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Harry S. Truman: The American Presidents Series: The 33rd President, 1945-1953

Harry S. Truman: The American Presidents Series: The 33rd President, 1945-1953

Written by Robert Dallek

Narrated by William Dufris


Harry S. Truman: The American Presidents Series: The 33rd President, 1945-1953

Written by Robert Dallek

Narrated by William Dufris

ratings:
4.5/5 (3 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 2, 2008
ISBN:
9781427205445
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The plainspoken man from Missouri who never expected to be president yet rose to become one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century.

In April 1945, after the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the presidency fell to a former haberdasher and clubhouse politician from Independence, Missouri. Many believed he would be over-matched by the job, but Harry S. Truman would surprise them all.

Few chief executives have had so lasting an impact. Truman ushered America into the nuclear age, established the alliances and principles that would define the cold war and the national security state, started the nation on the road to civil rights, and won the most dramatic election of the twentieth century—his 1948 "whistlestop campaign" against Thomas E. Dewey.

Robert Dallek, the bestselling biographer of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, shows how this unassuming yet supremely confident man rose to the occasion. Truman clashed with Southerners over civil rights, with organized labor over the right to strike, and with General Douglas MacArthur over the conduct of the Korean War. He personified Thomas Jefferson's observation that the presidency is a "splendid misery," but it was during his tenure that the United States truly came of age.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Publisher:
Released:
Sep 2, 2008
ISBN:
9781427205445
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Robert Dallek is the author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 and Nixon and Kissinger, among other books. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, and Vanity Fair. He lives in Washington, D.C.


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  • (3/5)
    In many ways an unlikely occupant of the office, Harry Truman’s career was one of dogged determination in a series of failed jobs and minor offices. Even his first term as a United States senator was less than noteworthy, and it was not until he had won reelection and achieved prominence as the head of a special committee designed to root out corruption and waste in military appropriations that he emerged as a vice presidential prospect in the 1944 presidential campaign – a critical decision given Franklin Roosevelt’s failing health.

    Though Truman was selected to serve as vice president to a terminally ill man, Robert Dallek stresses the lack of preparation for his succession. Thrust into office by Roosevelt’s sudden death, the new president found himself facing enormous challenges involving the ongoing war and the even thornier ones of peace. While generally sympathetic to Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan, Dallek judges his plummeting support in the months that followed as the result of his attempts to be all things to all people, and that it was not until Truman decided to be his own man that he enjoyed greater success as president.

    Dallek judges the two years that followed as Truman’s most successful as president, as he made key decisions involving the Cold War, the recognition of Israel, and civil rights. He fought against the Republican-dominated 80th Congress, and used their opposition to his domestic agenda as a launching pad for his victory over Thomas Dewey in the 1948 election. Yet Truman was unable to capitalize on his unexpected triumph, as he faced anticommunist hysteria, charges of corruption by members of his administration, and an intractable war in Korea, all of which led to his decision to abandon a run for another term in 1952.

    An award-winning presidential historian and biographer, Dallek uses his considerable knowledge and insight to inform this study of Harry Truman. Though lacking original research, the author infuses his narrative with perceptiveness borne of his extensive historical expertise, one that has much to offer readers familiar with the 33rd president. The result is a book that is a good starting place for anyone interested in learning about the man from Missouri and how he led the nation through tumultuous times.