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Year of Decisions

(Memoirs #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Presents Truman's own perspective on the momentous events, personalities, and decisions that filled his first year as president of the United States and led to the successful ending of the Second World War and the building of a new era. A vivid and dramatic account of the months that saw the death of Roosevelt, the conferences at Yale and Potsdam, the explosion of atomic b ...more
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by William S. Konecky Associates (first published 1955)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Luis Roman
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always thought Harry Truman was one of the most remarkable characters in American history. The son a Missouri farmer who rose to the office of Vice-President and then, after only 82 days in office, was elevated to the Presidency after Franklin Roosevelt's death. Truman became President at a time when the war in Europe was winding down, but still raging in the Pacific, a time of great uncertainty for the country, when Truman, who very few people at the time knew anything about, would be lo ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A very interesting book in Truman's own words on one of the most momentous years in the last century.

I read this after McCullough's book on Truman and gained new insights into his thinking on Potsdam, the Russians, atomic energy, the end of the war, making the peace, etc.

It , in my mind, puts to bed all the revisionist history on why the bombs were dropped on Japan, and how the war was brought to a conclusion. Far from the revisionist's position that Truman did NOT want the Russians in the war i
President Truman has a fine instinct for sensing when the reader starts to feel overwhelmed by the sheer daily tonnage of policy decisions and those involving World War II in the early days of his sudden presidency. Before the reader can begin to wonder what they still haven't seen on Netflix, he trains his mind on his memory, recounting his past, which isn't as dry as some of the policy, in order to set the record straight on what he sees as distortions of his life, political and otherwise, whi ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the lamer presidential memoirs. It's a pretty dry, wooden style, because he writes in depth about a few issues for much of the book, namely, organizing his presidential team, the war, the formation of the UN, and troubles with the Soviet Union, particularly over the post-war preparations.

The trouble is he keeps showing basically a day-to-day log of tackling these issues, and it gets tedious.

This advisor told me this.
My team prepared this message to Churchill.
This is the message we sent to
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1945 was an eventful, dramatic year. Truman, dropped unexpectedly into the presidency, had to deal with the finish of WWII, the attempts of various countries to grab war-torn territories, massive famine from war loses and bad weather, and individuals at home who wanted to take advantage of the post-war reorganization to take as much power as they could. I hadn't known of all these issues that arose during a time that most people in the US hoped to relax with the coming of peace.

President Truman
Jerry D.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into the office of the POTUS

Also, into the conclusion of the war, it's aftermath and the beginning of the cold war. I highly recommend this book for any with an interest in that time in our history
David Dill
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting in reading the reasoning behind some very difficult decisions that were made during this presidency.
Aaron Million
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Informative yet dry recount of the momentous year of 1945, courtesy of President Harry Truman. He decided that 1945 was so important that he would devote the entire book to just that year. Unfortunately, the reviews of this book (and his subsequent memoir covering the remainder of his presidency) that I read indicated that the language was often wooden and stilted. In that respect, the book lived down to its billing. This read like an academic study of the beginning of Truman's presidency.

Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most momentous year of my lifetime, from a world standpoint, took place the year I turned seven. On January 20, 1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated for the fourth time as President of the United States of America. With him, a little known a Senator from Missouri, was sworn in as the new Vice-President.

Less than three months later, upon Roosevelt's death, the unprepared VP became president of the world's greatest power on April 12. Few could have anticipated the seismic shifts in t
Bob Ely
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a book. It was very wordy and hard to read more than 1 chapter at a time. Even with that in mind, it was a very interesting book. I liked the way he took us through his first months in office and how he got there. As we look back, I don't believe the American People really understand what he accomplished within his early tenure in office. The most important feature, I thought, was, you couldn't trust the Russians then and you still can't trust them today. We should have followed Patton's ad ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Read this as the free nook book from Barnes & Noble. There were a lot of problems with the format, but it was free. It is really amazing the situation Truman was forced into. After FDR was President for about 13 years, all of sudden Truman has to face the end of the war in Europe, the beginning of the Cold War, the decision to use nuclear weapons in the Pacific and the transition of the United States from a war time to a peace time economy. The memoir tends come across as a diary with moment by ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Written years later, this describes the events that occurred during the 7 1/2 months that Truman was President of the United States. He was sworn in on April 12, 1945 after the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This book contains boring, mind numbing and teeth clenching lists of the time, date, and attendees at meetings, personal letters home etc. But then as he sums up, and I'll let him say it. "The world was undergoing great and historic changes. We had come into the atomic age. Th
Jul 26, 2012 added it
Great history of the last months of WW 2 and the first months of Truman's presidency. A unique perspective from the man that had to make decisioins that still effect us today. Its disjointed at times with some repetitive descriptions of events and meetings, but that is probaly what the time felt like to him. There are some interesting parallels to the politics of today as Truman tries to move the country from a war time economy to one based on peace. I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but m ...more
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it
No, I didn't read the whole thing, nor will I, but I would like to go back and read more. The sections I did read were very intriguing. Much personal thought and also an insider's peak into the White House during the end of WWII. The letter's from Stalin and Churchhill amidst news flashes were fascinating.

I was really struck by the decisive humility of Truman during this unparalleled time in human history. Decisive in his decisions to end the war, whether you agree with them or not, and his hum
This is a pretty interesting insight to how Pres. Truman made decisions and how much he was kept in the dark as VP. and was kind of naive about some aspects of politics we take for granted.
His mind is very organized and he did a lot of correspondence for which one wonders how he found the time! Quite a good review of his childhood and how the presidency transistioned after FDR.
Slow going....some dry detail. Trying to get through both volumes. May take some time
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history
An important look at a autobiographical look at Harry Truman's life and reasons for many difficult calls He was forced to make after the death of Franklin Roosevelt and his using the atomic bomb to force Japan to surrender. Historian will find many of his letters in the period and find His thoughts on that historic year.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written like a presidential memoir but exciting to read with the perspective of all else I have about WW2 and Churchill. It certainly gives important insights into this very important year of history and important context to many of today's challenges in foreign relations. I am glad it was recommended to me.
Jul 19, 2007 rated it liked it
My grandmother had copies of the original two volumes of President Truman's memoirs, and I read them when she was living. If you can find copies of these memoirs, they offer an insight into the thinking of a president who dealt with many complex issues at the end of the Second World War, including the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan.
Julia Prater
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times a bit tedious, but incredible first hand record of so many issues we don't see in our history books. Particularly in the aftermath of the war, dealing with world wide hunger, the fledging United Nations and what to do with the knowledge gained in the development of the atomic bomb.
Beverly Hollandbeck
Historically speaking, this book is of museum quality. It details day-by-day the first year of Truman's presidency as lived and documented by Truman himself. But because of the minute attention to detail, it's not an easy read.
I read the memoir for President Truman's thoughts on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and also enjoyed his letters. some of the political detail I skimmed but overall I enjoyed his writing style and gained some insight into the reasons my grandparents hated all things Japanese/
Apr 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Truman repeatedly placed himself on a pedestal. He seemed to take credit for all of the correct actions taken during his presidency, and blamed the incorrect actions taken during his presidency on congressional committees. Even so, the book was extremely informative.
Tamer Sadek
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly fascinating insight into one of the most momentous years in history. Hard going in places but worth persevering with.
Barry Nabbs
I agree.with others that the style is wooden and difficult to read at times. I find the period of history fascinating which kept me going but HST does not make it easy!
Jan 06, 2009 is currently reading it
this is a really awesome memoir.
Andrew Myers
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The usual stuff you get from memoirs, fluffs up the good stuff he did and down plays the shday shit.
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Interesting to learn all Truman had to deal with during his first year as President but parts were detailed verbatim quotes of communiques, etc. that were slow reading.
Leah G
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Oh Truman. What a fella. What a memoir. I just appreciate him so much.
Pietrokovski Jaime
rated it really liked it
May 15, 2017
Anthony Bergen
rated it liked it
Jun 21, 2012
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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

Other books in the series

Memoirs (3 books)
  • Memoirs, Vol 2: Years of Trial and Hope (Leaders of Our Times)
  • Memoirs

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“Mrs. Roosevelt seemed calm in her characteristic, graceful dignity. She stepped forward and placed her arm gently about my shoulder. “Harry,” she said quietly, “the President is dead.” For a moment, I could not bring myself to speak. The last news we had had from Warm Springs was that Mr. Roosevelt was recuperating nicely. In fact, he was apparently doing so well that no member of his immediate family, and not even his personal physician, was with him. All this flashed through my mind before I found my voice. “Is there anything I can do for you?” I asked at last. I shall never forget her deeply understanding reply. “Is there anything we can do for you?” she asked. “For you are the one in trouble now.” 1 likes
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