Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Truman" is well done and well said

We actually watched this movie during election week--Powerful! I was surprised how many things haven't changed: like media bias, unrest in the Middle East, fragile European alliances, and making tough military decisions based on the best-guess-of-the-facts-at-the-moment.

Gary Sinise does a Harry Truman that's so believable you would think you were in Independence, Mo! This biographical movie of Harry Truman was true to history and based upon the Pulitzer Prize winning biography by David McCullough. My kids had read about his childhood beforehand. We also visited the Truman Library and saw his grand piano, his two "Truman Chryslers," and his love letters to Beth.

Truman was a WWI soldier, a failed business man, a latecomer to the Senate, and a compromise candidate for vice-president. Then he unexpectedly became president when Roosevelt died only 3 months into his fourth term. Three years later, Truman boasts a come-from-behind victory (see "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper headline) in the 1948 election which showed that his integrity and All-American values resonated with the average American voter. His presidency was actually full of historical significance: the Marshall Plan, the atomic bomb, beginning of the Cold War, NATO, Israel becoming a state, anti-Communism in our foreign policy, the United Nations charter, Civil Rights, and the Korean War. Great movie for my students who are studying the US election, WWII, and Amer. Gov't respectively!

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