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Dear Bess: The Letters from Harry to Bess Truman, 1910-1959

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A collection of more than 600 letters that Harry S. Truman wrote to his beloved wife, Bess, from 1910 to 1959. Selected from the 1268 letters discovered in Bess's house after her death in 1982, this illustrated book provides an inside look at Truman's life, his thoughts, and his dreams.
Hardcover, 593 pages
Published August 1st 1983 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published July 1983)
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Mar 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chantal by: Martha F. Methot
No book has created a deeper reverence in me for Harry Truman than this book did. My mother was homebound for several years due to health problems. During that time she read books about each of the U.S. presidents and their wives. This was one that she recommended and I LOVED it. It is a compilation of letters written from President Truman to his wife Bess. I'll be honest, when I used to see pictures of them I thought, What did he see in her? But after reading this book, he was soooo in love wit ...more
Aww, what a Valentine this book is! More enjoyable, I think, because i read it as a follow-up to David McCullough's "Truman," which delivers a happy description of the sweetnatured and ethical man Harry Truman was from youth, and a clearer picture of how much he really really loved that young woman whom everyone considered "too good for him." The letters show that he was not only good enough to be her husband, but possibly the best husband she could have hoped to have. Ever.

If you start to find
Joyce Eggebeen
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started scanning about half way through the book, but Harry could be quite amusing and enjoyed most of it. It just got a little tedious. Amazing history that happened during his lifetime.
Marilyn Pronovost
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's an okay read. I don't know the book's problem is with the letters or the way they are edited. You get a sense oh Harry Truman, but never really get to sEe him thinking. I was disappointed in this read.
Ronald Wise
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
The key to enjoying this book was learning to skip over the repetitive salutations and attend to the sentences that were gems of Harry S. Truman's humor and glimpses into his personal experience of American history in the early 20th century. This book contains approximately 600 letters written by Truman to wife Bess from the time of their early courtship through his days in the White House. They are from a collection of nearly 1,200 letters that were turned over to the U.S. archives by daughter ...more
Leslie Ferrari
Sep 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
I really looked forward to reading this book. I really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, although Harry Truman was a prolific writer, he didn't say much. I got through the whole book, but for the most part it was very boring with little glimmers of worthwhile information. The main thing that I learned about Truman was that he expected Bess to write him daily and he was very disappointed if he didn't receive a letter.
At just under 600 pages, this took me awhile to finish, but I rather enjoyed the glimpse into Harry and Bess. The letters included are those only from Harry, so it's a one-sided conversation but interesting still. In one letter from his years as President, he's telling Bess about Potsdam...two days later he's writing her a long paragraph about hat styles and how much he prefers her hats over others. The letters really do show the person he was and the positions he held.
 Barb Bailey
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really like this book and enjoyed the intriciate revealing of the Trumans relationship through their letters. It also told alot about Harry ... how he tried and failed at several careers until he hit upon politics.
(Wow alot like GW only Harry was more honest and sincere. )
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Harry S. Truman was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953). As vice president, he succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died less than three months after he began his fourth term.

During World War I Truman served as an artillery officer. After the war he became part of the political machine of Tom Pendergast and was elected a county judge in Missouri and eventually a United Stat

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