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Choosing Truman: The Democratic Convention of 1944 [NOOK Book]

Overview

As Franklin D. Roosevelt's health deteriorated in the months leading up to the Democratic National Convention of 1944, Democratic leaders confronted a dire situation. Given the inevitability of the president's death during a fourth term, the choice of a running mate for FDR was of profound importance. The Democrats needed a man they could trust. They needed Harry S. Truman.

Robert Ferrell tells an engrossing tale of ruthless ambition, secret meetings, and party politics. ...

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Choosing Truman: The Democratic Convention of 1944

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Overview

As Franklin D. Roosevelt's health deteriorated in the months leading up to the Democratic National Convention of 1944, Democratic leaders confronted a dire situation. Given the inevitability of the president's death during a fourth term, the choice of a running mate for FDR was of profound importance. The Democrats needed a man they could trust. They needed Harry S. Truman.

Robert Ferrell tells an engrossing tale of ruthless ambition, secret meetings, and party politics. Roosevelt emerges as a manipulative leader whose desire to retain power led to a blatant disregard for the loyalty of his subordinates and the aspirations of his vice presidential hopefuls. Startling in its conclusions, impeccable in its research, Choosing Truman is an engrossing, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the nation's thirty-third president.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Ferrell, an author ( Ill-Advised: Presidential Health and Public Trust , LJ 9/15/92) and editor of numerous books relating to Truman, here gives his account of how the ruling powers of the Democratic Party came to choose Truman as their vice presidential candidate at the 1944 Chicago convention. The stakes were unusually high in 1944 because all key players understood that FDR's plummeting health would all but guarantee the presidency to the man chosen as his running mate. Ferrell presents a thoughtful and well-researched account of the events that installed Truman as FDR's heir apparent. With its brief text, however, this work may have worked better as a chapter in a larger book. In addition, Ferrell's habit of rebuking and confirming points of fact in David McCullough's Truman ( LJ 6/1/92) detracts from his effort. Given the book's limited scope, few collections would benefit from its purchase.-- Robert Favini, Bentley Coll. Lib., Waltham, Mass.
Gilbert Taylor
Chicago Stadium, a place doomed to the wrecker's ball this year, echoes with history. The Democrats gathered in that reverberant cavern in 1944, less to reannoint FDR than to select hi successor. For the party barons--machine operators named Flynn of New York, Kelly of Chicago, and Hannegan of St. Louis--knew Roosevelt could not survive a fourth term. They also disliked the VP candidates and heirs apparent: Henry Wallace too liberal; William Douglas ditto; James Byrnes too racist; and Alben Barkley too old and unknown. So the pooh-bahs met at the White House on July 11, 1944, to handicap matters. Ferrell begins on that date, a hot summer night, a scene of martinis mixed and tobacco smoked, and tries to cut through the fog to explain how dark-horse Truman came away with the prize. Ferrell, who is author or editor of a number of books on Truman, turns over every bit of evidence about the event and ties it together in the manner of a mystery investigation. Ferrell's is a rather technical specialty monograph, but he nonetheless has a dramatic story to work with, and David McCullough's prizewinning biography of 1992 has certainly paved the way.
Booknews
Brings together a story scattered through the presidential libraries and several collections of personal papers: how Roosevelt came to choose Truman, a man whom he admitted he hardly knew. Provides an unusual glimpse of Oval Office machinations and insight into the Truman administration. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
From the Publisher

"Ferrell captures all of the excitement and rumors and back-room dealing, telling a riveting story of political intrigue and expediency that climaxed in the rejection of Byrnes."—The State

"In this pungent examination of one of the century's great political stories, Ferrell analyzes the crucial meeting of July 11, 1944, in which Roosevelt and his lieutenants rejected both the sitting Vice President Henry Wallace and adviser James Byrnes in favor of a relatively unknown senator from Missouri."—Publishers Weekly

"Robert Ferrell has established himself as one of the most distinguished Truman scholars at work today. Choosing Truman is a pleasure to read and easily supersedes any earlier studies of Truman's nomination and the intrigue that surrounded it."—Gateway Heritage

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826272980
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2013
  • Series: GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 461 KB

Meet the Author

Robert H. Ferrell is Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University, Bloomington, and the author or editor of over fifty books, including Collapse at Meuse-Argonne: The Failure of the Missouri-Kansas Division and Five Days in October: The Lost Battalion of World War I. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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Table of Contents



CONTENTS

PREFACE


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


1.
DAYS OF UNCERTAINTY


2.
DECISION


3.
ROOSEVELT AND TRUMAN!


4.
“I SHALL CONTINUE.…”


NOTES


BIBLIOGRAPHY


INDEX

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