Written By: David McCullough

Narrated By: Nelson Runger

Date: March 2011

Duration: 54 hours 19 minutes


The Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America’s beloved and distinguished historian.

The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters—Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson—and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man—a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined—but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman’s story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman’s own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary “man from Missouri” who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.


  • Shane Sabine

    Wow, talk about detail! The painstaking effort involved in researching sources, piecing together a coherent story, and telling this tale is unrivaled! Reading this book has been a truly unique experience, and I recommend it to anyone seeking to understand the mindset and motivations of someone who rose from humble beginnings to historical significance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • John Hills

    By far the best narration of any book I've ever heard. Nelson Runger IS Truman! His unlabored, enthusiastic tone, shifts effortlessly between storytelling and dialog such that we believe Harry S Truman is there in the room with us. This is such a masterful biography that one dreads it coming to its inevitable end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Edward Frankavitz

    As is the case with most of David McCullough's literary talent and an attest of his abilities to maintain one's interest whether addressing fire or fluff Mr. McCullough has the ability to hold your attention fast throughout the 54 hour plus audio version of "Truman." Much can be attributed as well to the narration. Nelson Runger's impressionistic gift affords him the ability to smoothly maneuvers from narrative to an array of cast quotations. The "Narration" rating missed the Five Star tag not due to any fault of Mr. Runger but rather the audio engineering which neglects to mute normal and anticipated auxiliary noise such as inhaling, swallows and other normal vocal maladies which were left unattended. That single issue aside "Truman" is another McCullough Home Run.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Kathryn Gleason

    Very enjoyable, thank you for the opportunity to learn more about this president.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Pontius Pilate

    LOVED IT! Made me aware of Truman and his life beyond dropping the first and only 2, atomic bombs on Japan. I would rank Harry as my favorite president and it seems time, has made many come to appreciate this honest little American leader! The narrator is one of my favorites.

  • David W.

    Not wanting to listen to a book felt like I was cheating my self and taking a short cut. Reading is very fulfilling to me by reading the thoughts of another. But this has afforded me a way of cover more ground when my time is limited. If only Truman was alive today to show us the way. Great man and great narration.

  • D Wilson

    I enjoyed this book immensely. It was exceptionally well researched and presented. The historical accuracy and authenticity were outstanding and any student of world history would benefit from reading it. Truman was truly an outstanding leader and president and this book did him justice. The areas where Truman was found wanting were tastefully covered and allowed one to see ugly truths, while preserving Truman's dignity. The narrator was outstanding. His long pauses and impersonations were magical and allowed one time to digest and interpret the literature, while reliving the moment. It was almost impossible to pause at times. I read where another reader was critical of the narrator's breathing and swollowing. I disagree that this was somehow indicative of poor quality or technical incompetence. To me it added value to the experience and introduced the concept of storytelling. The narrator is human as opposed to robotic and hearing him breathe, swollow, pause and change his tone and speed were amazing. I really enjoyed this book.

  • Duskie M

    Nelson Runger is an outstanding reader. I've heard him read three books, and this Truman book is his best read. I appreciate him taking appropriate long pauses and he's got the hang of changing inflection for characters, subtle as it is. Well done, Mr. Runger. David McCullough continues to make his biographies page turners. I have 9 more hours before finishing, and know I'll return listening again. We can't learn enough about history and even if we know it, a refresher and a different perspective is welcomed. Thank you Mr. McCullough. Five Stars for both book and reader.

  • Albert

    I was a Boy Scout during the Truman presidency. He came to our Jamboree at Valley Forge and addressed the throng. I don't remember what he said, but I was impressed that the President would come and speak to us. The present book gave me new insights into the character of the man. I think he was not much admired in his time. He is more admired now, I think. The audio book is terrific. The excerpts of Harry playing the piano are a nice touch. I recommend this book.

  • Anonymous

    This bio was okay...but the author suffered from the usual malady of most biographers.....he was overly partial to his subject. I don't remember one negative about Truman being mentioned. Also, McCullough overused superlatives....."this was the best time of his life;" "this was the greatest tragedy since the Civil War," etc. However, I certainly have a better picture of Truman and his times before I listened to the book. I'm just not sure that I have a fair and balanced picture from doing so.


by David McCullough

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