Tumultuous Years: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1949-1953 / Edition 2

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“In January of 1949 the aftershocks of the Second World War were still jarring large parts of the globe, although they had greatly diminished in the United States. In Asia, however, turbulence continued to rise as a result of the collapse of Japan, the tottering of the European empires after the war, and the combustion produced by nationalism mixed with communism. Because a segment of American opinion, generally represented in the more conservative wing of the Republican party, was very sensitive to events in Asia, the tremors in the Far East came as harbingers of disturbing political conflict in the United States.”

Robert J. Donovan’s Tumultuous Years presents a detailed account of Harry S. Truman’s presidency from 1949-1953.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An admiring study by a solid historian."—National Review

"With this second volume, Donovan completes what is now the best available history of the Truman presidency. As in the first volume (Conflict and Crisis), his subjects are people and events that affected the president, as well as Truman himself. . . . With an eye for detail, Donovan recalls forgotten as well as better known men and movements, including MacArthur and McCarthyism. . . . Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"Vivid, thorough and illuminating—an arresting study of an arresting President."—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

"A fitting sequel to a fine first volume. Donovan's narrative of Truman's troubled second term—a melodrama in a dozen acts—is balanced in judgment, fast in pace, and fascinating as a cool correction to most recent commentaries both on HST in human terms and on the so-called imperial presidency."—Richard E. Neustadt

"Robert J. Donovan has devoted 18 years to Harry S. Truman. As Washington correspondent for The New York Herald Tribune, Mr. Donovan was a close observer for more than seven years of the Truman Administration and he has spent over 10 years working on two volumes, Conflict and Crisis . . . and . . . Tumultuous Years. Together they are among the best books on the Presidency ever written. . . . Tumultuous Years is filled with fresh and revealing insights."—New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826210852
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Series: Give 'em Hell Harry Series, #1
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Formerly a newspaper journalist and senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Robert J. Donovan covered the White House during the Truman years for the New York Herald Tribune. He is the author of several books, including Conflict and Crisis: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948. and Boxing the Kangaroo: A Reporter's Memoir (both with the University of Missouri Press).

The Give 'Em Hell Harry Series, edited by Robert H. Ferrell.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
1 Vindication 13
2 A Disturbing Beginning 22
3 Acheson and the Approaching Storm 34
4 The North Atlantic Treaty 44
5 Forrestal, Louis Johnson, and Upheaval over National Security 53
6 The China Time Bomb 66
7 Debacle: "The Loss of China" 74
8 Korea: A Malignancy. American Occupation Troops Withdraw 89
9 Stunning News from Siberia: The Soviet Atomic Bomb 98
10 The Revolt of the Admirals 105
11 An Aura of Scandal: "Five Percenters" and "Deep Freezers" 114
12 1950: A Savage Year Begins 131
13 Vietnam: The First Grave Step 139
14 The Hydrogen Bomb Decision 148
15 NSC 68 158
16 The McCarthy Onslaught 162
17 Interlude: A Quiet Decision 171
18 The Gathering Clouds Abroad 176
19 A Summer Day in Independence, Missouri 187
20 Sunday Night at Blair House 192
21 The Commitment of U.S. Air and Naval Forces 204
22 Truman's Fateful Decision: Ground Forces in Asia 214
23 A Costly Mistake: War without Congressional Approval 219
24 Korea: Springboard for a U.S. Global Build-up 241
25 Bitter Summer: First Troubles with MacArthur, Last with Johnson 248
26 Prelude to Disaster: The Decision to Cross the Parallel 268
27 The Wake Island Conference 283
28 The Depths 289
29 National Emergency 313
30 1951: A Year of War, Mobilization, and the "Great Debate" 321
31 More Scandal, New Bruises 332
32 MacArthur Crisis: "The Last Straw" 340
33 The Firing of General MacArthur 355
34 The Ravages 365
35 Showdown: The Attorney General and the President 372
36 Constitutional Crisis: Truman Seizes the Steel Industry 382
37 1952: Troubles with Eisenhower and Stevenson 392
38 Scenes from an Ending 402
Bibliographical Note 412
References 413
Index 429
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