This book explores the American use of atomic bombs, and the role these weapons played in the defeat of the Japanese Empire in World War II. It focuses on President Harry S. Truman's decision making regarding this most controversial of all his decisions. The book relies on notable archival research, and the best and most recent scholarship on the subject to fashion an incisive overview that is fair and forceful in its judgments. This study addresses a subject that has been much debated among historians, and it confronts head-on the highly disputed claim that the Truman administration practiced "atomic diplomacy." The book goes beyond its central historical analysis to ask whether it was morally right for the United States to use these terrible weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It also provides a balanced evaluation of the relationship between atomic weapons and the origins of the Cold War.
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Covers the wartime correspondence between President Truman and Prime Minister Churchill and includes more than a decade of subsequent personal and official correspondence between the two.
From the first days of his unexpected presidency in April 1945 through the landmark NSC 68 of 1950, Harry Truman was central to the formation of America’s grand strategy during the Cold War and the subsequent remaking of U.S. foreign policy. Others are frequently associated with the terminology of and responses to the perceived global Communist threat after the Second World War: Walter Lippmann popularized the term “cold war,” and George F. Kennan first used the word “containment” in a strategic sense. Although Kennan, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall have been seen as the most influential architects of American Cold War foreign policy, The First Cold Warrior draws on archives and other primary sources to demonstrate that Harry Truman was the key decision maker in the critical period between 1945 and 1950. In a significant reassessment of the thirty-third president and his political beliefs, Elizabeth Edwards Spalding contends that it was Truman himself who defined and articulated the theoretical underpinnings of containment. His practical leadership style was characterized by policies and institutions such as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, NATO, the Berlin airlift, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council. Part of Truman’s unique approach—shaped by his religious faith and dedication to anti-communism—was to emphasize the importance of free peoples, democratic institutions, and sovereign nations. With these values, he fashioned a new liberal internationalism, distinct from both Woodrow Wilson’s progressive internationalism and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s liberal pragmatism, which still shapes our politics. Truman deserves greater credit for understanding the challenges of his time and for being America’s first cold warrior. This reconsideration of Truman’s overlooked statesmanship provides a model for interpreting the international crises facing the United States in this new
With contributions from the most accomplished scholars in thefield, this fascinating companion to one of America's pivotalpresidents assesses Harry S. Truman as a historical figure,politician, president and strategist. Assembles many of the top historians in their fields who assesscritical aspects of the Truman presidency Provides new approaches to the historiography of Truman and hispolicies Features a variety of historiographic methodologies
Based upon extensive research in the papers of President Harry S. Truman and in several journalistic collections, Harry S. Truman and the News Media recounts the story of a once unpopular chief executive who overcame the censure of the news media to ultimately win both the public's and the press's affirmation of his personal and presidential greatness. Franklin D. Mitchell traces the major contours of journalism during the lifetime and presidency of Truman. Although newspapers and newsmagazines are given the most emphasis, reporters and columnists of the Washington news corps also figure prominently for their role in the president's news conferences and their continuing coverage of Truman and his family. Broadcast journalism's expanding coverage of the president is also explored through chapters dealing with radio and television. President Truman's advocacy of a liberal Fair Deal for all Americans and a prudent and visible role for the nation in world affairs drew fire from the anti-administration news media, particularly the publishing empire of William Randolph Hearst, the McCormick-Patterson newspapers, the Scripps-Howard chain, and the Time-Life newsmagazines of Henry R. Luce. Despite press opposition and the almost universal prediction of defeat in the 1948 election, Truman was victorious in the greatest miscalled presidential election in journalistic history. During his full term, Truman's relations with the news media became contentious over such matters as national security in the Cold War, the conduct of the Korean War, and the continuing charges of communism and corruption in the administration. Although Truman's career in politics was based on honesty and the welfare of the people, his early political alliance with Thomas Pendergast, Kansas City's notorious political boss, provided the opportunity for a portion of the press to charge Truman with subservience to Pendergast's own agenda of corrupt government. The history and the dynamics of the Truman presi
In this riveting biography, David McCullough captures Harry S. Truman and the turbulent, historically significant times during which he served.
The words of a politician who knew his own mind and wasn't afraid to speak it, this volume truly captures the sprit of "Give 'em Hell" Harry, with the excerpts of letters, speeches, diary entries, even anecdotes that reveal this special man and his time.
The idea of revising what is known of the past constitutes an essential procedure in historical scholarship, but revisionists are often hasty and argumentative in their judgments. Such, argues Robert H. Ferrell, has been the case with assessments of the presidency of Harry S. Truman, who was targeted by historians and political scientists in the 1960s and ’70s for numerous failings in both domestic and foreign policy, including launching the cold war—perceptions that persist to the present day. Widely acknowledged as today’s foremost Truman scholar, Ferrell turns the tables on the revisionists in this collection of classic essays. He goes below the surface appearances of history to examine how situations actually developed and how Truman performed sensibly—even courageously—in the face of unforeseen crises. While some revisionists see Truman as consumed by a blind hatred of the Soviet Union and adopting an unrestrainedly militant stance, Ferrell convincingly shows that Truman wished to get along with the Soviets and was often bewildered by their actions. He interprets policies such as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and support for NATO as prudent responses to perceived threats and credits the Truman administration for the ways in which it dealt with unprecedented problems. What emerges most vividly from Ferrell’s essays is a sense of how weak a hand the United States held from 1945 to1950, with its conventional forces depleted by the return of veterans to civil pursuits after the war and with its capacity for delivery of nuclear weapons in a sorry state. He shows that Truman regarded the atomic bomb as a weapon of last resort, not an instrument of policy, and that he took America into a war in Korea for the good of the United States and its allies. Although Truman has been vindicated on many of these issues, there still remains a lingering controversy over the use of atomic weapons in Japan—a decision that Ferrell argues is understandable in l
An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A New York Times Best Children’s book of 2019 A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019 A School Library Journal Best Picture Book of 2019 "An enchanting tale of bravery, heroism, and undying devotion." —The New York Times Book Review After his best friend Sarah leaves for her first day of school, a tortoise named Truman goes on an adventure across the living room and learns to be brave in this thoughtful and heartwarming twist on a first experience story. Truman the tortoise lives with his Sarah, high above the taxis and the trash trucks and the number eleven bus, which travels south. He never worries about the world below…until one day, when Sarah straps on a big backpack and does something Truman has never seen before. She boards the bus! Truman waits for her to return. He waits. And waits. And waits. And when he can wait no longer, he knows what he must do. Even if it seems…impossible!
Harry S. Truman presided over one of the most challenging times in American history—the end of World War II and the onset of the Cold War. Thrust into the presidency after Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office, Truman oversaw the transition to a new, post-war world in which the United States wielded the influence of a superpower. With his humble beginnings and straightforward manner, Truman was the personification of a typical American. As president, however, he dealt with decisions that were anything but typical. His presidency saw the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the integration of the military, and the development of an interventionist foreign policy aimed at ‘containing’ Communism, from providing aid in the Marshall Plan to entering the Korean War. In the post-Cold War era, Harry S. Truman: The Coming of the Cold War provides insight into a pivotal moment in history that laid the foundations of today’s politics and international relations. In this concise and accessible biography, Nicole L. Anslover addresses the president’s political and personal life to explore the lasting impact that Truman had on American society and America’s role in the world. Supplemented by a diverse array of primary documents, including presidential addresses, private letters, and political cartoons, this narrative presents a key American figure to students of history and politics.
"Fight House looks juicy as all hell" - National Review "Troy seamlessly weaves West Wing gossip with significant moments in modern history." - Jewish Insider THE WHITE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FIGHT HOUSE President Trump’s White House is famously tumultuous. But as presidential historian and former White House staffer Tevi Troy reminds us, bitter rivalries inside the White House are nothing new. From the presidencies of Harry S. Truman, when the modern White House staff took shape, to Donald Trump, the White House has been filled with ambitious people playing for the highest stakes and bearing bitter grudges. In Fight House, you’ll discover: -The advisor to President Harry Truman that General George Marshall refused to acknowledge -How the supposed “Camelot” Kennedy White House was rife with conflict -How Dr. Henry Kissinger displaced other national security advisors to gain President Richard Nixon’s ear -Why President Jimmy Carter’s personal pettiness and obsession with detail led to a dysfunctional White House—and played a role in his losing the 1980 election -How the contrasting management styles of President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan led to some epic White House staff clashes -Why the “No Drama Obama” White House was anything but no drama Insightful, entertaining, and important, Tevi Troy’s Fight House will delight and instruct anyone interested in American politics and presidential history.
"Gathered for the first time, Truman's private papers--diaries, letters, and memoranda--cover the period from his occupancy of the White House in 1945 to shortly before his death in 1972. Students and scholars will find valuable material on major events of the Truman years, from the Potsdam Conference to the Korean War."--Publishers website.
A look at the president's tumultuous first four months in office examines the events he presided over, including the founding of the United Nations, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, and the decision to drop the bomb.
Given his background, President Truman was an unlikely champion of civil rights. Where he grew up--the border state of Missouri--segregation was accepted and largely unquestioned. Both his maternal and paternal grandparents had owned slaves, and his beloved mother, victimized by Yankee forces, railed against Abraham Lincoln for the remainder of her ninety-four years. When Truman assumed the presidency on April 12, 1945, Michael R. Gardner points out, Washington, DC, in many ways resembled Cape Town, South Africa, under apartheid rule circa 1985. Truman's background notwithstanding, Gardner shows that it was Harry Truman--not Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or John F. Kennedy--who energized the modern civil rights movement, a movement that basically had stalled since Abraham Lincoln had freed the slaves. Gardner recounts Truman's public and private actions regarding black Americans. He analyzes speeches, private conversations with colleagues, the executive orders that shattered federal segregation policies, and the appointments of like-minded civil rights activists to important positions. Among those appointments was the first black federal judge in the continental United States. Gardner characterizes Truman's evolution from a man who grew up in a racist household into a president willing to put his political career at mortal risk by actively supporting the interests of black Americans.
Critically acclaimed author Robert Klara's The Hidden White House leads readers through an unmatched tale of political ambition and technical skill: the Truman administration's controversial rebuilding of the White House. In 1948, President Harry Truman, enjoying a bath on the White House's second floor, almost plunged through the ceiling of the Blue Room into a tea party for the Daughters of the American Revolution. A handpicked team of the country's top architects conducted a secret inspection of the troubled mansion and, after discovering it was in imminent danger of collapse, insisted that the First Family be evicted immediately. What followed would be the most historically significant and politically complex home-improvement job in American history. While the Trumans camped across the street at Blair House, Congress debated whether to bulldoze the White House completely, and the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb, starting the Cold War. Indefatigable researcher Robert Klara reveals what has, until now, been little understood about this episode: America's most famous historic home was basically demolished, giving birth to today's White House. Leaving only the mansion's facade untouched, workmen gutted everything within, replacing it with a steel frame and a complex labyrinth deep below ground that soon came to include a top-secret nuclear fallout shelter. The story of Truman's rebuilding of the White House is a snapshot of postwar America and its first Cold War leader, undertaking a job that changed the centerpiece of the country's national heritage. The job was by no means perfect, but it was remarkable--and, until now, all but forgotten.
A concise, well-written examination by a lawyer-historian of the judicial restraint philosophies of President Truman's four appointees to the Supreme Court: Harold Burton, Fred Vinson, Tom Clark, and Sherman Minton. Rudko's analysis of the four men's opinions in criminal procedure, loyalty-security, racial discrimination, and alien rights cases show that Truman was far more successful than most presidents in choosing justices whose view of the judicial role matched his own. Choice Much of the debate surrounding the Supreme Court can be traced to the notion that the Court is primarily a political rather than a judicial institution. When the Court is viewed from an ideological standpoint, it becomes tempting, for example, to equate judicial restraint with conservatism, and activism with a liberal political perspective. In her study of the Truman Court, Rudko demonstrates the fallacy of the political approach. Focusing of the record of President Truman's four liberal appointees, she looks at the judicial philosophy underlying important decisions involving the rights of individuals and shows how judicial issues--especially the balance between restraint and activism--have determined the decision-making process.
The rolling hills of southern Jackson County still shelter the white and green farmhouse Harry S. Truman occupied in the days before his journey to the Presidency. After the death of his father, the duties of the six hundred acre farm fell to twenty-two year-old Harry, who shouldered them from 1906 to 1917. It was here, in Grandview, that his nine year courtship with Bess Wallace took place and his ties with organizations like the Free Masons were forged. Drawing on photographs, letters and even farm receipts, historian Jon Taylor pieces together a picture of the farmer from Missouri whose humble beginnings prepared him to lead the country.
Asserts that the anti-Communist hysteria known as McCarthyism led President Truman to wage an aggressive military-ideological crusade against Communist China.