From William Lee Miller, the highly regarded biographer of Abraham Lincoln, a riveting dual examination of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower that explores the similarities and equally striking differences of two remarkable men in the context of mid-twentieth-century American culture and politics.
Two Americans weaves together the life stories of Truman and Eisenhower, showing how these future presidents, born six years apart from each other in small farming towns, were emblematic of their Midwestern upbringings and their generation. Miller also shows how their markedly different life experiences during World War I and between the world wars would shape their choices and the roles they played in the politics of the time, as Truman became the quintessential politician, and Eisenhower, the thoroughgoing anti-politician. Their personalities come alive in vividly described scenes of their collaboration during the war-torn 1940s; their dual, but different, roles in bringing the war to an end and shaping the postwar world; their growing disapproval of each other; and, finally, in 1952, the hostile bickering and maneuvering that characterized the passing of presidential power from one to the other.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
William Lee Miller was a Scholar in Ethics and Institutions at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, and taught at Yale, Smith College, and Indiana University. His previous books include Arguing About Slavery, Lincoln’s Virtues, and President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman. He died in 2012.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As an avid reader of historical non-fiction, I find there are two key ingredients in a successful book of this type: thorough research and knowledge of the subject, and the ability to take the facts and figures and make them enjoyable to read. Mr. Miller succeeds admirably with the former, but comes up considerably short on the latter. The book contains a wealth of information on Truman and Eisenhower, their families, their context in various periods of history, and the relationships that brought them together, tore them apart, and brought them together again; virtually everything you could want to now about the two men and their impact on this country and the world. When writing in his own words, using his own opinions and reaching his own conclusions, Mr. Miller does fine with the prose. However these parts of the book are far too few and far between, sandwiched among interminable lengthy quotes and segments of other writer's work, interviews, opinions and conclusions. I may not be qualified to criticize, never having written enjoyable historical non-fiction myself, but to use one of too many quotes employed by Mr. Miller himself, "I know it when I see it".
Well written juxtaposition of the two great leaders during an extremely difficult period of the Unites States post war and cold war periods. Much insight to the elections of both.