The Soldier From Independence

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The Soldier from Independence: A Military Biography of Harry Truman

Harry S. Truman was Commander-in-Chief at one of, if not the critical moment in American--and global--military history: When the decision had to be made to drop the atomic bomb. Yet, as to his military credentials, he is often dismissed as little more than a weekend warrior, the Kansas City haberdasher. Nothing could be further from the truth, as this book makes clear.

Revealing the little-known facts of Truman’s remarkable military performance, both as a soldier and a politician, The Soldier from Independence adds a whole new dimension to the already fascinating character of the 33rd president of the United States.

Author Dennis Giangreco shows Truman making the hard decisions that he knew to be right, regardless of personal consequences. While serving as a field artillery battery commander in World War I, Truman saved a neighboring infantry regiment from a surprise German attack, only to bring a rebuke from his regimental commander. Had General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, commander of American forces in France, not intervened; Truman would have been court martialed, his future career in politics likely derailed in that moment. The author also recounts Truman’s activities as head of the Senate Armed Forces Committee during the build-up to and early years of WWII--activities that made him the most powerful man in military affairs next to President Roosevelt.

Truman oversaw the end of the war, stood up to Stalin, and met the test of North Korea’s invasion of South Korea. He also had the fortitude to stand up to General Douglas MacArthur--one of the country's most revered wartime leaders, characterized as the "American Caesar"--ultimately firing the Far East commander. Filling in the details behind these world-changing events, this military biography supplies a heretofore missing and critical chapter in the story of one of the nation’s most important presidents. Hardcover, 304 pages.

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