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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

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Lee
  • KyotoJapan
  • 11-15-03

Superb! A solid choice!

The rare combination of great subject, writing, and reading make this one a best buy. The author, David McCullough, has the perfect voice to narrate audio. Check the sample. I looked to see what else he might have narrated. And his subject; I was born too late to remember Truman but what a revelation this book is! According to the record, America hasn't had this kind of genuine leadership since Truman's term ended. He lived in an amazing time in U.S. history. He was a truly unique individual and an outstanding American president!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rick
  • Urcuquí, Ecuador
  • 12-20-12

An American Legend

David McCullough has crafted a warm and deeply human portrayal of Harry Truman, with generous attention to his early homespun upbringing, explaining so much about the remarkable man he would become. Ascending to the presidency with the sudden death of FDR, and scorned by most political observers, Truman proceeded to take one historic initiative after another: the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, NATO, the Korean conflict, and of course, the atomic bomb. It is impossible to come away without an appreciation of Truman’s critical role in the history of the Twentieth Century—and beyond.

McCullough is not only a superb historian and master storyteller, but also a marvelous narrator. He has always reminded me of the late John Chancellor of NBC. The writing, the historical depth and the narration combine to create an audiobook that seems to end much too soon.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • New YorkVirgin Islands, U.S.
  • 01-03-08

The Abridged Version is a Disappointment

Truman is the first book I book on Audible and mistakenly purchased the abridged version. I thought it was light and glossed over much of what interested me. The establishment of the state of Israel took up about six words!!! I really felt cheated afterward. The writing is fine. McCullough's delivery is excellent. But I came away feeling a void that came with poor editing ( and my own stupidity.) Stay away from this version. I'm sure the full one is much more satisfying.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Truman like you never knew him!

What did you love best about Truman?

Truman was a real person, ambitious, simple, tough, and a product of his time. When he left the Presidency, he and his wife got in their car and drove home to Missouri. No speaking tours for millions of dollars for the man that Nuked Japan and ended the war.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Truman. Tough, intelligent, serious, a man of integrity, but not a perfect man, he did what he had to do to serve the Nation.

What about David McCullough’s performance did you like?

I wish God would stop time so David McCullough could write more history.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Clearly, Truman's decision to end the war with Japan by bombing two of her cities with atomic bombs. Tough decision that not many people could make.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Listen

I've gotten fascinated by good history books, something I never would have guessed while in college. McCullough is a gifted author and his book on Truman will keep you wide awake on long or short drives if you are a books-on-tape fan.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Well done Well done Well Done

This is a great read. My wife and I listened on a recent trip, and both us felt like we knew someone much better. The author reading the book is another advantage, as well as the many quotes given by Truman himself. I highly recommend this book to any and all who enjoy American history. This one is not about the Civil War or the formation of the United States. It stand alone and is well worth your time.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charla
  • Fort Lupton, CO, USA
  • 09-04-08

Outstanding! Worth every penny!

As expected, David McCullough has crafted a masterpiece, presenting history in 3-D. I have now read or listened to all but two of his books, and I love his work.

I very much enjoyed listening to Mr. McCullough's narration, and the actual recordings of Truman and others were a very nice touch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Book !!

I really enjoyed this audio book. It put a human face on the Truman presidency. David McCullough's reading of the book was a big plus as his voice and inflection really added to the listening experience. The book is a must for anyone with an interest in US history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An Important time in our history

I was born during the Truman era, and found this well told history of Truman a fascinating tale of our times from WWII through the Korean War. The author reads the book himself, and does a great job. I wish I had bought the 53 hour unabridged version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Entertaining, Educational, Funny and Touching

Want to learn about one of our truly great presidents and a fascinating piece of history from the new deal, to the dropping of the bomb, to the Korean War - listen to this book! It?s so entertaining I found myself sitting out in my car after the drive home, not wanting to stop listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-31-06

Very enjoyable

Enjoyed this five and a half hour audiobook. It is a simple, well pitched introduction to the president. There are short excerpts from his speeches and the closing credits are read to the sound of Harry Truman playing the piano!

Would like to have also heard the unabridged version. There isn?t much time for political comment but the narrative is fast paced and, in places, amusing. It?s good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful