Understanding Harry Truman Through David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biography

Presidential biographies are often a great source of information for understanding the character and accomplishments of the presidents who have shaped our country. David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Truman, serves as a particularly informative and in-depth look into the life and legacy of President Harry Truman.

This book is an important resource for learning about Truman and provides insight into his optimism, diligence, perseverance, political talents, and acumen. Let’s dive deeper into the book and explore what makes it so special.

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Truman by David McCullough (1993-06-14)
  • David McCullough (Author)
  • Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

The Size and Scope of “Truman”

This 936-page work took McCullough eight years to write and was published in 1992. It stands out from other presidential biographies due to its size, depth of research, and narrative style—it reads more like a novel than a history book.

In this biography, McCullough details Truman’s humble beginnings as a failed farmer in Missouri, his rise to become one of the most influential presidents in American history, and his numerous accomplishments during his two terms in office.

Key Facts Uncovered by McCullough

In researching this biography, McCullough unearthed many facts that weren’t previously known about Truman’s life—including stories told by family members, friends from childhood days, letters that had been buried away for years in archives or forgotten boxes—and used them to paint an intimate portrait of a man who was determined to serve his country well despite all odds being against him. This helped shape Truman’s legacy as one of strong moral conviction and unwavering commitment to duty even when faced with adversity or unpopular opinions.

Detailed Analysis of “Truman”

McCullough does an impressive job analyzing just how unique Truman’s political talents were. He explains how he could make decisions amidst heated debates without ever wavering from his core values or losing sight of what was best for the nation as a whole (even if those decisions proved unpopular). He also offers readers insight into why Truman was so respected by people on both sides of the aisle—his ability to see the bigger picture while still paying attention to every detail made him stand out among all other presidents before him.

Finally, readers can appreciate how meticulously researched this biography is; every fact is backed up by extensive evidence found through debate transcripts, interviews with people who knew Truman personally throughout various phases of his life, etc., making this book an invaluable resource when studying Truman’s presidency today.

Conclusion

David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography “Truman” has stood out among presidential biographies since its debut in 1992 thanks to its size and depth of research and its narrative style, which reads more like a novel than a history book.

Its importance lies not only in providing readers with an in-depth look at Harry Truman himself but also giving us valuable insight into his optimism, diligence, perseverance, and moral compass, as well as his political talents and acumen, which enabled him to make difficult decisions without ever wavering from what he felt would be best for America overall–making it essential reading for anyone looking for an understanding about one of our most beloved presidents.

Monday Assorted Links

  1. You’re just learning about GPT-3, but folks are already working on GPT-4. Here’s what it might look like (emphasis on might)
  2. The end-of-year recommended book lists are beginning to appear. I’ll have mine out closer to the end of December. Here are a few from reputable sources:
  3. Creative consumption

Today’s Quotes

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Greenlights
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Matthew McConaughey (Author) – Matthew McConaughey (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/20/2020 (Publication Date) – Random House Audio (Publisher)
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Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • A good option for a Book Lover
  • It comes with proper packaging
  • Ideal for Gifting
  • Kahneman, Daniel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
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Fahrenheit 451
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ray Bradbury (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages – 06/24/2024 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

Books I Read in November 2022

Another month of 2022 has come and gone, with it, another round of books. I’m very much on track to finish 100 books this year. Actually, I may hit 103-105 before it’s all said and done. A holiday break is an excellent chance to get some extra reading time in while recharging for the new year.

Plus, I’ve been down with the flu for almost a week, allowing me to read when I haven’t been asleep.

This month, as in October, includes several short audiobooks. With a busy fall, I was behind in hitting my reading goal for the year. I focused on getting caught up the past couple of months with audiobooks. I can listen while I’m working or driving, and I’m also able to play the titles at around 2.5x normal speed. I stumbled across several very interesting titles (especially the John Scalzi titles) that I enjoyed immensely.

Here, in no particular order, are the books I read or listened to in November 2022.

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The Dispatcher
  • Audible Audiobook
  • John Scalzi (Author) – Zachary Quinto (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/04/2016 (Publication Date) – Audible Originals (Publisher)
The Dispatcher: Murder by Other Means
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Scalzi, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 105 Pages – 04/30/2021 (Publication Date) – Subterranean Press (Publisher)
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Travel by Bullet: The Dispatcher, Book 3
  • Audible Audiobook
  • John Scalzi (Author) – Zachary Quinto (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 09/01/2022 (Publication Date) – Audible Originals (Publisher)
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The Poppy War: A Novel (The Poppy War, 1)
  • Kuang, R. F (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages – 04/23/2019 (Publication Date) – Harper Voyager (Publisher)
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Before They Are Hanged (The First Law Trilogy, 2)
  • Abercrombie, Joe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 560 Pages – 09/08/2015 (Publication Date) – Orbit (Publisher)
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I.C.O.N.: Wardens of Issalia, Book 0
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jeffrey L. Kohanek (Author) – Tim Campbell (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/19/2021 (Publication Date) – Podium Audio (Publisher)
This Long Vigil: A Science Fiction Short Story
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bruno, Rhett C (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 43 Pages – 12/18/2015 (Publication Date) – Aethon Books (Publisher)
Inconstant Moon
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Niven, Larry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages – 06/17/2012 (Publication Date) – Spectrum Literary Agency (Publisher)
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The Messengers
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Lindsay Joelle (Author) – Kaliswa Brewster, Ana Reeder, Zoë Winters (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/05/2020 (Publication Date) – Audible Originals (Publisher)
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Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers
  • Hardcover Book
  • Boaler, Jo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 09/03/2019 (Publication Date) – HarperOne (Publisher)
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Farewell to the Master
  • Bates, Harry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 84 Pages – 08/01/2013 (Publication Date) – Spastic Cat Press (Publisher)
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The Machine Stops
  • Forster, E.M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 46 Pages – 05/23/2013 (Publication Date) – A Forster Book (Publisher)
Sins of the Past: A Darkness Within Prologue (The Darkness Within Saga)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Franx, JD (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 79 Pages – 02/23/2014 (Publication Date) – JD Franx (Publisher)
Forest of Memory
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kowal, Mary Robinette (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 92 Pages – 03/08/2016 (Publication Date) – Tordotcom (Publisher)
Hearts, Keys, and Puppetry
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Neil Gaiman (Author) – Katherine Kellgren (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 02/08/2010 (Publication Date) – Blackstone Audio, Inc. (Publisher)
The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (The Mistborn Saga, 4)
  • Sanderson, Brandon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 10/30/2012 (Publication Date) – Tor Fantasy (Publisher)

Final Books of the Year

Later this month, I’ll have a final wrap-up of my “best books of 20222.” It’ll be the first time I’ve published a list like this, so bear with me. I want to communicate the reasons behind my selections and hopefully encourage you to begin making your own “best of” lists as you progress through your reading each year.

Reviewing what we read helps to remind us what we learned from the book (yes, you can learn from fiction just as easily as non-fiction). Also, it gives us a chance to practice those ever-important communication skills with another chance to write. It doesn’t matter if you publish your list or keep it in a journal, summarizing and telling someone your thoughts (even if it’s just you) is excellent writing practice.

Books I Read in October 2022

Yes, I’m aware it’s mid-November as I post this. It’s been a busy month 😉

Here are the books I read, re-read, listened to, or re-read in October 2022:

The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales (Signet Classics)
  • Edgar Allan Poe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages – 09/23/2023 (Publication Date) – Signet (Publisher)
Boarding Party: Green Zone War, Book 0
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jake Elwood (Author) – Johnathan McClain (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/19/2021 (Publication Date) – Podium Audio (Publisher)
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Frankenstein: The 1818 Text (Penguin Classics)
  • Shelley, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 01/16/2018 (Publication Date) – Penguin Classics (Publisher)
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THE CALL OF CTHULHU
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lovecraft, H.P. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages – 11/05/2019 (Publication Date) – Design Studio Press (Publisher)
The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 113 Pages – 07/09/2022 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)
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Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kurson, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 375 Pages – 06/29/2004 (Publication Date) – Random House (Publisher)
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Dracula: Collector’s Special Edition (Deluxe Illustrated Classics)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Stoker, Bram (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages – 11/23/2021 (Publication Date) – Union Square & Co. (Publisher)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Irving, Washington (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages – 02/21/2016 (Publication Date) – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
The Wise Mans Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 2
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Penguin (Publisher)
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Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 02/15/2000 (Publication Date) – Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Publisher)
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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking [Hardcover]
  • Susan Cain
  • Hardcover Book
  • Cain, Susan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Robots and Roommates: Star Kingdom, Book 0
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Lindsay Buroker (Author) – Fred Berman (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/19/2021 (Publication Date) – Podium Audio (Publisher)

Overall, it was a very spooky month as I revisited some of my horror favorites. Hopefully, you had the chance to knock a few items from your TBR.

Books I Read in August 2022

My reading over the summer took a bit of a dip over the first part of this year. My goal this year is to read 75 books, down from 100 last year.

I set that goal knowing that I would begin my doctoral work this fall and would likely have less time to read non-school-related books.

But I seem to be ramping back up heading into September. As I write this, I’m 13 books behind for the year, so the pressure is on!

Books I finished reading in August 2022:

How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ahrens, Sönke (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 178 Pages – 03/08/2022 (Publication Date)
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[Leviathan Wakes] [By: Corey, James S. a.] [May, 2012]
  • James S.A. Corey (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/01/2012 (Publication Date) – Orbit (Publisher)

Assorted Links for Friday, 20 May 2022

Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash
  1. R.I.P. Vangelis: The Composer Who Created the Future Noir Soundtrack for Blade Runner Dies at 79
  2. David Letterman hosted the Late Show for the last time seven years ago today
  3. Panic Over SEL Is Unfounded. Here’s Why.
  4. Reducing Stress Through Tech – Podcast
  5. The Summer Reads Edition from Why is this Interesting?
  6. 13 Strategies That Will Make You A Better Reader (And Person)
  7. 13 Websites That Provide Lots of Digital Books for Summer Reading

And now, your weekly wind down…

Pike Mall Tech: 12 May 2022

Today’s Links

No Butts About It

Source

In case you haven’t heard, an assistant principal was recently fired because he chose to read the children’s book “I Need a New Butt” to a group of students.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/03/11/toby-price-principal-fired-childrens-book/

Toby Price found out that, even though this is the dumbest reason for firing anyone in the history of ever, he still isn’t getting his job back.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/comics/2022/05/11/toby-price-butt-book-school/

Toby has shared his thoughts on this announcement in a thread of Tweets, posted here for your enjoyment.

I’ll just say this right now: with the content of most children’s books out there, to fire someone over a book about butts requires a special kind of an asshole.

There is a spot reserved in hell for administrators, parents, and members of the general public who think it’s ok to fire a teacher over reading a wildly popular children’s book that is available everywhere books are sold.

I would rant more on this but I can’t. It’s just dumb.

We’ll Ban All the Books, Even the Digital Ones

source: Wikimedia Commons

Public education is facing an unprecedented level of hatred from conservative Americans right now. New laws are being crafted to punish teachers for teaching content that is not “approved” by parent groups or might be offensive and entire curricula and books are being banned.

https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/heres-the-long-list-of-topics-republicans-want-banned-from-the-classroom/2022/02

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-anti-critical-race-theory-bills-are-taking-aim-at-teachers/

https://www.npr.org/2022/04/18/1093277449/florida-mathematics-textbooks

Now, some schools are banning access to digital books from repositories like Overdrive and Epic, removing thousands of resources from the hands of students and families.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/library-apps-book-ban-schools-conservative-parents-rcna26103

Thousands of schools and public libraries use these services to provide a much wider array of books than they could within the limits of the physical space in their buildings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, families easily accessed books from home comfort to keep their kids engaged and learning while sheltering.

Enter the fear mongers.

With new laws in place requiring that any book used in a school be reviewed and chosen by a faculty member, the number of books available will drastically decrease.

With over two million titles, trying to get someone to review every book in Overdrive is not only an impossible request, it’s downright foolish.

No one could review all that content and approve it for student usage.

How much longer will we abide by such unsubstantiated fear and hatred?

“That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also”

Heinrich Heine

Colophon

colophon example
Latine non loquor

Currently writing:

  • Volume 1: The Heretic Chronicles – a fantasy story about a girl, her sword, and extreme fundamentalist religion (WC: 15,457)
  • Untitled Sci-Fi novel – a group of students race across the stars, avoiding an evil empire (WC: 275)
  • Sci-fi short story – earth as a farm for aliens (WC: 492)

Currently reading:

Upcoming Events:


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I Have a Book Problem and I’m Not Afraid to Admit It

Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash

OK, this is a total brain dump post as I just need to get some thoughts down. My mind is racing with ideas and I just need to write. But I’m going to share this with you because… reasons…

I love reading. However, I’ve not always been the most dedicated reader. Far too often I have relied on moving pictures in one form or another to keep me entertained and/or intellectually engaged. I love movies and tv shows. I love documentaries.

But I really love the worlds I can transport to within the pages of a book. Fiction, non-fiction, I don’t care.

As I said, I haven’t always been the best reader. It was far easier to just sit on my computer, watch the TV, or stare at my smartphone.

Then, about two years ago, I committed to reading more. I felt that I had missed so many opportunities to read great books that I couldn’t waste any more time. After all, I’m 45 as I’m writing this and, statistically, I’m about halfway done with my time on this pale blue dot.

So I started reading more. Consequently, I started buying more books.

Like, a ton of books. Seriously. I just had six show up at my house today.

And not just little books. Big books. BIG f’n books.

Here’s the list that showed up today (all Amazon links):

Last month, I ordered ten physical books (most in the fantasy genre) and 10-12 ebooks (I have a Kindle Unlimited account, too).

Yes, I have a problem. I’m trying to play catch up for years of not really reading books. And I’ll never reach my goal.

My Goodreads “to be read” list is almost 1,500 books long. And growing.

Why do I have a problem? Because I have become insatiably curious and full of fanciful dreams. I didn’t explore my passions for too long because I was concerned about what other people thought about me.

I’ll write that off as having spent my time in a fundamentalist, controlling, right-wing, bible-thumping church from the ages of 11 to 25. Oh, well.

Now, I’m running after learning about the things that excite me. And enjoying the things I love.

So I have a book problem. Do you?