The Truman Presidency

Overview

Written by leading authorities in the fields of the contemporary social, political, and diplomatic history of the United States, the essays in this volume provide a wide-ranging overview of the intentions, achievements, and failures of the Truman administration. Divided into sections on domestic politics and issues, and foreign policy and national defence, the volume gives an authoritative appraisal of some of the major events and problems of the time in the light of recent scholarship. The essays make clear the ...

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Overview

Written by leading authorities in the fields of the contemporary social, political, and diplomatic history of the United States, the essays in this volume provide a wide-ranging overview of the intentions, achievements, and failures of the Truman administration. Divided into sections on domestic politics and issues, and foreign policy and national defence, the volume gives an authoritative appraisal of some of the major events and problems of the time in the light of recent scholarship. The essays make clear the overriding importance of the wartime experience for the Truman era.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Harry Truman retired from office in 1953 he was unpopular; three decades later, the ``Truman renaissance'' spotlighted him as one of our most effective chief executives. These 13 essays, resulting from a symposium sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C., reflect critically on major developments of the Truman era in light of recent scholarship. Alonzo Hamby's paper, ``The Mind and Character of Harry S. Truman,'' is an instructive explanation of the increasingly attractive Truman image: ``To a generation alienated by transparently synthetic and devious leadership, the man who said what he thought and sneered at the pollsters seemed to possess a quality of authenticity that had departed from American political life.'' The other pieces, 10 written by history professors, cover Truman's presidency with special attention to his influence on foreign policy and national defense. A recurring theme in this collection is that Truman's tenure in the White House was characterized by deliberation and judicious restraint rather than the impulsiveness ascribed to the 33th president by revisionist historians. Lacey is a staff member of the Woodrow Wilson International Center. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521407731
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Press Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction and summary: the Truman era in retrospect Michael J. Lacey; 1. The mind and character of Harry S. Truman Alonzo L. Hamby; Part I. Domestic Politics and Issues: 2. Forging America's postwar order: domestic politics and political economy in the age of Truman Robert Griffith; 3. Attitudes toward industry in the Truman administration: the macroeconomic origins of microeconomic policy Craufurd D. Goodwin; 4. Labor in the Truman era: origins of the 'private welfare state' Nelson Lichtenstein; 5. Postwar American society: dissent and social reform William H. Chafe; 6. 'Some sort of peace': President Truman, the American people, and the atomic bomb Paul Boyer; Part II. Foreign Policy and National Defense: 7. The national security state reconsidered: Truman and economic containment, 1945–1950 Robert A. Pollard; 8. The insecurities of victory: the United States and the perception of the Soviet threat after World War II John Lewis Gaddis; 9. Alliance and autonomy: European identity and US foreign policy objectives in the Truman years Charles S. Maier; 10. US policy in the Near East: the triumphs and tribulations of the Truman administration Bruce R. Kuniholm; 11. Toward a post-colonial order: Truman administration policies toward South and Southeast Asia Robert J. McMahon; 12. Occupied Japan and the cold war in Asia John W. Dower; 13. The Truman administration and the Korean War Barton J. Bernstein; About the authors; Index.

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