Skip to comments.David Pietrusza’s “1948″ (Book Review)
Posted on 12/05/2011 7:27:29 AM PST by statestreet
Harry Truman is the one president widely admired today who was generally reviled in his own times. There was no cult of personality around Truman while he was in the White House; to the contrary, he eventually logged the lowest approval ratings in Gallups history, just nudging out Richard Nixon on the eve of resignation. His legislative record was anemic. He failed to curb the anti-communist fervor known as McCarthyism, and the carnage of the Korean War is part of his resume.
The fact Truman endures is a testament to two factors: the first, his exemplary decision to assert American leadership on behalf of democratic elements under siege, from Greece to Israel, denied the Soviet Union ownership of the second half of the 20th Century. Second, he won a campaign, improbably, heroically, and defiantly in the face of outlandish odds.
That second event is the subject of David Pietruszas latest presidential campaign history, 1948, a worthy successor to 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents, a superb recounting of a largely forgotten political season, and 1960: JFK v. LBJ v. Nixon, which manages to shed fresh details on that years epic. Pietrusza opts for the brisk narrative/character sketch (think The Making of the President, but with no pretense of grandeur), over the minute retelling of every seminal event that weighs down Edmund Morris series on Teddy Roosevelt or John Milton Coopers well regarded 2008 biography of Woodrow Wilson. It is less grand history than a jaunty, essayists renditionimminently readable and revealing.
(Excerpt) Read more at therecoveringpolitician.com ...
That is a HUGE plus in my mind. I wish we had that fervor today when it is really needed.
The fact Truman endures is a testament to two factors: the first, his exemplary decision to assert American leadership on behalf of democratic elements under siege, from Greece to Israel, denied the Soviet Union ownership of the second half of the 20th Century. Second, he won a campaign, improbably, heroically, and defiantly in the face of outlandish odds.Lower numbers than Nixon, of whom he said, "anyone who votes for Richard Nixon should go straight to Hell." Then he held up a newspaper front page which had the headline, "NIXON PRESIDENCY POLL NUMBERS DEFEATS TRUMAN'S". ;')
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