One of the very few authors I know of who can produce a one thousand page biographical epoch that reads like a page-turning, overnight, pulp-fiction thriller, and that is David McCullough. You can always tell a good book when you begin to dread it as you near the end and become emotional over well-known events that happened decades ago.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Until reading this 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner, my perception of the President credited with the go-ahead to use Atomic weapons to end World War II, was that he was a “country bumpkin” that ended up in the White House by sheer happenstance and generally disliked by the majority. By the time I finished the book, however, I not only gained immense respect for Harry S Truman as a man and a leader, but also love for him in a father figure sort of way.
With his common sense approach and old-fashioned values, rooted in his upbringing in the plains region over the last years of the 19th century, Truman made the decisions that opened the door into the modern age for civilization globally.
Most of the achievements of Truman’s life are pretty well known by most, though McCullough does shed light on a few areas that I was not particularly clear on, such as the foundation of Israel and the underlying causes of the Viet Nam conflict, but the way McCullough writes (the best historian alive in my opinion), brings it all together in a cohesive, interesting and scholarly presentation.
David McCullough is the master of his subject matter – each one I read seems to get better and better.