by David McCullough
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 14, 1993)
- ISBN-10: 0671869205
- ISBN-13: 978-0671869205
Truman was a compromise candidate for vice president and then became president after Roosevelt’s death 12 weeks into his fourth term. During his term, he dropped the atomic bomb, Defeated the Communists in Turkey and Greece, initiated the Marshall Plan, established NATO, ordered 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. He also had a surprising victory in the 1948 election.
My reason to read this book was to understand how a person who grew up in a racist society, who had relatives in the Klu, Klux, Klan, who was the product of the Political Bosses of Kanas City would become the President that integrated the US Military.
It is fascinating how the political boss system operated in Kansas City, MO. Truman was clearly a part of that system, but he never embraced it’s darker sides.
It is also interesting how Truman’s friendship and business partnership with Edward Jacobson – a Jew who he worked with in WWI and then went into business with- influenced Truman to declare that the United States would be the first nation to recognize Israeli. Their joint business failed, but the friendship lasted.
The story about Truman’s surprise victory in the 1948 election over Dewey has been the subject of many books. David McCullough digs into how that campaign was won.
David McCullough writes history for the common man. He keeps the subject interesting and insightful. I highly recommend this book.
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