Harry S. Truman was the thirty-third president of the United States. Author Cannarella paints a picture of a man who thought himself an everyday man and who became vice-president and then president when President Franklin Roosevelt died in office. Cannarella begins her book with a quote by Truman. "If ever there was a man who was forced to be President, I am that man." Truman grew up in Independence, Missouri, a hardworking and common sense man. He could not afford to go to college, so he went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad and worked for the Kansas City Star. In the early 1900s, Truman joined the Missouri National Guard and then went to France to fight in World War I. After the war, Truman married and had one daughter. His political career began in the 1920s when he was elected judge of eastern Jackson County. He eventually became a senator and was respected for his honesty and common sense. Truman became president during difficult times. World War II was going on, along with problems with Russia and Japan. His hardest decision was giving the order to use the atomic bomb. In March of 1952, Truman decided not to run for reelection. He died in 1972 at the age of eighty-eight. The book is supplemented with good photographs, a glossary, a time line, and Web sites. Part of the "Profiles of the Presidents" series. 2003, Compass Point Books, Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-The authors of these biographies discuss aspects of the featured man's life and accomplishments. The titles in the "Childhoods of the Presidents" series recount the president's life from birth up through early adulthood, concluding with an overview of his administrative years. The biographies in the "Profiles of the Presidents" series conversely provide a brief introductory chapter on the man's childhood and formative years, and what led to his eventual leadership roles, and then focus on his adult life, employment, and administration. All of the authors attempt to incorporate the appropriate historical perspective, although the titles in "Profiles" present more facts about the issues involved. "Childhoods" includes boxed fact inserts in the margins. "Profiles" has a nicely illustrated time line depicting both the figure's life and world events. The texts are enhanced with reproductions and photographs of landmarks. None of the books has much depth. Better, more inclusive biographies include Jean Fritz's The Great Little Madison (Putnam, 1989) and Karin C. Farley's Harry S. Truman (Messner, 1989; o.p.).-Rita Soltan, formerly at Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.