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The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World

by A. J. Baime

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The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World
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The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World by A. J. Baime

The dramatic, pulse-pounding story of Harry Truman’s first four months in office, when this unlikely president had to take on Germany, Japan, Stalin, and the atomic bomb, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who get thrust into extraordinary circumstances, and through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth term Vice President for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman—a Midwesterner who had no college degree and had never had the money to buy his own home—was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR’s sudden death. During the climactic months of the Second World War, Truman had to play judge and jury, pulling America to the forefront of the global stage. The first four months of Truman’s administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings of Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation of Europe, the Potsdam Conference, the controversial decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the surrender of Imperial Japan, and finally, the end of World War II and the rise of the Cold War. No other president had ever faced so much in such a short period of time.

Tightly focused, meticulously researched, rendered with vivid detail and narrative verve, THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during this tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenge even higher. The result is narrative history of the highest order and a compelling look at a presidency with great relevance to our times.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9780544617346
9780544617346
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/24/2017
Pages:
448
448
Sales rank:
735
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)
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About the Author

About the Author

A.J. Baime is the New York Times bestselling author of The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War and Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans. Both books are in development for major motion pictures. His latest book, The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World, was published in 2017. Baime is a longtime regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, Popular Science, and Men's Journal. He holds an M.A. in literature from NYU and currently lives in Granite Bay, California. Visit A.J. at Facebook.com/ajbaime and Trumanbook.com.

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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

08/28/2017
Journalist and editor Baime (The Arsenal of Democracy) carves out a slice of the Truman presidency and serves up an attractive tale for fans of both presidential and WWII history. He opens with an acknowledgement of Truman’s divisive legacy, then sidesteps the debate by arguing that, whether the Missourian is considered among one of the best or the worst presidents, “the first four months of his administration should rank as the most challenging and action-packed” of any president’s. When F.D.R. decided to run for an unprecedented fourth term, he selected Truman, a senator from Missouri whom he barely knew, as his vice president. The position didn’t afford Truman access to Roosevelt’s inner circle and, after F.D.R.’s death, Truman found himself unprepared for the presidency. He proved a quick study, however, and Baime’s account centers on how Truman brought the U.S. through the end of WWII. He writes admiringly of Truman’s negotiations with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin over the future of postwar Europe and of his decision to use an atomic bomb on Japan to end the war in the Pacific. Baime opens a clear, if narrow, window on a pivotal moment in history. Illus. Agent: Scott Waxman, Waxman Leavell Literary. (Oct.)

Publishers Weekly
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    The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World
    Hardcover (1)
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    Pub. Date: 10/24/2017
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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