By Daniel S. Margolies
With contributions from the main comprehensive students within the box, this attention-grabbing better half to 1 of America's pivotal presidents assesses Harry S. Truman as a ancient determine, baby-kisser, president and strategist.
• Assembles a few of the best historians of their fields who verify serious features of the Truman presidency
• offers new methods to the historiography of Truman and his policies
• incorporates a number of historiographic methodologies
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Extra info for A companion to Harry S. Truman
Truman (2008) by historian Robert Dallek is a brief book that is not based on primary sources from the Truman presidential library. Approximately 150 pages in length, it provides a summary of Truman’s life, presidency, and legacy that may be useful to students and the general public seeking to understand and place Truman within the context of American history. Like Hamby, Dallek makes a similar conclusion about why the public’s memory and assessment of Truman became increasingly favorable after TRUMAN IN HISTORICAL, POPULAR, AND POLITICAL MEMORY 23 his death.
On both occasions, the administration certainly went out of its way to see that Truman’s activities were well covered. As Franklin Mitchell (1998) pointed out in his study of Truman and the press, the 1948 trip was undoubtedly designed to “sell” the president, and the size of the press corps “broke all records for travel with a presidential party. Fifty-eight reporters for newspapers and magazines, six radio correspondents, four newsreel cameramen, four television reporters, four still photographers, and one cartoonist” (pp.
In 2000 Zachary Karabell revisited this event, and in the process turned it from Ross’s Loneliest Campaign (1968) into the Last Campaign – the ﬁnal pretelevision contest, when a “folksy,” populist Truman captured the electorate’s attention by eschewing “big words” and “abstractions,” telling stories and speaking plainly, “like the former farmer he was” (Karabell, 2000: 4–13, 128–9). It is not difﬁcult to discern why this view of Truman’s leadership has continued to resonate. For one thing, many embattled politicians (including both the Bush presidents) have been drawn inexorably to Truman’s twin successes – the 1948 come-from-behind win that confounded the pollsters and the post-1953 revival of his historical reputation – so that unlike contemporaries, who often joked that “to err is Truman,” more recent presidents have periodically been animated by a sense that to win is Truman.
A companion to Harry S. Truman by Daniel S. Margolies