The Accidental President
eBook - ePub

The Accidental President

Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World

A. J. Baime

Share book
  1. 464 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

The Accidental President

Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World

A. J. Baime

Book details
Book preview
Table of contents

About This Book

A hypnotically fast-paced, masterful reporting of Harry Truman's first 120 days as president, when he took on Germany, Japan, Stalin, and a secret weapon of unimaginable power—marking the most dramatic rise to greatness in American history.

Chosen as FDR's fourth-term vice president for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR's sudden death.

The first four months of Truman's administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings in Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation in 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.

The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during a tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher.

"[A] well-judged and hugely readable book... few are as entertaining." —Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

Frequently asked questions

How do I cancel my subscription?
Simply head over to the account section in settings and click on “Cancel Subscription” - it’s as simple as that. After you cancel, your membership will stay active for the remainder of the time you’ve paid for. Learn more here.
Can/how do I download books?
At the moment all of our mobile-responsive ePub books are available to download via the app. Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. Learn more here.
What is the difference between the pricing plans?
Both plans give you full access to the library and all of Perlego’s features. The only differences are the price and subscription period: With the annual plan you’ll save around 30% compared to 12 months on the monthly plan.
What is Perlego?
We are an online textbook subscription service, where you can get access to an entire online library for less than the price of a single book per month. With over 1 million books across 1000+ topics, we’ve got you covered! Learn more here.
Do you support text-to-speech?
Look out for the read-aloud symbol on your next book to see if you can listen to it. The read-aloud tool reads text aloud for you, highlighting the text as it is being read. You can pause it, speed it up and slow it down. Learn more here.
Is The Accidental President an online PDF/ePUB?
Yes, you can access The Accidental President by A. J. Baime in PDF and/or ePUB format, as well as other popular books in History & North American History. We have over one million books available in our catalogue for you to explore.


Mariner Books


IN THE FUTURE, Harry Truman would remember April 12 as the day “the whole weight of the moon and the stars fell on me.” He would recall the phone conversation that started it all, and the drive to the White House in the rain. He would recall standing in the Cabinet Room feeling utterly alone, while surrounded by men long accustomed to wielding extraordinary power, their faces stained with tears. He would recall how the thirty-five-word presidential oath—which saw “a transfer of power . . . unparalleled in history,” in his words—took hardly more than a minute to recite.
“I used to get down here to the office at 7 o’clock,” Truman had written of his routine just the day before, on April 11. “But now I have to take Margaret to school every morning and I don’t get here until 8:30 . . . By that time I have to see people one at a time just as fast as they can go through the office without seeming to hurry through.” There were always “curiosity seekers” aiming to “see what a V.P. looks like and if he walks and talks and has teeth.”
Around the globe, extraordinary developments were unfolding on April 12. The U.S. Ninth Army reached the Elbe River on the western front, fifty-seven miles from Berlin. As the Allies were soon to find out, the Elbe was to play a strange and important role in shaping the future of Europe. Soviet forces had surrounded the Nazis at Vienna and were closing in on Berlin from the east. A simple read of the newspaper gave enough information for most Americans to understand that Nazi Germany was nearing collapse. The conquering Allied armies had made shocking discoveries as they marched toward Hitler’s bunker in Berlin.
In Washington, DC, on this morning of April 12, armies of workers were shuffling through the offices of innumerable federal buildings, fighting their own private wars. This was “Washington Wonderland,” a wartime boomtown where jobs were easy to find and apartments nearly impossible.
Like most Americans, Harry Truman was mystified by his rise to number two in Roosevelt’s administration. Most Americans knew little about the vice president. Those who did know some things smelled a strong whiff of American mythology. Truman had first come to Washington under dubious circumstances in 1934, elected to the U.S. Senate thanks to the support of a Kansas City political machine widely known to be corrupt. Truman had served as an obscure senator for the most part, until he burst onto the national sce...

Table of contents