1948 by David Pietrusza
Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America

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Synopsis

Indelibly, we recall the iconic newsphoto: jubilant underdog Harry Truman brandishing his copy of  the Chicago Tribune proclaiming "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." But far, far more exists to 1948's election that a single inglorious headline and a stunning upset victory. Award-winning author David Pietrusza goes beyond the headlines to reveal backstage events and to place in context a down-to-the-wire donnybrook fought against the background of an erupting Cold War, the Berlin Airlift, and the birth of Israel, a post-war America facing exploding storms over civil rights, and domestic communism.

It's a war for the soul of the Democratic Party with accidental president Harry Truman pitted against his embittered left-wing predecessor as vice president, Henry Wallace, and stormy young South Carolina segregationist Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond. On the GOP side, it's a four-way battle between cold-as-ice New Yorker Tom Dewey, Minnesota upstart Harold Stassen, the stodgy but brilliant Ohio conservative Robert Taft, and the imperious but aged Douglas MacArthur.But Americans really want "none of the above." They do, however, "like IKE," but Dwight Eisenhower stubbornly resists draft movements in both parties to run--at least, that year.

It's an election year featuring a uniquely stellar supporting cast. Alger Hiss, Whitaker Chambers and Richard Nixon. Civil rights crusader Hubert Humphrey. GOP VP choice Earl Warren. Henry Wallace activists Paul Robeson, Lillian Hellman, and Pete Seeger. A passel of FDR kin--including Eleanor--disgusted with HST. Wisconsin's Joe McCarthy, Clark Clifford, William O. Douglas, George C. Marshall, John Foster Dulles, Adlai Stevenson, Drew Pearson, "Landslide Lyndon" Johnson, H. L. Mencken, Harold Ickes, Clare and Henry Luce, the "Do-Nothing" 80th Congress, Curtis LeMay, Ronald Reagan, and, last, but not least, NBC's forever embarrassed H. V. Kaltenborn.

David Pietrusza achieves for 1948's presidential race what he previously did in 1960: LBJ vs JFK vs Nixon--of which Library Journal (starred review) said "raises the bar with his winning and provocative chronicle. . . . Highly recommended." Pietrusza again brings history to life, spellbinding readers with tales of the highest drama while simultaneously presenting the issues, personalities, and controversies of this pivotal era with laser-like clarity.

With 2012's crucial presidential election approaching, 1948 transforms the way readers see modern American history.
Just a taste of what's inside David Pietrusza's riveting 1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America's Role in the World--Vitriolic Westbrook Pegler's exposé of Henry Wallace's secret "Guru" letters.Why the NAACP fired 80-old civil rights pioneer W. E. B. DuBois.Why a disgusted Nina Warren voted for HST--and against Tom Dewey and her own husband Earl.How A. Philip Randolph's threatened "March on Washington" integrated the army.J. Strom Thurmond: Segregationist white knight--with an illegitimate black daughter.The ground-breaking Oregon radio debate that settled a presidential nomination.How "Bull" Connor arrested Henry Wallace's running mate--and nearly arrested Wallace himself.The Case of the Missing President: HST's election night vanishing act.
 

About David Pietrusza

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David Pietrusza is winner of both the Casey and F. C. Lane Awards, having authored or edited more than thirty books. His latest book, Rothstein: The Life, Times and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series, was nominated for the Mystery Writers of American Edgar Award. He has written for numerous publications including USA Today, Baseball Weekly, and Baseball America. An expert on the 1920s, Pietrusza has served on the Board of Directors of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. He lives in Scotia, New York.
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Union Square Press. 544 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The author fields each of these competing components deftly, building one on top of the other to weave a coherent, compelling narrative that illuminates the time while also raising implications for today’s political climate (as noted here, 1948 was the first time that television became a factor i...

Dec 23 2011 | Read Full Review of 1948: Harry Truman's Improbab...

The Washington Times

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It has been 64 years since President Truman pulled the upset victory of the 20th century and historians still can't get enough of it. Now comes a new book brimming with fresh and detailed information. David Pietrusza's "1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year That Transformed America...

Apr 20 2012 | Read Full Review of 1948: Harry Truman's Improbab...

Suite 101

There are discrepancies and varying accounts of her death that led to conspiracy theories.

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1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America .

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