Truman: The Rise to Power

Richard Lawrence Miller, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $19.95 (536p) ISBN 978-0-07-042185-1
In a controversial revision of recent Truman scholarship, Miller challenges the down-home, plain-speaking image of Harry S. Truman, charging that the Missouri haberdasher who became president was a ""machine politician, involved in shady personal and political dealings.'' Detailing and emphasizing involvements which, he argues, the ``Truman Establishment'' has down-played, Miller portrays HST as a practical politician who, to assure his power base, played a key role in Boss Tom Prendergast's Missouri machine of the 1920s and '30s. In later life, Truman denied any wrongdoing out of apparent guilt over having served as ``an honest front protecting the power of thieves and murderers.'' His constant struggle to balance machine needs and his own vision of the public good makes Truman a more human figure, concludes Miller. The biography includes views on Truman's ``life plan,'' based on his reading as a youth, and the role of his Freemason beliefs in the making of public policy. This is Miller's first book. For specialists. Photos not seen by PW. Major ad/promo. December 232
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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