Harry S. Truman was thrust into a job he neither sought nor wanted by a call summoning him to the White House. There First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt told him that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was dead. Two hours later, with little formality, he was sworn into office. “I had come to see the president,” Truman recalls in this autobiography. “Now, having repeated that simply worded oath, I myself was president.”
With World War II raging in the Pacific, the looming decision of whether to drop the atomic bomb, and seemingly intractable labor issues at home, no chief executive ever fell heir to such a burden on such short notice.
This book is an invaluable record of Truman’s tumultuous first year in office, his youth in Missouri, and his rise in politics. He shares glimpses of his family life; clear-eyed appraisals of world leaders, including Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, and Joseph Stalin; and candid disclosures about history-making national and international events.