Monday, June 18, 2018


by David McCullough

This one's a huge book, clocking in at 977 pages. (not counting pictures and the bibliography) My review won't be anywhere near as long. 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.

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.

LibraryThing link

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