Truman Fires MacArthur (ebook excerpt of Truman) [NOOK Book]

Overview


An intemperate general. An unpopular war. A military and diplomatic team in disarray.

Those are the challenges President Obama has faced as he attempts to make a success of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. They are also the challenges President Truman surmounted in the winter of 1950 as he began managing a war in Korea that risked becoming bigger and more costly. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War: U.S. troops under the command of General Douglas ...

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Truman Fires MacArthur (ebook excerpt of Truman)

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Overview


An intemperate general. An unpopular war. A military and diplomatic team in disarray.

Those are the challenges President Obama has faced as he attempts to make a success of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. They are also the challenges President Truman surmounted in the winter of 1950 as he began managing a war in Korea that risked becoming bigger and more costly. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War: U.S. troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur came to the aid of the South Koreans after North Korea invaded. When Communist China entered the conflict on the side of the North Koreans, the crisis seemed on the verge of flaring into a world war. Truman was determined not to let that happen. MacArthur kept urging a widening of the war into China itself and ignoring his commander in chief. On April 11, 1951, after MacArthur had “shot his mouth off,” as one diplomat put it, one too many times, Truman fired him.

The story of their showdown—one of the most dramatic in U.S. history between a commander in chief and his top soldier in the field—is captured in all its detail by David McCullough in his Pulitzer Prize–winning biography Truman, and presented here in a ebook called Truman Fires MacArthur (ebook excerpt of Truman), which was the headline carried in many newspapers around the country the next day.

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Editorial Reviews

Jimmy Carter

Since I’ve been in national politics, whenever I’ve been asked who my favorite political leader of the century is, I have always said Harry Truman…. David McCullough has always been a favorite of mine. The Truman biography is outstanding.
The Boston Phoenix

C. Vann Woodward

An impressive and valuable study of Truman, worthy of its subject.
The New York Review

Robert Dallek

McCullough is a master storyteller whose considerable narrative skills have been put to exquisite use in re-creating the life and times of America’s 33rd president.”


Los Angeles Times Book Review

Steve Weinberg

This is the biography of President Harry S. Truman against which not only all other Truman biographies but probably all other presidential biographies will be measured. It is comprehensive, well reasoned, insightful and yet elegantly simple. It is written with a love for the subject that is contagious.
The Kansas City Star

Eugene V. Rostow

Exemplary and riveting…. The book is like a comfortable Victorian three-decker novel. There are two plots, a hero and heroine, and a glittering cast of characters ranging from Dean Acheson, Churchill and General Marshall to the Pendergasts and General MacArthur, as well as a splendid collection of Shakespearean clowns…. McCullough’s book will stand for a long time as the outstanding analysis of an extremely important subject: the greatness of Truman, and its role as an exogenous ‘cause’ in the history of his time.
Times Literary Supplement, London

Walter Isaacson
McCullough’s marvelous feel for history is based on an appreciation of colorful tales and an insight into

personalities. In this compelling saga of America’s greatest common-man president, McCullough adds luster to an old-fashioned historical approach . . . the sweeping narrative, filled with telling details and an appreciation of the role individuals play in shaping the world.
Time

Lorenzo Carcaterra

Truman is biography as good as it gets, as absorbing and readable as it is voluminous. McCullough writes like a novelist, digs like a zealous reporter and puts things in perspective like the superb historian he is.
People

Myron A. Marty

Perhaps the highest tribute one can pay a biographer is to say that through him one comes to know his subject almost as though in person. In fostering the reader’s acquaintance with Harry Truman, not once does McCullough get in the way. This is in every respect a splendid work.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451618228
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/25/2010
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 35
  • Sales rank: 54,296
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other widely praised books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood. He has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Biography

Critics have called David McCullough America's premier narrative historian, and rightly so: McCullough is both a scholar and a storyteller, a meticulous researcher and a highly engaging writer. Given his ability to turn a 750-page biography of an often-overlooked, one-term president into a national bestseller, it might even be said that McCullough is a magician. Gordon Wood, author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution and a professor of history at Brown University, has said McCullough "is without doubt the most celebrated of what you could call our 'popular historians,' and he's also respected by academic historians."

McCullough, who majored in English literature at Yale, began his career as a magazine writer, but turned to history after reading some uninspired accounts of the disastrous 1899 flood of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He wrote his own history of the flood and its aftermath, and went on to chronicle two great feats of engineering: the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the creation of the Panama Canal.

Both The Great Bridge and The Path Between the Seas were bestsellers, and the latter won a National Book Award. Critics praised McCullough for his vivid descriptions and lively excerpts of firsthand accounts. The Great Bridge, wrote Robert Kirsch in The Los Angeles Times, is "a book so compelling and complete as to be a literary monument, one of the best books I have read in years." McCullough then progressed from the Panama Canal to its great proponent Theodore Roosevelt, the subject of his first biography. Mornings on Horseback, about the young Teddy Roosevelt, was hailed as a "masterpiece" by Newsday 's John A. Gable and praised as "a beautifully told story, filled with fresh detail" by The New York Times Book Review.

McCullough spent the next ten years researching and writing about Harry Truman, and the resulting book was a complex, compelling and affectionate portrait of America's 33d president. Truman won the Pulitzer Prize for biography and sold well over 1 million copies. Another Pulitzer Prize was awarded to McCullough's next book, John Adams, also a bestseller.

"McCullough's appreciation for Adams, like his appreciation for Truman, depends on an adherence to certain old-fashioned moral guidelines, which is to say on strength of character," wrote New York Times reviewer Pauline Maier. McCullough is eloquent about his subjects' honesty, unpretentiousness and deep sense of civic duty, though critics have sometimes charged that he is too quick to excuse or pass over their failings. But McCullough has his own reservations about "a certain school of historians who don't just want to prove somebody from the past had feet of clay, they want to show he's nothing but clay."

McCullough can admire his subjects in spite of their faults; as he once said, "The more we see the founders as humans the more we can understand them." Through his books, millions of readers have found American heroes whose human characters are as well worth studying as their historic accomplishments.

Good To Know

In researching John Adams, McCullough went to every place in Europe that Adams had lived, in England, France and Holland. He also traveled with his wife along the same route Adams and Jefferson took when they toured the gardens of England. "If I had been able to sail across the Atlantic in a 24-gun frigate, as John Adams did, I would have done that, too," he said.

In addition to his work as a writer, McCullough has hosted the public television shows Smithsonian World and The American Experience, and narrated Ken Burns's documentary The Civil War.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 181 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(87)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 181 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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  • 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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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 181 Customer Reviews

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