenzo Carcaterra, "People "magazine
"This is the biography of President Harry S. Truman against which not only all other Truman biographies but probably all other presidential biographies will be measured. It is comprehensive, well reasoned, insightful and yet elegantly simple. It is written with a love for the subject that is contagious."
--Steve Weinberg, "The Kansas City Star "
"Superbly researched and carried forward by McCullough's narrative drive, Truman is endlessly readable. The Harry we were all wild about is re-created exactly as Harry was--feisty, preposterous, decisive, tireless, outrageous, but always honorable, always courageous, always guided by his inner gyroscope of conscience and character."
--William Manchester, author of "William Spencer Churchill: The Last Lion "
"McCullough takes us on a beautifully guided tour of recent history--a journey that is as much a celebration of American experience as it is a captivating portrait of the ordinary 'man from Missouri' who became an extraordinary figure in the Cold War world. Keeping Truman himself always vividly in the foreground, Mr. McCullough has written a stirring, masterly, thoroughly absorbing book."
--Jean Strouse, author of" Alice James: A Biography "