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The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World

The dramatic, pulse-pounding story of Harry Truman’s first four months in office, when this unlikely president had to take on Germany, Japan, Stalin, and the atomic bomb, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who get thrust into extraordinary circumstances, and through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth term Vice President for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman–a Midwesterner who had no college degree and had never had the money to buy his own home–was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR’s sudden death. During the climactic months of the Second World War, Truman had to play judge and jury, pulling America to the forefront of the global stage. The first four months of Truman’s administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings of Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation of 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.

Tightly focused, meticulously researched, rendered with vivid detail and narrative verve, THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during this tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenge even higher. The result is narrative history of the highest order and a compelling look at a presidency with great relevance to our times.

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Anonymous says:

You Need Not Be A Scholar To Enjoy This Book Since I turned two years old at the time the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan I thought it would be interesting to read about what was taking place in the world at the time of my birth and in the years immediately following. Harry Truman came into the presidency with an extremely humble attitude and his wife dreaded the thought of this taking place. So much happened during the following four years and President Truman was up to the challenge and the American public viewed him as one just like…

Anonymous says:

Terrific book and highly recommended. Effortless read. This is my third book I have read by this author and one thing its for sure, is he knows how to make his subject matter come alive. His previous books on Willow Run and the La Mans battle between Ferrari and Ford were just tremendous. This book is outstanding.Taking what Baime claims is four of perhaps the four most consequential months of any presidency, a point of which is probably correct, this book starts off with FDR’s surprising death in Warm Springs, Georgia as World War II…

Anonymous says:

Accidental President to Fearless and Conscientious POTUS. We have all read good books and great books from a historical perspective. This book is one, if you please, that is an absolute must read. The story of HST and the burdens he had to bear after the death of FDR (and having served only 82 days as VP) are profound.As the book indicates, his first four months after taking the oath of office were four months that changed the world. No other president in history faced the critical challenges that Truman faced (much less the constant…

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