Truman by David McCullough
I have no problem with biographers admiring their subject. McCullough clearly thinks the world of Harry S. Truman, and I can understand why. Truman was the real deal: a great politician who was also a great – and good – man. He worked hard, failed, succeeded, used great intelligence and common sense, and made tough choices. He loved his wife and considered her his sweetheart all his life. He inspired great devotion from his staff. And throughout everything, he remained cheerful! (Though he vented by writing very angry letters he never sent. Thank goodness he did something; otherwise he’d be a bit too good to be true.) When it comes to Truman, I think the more we know about him, the better we like him and the more we respect him. And here, McCullough gives us 1117 pages of Truman, so by the end, you can’t help but think well of him. He was, as they say, a very uncommon common man. If you cannot get enough of McCullough on Truman, or if you want the very brief version, check out the Truman Presidential Library’s podcast of a speech delivered by David McCullough on June 13, 2007.