33 - Harry S Truman
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Harry S. Truman by Margaret Truman
Election Truman (303 electoral votes) vs. Dewey (189) Thurmond (39)
Harry S Truman was playing Poker when he learned he was to be president.
He was the first president to travel underwater in a modern submarine.
His middle name is S. He said, "I was supposed to be named Harrison Shippe Truman, taking the middle name from my paternal grandfather. Others in my family wanted my middle name to be Solomon, taken from my maternal grandfather. But apparently no agreement could be reached and my name was recorded and stands simply as Harry S Truman."
"Tell him to go to hell!" - Truman's first response to the messenger who told him that Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted him to be his running mate.
Truman was only briefed about the atomic bomb for about 30 minutes.
Truman loved to play the piano. In 1948, a piano leg went through the floor of the White House!
Harry S Truman was a great-nephew of John Tyler.
He was the first president to give a speech on television.
Truman was the first president to be paid a salary of $100,000.
Truman was left handed, but his parents made him write with his right hand.
He was a Captain in the field artillery in World War I.
Truman popularized the saying, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
Harry S Truman was the first president to take office during wartime.
I plan to read McCullough's biography Truman for my 999 challenge. Anyone want to join me? Maybe we could read it the same month and compare notes
I can read it any time because it's on my 999--how about planning it for June. I'll make a note on my reading list if that works for you. Then i will remember to remind you.
Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip
by Matthew Algeo
PW calls it a "fascinating reconstruction of Harry and Bess Truman's postpresidential 2,500-mile road trip" (in a 1953 Chrysler) and quotes Truman as saying “I like to take trips—any kind of trip. They are about the only recreation I have besides reading.”
I guess Truman thought he could make this trip incognito but it didn't exactly turn out that way.
What a wonderful book!! I'm not all that far into it yet but Algeo's got a nice writing style and so many wonderful anecdotes about Truman and his trip.
It is written by his daughter, so as you can imagine, it is very simpathetic to the man and his administration. But thought it was a very good, if unbalanced, read.
BTW, unbalanced is how I hear the McCollough book is as well, but haven't bought that one yet. I have all the other McCollough books, and have ejoyed all of them.
I have the McCullough biography but haven't read it yet.
As a Baby Boomer, I sometimes feel Algeo offered too much background about the history of cars, highways, national parks, mid-20th century politics, etc. in Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure.
But I think that's really a plus for younger GenXers and Millennials who might not have remembered this stuff being on the news and who want to get a sense of how the country, particularly the Midwest, has changed.
And, as always, Harry Truman makes for very engaging reading.
I think Algeo errs when he says Truman only hated two men, Nixon and a Missouri pol who ran for governor.
I think you'd have to add Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Joe Kennedy, and Sen. Joseph McCarthy to that list.
Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman by Merle Miller
Had it on my TBR pile for way too many years.
Here is the article in American Heritage with the details:
Yeah, I read that with a salt shaker always near by.
I didn't know about that article, but someone somewhere tipped me off that the author might have taken "liberties".
I read it because it had been sitting in my TBR pile for way to many years.
Your link to the article is not working. I had to search the site for it. This is where I found it, for anyone else interested in it.
If that doesn't work, it is in the Magazine, volume 46, issue 3, Article titled "Plain Faking?"
Bill "Sarge" Masom
I thought it was one of the best books I had ever read. I liked it more than John Adams, maybe because Harry was a local boy. But I don't think I was bored with reading it for even a page. I was leery about the 900+ pages, but one chapter at a time and I got through it in a month, interspersed with other books.
Good ole David McCullough! He's always reliable and turns a potentially pedestrian subject into something gripping and fast-moving. I really enjoyed opening up this book each evening before I got into bed. There was something new and interesting every night. It's a big book and it took me quite awhile to get through at my "dip-in" reading rate but it is a great story well told. I like Mr Truman too.
I also have two other books on my self. One by Robert Ferrell and the other by Margaret Truman his daughter.
It's good to see he ranks in the top 10 in most US President ranking polls. Give'em hell Harry.
by David McCullough
Mr. McCullough has done a wonderful job of presenting Harry S. Truman and the eras in which he lived. He starts the tale 40 years before Harry Truman was even born, touching on the white settlement of the area and how the two branches of Truman's family made their way to western Missouri. After Truman's birth, he continues to tell how Harry and his family are moved and shaped by the events around them. But by the time Truman reaches middle age, things begin to change--Harry Truman begins to start shaping the things around him. It's an interesting story of a man rising to a series of challenges and climbing to greatness. The biography is unabashedly positive towards its subject. As with the biography I read about Woodrow Wilson, I was prepared to not like Harry Truman. But Mr. McCullough got me viewing things through Truman's point of view and leaving me with a healthy respect of the man.
This one's a huge book, clocking in at 977 pages. (not counting pictures and the bibliography) When I first started on my presidential biography reading project, I was inclined to put the first two on my shelf. Then I started getting more jaded about my readings, not to mention running out of shelf space, and became less interested in building my own history collection. If my desires ever do turn back in that direction, this is one of the first books I'll try to obtain for my collection.