Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 1993
Hailed by critics as an American masterpiece, David McCullough's sweeping biography of Harry S. Truman captured the heart of the nation. The life and times of the 33rd president of the United States, Truman provides a deeply moving look at an extraordinary, singular American.
From Truman's small-town, turn-of-the-century boyhood and his transforming experience in the face of war in 1918, to his political beginnings in the powerful Pendergast machine and his rapid rise to prominence in the U.S. Senate, McCullough shows a man of uncommon vitality and strength of character.
Here too is a telling account of Truman's momentous decision to use the atomic bomb and the weighty responsibilities that he was forced to confront on the dawning of a new age.
Distinguished historian and Pulitzer-Prize-winning author David McCullough tells one of the greatest American stories in this stirring audio adaptation of Truman - a compelling, classic portrait of a life that shaped history.
©2011 Simon & Schuster (P)2003 David McCullough
“McCullough’s marvelous feel for history is based on an appreciation of colorful tales and an insight intopersonalities. 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)
“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)
“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)
I was okay with the first two-thirds of the book but once he became President, there were too many details so it made the book a little too long. The performance (speaker) was excellent and I applaud his commitment to sticky with the long story.
Glad I spent the hours with this book.
I really appreciated learning a little more about the decisions to use the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan and gained more understanding about the Korean War. Also, the time of Macarthy and the whole "Red" affair gave me a lot more perspective . The book was well organized , the story telling just a bit slow at times, but the narrator still did a decent job .
by His grace
Truman is now definitely my favorite democratic president! this book is important and enjoyable. I highly recommend.
Definitely worth a listen, it shows a lot not only about Truman but also about his times, about politics and a lot about human character. It is extremely detailed but it pulls you in and sometimes you cant wait to listen what comes next. There are off course some slower bits but in general it is very readable.
It took me some time to get used to the pronunciation of some words such as White House but the performance in general is quite engaging.
My personal reason for listening to this book was to find out what was Truman's character and how it worked for him in life and this book more than satisfied me. In addition I got to know about the World Wars, about American political system, how politics work, about other people in Truman's era, even about American Civil War, and lots more. Great book, I admire the author for putting all this together AND making it so enjoyable.
I have always respected Truman as a great leader. This detailed book of his life and the struggles he endured is amazing. I wish we had more leaders in Washington with as much integrity as this great man.
Truman is truly human. What I mean by that is that McCullough crafted this biography about our former President in way that goes into every detail of his life; both the good and bad. Truman, due to being a prodigious letter writer and his wife keeping all of his letters, provides a point of view into a man's head that is incredibly rare in history and even more humanizing. Harry Truman is funny, judgemental, optimistic, but always a straight shooter. Overwhelmingly there is a lot of good in the man and the ethics, morality and judgment he brought not only into the Presidency but showcased throughout his entire life. Those traits, along with all of the tremendous detail McCullough utilizes, makes reading about the last President without a college degree truly rewarding and inspiring.
No doubt this is a very long book, but very educational about a time in our history that shaped us as a nation for many generations. His common sense approach to matters great importance was invaluable for the nation.
Unfortunately he was tainted by his progressive leaning on social issues and continued to lay the foundation for a government that would continue to be more centralized and threaten the rights won us by the founders.
Push through the slow beginning and see what it is like when an honorable, honest man governs according to his principles. At times it feels like McCullough left no post it note unpublished, but he gives a wonderful narrative of Truman's extraordinary life.
If you want a fantastic background that gives you a deeper understanding of current events, this is the book for you. It's engrossing, thorough, and gets you on the inside of what is arguably the most critical presidency of the 20th century. It's long and the hero dies at the end.
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