Customer Reviews for

Truman

Average Rating 4
( 181 )
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5 Star

(87)

4 Star

(36)

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(26)

2 Star

(14)

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(18)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Twice the man and president FDR ever was

This is a great biography of a great man and without question, one of the greatest presidents of all time, eclipsing even myth of FDR. The FDR myth will probably live for another 25 years, but Truman will outlast and outshine it because history eventually forgets polit...
This is a great biography of a great man and without question, one of the greatest presidents of all time, eclipsing even myth of FDR. The FDR myth will probably live for another 25 years, but Truman will outlast and outshine it because history eventually forgets political image and concentrates on facts. History confirms the humble nature of his beginnings and the fact that he never took himself too seriously. He inherited one of the most crisis driven periods in American history and essentially salvaged the mess that FDR had made of European Post War policies. Truman and a few other great Americans essentially saved Western Europe from going communist and prevented the enslavement of millions of people. This book tells the Truman story in great detail and includes Truman┬┐s mistakes as well as triumphs. It is wonderful to see someone tell the post WWII story truthfully. For people wanting to gain an understanding of the driving forces pushing America┬┐s involvement in world affairs after WWII, I would rate it an excellent source. One of the reasons why I rate this book so high is because the author went to the trouble to establish context for the decisions Truman made. We may not always agree with his choices, but we can understand the factors and/or the why that drove those choices. And, more often than not, he made the right ones under great pressure. The nation could certainly use a leader of his caliber at this juncture in history, but I doubt either party in this political climate would support such an individual.

posted by Anonymous on June 20, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Less for the Paperback Than the eBook???!?

So, wait - it's $12.94 for the paperback version of this book, but $14.99 for the eBook version??????!???!!! I guess I'll enjoy my new Nook Color for Angry Birds and check the book out at the library. Tsk, tsk - Barnes & Noble.

posted by BadKittenOnARampage on May 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    Twice the man and president FDR ever was

    This is a great biography of a great man and without question, one of the greatest presidents of all time, eclipsing even myth of FDR. The FDR myth will probably live for another 25 years, but Truman will outlast and outshine it because history eventually forgets political image and concentrates on facts. History confirms the humble nature of his beginnings and the fact that he never took himself too seriously. He inherited one of the most crisis driven periods in American history and essentially salvaged the mess that FDR had made of European Post War policies. Truman and a few other great Americans essentially saved Western Europe from going communist and prevented the enslavement of millions of people. This book tells the Truman story in great detail and includes Truman¿s mistakes as well as triumphs. It is wonderful to see someone tell the post WWII story truthfully. For people wanting to gain an understanding of the driving forces pushing America¿s involvement in world affairs after WWII, I would rate it an excellent source. One of the reasons why I rate this book so high is because the author went to the trouble to establish context for the decisions Truman made. We may not always agree with his choices, but we can understand the factors and/or the why that drove those choices. And, more often than not, he made the right ones under great pressure. The nation could certainly use a leader of his caliber at this juncture in history, but I doubt either party in this political climate would support such an individual.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    Excellent read!

    Loved this book! David McCullough is a great writer and I have read a few of his books. This one is very interesting. Learned so much about President Truman, his boyhood through adulthood and his presidency. Felt like I got see into his life, what he based his decisions on and his integrity. Learned so much about his decision regarding the Atomic Bomb and many other amazing and stunning decisions he had to make during his presidency. Makes you really think about the awesome responsibility that he has on his shoulders after being thrown into the presidency. Great Book!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Less for the Paperback Than the eBook???!?

    So, wait - it's $12.94 for the paperback version of this book, but $14.99 for the eBook version??????!???!!!

    I guess I'll enjoy my new Nook Color for Angry Birds and check the book out at the library.

    Tsk, tsk - Barnes & Noble.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Highest Quality Research

    Quite possibly the best biography I have read, including McCullough's others (and those are hard to beat). Truman, perhaps, had to make the toughest decisions of any President since Lincoln; the bomb, Potsdam, the Marshall Plan, the Truman doctrine, Korea, etc. All from a farmer without a college education. The book is long, but it is well worth it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2009

    Truman was the man

    This is a wonderful book to read if you want to really get to know Harry
    Truman. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, this book is an engaging biography of a great president.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    An outstanding read

    Truman is extremely well written and researched. David McCullough does a wonderful job at filling in all the blanks in the life of the man known almost exclusively as the President who dropped the atomic bomb.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    Breathtaking!

    I can't imagine why one wrote that the biography was too long--I craved more! Even though stunning in details and the depth of background, what I find the most breathtaking is the man, Truman, who experienced so many setbacks but always got back up. What life lessons to be learned. If you feel yourself wavering just a tad, then look to Truman who may have wavered but he keep moving forward. A man who earned respect, and most certainly mine. What a sterling example of what a president should be. Way to go, Harry!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Come on Barnes and Noble

    Charging for a sample? That is pathetic! David McCullough should be upset at this. He's too good of an author. Let's stop this nonsense, please.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    Great writing (*****)--bad e-book experience (*)--file corruption?

    Mr. McCullough gets off to a slow but necessary start to show the foundation of Harry S. Truman. Once the biography passes into Mr. Truman's adulthood, the book takes off like a shot and never lets up. Great insights into Mr. Truman's character, leadership style, and approaches to decision-making. The only drawback is the e-book itself: my copy glitched at Chapter 17: I'd open the book, Chapter 17 would be seen for a moment and then it would close and return to the home page. Same thing happened on a friend's Nook and on his iPad (when accessing my B&N account). After re-booting, archiving, and re-loading the problem never went away. The folks at my B&N store in Albuquerque were awesome and really tried to solve it, but to no avail. So, I side-loaded the book from my PC to my Nook "Files" and it reads fine now. While this could have been merely inconvenient, the most irritating problem is that all of my notes and highlights have been apparently lost. The ability to highlight and make notations was a key consideration in my decision to switch to an e-reader. This first book, and first failure, is extremely irritating. Nonetheless, the enormous pros of the Nook keep me addicted to it and I hope this was a true, signular anomaly.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    The Buck Stops Here

    Every President of the United States is human and subject to error. What I admired most about Truman was his willingness to make decisions and accept responsibility for the outcome. Truman's humble past, strong work ethic, and patriotism are what made him a great President. I never knew just how much this man accomplished during his time in office until I read this book. The author has clearly done his homework on this one. No more books need be written about Truman.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    Splendid!

    I've never enjoyed a biography more in my life! I first read it when I checked it out from my public library, but now I plan on buying the book. It's an excellent read and gives you a lot of insight on Harry S Truman that is often overlooked.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2005

    GREAT BOOK, MUST READ!!!

    I believe, after reading this book, that Truman truley was one of the best, most HUMBLE Presidents to ever hold the honor of that title. This book has inspired me to set a goal for myself to read biographies of ALL the U.S. Presidents, just to see, in hindsight, what kind of President they really were. They at least have to be dead for a while to get an honest assessment of their true accomplishments and failures. After reading this book, you really feel you know President Harry S Truman as a person, he is someone the 'everyday' man can relate to. This is a MUST have for any history/political buff.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    7/15/13: An ad for a "bargain" caught my attention. T

    7/15/13: An ad for a "bargain" caught my attention. That turned out to be very misleading--the initial listing says the Nook book is $1.99, but just before I pushed the button I realized that would only buy me an excerpt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    fascinating

    This book is not one to be read lightly--neither should its subject. It is as much a narrative of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century as it is about the man whose name is the title. It takes some time to get going, but once you do, you don't stop. Take the time to read it from cover-to-cover (summer or a lengthy holiday break... otherwise you'll get stuck between World War I and the U.S. Senate). But its worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006

    A MAN WHO HAD TO MAKE AN EARTH SHAKING DECISION, HE NOR ANYONE KNEW WHAT THE RESULTS WOULD BE!

    TRUMAN by David McCullough ONE KNEW WHAT THE RESULTS WOULD BE! A review of the CD as read by the author of the book. Five CDs in all. Truman was unlucky enough to be a president of the United States when the atomic bomb came into being and had to make the decision as to whether to use it or not. It is was if he had been borne for this decision and had to make it for two wars, the first world war and the Korean war. The first time he did not think he had a decision the second time he had a chance to stop a horrible war by not using the bomb and he redeemed himself under a lot of pressure. But like a president had a backbone who thought as well, he held his ground. He had to fire an American hero as a part of his job and did not hesitate in spite of the remarks that were thrown at him by many Americans. Truman had the courage to follow what he believed from the information he had and fire General MacArthur. Many Americans reacted visceral to what they thought was a disgrace act. They did not have the information that Truman, the president, had when he made the decision and many would have had trouble digesting it anyway. The first CD¿s were taken by a description of the Truman ancestors. His ancestors were hardy people who lived on the then frontier during the War Between the States and the other the other hardships of living on a frontier farm in Missouri. Then the CD¿s described Harry S. Truman thoroughly as a young man in love with the young woman who he remained in love with and eventually married, Bess. He lived during this period as a hard working farmer with his ambitious father who always wanted more cows and more land. Harry discovered during this period that he liked to write and wrote long letters to Bess. From that time on he wrote a lot, not for publication but to get his thoughts in order. They weren¿t love letters so much as a narrative as to how he lived and worked on the farm. Finally in 1913 she said she would marry him. He was ecstatic. She said he was an enigma, which he said was all right with him if that was she wanted to call him. Harry was given the grade of Lieutenant in the Army when he enlisted in 1917 at the age of 33. He did not have to go having poor eyes and being a farmer supporting his mother. But he got in when the World war one was immediate. Bess was all for getting married right away, but to her surprise Harry said no he did not to tie her down to someone who might not make it and who could come home crippled for life. He stated that when the war was over they would be married. After a successful eventful two years and 20 pounds lighter Capt. Truman returned to Bess to pick up the live he had left. He Bess and started a business with a clothing shop. During the depression the store went bankrupt and Harry got in policies by way of a judge in his state and later in 1935 was elected for senator. Along the way he and Bess had a daughter and named her Mary Margaret. Harry took Bess and his daughter Mary Margaret to Washington and worried about living on the then $10,000 a year that a US senator in that time got paid. After a fits and starts in first 6 years Harry was reelected to the senate in 1940. During 1941 when the US joined the war Truman¿s honesty and integrity became apparent. He then became vice president under Roosevelt in 1944. He became the president of the USA when Roosevelt died in April 1945. Of course World War II was in process and things were happening fast. Harry Truman was the president who attended the Potsdam at the end of the war in Europe and was faced with terrible decision of using the Atomic bomb on the Japanese. Harry was reelected in 1948 over favorite Dewey, and then was faced with Korean Police action. He went along with MacArthur until China entered the action in Korea. He was forced to fire MacArthur and hold back some of the element that wanted to drop Atomic bombs on the Chinese. Harry had seen wh

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2005

    Unforgettable

    I thought of Truman as a dull subject for a biography but I was very wrong. McCullough's portrait is of a Jeckel and Hyde: mild mannered in one personae and as aggressive and mean as a pit bill in the other. In psychiatric terms he would be termed an obsessional character, but clearly no ordinary man. He emerges as deeply human, with great integrity and courage, enormous industry,kindness and creativity. For example he didn't just play the piano for fun like Nixon, he was in fact a fine amateur classical pianist.Who knew? And there is even a hint about the passion in the marriage to his (difficult) wife as well as a portrait of his basic submissiveness to her and continual need to please her. Also -- because this is a 'life and times' book -- it may also be read as a history of the USA from the turn of the century to the mid fifties, Is there a Nobel Prize for biographies?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    A staunch Republican likes this Democrat

    I've read the book twice. The record of Harry Truman during WWI (The Great War) was riveting. It showed his enormous wealth of character. The man was forged of much sterner mettle than either of the Bushes (OUCH. I like the Bushes, but I had to use them for comparison since compulsive Al Gore has NO character.) These admirable qualities come to the fore with one of Truman's quotes: I wonder how far Moses would have gone if he'd taken a poll? Yep. Harry S. Trumans pole numbers were swimmin in the toilet when he left, but history, not Clintonian spin, gave the unclouded praiseworthy testament of his tenure in the Oval Office. Of course the Presidential race with Dewey provoked some substantive reflection. I read the book at the library and then bought it to read a second time and keep as a reference. Buy this book in hardcover! David McCullough batted 1000 with this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2001

    Great Historical Background on Kansas City

    As a long-time resident of Kansas City, I found the first third of 'Truman' to be the most objective and fascinating account of the history of Western Missouri and the Tom Pendergast era I have ever read. This is a must read for those who not only want to know Truman intimately, but Kansas City as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2001

    The Best-Written Biography Ever

    I have read much about Truman and his times, but this biography was so well researched and written, so fresh, so alive, as to make the reader think he or she was coming to the subject the first time. The author spends time where it needs to be spent, to help us understand critical moments and their relationship to character. Bravo!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2000

    Educational and Meaningful

    I was born in 1950, so have no knowledge of the Truman era except from history books. I found the treatment in this book fascinating and educational. The human side of the book was wonderful. The impression I got was of a regular guy, thrust into the role of President, who did his very best and lived up to the high ideals of that noble office. He maintained his humility the whole time and had a strong sense of ethics and honesty. I believe the book to be most if not all true, and it was inspirational and moving.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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