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Publisher's Summary

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 thirty-third 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.

©1992 David McCullough, All Rights Reserved; (P)1992 Simon & Schuster Inc.; AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner, Biography or Autobiography, 1993

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    466
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    220
  • 3 Stars
    70
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    262
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    67
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    2
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    4

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    250
  • 4 Stars
    72
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    25
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    5
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    3
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Plays him up a little.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

More or less. Only if they wanted a quick bio on Truman.

What did you like best about this story?

It was a quick bio without too many extras.

Which character – as performed by David McCullough – was your favorite?

Truman

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Fell into power

Any additional comments?

This book makes out Truman to be a greater president than he actually was. He was ok but not as great as this book makes him out to be.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Truman

What an incredible story about an incredible president, Truman is a must for any fan of history or the USA




  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Informational!

Would you listen to Truman again? Why?

Would read again and plan too. Too much in one listening.

What did you like best about this story?

audio book had actual speaches included in texst

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Need More Truman-Both in Book and Real Life

What made the experience of listening to Truman the most enjoyable?

Truman gave me far more insight into the makeup of the man and the principles in which he made decisions. He didn't suffer from reading the polls. He didn't have a great political agenda but he did have princilples, practicality and non political experience which provided the context for his decisions. A very common man, he was not given to self aggrandizement . Characteristics in rare evidence since Truman except for perhaps Regan.

What does David McCullough bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

McCullough brings the emotion of understanding the story and the passion developed from his writing and research. You can't beat that.

Any additional comments?

I found myself wanting to hear more about Truman, the decisions he made and the events. Only then did I discover that I had downloaded the abridged edition. Next time, "the whole enchalada."

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Saen
  • Sacramento, CA, United States
  • 03-18-13

McCullough makes Truman a real payer in history

Where does Truman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love all Davids books, so this would be hard to rank.

What did you like best about this story?

It made Truman relevant in a time that he is almost always over looked.

Any additional comments?

America needs a leader like Truman and the Truman commission. I just hope we have not lost our way and can still see the difference between spending and stealing!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Truman shown to be last of a kind

David McCullough's narration of his biography, Truman was a treat. McCullough's being the narrator was compelling and the story that he revealed about Truman's life and character was deeply inspiring. Truman's reported honesty, straight forwardness and decisiveness even in the face of huge resistance spoke of a character that I find totally absent in today's corrupt world of spin-politics. The story shows that Truman was his own man, a self-made man who did what he perceived as right when he had to do it without regard for the politics. It is clear to this reader that Mr. McCullough was presenting President Truman as a kind of American folk hero stripped of fantasy and legend, but nonetheless a character who was, despite his modest frame, larger than life. This is a good read for two reasons. First, it illuminates the story behind a president who is largely passed over in history. Second, it reminds the reader of what a great president is and puts a clear perspective on the way things are now in contrast. Hopefully, Truman will not be the last of his kind.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

excellent abridgement

I deliberately chose the shorter version of this book because I wanted exposure to Truman's story but didn't have 30 hours to spend with it. I feel like I got a great high-level overview that preserved glimpses into Truman's plain-spoken, non-nonsense personality but kept the pace moving forward quickly. Great listen.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Allen
  • Flagstaff, AZ, United States
  • 11-19-12

A must read!

What made the experience of listening to Truman the most enjoyable?

McCullough is a natural story teller combined with Truman's Story makes this a winning combination

What other book might you compare Truman to and why?

The Killing of Kennedy, Gives you a good idea of the politics of time..

Have you listened to any of David McCullough’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, and write up to par.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I found this very informative of both the man Truman and the error of politics. This book caused me to put Truman the man on my list of people to admire..

Any additional comments?

A must read!!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Didn't want it to end.

Would you listen to Truman again? Why?

Yes - the unabridged version - well written, a great account of American history by a great American character.

What other book might you compare Truman to and why?

The Last Lion

Which scene was your favorite?

WWII - decision to drop the atomic bomb; Korean War - the issue with MacArthur

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes- a great story of a very common man of great character who became a very great president during a very contentious period of American history.

Any additional comments?

Great narration by David McCullough - made me want the unabridged version - very enjoyable audiobook.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Get the unabridged version

What disappointed you about Truman?

I downloaded the abridged version, and right away knew it was a mistake. Love McCullough and his work, but really missed the detail the full version would have provided.

Would you recommend Truman to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, unabridged. The characters never really