Truman: The Rise to Power

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9780070421851: Truman: The Rise to Power
From Publishers Weekly:

In a controversial revision of recent Truman scholarship, Miller challenges the down-home, plain-speaking image of Harry S. Truman, charging that the Missouri haberdasher who became president was a "machine politician, involved in shady personal and political dealings." Detailing and emphasizing involvements which, he argues, the "Truman Establishment" has down-played, Miller portrays HST as a practical politician who, to assure his power base, played a key role in Boss Tom Prendergast's Missouri machine of the 1920s and '30s. In later life, Truman denied any wrongdoing out of apparent guilt over having served as "an honest front protecting the power of thieves and murderers." His constant struggle to balance machine needs and his own vision of the public good makes Truman a more human figure, concludes Miller. The biography includes views on Truman's "life plan," based on his reading as a youth, and the role of his Freemason beliefs in the making of public policy. This is Miller's first book. For specialists. Photos not seen by PW. Major ad/promo. December 232
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Scholars of the Truman era should welcome this challenging reinterpretation of his prepresidential years. This biography is extremely well documented and impressively catalogs Truman's shadow dance along the line dividing conscience and corruption in his business and political dealings. The future president's accommodation with the strategies and tactics of the Kansas City Pendergast political machine has never been as fully researched and analyzed as it is here, and the portrayal suggests a darker side to the Truman persona than Americans have been willing to acknowledge in recent years. But Truman's sterling wartime Senate service is also noted, as is his early advocacy of civil rights. Miller encountered some resistance to his research, but this is a well-balanced, truthful recounting of a future president's life. James L. Jablonowski, History Dept., Marquette Univ., Milwaukee
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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