Truman, the Man

David McCullough writes about President Harry Truman with an obvious affection for the man, just as he did with John Adams. It is clear that what impresses McCullough is character, and he rarely misses an opportunity to point out in both men incidents which display admirable character.

The secret service agent attached to him in Germany during the Potsdam Conference recounts an incident in which an Army public relations officer who had his hand in the Berlin black market approached Truman and told him that he could get him anything he wanted. He only had to say the word. “Anything, you know, like women.”

“Listen, son, I married my sweetheart, ” Truman said. “She doesn’t run around on me, and I don’t run around on her. I want that understood. Don’t ever mention that kind of stuff to me again.” (page 435)

Sadly such evidence of faithfulness seems surprising to our jaded ears.


By the way, I’m on page 467. 425 more to go. I’m halfway home.