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I have read many biographies about Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). In this book A. J. Baime narrows the scope of the book to the first four months of the presidency. The author does provide some early history of Truman so the reader understands how events came about.
On April 12, 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt summoned Truman to the White House to inform him of the death of FDR. Truman said his worst nightmare immediately became a reality. He had only been Vice President for three months and had not been informed about anything by FDR. It would have been extremely difficult for anyone to follow in the footsteps of the charismatic Roosevelt. Truman was honest, decisive and hardworking. Some of the problems he faced that Baime goes into in depth are:
1. The war with Germany
2. The war with Japan
3. Learned about the Manhattan project. Had to decide about using the bomb on Japan.
4. The founding of the United Nations
5. The devastation of Europe and the starving refugees. He sent President Hoover to Europe to deal with the logistics of feeding the people. He and General Marshall developed the Marshall Plan to deal with Europe.
6. Russia posed challenges and different goals. Stalin failed to honor any of his agreements he made with Churchill and Roosevelt about Eastern Europe. Russia developed the atomic bomb and the cold war began.
The book is well-written and meticulously researched. Baime is a journalist and the book is written in that style. Baime detailed a chronology as to how Truman transformed into a president and leader of the world. Baime makes history come alive and makes an enjoyable read. The book is well organized. Truman faced many difficult situations over his presidency that had great effect upon the world and the United States. In fact, Baime claims no other president in the history of the United States has faced such difficulties at the beginning of their presidency.
Tony Messano does a good job narrating the book. Messano is a voice-over artist and audiobook narrator. This is my first experience with listening to Messano.
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Details the day-by-day calendar, thinking, decisions and challengers that faced Harry S. Truman after ascending to the Presidency of the United States on April 12, 1945. He hadn't met with President Roosevelt but twice; had no knowledge of the Manhattan Project - and was well thought of by President Roosevelt's cabinet.
Also focuses with clear-eyed realism about the negotiations surrounding the Potsdam Conference - and references decisions made at the Yalta Conference.
Fills in blanks about this period.
Well written and performed.
Epilogue continues the briefest of thumbnails about Truman during the remainder of his first term; the election of 1948; Truman and the Korean War and etc.
For those students of this period - additional knowledge and a good read.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful