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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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Overview

Overview

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:
7,379
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 best-selling 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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Customer Reviews (1)
I received a free PDF copy of The Accidental President by A. J. Ba ...
I received a free PDF copy of The Accidental President by A. J. Baime courtesy of Net Galley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review to Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my nonfiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages. I requested this book as I have read a number of biographies about the Presidents of the United States including Harry Truman.  This is the first book by A. J. Baime that I have read. This was an interesting read from the perspective that it focused on the first four months that Truman served as President following the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It does provide some background on Truman that helps in providing some depth to the man if you have not read any of the other numerous biographies on him. I would also suggest that the publisher have an editor who has an understanding of history work with the author, who is not a historian, as there were some glaring historical mistakes. The book itself is a quick read and does provide some insight into Truman's first four months in office, but with not as much detail as I would have liked. In addition, the author appears to be a huge fan of Truman which causes him to gloss over any rough spots in his character. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quick read on a specific part of Truman's presdidency.
- Casey07
February 19, 2018
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    The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World
    Hardcover (1)
    The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World
    Pub. Date: 10/24/2017
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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    The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World
    Pub. Date: 10/24/2017
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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    The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World
    Pub. Date: 10/02/2018
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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