Mr. President: The First Publication from the Personal Diaries, Private Letters, Papers, and Revealing Interviews of Harry S. Truman, Thirty-Second President of the United States of America

By William Hillman; Harry Truman | Go to book overview
Table of Contents
A PRAYER -- Harry S. Truman
FOREWORD -- William Hillman1
PART ONE: Problems of the Presidency7

"A service man of my acquaintance" -- President Truman discusses the doctrine of the indispensable man, its dangers -- the organization and reorganization of his staff -- "No man can really fill the Presidency" -- the growth of the Republic -- delegation of authority -- the Cabinet -- a memorandum-letter to James F. Byrnes on Moscow -- Mr. Truman's first meeting with President Roosevelt.

As letter writer -- "I like to gossip with friends. I like to exchange views and opinions with people in all walks of life" -- letter on relieving MacArthur of his command, comment on a letter to a Washington music critic, to Judge Medina, to Senator Taft, to Bernard Baruch, to José Iturbi, to Mrs. Joseph Lhévinne, to Grandma Moses, to Charles Evans Hughes, Arthur Vandenberg, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Stimson, Harry Byrd and man others.

As speech writer -- his method of preparing speeches, his struggles with delivery, what an orator is, his admiration for Cicero. "But I love the style of the Bible, the King James Version of the Bible. It is the finest and most stately brand of English there is."

PART TWO: Student of History81

"There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know" -- the President draws historical parallels -- Darius the Great, Napoleon, Alexander, Marcus Aurelius -- "Darius would have been a success if he had not gone into the Russian steppes" -- the Grand Plan of Henry IV of France -- "Another world war would put civilization back some thousand years or more" -- the presidents who have most influenced Mr. Truman -- their accomplishments, their difficulties, the attacks on them -- the maneuvers of politics compared with the maneuvers of battle -- American military leaders and their characteristics -- the outstanding generals of history -- the heroes of the Bible and what one learns from them -- the moral code -- "Of course the Sermon on the Mount is the greatest of all things in the Bible, a way of life, and maybe someday men will get to understand it as a real way of life."

PART THREE: Diaries and Private Memoranda and Papers107

Running through the diaries and private papers of the President, one theme predominates: "I don't want this Republic to go the way of the Greek and Roman republics" -- from his diaries -- the taking of the oath and the first day in office, President Roosevelt's funeral, discussions on Russia, loneliness at White House, the Potsdam Conference, Berlin, a blunt memorandum on John L. Lewis, a speech to the Gridiron Club, a satirical memo after reading newspaper reports that his health was poor, a visit to the Mellon Gallery, eating supper on the porch of the White House, conference with Marshall and Forrestal on the Berlin situation, the White House is falling in, Churchill for dinner, some ideas on the Constitutional Amendment limiting the term of the President.

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Mr. President: The First Publication from the Personal Diaries, Private Letters, Papers, and Revealing Interviews of Harry S. Truman, Thirty-Second President of the United States of America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Foreword 1
  • Part One - Problems of the Presidency 7
  • Part Two - Student of History 81
  • Part Three - Diaries, Private Memoranda, Papers 107
  • Part Four - Forebears and Biographical Notes 151
  • Part Five - The Man 195
  • Part Six - The President Speaks of the Future 241
  • Afterword 251
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