Thus Harry Truman on the Vice Presidency of the United States. He was speaking in the summer of 1944, a few days before being pulled into the vortex that would bring him to the land’s highest office. Democratic delegates knew that they were nominating two Presidents: Franklin Roosevelt, who was unlikely to survive his fourth term, and whoever became his running mate. So the only real drama in the election was at the Democratic Convention—but it had drama to spare. In a fastpaced narrative full of tangy detail, David McCullough shows us FDR at his most devious, the old party-boss system at its zenith, and Harry Truman at the pivot of his career.
Seventy-five years ago this spring a very different America marched into the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century. World War I did more than kill people on an unprecedented scale; it destroyed the West’s faith in the very institutions that had made it the pride and envy of the world. John Steele Gordon looks back on those years and tells why it is more important now than ever that we learn their lessons.
Why Jim Thorpe is still the greatest American Olympic athlete … a threatened moderne treasure of an amusement park in Colorado … a look at the Lizzie Borden murders in an entirely new light a century later … and, because we’ve been so generous for so long that it’s become second nature to us, more.