The Accidental President
A J Baime
‘The story of Truman’s accession to the presidency is worthy of a Hollywood melodrama, and A J Baime’s zippy, well-judged and hugely readable book more than does it justice…’ – Dominic Sandbrook, SUNDAY TIMES
Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who find themselves facing extraordinary circumstances and, through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as President Roosevelt’s fourth term Vice President for his admired work ethic, good judgement and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man from small-town America. That is, until he was thrust in over his head following the sudden death of Roosevelt.
With the world still caught up in the inferno of the Second World War, Truman found himself playing the roles of both judge and jury during the founding of the UN, the Potsdam Conference, the Manhattan Project, the German surrender, the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the decision to drop the Bomb and bring the war to the end.
Tightly focused, meticulously researched and drawing on documentation not available to previous biographers, The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during this tumultuous, history-making four months – when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher . . .
Baime is a master story-teller who appears to have invented a time machine. His carefully crafted narrative transports the reader back in time . . . each sentence is carefully constructed and colourfully packed with details that makes Harry Truman and this period in history come alive. The Accidental President reads more like a captivating novel than non-fiction. -- PRESIDENTIALREVIEW.COM An attractive tale for fans of both presidential and WWII history . . . Baime opens a clear . . . window on a pivotal moment in history. * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * People sometimes ask me if I've ever considered running for office. My answer is usually, "Sober? No." All it would take is to recall what my grandfather went through in the first four months of his presidency. No president in history - particularly one who came in without having been briefed by his predecessor - has faced such monumental decisions. A.J. Baime has put a spotlight on those four months, recounting them faithfully and with heart, so that you come away with not only a sense of history, but a sense of the man, Harry Truman, as well. As Grandpa himself said a few years later, "It's hell to be President of the Greatest Most Powerful Nation on Earth". -- CLIFFORD TRUMAN DANIEL, Harry S. Truman's grandson. A.J. Baime is a master storyteller, and The Accidental President contains everything a reader could ever want from a work of history: characters that jump off the page, tension that makes your pulse pound, and smooth, smart writing that makes you think. Amazing! -- JONATHAN EIG, bestselling author of Luckiest Man A fast-paced, well-detailed chronology of Truman's transformation from an official with little administrative responsibility into a politically astute and ultimately beloved leader . . . a warmly human portrait of an unlikely president. * KIRKUS REVIEWS * An entertaining new history of Truman's first months in office . . . filled with events that are strikingly proportionate to what the Trump administration has weathered since January. * THE DAILY BEAST * A.J. Baime is a master. His reporting and storytelling are woven to hypnotic effect. Opening the first page of The Accidental President is like pulling up a chair to Truman's White House desk where we sit engrossed as world events unfold in the most intimate manner, titanic in scale. Baime brings us as close as we are likely to get to this completely surprising, quirky, wily, and transformational president. This is history and humanity in lush, vivid colour. -- DOUG STANTON, bestselling author of In Harm's Way and Horse Soldiers Intimate and absorbing, A.J. Baime's biography uses new sources to paint Harry Truman as a complex and thoroughly American figure. A sharply-drawn portrait of an era as well as a man. -- STEPHAN TALTY, bestselling author of The Black Hand The story of Truman's accession to the presidency is worthy of a Hollywood melodrama, and A J Baime's zippy, well-judged and hugely readable book more than does it justice . . . although there are plenty of good biographies of Truman, few are as entertaining as Baime's. -- Dominic Sandbrook * SUNDAY TIMES *
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