Academic journal article Military Review

Citizen Soldier: A Life of Harry S. Truman

Academic journal article Military Review

Citizen Soldier: A Life of Harry S. Truman

Article excerpt

CITIZEN SOLDIER: A Life of Harry S. Truman, Aida D. Donald, Basic Books, New York, 2012, 233 pages, $26.99

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." This quote exemplifies the life of President Harry S. Truman. Author Aida Donald looks into Truman's life from humble beginnings through struggles to become the president of the United States.

Donald extensively researched documents including letters Truman wrote to his wife Bess, papers from the Truman library, recently released government documents, and a collection of Truman's private thoughts that he wrote while staying in seclusion at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City in order to calm his nerves because of the associations he had to keep in order to be elected president.

Truman saw his association with the Pendergast political machine (one of the most corrupt political machines in the country) as a necessary evil in the days of getting elected in Missouri. …

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