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Affection and Trust: The Personal Correspondence of Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, 1953-1971
     

Affection and Trust: The Personal Correspondence of Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, 1953-1971

by Harry S. Truman, Dean Acheson, David McCullough (Introduction), Ray Geselbracht (Editor)
 

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In this riveting collection, available for the first time in paperback, we follow Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, two giants of the post–World War II period who were primarily responsible for the Marshall Plan and NATO, among other world-shaping initiatives, as they move from an official relationship to one of candor, humor, and personal expression. In

Overview

In this riveting collection, available for the first time in paperback, we follow Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, two giants of the post–World War II period who were primarily responsible for the Marshall Plan and NATO, among other world-shaping initiatives, as they move from an official relationship to one of candor, humor, and personal expression. In these letters, spanning the years from when both were newly out of office until Acheson’s death at the age of seventy-eight, we find them sharing the often surprising and always illuminating opinions, ideas, and feelings that the strictures of their offices had previously kept them from revealing.

Unbuttoned, careless of language, unburdened by political ambition or vanity, Truman and Acheson reveal their characters and their loyalty to each other on every page. Truman, a Missouri farmer with the unpolished but sharp intellect of a largely self-educated man, and Acheson, well educated, urbane, and affluent, seem an unlikely pair. But both men shared a deep and abiding patriotism and a taste for politics that transcended their very different backgrounds. Affection and Trust is a remarkable book that brings to light the very human side of two of the most important statesmen of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

Doctor - Henry Kissinger
"Just as the letters between Adams and Jefferson provide an intimate and historically rich view of the birth and early years of the Republic, so, too, does the post-presidential correspondence between Truman and Acheson offer illuminating insights into the watershed years following World War II. At a time when America had emerged with strength and maturity into another vastly changed world, the candid views of these two old and mutually trusted friends on affairs of state and the personalities involved in them are invaluable sources of information. Scholars and historians will be mining this trove for years to come."—Dr. Henry Kissinger
Booklist

"A revelatory collection of letters, these missives exchanged between a former president and his secretary of state simply defy simple characterization. . . . Valuable to historians, the divulgences in these letters will equally intrigue history readers."—Booklist

— Gilbert Taylor

Dr. Henry Kissinger

"Just as the letters between Adams and Jefferson provide an intimate and historically rich view of the birth and early years of the Republic, so, too, does the post-presidential correspondence between Truman and Acheson offer illuminating insights into the watershed years following World War II. At a time when America had emerged with strength and maturity into another vastly changed world, the candid views of these two old and mutually trusted friends on affairs of state and the personalities involved in them are invaluable sources of information. Scholars and historians will be mining this trove for years to come."—Dr. Henry Kissinger
Doris Kearns Goodwin

"What pure joy it is to read this astonishing exchange of letters between these two giant figures. This unreserved and surprisingly tender correspondence is simultaneously a moving tribute to friendship, a historical treasure, and a fabulous read from start to finish. It is also a happy throwback to a bygone era when people took the time to write long handwritten letters to one another."—Doris Kearns Goodwin
George F. Will

"Harry Truman was the last American president who had worked behind plow horses and had never been to college. His Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, was a patrician from Yale, from the upper reaches of the legal profession, and from the vanished world of America's WASP ascendancy. Their collaboration, even more, their friendship, made history—and these luminous letters."—George F. Will
Ken Burns

"What a wonderful book this is; a treasure abundant with little gems of statecraft, patriotism, and keen observation by two honorable men."—Ken Burns
Booklist - Gilbert Taylor

"A revelatory collection of letters, these missives exchanged between a former president and his secretary of state simply defy simple characterization. . . . Valuable to historians, the divulgences in these letters will equally intrigue history readers."—Booklist
Publishers Weekly
A deep affection existed between President Truman, a self-educated Midwesterner and the only 20th-century president who didn't attend college , and his secretary of state, Dean Acheson, a wealthy Ivy league sophisticate. Researching his biography of Truman at the Truman Library, McCullough came across the extensive correspondence that began as both left office. More than 80% of the letters cover Eisenhower's administration. No more prescient than other statesmen, neither Truman nor Acheson doubted the overwhelming threat of communism. Both considered Ike deplorably weak (subsequent historians disagree) and his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, unnecessarily pugnacious (subsequent historians agree). Both men also sound surprisingly contemporary as they worry about right-wing extremists taking over the Republican Party. Like all letters, these contain gossip about friends and spouses, vacation itineraries, and news of birthdays, holidays, awards, and medical problems. Many readers may skim these parts, but overall they will receive an insightful, if sometimes partial, view of cold war world politics through the eyes of two thoroughly admirable American leaders. 12 illus. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

 
 “Harry Truman was the last American president who had worked behind plow horses and had never been to college. His secretary of state, Dean Acheson, was a patrician from Yale, from the upper reaches of the legal profession and from the vanished world of America’s WASP ascendancy. Their collaboration, even more, their friendship, made history—and these luminous letters.”
—George F. Will

 “What pure joy it is to read this astonishing exchange of letters between these two giant figures. This unreserved and surprisingly tender correspondence is simultaneously a moving tribute to friendship, an historical treasure and a fabulous read from start to finish. It is also a happy throwback to a bygone era when people took the time to write long handwritten letters to one another.”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin
 
“Just as the letters between Adams and Jefferson provide an intimate and historically rich view of the birth and early years of the Republic, so, too, does the post-Presidential correspondence between Truman and Acheson offer illuminating insights into the watershed years following World War II.  At a time when America had emerged with strength and maturity into another vastly changed world, the candid views of these two old and mutually trusted friends on affairs of state and the personalities involved in them are invaluable sources of information.  Scholars and historians will be mining this trove for years to come.”
—Dr. Henry Kissinger
 
“What a wonderful book this is; a treasure abundant with little gems of statecraft, patriotism and keen observation by two honorable men.”
—Ken Burns

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803245266
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska Paperback
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Pages:
364
Sales rank:
890,267
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are Saying About This

Ken Burns
"What a wonderful book this is; a treasure abundant with little gems of statecraft, patriotism, and keen observation by two honorable men."—Ken Burns
George F. Will
"Harry Truman was the last American president who had worked behind plow horses and had never been to college. His Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, was a patrician from Yale, from the upper reaches of the legal profession, and from the vanished world of America's WASP ascendancy. Their collaboration, even more, their friendship, made history—and these luminous letters."—George F. Will
Booklist - Gilbert Taylor
"A revelatory collection of letters, these missives exchanged between a former president and his secretary of state simply defy simple characterization. . . . Valuable to historians, the divulgences in these letters will equally intrigue history readers."—Booklist
Henry Kissinger
"Just as the letters between Adams and Jefferson provide an intimate and historically rich view of the birth and early years of the Republic, so, too, does the post-presidential correspondence between Truman and Acheson offer illuminating insights into the watershed years following World War II. At a time when America had emerged with strength and maturity into another vastly changed world, the candid views of these two old and mutually trusted friends on affairs of state and the personalities involved in them are invaluable sources of information. Scholars and historians will be mining this trove for years to come."—Dr. Henry Kissinger
Doris Kearns Goodwin
"What pure joy it is to read this astonishing exchange of letters between these two giant figures. This unreserved and surprisingly tender correspondence is simultaneously a moving tribute to friendship, a historical treasure, and a fabulous read from start to finish. It is also a happy throwback to a bygone era when people took the time to write long handwritten letters to one another."—Doris Kearns Goodwin

Meet the Author


Harry S. Truman was the thirty-third president of the United States. Dean Acheson was secretary of state during the Truman administration. David McCullough is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the author of John Adams and Truman, both Pulitzer Prize winners.

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