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Memoirs by Harry S. Truman: Years of Trial and Hope
Memoirs by Harry S Truman Years of Trial and Hope Author:Harry S. Truman Volume Two of Memoirs by Harry S. Truman — Within the first few months I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed. — The former Chief Executive begins the second volume of his memoirs with this graphic and trenchant description of the presidency. Not since the early days of our country h... more »as a President written a more detailed account of life in the nation's most important job-a job which has come to be one of the most important in the world as well. In this volume Mr. Truman departs from the chronological method he used in Volume One, Year of Decisions, and presents the major problems of his administration in separate chapters, discussing them in depth. In this way he is able to give a clear and profound picture of the extraordinarily difficult subjects the President must under-stand-and understand more completely than anyone else. Here, even more than in his first volume, Mr. Truman gives the reader the sense of being a part of great events. He has written a completely fascinating history as seen from the highest level.
The early part of the book deals with the vital domestic problems which arose after the end of the war-how to harness atomic energy, price controls, the Taft-Hartley Act, unification of the armed forces, and the President's efforts for universal military training. Then comes the story of the explosive China situation and George Marshall's patient and brilliant handling of it, followed by the creation of the Truman Doctrine and the picture in the Near East.
Next is the history of the Marshall Plan, followed by the story of the Berlin Airlift, and when the enormously complicated problem of creating a new nation for the Jews. Several chapters deal with the 1948 campaign and give a straight-hitting account of Mr. Truman's views on politics as an important function in government. The fascinating climax of the book is the Korean story and the difficulties with General MacArthur. The record-and Mr. Truman gives it, quoting documents--completely bears out his contention that the problem with MacArthur was simply one of an officer disobeying the explicit orders of his Commander in Chief. MacArthur's military misjudgments are not held against him, and he is given full praise for his brilliance in such plans as the Inchon landing. But his repeated refusal to follow orders from both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President made his dismissal essential. Mr. Truman made his decision in 1949, at his inauguration, not to run again for the presidency. He held fast to this decision and describes his search for a successor-candidate and the selection of Adlai Stevenson. He criticizes, from a political point of view only, Stevenson's campaign, but is sharply critical of General Eisenhower's use of the Korean issue in the campaign and his omission of General Marshall's name in a speech to please McCarthy. YEARS OF TRIAL AND HOPE ends with an account of the meeting between Truman and Eisenhower at the White House at which the President described the problems facing the President-elect. The joint statement issued at this meeting contains the following declaration: We are confident that this meeting and that the arrangements we have made today for liaison and cooperation between the present Administration and the new Administration furnish additional proof of the ability of the people of this country to manage their affairs with a sense of continuity and with responsibility.« less