Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year That Transformed America

By David Pietrusza

Union Square Press, Hardcover, 9781402767487, 520pp.

Publication Date: October 2011


The behind-the-headline true story of Harry Truman's stunning upset!
Everyone knows the iconic news photo of jubilant underdog Harry Truman brandishing a copy of the Chicago Tribune proclaiming “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.” David Pietrusza goes backstage to explain how it happened, placing the brutal political battle in the context of an erupting Cold War and America's exploding storms over civil rights and domestic communism.
Pietrusza achieves for 1948's presidential race what he previously did in his acclaimed 1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: bringing history to life and intrigue readers with tales of high drama while simultaneously presenting the issues, personalities, and controversies of this pivotal era with laser-like clarity.

About the Author
Called one "of the best historians in the United States," "one of the great political historians of all time," and "the undisputed champion of chronicling American Presidential campaigns." David Pietrusza has produced a number of critically-acclaimed works concerning 20th century American history. Critics have compared his work to that of Eric Larson, H. L. Mencken, Theodore H. White, Edmund Morris, and Doris Kearns Goodwin. His "1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America," a study of the dramatic 1948 presidential campaign, is a selection of the History Book Club, the Book-of-the-Month Club, and the Literary Guild. ForeWord Magazine designated his book "1960: LBJ vs JFK vs Nixon: The Epic Campaign that Forged Three Presidencies" as among the best political biographies. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro has termed "1960" "terrific." Pietrusza's "1920: The Year of the Six Presidents" received a Kirkus starred review, was honored as a Kirkus "Best Books of 2007" title, and was named an alternate selection of the History Book Club. Historian Richard Norton Smith has listed "1920: The Year of the Six Presidents" as being among the best studies of presidential campaigns. Pietrusza's biography of Arnold Rothstein entitled "Rothstein: The Life, Times & Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series" was a finalist for the 2003 Edgar Award. Rothstein's audio version won an AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. Pietrusza has edited three volumes on the career and works of Calvin Coolidge. Says Amity Shlaes: "an authority on the 1920s and [Calvin] Coolidge . . . David Pietrusza has brought Coolidge back to life with his volumes about the president . . ." Pietrusza's biography of baseball's first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis,""Judge and Jury," a Finalist for the 1998 Seymour Medal and a NASSH Book Award nominee, won the 1998 CASEY Award. Pietrusza collaborated with baseball legend Ted Williams on an autobiography called "Ted Williams: My Life in Pictures." Pietrusza served as president (1993-97) of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), co-editor of "Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball," and as editor-in-chief of the publishing company Total Sports. His study of the 1932 elections, "1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR - Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny" will be published by Lyons Press in August 2015. www.davidpietrusza.com

Praise For 1948

Praise for 1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies:
[A] winning and provocative chronicle highly recommended.”--Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW]
"[A] colorful, character-driven narrative.... A lively look at the underside of a campaign."--Kirkus Reviews