Harry S. Truman: Presidential Rhetoric

By Halford R. Ryan | Go to book overview

Conclusion

On May 8, 1945, at nine o'clock in the morning from the radio room in the White House, Harry S. Truman, the thirty-third president of the United States broadcast words that war-weary Americans yearned to hear: "This is a solemn but a glorious hour. I only wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly over all Europe."1

When Truman delivered his valedictory on January 15, 1953, he was unable to utter the words that a war-weary nation yearned to hear: that the United States was at peace in Korea. Moreover, when HST left the presidency in 1953, the flags of freedom did not fly over all of Europe, but the Truman Doctrine did save Greece, Turkey, and, if one ascribes to the domino theory, the oil-rich Mideast from falling under the domination of the Soviet Union. Thus, Truman's valedictory speech serves as a fitting recapitulation of the selected themes of his presidential rhetoric that were treated in this book.


TRUMAN'S VALEDICTORY

Truman wrote out in longhand an undated eighteen page draft, which became the core of the address. 2 Charles Murphy worked almost all of Truman's handwritten materials into a fifty-two page first draft, which is undated. Richard Neustadt composed a draft on January 10, 1953, parts of which were incorporated into the final address. Interestingly, Neustadt termed this speech a "final fireside," a sobriquet that never gelled with Truman's speech making. The address then went

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Harry S. Truman: Presidential Rhetoric
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • I 1
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Truman Doctrine 19
  • 2 - The Korean Quagmire 43
  • 3 - The President versus the General 69
  • 4 - Doing Unto Dewey 89
  • Notes 105
  • 5 - Point Four 109
  • 5 Point Four 123
  • Conclusion 127
  • Conclusion 131
  • II - Collected Speeches 133
  • The Truman Doctrine 135
  • Acceptance Speech 141
  • Doctor Dewey and the Republican Record 147
  • Inaugural Address 155
  • On Korea I 161
  • On Korea II 163
  • Far Eastern Policy 165
  • Chronology of Speeches 171
  • Bibliography 199
  • Index 207
  • About the Author 215
  • Great American Orators 216
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