Year of Decisions

Year of Decisions

by Harry Truman

Presents Truman's own perspective on the momentous events, personalities, and decisions that filled his first year as president of the United States and led to the successful ending of the Second World War and the building of a new era.

  • Series: Memoirs
  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 3.97
  • Pages: 608
  • Publish Date: March 1st 1999 by William S. Konecky Associates
  • Isbn10: 156852062X
  • Isbn13: 9781568520629

What People Think about "Year of Decisions"

In this, the first of two volumes (the second volume covering the years 1946-1952,) Truman relates, in his own words, his experience at being elevated to the Presidency and thrust into the maelstrom of world events. I thoroughly enjoyed this look into the mind of Harry Truman and would recommend it to any fan of U.S. history or politics.

I read this after McCullough's book on Truman and gained new insights into his thinking on Potsdam, the Russians, atomic energy, the end of the war, making the peace, etc.

It's a pretty dry, wooden style, because he writes in depth about a few issues for much of the book, namely, organizing his presidential team, the war, the formation of the UN, and troubles with the Soviet Union, particularly over the post-war preparations. My team prepared this message to Churchill. Churchill and I prepared this message to Stalin.

President Truman comes across as a reliable, admirable guy.

Unfortunately, the reviews of this book (and his subsequent memoir covering the remainder of his presidency) that I read indicated that the language was often wooden and stilted. This read like an academic study of the beginning of Truman's presidency. Again, more problems here with the USSR concerning how to divide up and manage Germany. Truman - as he does throughout this book - borrows liberally (and sometimes in full) from telegraphic messages that he exchanges with both Churchill and Stalin. Truman writes that he wants to give the reader context behind the type of person that he is, and he does accomplish this. Here, in these letters, we see the real, unvarnished Truman - which makes for much more interesting reading.

Less than three months later, upon Roosevelt's death, the unprepared VP became president of the world's greatest power on April 12. Just weeks after Truman became President World War II ended on the European front. The Potsdam Conference, with Truman as the Chairman, took place in Germany as Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Harry Truman made determinations on the new United Nation. As Truman made his way home by ship from Potsdam he received word that the atomic tests had resulted in the most powerful bombs the world had seen.

As we look back, I don't believe the American People really understand what he accomplished within his early tenure in office. He followed through on FDR's ideas, mainly ending the wars in both Europe and Asia, was instrumental in establishing the United Nations, changing the way office of President is filled if the Vice President is not available and tried to maintain our secrets with Atomic Energy.

Read this as the free nook book from Barnes & Noble. The only parts of the book on domestic affairs address Truman's transition from war time measures to a regular domestic economy.

Written years later, this describes the events that occurred during the 7 1/2 months that Truman was President of the United States.

Truman was the thirty-third President of the United States (19451953). After the war he became part of the political machine of Tom Pendergast and was elected a county judge in Missouri and eventually a United States Senator. Truman's presidency was also eventful in foreign affairs, with the end of World War II and his decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan, the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, the beginning of the Cold War, the creation of NATO, and the Korean War. Corruption in Truman's administration reached the cabinet and senior White House staff. At one point in his second term, near the end of the Korean War, Truman's public opinion ratings reached the lowest of any United States president, but popular and scholarly assessments of his presidency became more positive after his retirement from politics and the publication of his memoirs.