The most recommended books on Harry S. Truman

Who picked these books? Meet our 6 experts.

6 authors created a book list connected to Harry S. Truman, and here are their favorite Harry S. Truman books.
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Book cover of Cryptic Paisley

Christopher Church Author Of Signs Point to Yes

From Christopher's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Detailed Reader Scientist

Christopher's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

I found the detective at the center of the story, Truman, to be refreshing in his naivete, despite being set in the grimy big city of Los Angeles. Just because he’s not hardboiled doesn’t mean he’s stupid, however, and I had to laugh as Truman cluelessly digs himself into a mystery in the city’s fashion industry.

His pal Celeste is more street-smart, and the ups and downs of her rocky relationships with men are all too familiar. The pair of them work together to take down a cryptocurrency scam, exacting a most satisfying revenge on the mastermind of it all.

The tone of the book is light, and it makes a compelling read.

By Chester Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cryptic Paisley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When gallerist Celeste meets an old friend at an art show, the artist explains that someone has jacked one of her fashion designs, and soon Celeste’s bestie, Truman, is on the case, diving headlong into LA’s fashion industry to investigate. Truman and Celeste soon get entangled with a hinky company run by a trio of enigmatic lowlifes who produce a very unusual fashion line. Are they full-on grifters, or just not that competent? Truman goes undercover with an industry supplier, and Celeste agrees to work for the trashy fashion folks, digging deeper into their secrets and getting way too close…


Book cover of Truman

Denise Kiernan Author Of The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

From my list on The Manhattan Project and the making of the atomic bomb.

Who am I?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls Of Atomic City, The Last Castle, and We Gather Together. While writing The Girls Of Atomic City, Kiernan not only tracked down and interviewed countless individuals who worked directly on the Manhattan Project, she also consumed virtually every book ever written on the subject and spent endless days in the bowels of the National Archives deep-diving into the institution’s Atomic Energy Commission holdings. She served as a member of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park Scholars Forum in Washington, D.C., helping shape the topics and interpretive planning for this new national park. She has spoken at institutions across the country on topics covered in her book.

Denise's book list on The Manhattan Project and the making of the atomic bomb

Denise Kiernan Why did Denise love this book?

I cannot imagine a book that David McCullough might write that I would not want to read.

This impeccably researched and wonderfully intriguing book about President Harry. S. Truman—who was in the White House when the decisions to release the first-ever atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were made—gives an intimate and informative look at one of the key figures in both the Manhattan Project and World War II history.

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Truman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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…


Book cover of Revolt of the Admirals: The Fight for Naval Aviation, 1945-1950

Marc Liebman Author Of Forgotten

From my list on U.S. Naval history.

Who am I?

I am a retired Navy Captain and Naval Aviator, who spent 26 years in the Navy, am an aviation historian and the author of 11 novels, five of which have become Amazon #1 Best Sellers. All my books have naval themes and are operationally and historically accurate.

Marc's book list on U.S. Naval history

Marc Liebman Why did Marc love this book?

World War II is over. The U.S. is demobilizing and in 1948, the United States Air Force becomes a separate service. President Harry Truman appoints Louis Johnson as the new Secretary of Defense in 1949 after James Forrestal resigned because he would not carry out Truman’s defense cuts. Johnson accepted the Air Force’s proposal that nuclear deterrence was the sole responsibility of the Air Force and all military aviation should be under its command. This set in motion a series of events known as the “Revolt of the Admirals” which Barlow used as the title of his book.

This is a story of professional courage. A group of admirals was willing to put their careers on the line to force the Truman administration to change its policies and decisions. They fought with the Secretary of Defense Johnson as well as other officials in the administration and based their arguments on…

By Jeffrey G. Barlow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Revolt of the Admirals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chronicles in compelling detail the historic showdown between the U.S. Air Force and the Navy over the role of carrier aviation in the national security framework of the United States.

The National Security Act of 1947, intended to unify the separate armed services under a single Defense Secretary, failed to settle the deeper issue that divided them, the debate over roles and missions. One symptom of this conflict was a showdown between the Air Force and the Navy over the role of carrier aviation in the national security framework of the United States.

From the early days of aviation, Army…


Book cover of Chiseler with a Glass Jaw

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Who am I?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

I found this mystery unusual because there are two protagonists, the fledgling detective Truman and his reluctant friend Celeste. I grew up with a canny mother and sisters, and seeing Celeste tacitly guide Truman in his new career, using her broader understanding of the world, feels familiar. The pair confront a blackmailing bully and try to shut down his operation. Their hedonistic approach to life, even in the most intense moments, is lighthearted and fun, and any woman who’s had a gay best friend or vice versa will recognize the humor in the pair of them chasing the same guys.

By Chester Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chiseler with a Glass Jaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Never one to let a bully get away with harassing someone, Celeste intervenes with a knockout punch, and in the melee Truman winds up in possession of the bully’s cell phone. Through Truman’s inventive online stalking and Celeste tracking down the victim, they uncover a seedy nest of grifters bent on profiting from human misery. Truman gets involved with Isaac, a closeted lawyer with a quick temper, but how does he fit into the scam? Running down leads at hotel bars, hip boutiques, and a grimy body shop, Truman and Celeste go all in, posing undercover at a night club…


Book cover of A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel

Jeffrey Herf Author Of Israel's Moment: International Support for and Opposition to Establishing the Jewish State, 1945–1949

From my list on history of establishment of the State of Israel.

Who am I?

I am a historian at the University of Maryland, College Park. In the past forty years, I have published six books and many articles on twentieth-century German history including Reactionary Modernism: Technology Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich; Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys; Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World; and Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989. My personal interest in German history began at home. My father was one of those very fortunate German Jews who found refuge in the United States before Hitler closed the borders and launched the Holocaust. 

Jeffrey's book list on history of establishment of the State of Israel

Jeffrey Herf Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Radosh and Radosh offer a compelling and dramatic history of Truman’s decision to support Jewish emigration to Palestine in 1947, and to recognize the state of Israel in 1948. They examine Truman’s dilemmas as he made the recognition decision against the advice of the leaders of his own State Department, including his own Secretary of State George Marshall. A Safe Haven offers a careful and essential guide to American politics regarding the Zionist issue, and to the combination of political and religious arguments that were decisive in Truman’s decision making. 

By Allis Radosh, Ronald Radosh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Safe Haven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“[This] revelatory account of Truman's vital contributions to Israel's founding. . .is told. . . with an elegance informed by thorough research."
—Wall Street Journal

"Even knowing how the story ends, A Safe Haven had me sitting on the edge of my seat.”
—Cokie Roberts

A dramatic, detailed account of the events leading up to the creation of a Jewish homeland and the true story behind President Harry S. Truman’s controversial decision to recognize of the State of Israel in 1948, drawn from Truman’s long-lost diary entries and other previously unused archival materials.


Book cover of The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls

Philip Graves Author Of Consumer.ology: The Truth about Consumers and the Psychology of Shopping

From my list on understanding consumers and your consumer self.

Who am I?

Having studied statistics in the 1980s and realised that forecasting energy reserves wasn’t for me, I stumbled into a career in market research. A chance reading of a book on psychoanalysis opened my eyes to how little we all understand ourselves and I started to look for better ways to identify how consumers think. After developing techniques from psychoanalysis and behavioural science I started my own consultancy firm in 2005. Over the last seventeen years I’ve been lucky enough to advise some of the world’s biggest brands, make regular appearances in the media discussing consumer affairs and, with my book Consumer.ology, to upset some of the biggest market research companies.

Philip's book list on understanding consumers and your consumer self

Philip Graves Why did Philip love this book?

Early in my career I was responsible for running the UK brand tracking and customer experience studies of a global brand. I was constantly battling to reconcile what the research told me with what the real data from the business showed was actually going on. This book, written by someone who was a senior editor at the Gallup market research company for years, helped me appreciate some of the reasons that survey results are inaccurate. It also reveals how opinion polls can be used to distort elections and manipulate people – scary stuff.

By David W. Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Opinion Makers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a new afterword by the author

Drawing on over a decade's experience at the Gallup Poll and a distinguished academic career in survey research, David W. Moore—praised as a "scholarly crusader" by the New York Times—reveals that pollsters don't report public opinion, they manufacture it. In this highly critical book, he describes the questionable tactics pollsters use to create poll-driven news stories-including force-feeding respondents, slanting the wording of questions, and ignoring public ignorance on even the most arcane issues. More than proof that the numbers do lie, The Opinion Makers clearly and convincingly spells out how urgent it is…


Book cover of How to Be a Normal Person

Kieran Frank Author Of Squishy Crushy Something

From my list on positive asexual representation.

Who am I?

I'm Kieran Frank, author of sexless romances. I write books with asexual characters because they're underrepresented. I write them with positive representation to avoid harmful stereotypes, and I highlight the nuances of a-spec people without sounding too preachy. I don't claim to be an expert in asexuality, but I'm passionate about writing asexual themes because it's what I want to see more of in fiction. Men are often expected to enjoy sex, especially at a younger age. I can personally relate to the harmful pressure, which is another reason I write asexual books. It can help combat toxic views that societies have instilled in many people.

Kieran's book list on positive asexual representation

Kieran Frank Why did Kieran love this book?

There are times when books with asexual characters need some humor and lightheartedness for a wholesome mix. Not all ace books need to be sad or angsty. Not all ace books even need to be about sexuality itself. Asexual characters simply need to exist in more books with positive representation, and said books can help teach people that sexless romances are just as valid and meaningful.

By TJ Klune,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be a Normal Person as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A How to Be Novel Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens. Gus is not normal. And he's fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone. Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the…