From the "New York Times" best-selling author of "The Accidental President" comes the story of the 1948 presidential election, one of the greatest election stories of all time, as Truman mounted a history-making comeback and staked a claim for a new course for America.
In this presidential election year, historian and journalist A.J. Baime has given America a winner ... breezy, easy-to-read English ... then came Election Day. Baime covers it in a chapter with prose to delight in.
... Baime's lively and insightful account of the second-most shocking presidential upset in modern history, delivers the best-reasoned and most revealing examination to date of that memorable mid-century election ... Baime gives more credit where credit was due, and in doing so more effectively unravels the mystery of how Truman’s stunning upset came about ... Baime’s richly textured, fast-moving narrative vividly captures the stories of the race’s potential spoilers, the staunch segregationist Thurmond and the socialist-leaning Wallace ... While Baime hints at some notable parallels to the 2016 election, for the most part his narrative portrays a time far removed from our own.
... well-paced ... Baime avoids passing judgment on any of the four principal candidates. The approach allows readers to form their own opinions while soaking up the politics of another era — intensely competitive but relatively civil, when television was in its infancy, nominating conventions were high drama, and presidential aspirants relied on long, sweaty train rides through towns and farms, making their case to thousands of voters at dusty whistle stops ... At stake in 1948, according to Baime, was America’s soul, but his account is also a rendering of the deep fissures in American life ... Baime, who has written a previous book on Truman, skillfully leads readers to conclude what he surely had in mind from the outset: In an election, substance matters, as does courage and decency, and Truman displayed them all in 1948.