Episode 140

David L. Roll on President Harry Truman


May 3rd, 2024

25 mins 6 secs

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About this Episode

Harry Truman was educated in Missouri public schools, never went to college, and spent a number of his adult years as a dirt farmer. Yet eleven years after first being elected to the Senate he became President of the most powerful nation on earth in the midst of momentous world events. In his new book Ascent to Power: How Truman Emerged from Roosevelt's Shadow and Remade the World, David Roll suggests that from these humble beginnings Truman undertook “the most consequential transition” in American history. He joins host Richard Aldous to discuss Truman’s unlikely rise and his long string of achievements, from the Marshall Plan to the Berlin Airlift to the enduring Truman Doctrine.