“I have tried to give it everything that was in me.” — Truman (Part 1)

The Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Harry S. Truman by David McCullough.

The book began with the history and stories of the pioneer time, the Civil War, and Truman’s grandfather and father.

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972), was born in Lamar, Missouri.

Truman had spent most of his youth helping his father to farm near Independence. The bedroom was like an oven in the summer and an icebox in the winter. “It was an awful task to arise this morning in that ten-degree room.” he wrote in 1914.

With his father’s financial troubles, college of any kind was out of the question. He and his friend, Charlie Ross, vowed to read all two thousands book in the town library, encyclopedias included, and both later claimed to have succeeded.

In the last months of World War I, he served in combat in France.

Later, he decided to get into politics. He became the judge of Jackson County in 1923,  state Senator in 1935 (until January, 1945), Vice President of Roosevelt, then Presidency when FDR died, from April 12, 1945 to  January 20, 1953.

He assumed the presidency during the waning months of World War II. So much he hated war, he approved the use of atomic bombs to end WWII and entered into the Korea War to prevent WW III.

In 1952, Churchill visited U.S, he gave a speech acknowledged Truman’s leadership. “I must confess, sir” Churchill went on, “I held you in very low regard then, I loathed your taking the place of Franklin Roosevelt. I misjudged you badly. Since that time, you more than any other man, have saved Western civilization.” (p. 874)  So were many politicians misjudged Truman.

The day of Memorial tribute in Senate chamber, he was praised for the creation of the United Nations, for the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, the recognition of Israel, and NATO for committing American forces in Korea. He was remembered as the first president to recommend Medicare. (p.990)

On July 30, 1965, President Johnson came to Independence, to sign the new Medicare bill in Truman’s presence at the Truman Library. “Sitting at Johnson’s elbow, a cane in his lap, he watched the signing into law of legislation for health care for the aged such as he had proposed twenty years ago.” (p.984)

And, yes, the civil rights. He said, “Everyone knows I recommended to the Congress the civil rights program. I did that because it to be my duty under the constitution.” (p. 643)

I want to thank Alexandria, my dear blog friend, for recommending this book to me. I have learned so much of Truman and the history of his time, more than I had learned from my history classes and other readings.

I have tried to give it everthing that was in me.” — Truman (Part 2)

Thank you for visiting.

18 thoughts on ““I have tried to give it everything that was in me.” — Truman (Part 1)

  1. Enjoyed this excellent overview of Truman’s presidency and the photos too, Amy. David McCullough has a fine talent for bringing the past alive, and teaching history in a riveting manner. I have not read “Truman” but have heard great things from many about it, thank you for the reminder to read it. I’ve read many other McCullough biographies and heartily recommend them all. Thanks, Amy, for the Truman post today, much enjoyed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Jet for reading and taking time to comment. I appreciate your thoughts. I agree, David McCullough is a fine talent writer and historian. I have read two other books by him, 1776 and John Adams. This is part I, I should have Part II ready tomorrow. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sally for spending time here. This is a fine book, I have learned so much more about Truman and his time. Yes, Truman is one of the underrated. And, thank you for giving me a chance to share it with you.

      Like

  2. Good morning, Amy! Thanks for presenting this book here, and for the great illustrations. Ever since I visited the Truman House and the Truman Library, I’ve been fascinated with that man’s personality and character. All through his life, even in the most powerful position one can get to in the world, he remained a humble human being. What an example he set to further generations! You mention his self-education by reading. That was quite a feat. As toreading (books), I like his views,

    “Readers of good books, particularly books of biography and history, are preparing themselves for leadership. Not all readers become leaders, but all leaders must be readers.”

    Have a wonderful day,
    Pit

    P.S.: Did you get my mails with the pictures?

    Like

  3. Good Monday morning, Pit. I’m so happy to read your comment. Reading through the book, Yes, he has proved that “even in the most powerful position one can get to in the world, he remained a humble human being.” I remember reading his saying about reading in the book. I love that quote.
    Thank you so much for forwarding your photos, I’ll have a post (part III) that weaves your beautiful photos with McCullough eloquent words. Hope you’ll like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked my comment here, and happy that you got my photos. I’, eagerly awaiting your next post(s) about Truman, or the book, rather. But don’t let me hurry you. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting Amy. I like the history. I can not read history books because I read the books My daughter has readed .. Mrs.Christie..you know ..

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  5. Pingback: “I have tried to give it everthing that was in me.” — Truman (Part 2) | The World Is a Book...

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