The life of Harry S. Truman
is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters -- Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall
, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson
-- and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man -- a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined -- but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman's story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb
, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur
. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman's own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary "man from Missouri" who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.
Harry S. Truman of Missouri was FDR's surprising choice for vice-president in 1944 and became president upon Roosevelt's death in 1945. Dean Acheson was an American diplomat who was blamed by anti-Communists for "losing" China to communism. Douglas MacArthur commanded American troops in the war against Japan, but was dismissed as commander in Korea by President Truman. The first and next-to-last use of atomic weapons in warfare was the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945. George C. Marshall was the army chief of state in Washington DC during World War II and had the idea for the plan to revive western Europe that became known as the Marshall Plan.