Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, consecutive presidents of the United States, were midwesterners alike in many ways-except that they also sharply differed. Born within six years of each other (Truman in 1884, Eisenhower in 1890), they came from small towns in the Missouri-Mississippi River Valley-in the midst of cows and wheat, pigs and corn, and grain elevators. Both were grandsons of farmers and sons of forceful mothers, and of fathers who knew failure; both were lower middle class, received public school educations, and were brought up in low-church Protestant denominations.William Lee Miller interweaves Truman's and Eisenhower's life stories, which then also becomes the story of their nation as it rose to great power. They had contrasting experiences in the Great War-Truman, the haberdasher to be, led men in battle; Eisenhower, the supreme commander to be, did not. Between the wars, Truman was the quintessential politician, and Eisenhower the thoroughgoing anti-politician. Truman knew both the successes and woes of the public life, while Eisenhower was sequestered in the peacetime army. Then in the wartime 1940s, these two men were abruptly lifted above dozens of others to become leaders of the great national efforts.Miller describes the hostile maneuvering and bickering at the moment in 19521953 when power was to be handed from one to the other and somebody had to decide which hat to wear and who greeted whom. As president, each coped with McCarthyism, the tormenting problems of race, and the great issues of the emerging Cold War. They brought the United States into a new pattern of world responsibility while being the first Americans to hold in their hands the awesome power of weapons capable of destroying civilization.Listening to their story is a reminder of the modern American story, of ordinary men dealing with extraordinary power.
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Edition description:||Library - Unabridged CD|
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.80(d)|
About the Author
William Lee Miller, Scholar in Ethics and Institutions at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, has also taught at Yale University, Smith College, and Indiana University. He is a member of the board of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, of the Lincoln Studies Group, and of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission's advisory committee. His previous books include Arguing About Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the American Congress and Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Reader of over four hundred audiobooks, Dick Hill has won three coveted Audie Awards and been nominated numerous times. He is also the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. AudioFile includes Dick on their prestigious list of Golden Voices.
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.