Politics as Usual: The Age of Truman and Eisenhower

By Gary W. Reichard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
Truman's Trial Period,
1945–1948

To many Americans, it must have seemed that Franklin D. Roosevelt would be president forever. Several million voters had never voted for anyone else at the top of the ticket; many more millions had never experienced any other leader in the White House. Thus news of FDR's death in April 1945—despite the fact that rumors of his ill health had circulated for weeks—was greeted with disbelief and unacceptance. “It doesn't seem possible,” remarked a Detroit woman. “It seems to me that he will be back on the radio tomorrow reassuring us all that it was just a mistake.”

Roosevelt's passing gave new significance to the dramatic events that had marked the Democratic convention the previous summer. After much backroom maneuvering, the party had substituted Senator Harry S. Truman of Missouri on the national ticket for then-Vice President Henry Wallace. A loyal New Deal supporter in his second term in the Senate, Truman had received considerable (and favorable) press coverage for chairing the Senate Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program in the early 1940s. His selection had dashed the vice presidential hopes of the southern favorite, James S. Byrnes, as well as turned

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Politics as Usual: The Age of Truman and Eisenhower
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Preface to the First Edition xv
  • Chapter One - Truman's Trial Period, 1945–1948 1
  • Chapter Two - The Era of Hard Feelings, 1949–1952 48
  • Chapter Three - The Eisenhower Equilibrium, 1953–1956 88
  • Chapter Four - Endings and Beginnings, 1957–1960 140
  • Conclusion - Reflections on a Political Era 180
  • Bibliographical Essay 186
  • Index 203
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