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A Biography of Harry S. Truman: America's 33rd President

He argued much more could be done if it didn't matter who got the credit and he was skilled at ensuring the best people in their fields were on his staff. This is a skill similar to one used by Reagan to achieve success as president. As McCullough (1992) explains this transformative period, "He wasn't afraid to have people around him who were more accomplished than he, and that's one reason why he had the best cabinet of any president since George Washington....He knew who he was" (p. 712).

Truman was not a president who demanded to have all the facts before he made a decision. He often believed it was better to make a firm decision with eighty percent of the information than to wait around for the rest of it, especially in times of military conflict. Truman was so uninformed when taking office that he had no knowledge of the Manhattan Project, the plan to build the atomic bomb, even though he ultimately made the decision to employ it. Truman's triumph in WWII and success with the Marshall Plan were added to by his recognition of the State of Israel and his work in building the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He also pulled off an election triumph by staging a coast-to-coast whistle-stop train tour, winning an election so close that some papers printed the headline "Dewey Defeats Truman" (McCullough, 1992, p. 718). Through it all President Truman showed the courage, fight, and will to win that made it Harry Truman "the man" and not Harry Truman "the politician" who won the election in McCullough's (1992) view (p. 718).

Like with any other U.S. President, there were up and down periods of popularity in Truman's two terms as president. During his second term his achievements, like many presidents from Reagan to


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A Biography of Harry S. Truman: America's 33rd President. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:06, August 18, 2017, from
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