Harry S. Truman: The Man from Independence

By William F. Levantrosser | Go to book overview

Preface

This volume of papers from the Hofstra University International Conference on Harry S. Truman offers the fruits of labor of many scholars and former associates of President Truman. The conference was the second of a series on modern American presidents. The concept of these annual conferences grew out of the original one designed to celebrate the centennial of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was at that conference that it was decided to focus on successive presidencies. In the case of President Truman the conference came one year before his centennial.

There were several reasons for beginning a series of conferences on the modem presidency at this time. Sufficient time had elapsed since the administrations had ended to provide a more seasoned perspective; and new insights could be gained by integrating earlier scholarship with information derived from the subsequent release of documents and private papers. We thought of the work of scholars as the central focus of the conferences.

With this in mind we did acknowledge a certain commemorative aspect to the conferences since there were invited participants from the ranks of these presidents' administrations who for the most part would probably be inclined to be somewhat adulatory in their reminiscences. We did hope for a productive mix of the scholars and those former officials. Although many remarks of President Truman's associates are not included in this volume, the speech by Clark Clifford epitomizes the commemorative aspect of the conference. The remarks of Margaret Truman Daniel provide a very personal remembrance of a beloved father.

Another reason for a conference on President Truman in particular was to recognize the fact that as his presidency has receded into history the evaluation of his work is being revised considerably in an upward direction. Recent pres-

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