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)
The book and the narrator were both excellent but it was broken into seven parts. Each new part required me to quit the app and restart to play the next one. At one point, there was an entire section that repeated. I got through it and it was worth it but come on.
On January 20, 2017 I was listening to McCullough's description of Truman's 1949 inauguration, truly a counterpoint, and a horrifying one. The book is as much a portrait of a century as it is the portrait of a man. Every issue, idea or social movement that affects us now has its roots in the time frame of Harry Truman's biography, and McCullough sets it all firmly into the context of even earlier pioneer and civil war events. The book gave me much deeper insights into the history, actions and decisions that shaped my own and my parent's lives, and it certainly gave insights into the character of a profoundly moral man in the grip of a very amoral history. McCullough's writing builds a clear, unbiased picture of the man, and reminds us of the beginnings of events still shaping the world, still impacting our daily lives: atomic weapons, the cold war, segregation and Civil Rights, the founding of Israel, the Korean war, which left a nation divided, the start of the television era, the end of an agrarian nation. In a shattering way, here we are at the start of 2017, nearly half a century after Truman's death, still struggling with every one of these issues, and facing a regime that would turn back the advances in law and policy that have been achieved. Truman, for example, was first to mandate equal treatment of blacks and whites in the military, the first to advocate for Civil Rights. Truman would be appalled at what has happened to American democracy in 2017.
Narrator Nelson Runger did a phenomenal job of capturing the presence of the main characters. For example, you knew it was Churchill speaking from Runger's inflection, without being distracted by an attempted impersonation.
Great subject - God we could use Harry right now!
no well the truth is I would listen to the second half again the beginning was very boring
the white house years the least interesting would be all the information about his parents and child hood
it was ok
Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.
Yes, Truman's accidental encounter with a drawbridge operator during his lunch. It symbolizes a time in America that is long past.
America is fortunate to have had so many great leaders like Pres. Truman. This is certainly a story worth knowing about a tumultuous time in American history, a country blessed by having the right man in the right place at the right time. The author, David McCullough, is America's greatest historian and living national treasure. A superbly written tome made much easier by great narration.
Outstanding book, well narrated and thoroughly researched. Truman was a man of virtue, honesty, self- assurance, humility and great foresight. His presidency will go down as one of the best. He was faced with decisions most presidents never face both domestic and foreign. As a Conservative, I have great respect for his values and willingness to serve his country in a noble way.
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