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Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower and a Dangerous World

ISBN: 978-1452657639
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The Midwest region of the United States, at least in stereotype, was known for humble and hard-working people. Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, both political heavyweights in American politics during and after WW2, were both from this region. They were both born into average working-class families, both aligned aligned themselves with the right people to climb the career ladders, and both somehow managed to be nearing the top of their careers when WW2 gave each of them a boost. It was also the time when they would cross paths for the first time. First, Eisenhower, a skilled yet unknown administrator, was gradually given important posts by his mentor George Marshall, becoming the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe. Then, Truman, having been chosen for his relative youthfulness compared to other candidates to be the sickly Franklin Roosevelt's running mate, indeed rose to succeed Roosevelt as the President of the United States. This began a continuous game of political intrigue between the two that would last through the end of both of their careers. In Two Americans, author William Lee Miller presented a double biography that compared and contrasted these two Midwest Americans, offering careful analysis and his personal opinions on how they each managed the difficult task of working with Allies, how they looked at the Cold War and the atomic weapons race, how they advanced the race integration in the US Army, how they maneuvered around each other in Washington politics, and how the two finally ended their feud in old age. Miller successfully gathered various threads of information and weaved them into a cohesive study concerning the two influential leaders not only on the American political stage but that of the western world. The author's expert narration was easy to read even through the occasional deep dives into particular subjects.

I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Dick Hill added a bit more drama than what I usually preferred, but in general he did a fine job with clarity and pace. His voice seemed to be fitting for a book about two men from the Heartland of American, actually.

Two Americans was a good analysis of Truman and Eisenhower, and I would recommend it as a complement to other biographies of the two ex-soldiers and ex-presidents.

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