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In this riveting collection, available for the first time in paperback, we follow Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, two giants of the post–World War II period who were primarily responsible for the Marshall Plan and NATO, among other world-shaping initiatives, as they move from an official relationship to one of candor, humor, and personal expression. In these letters, spanning the years from when both were newly out of office until Acheson’s death at the age of seventy-eight, we find them sharing the often surprising and always illuminating opinions, ideas, and feelings that the strictures of their offices had previously kept them from revealing.
Unbuttoned, careless of language, unburdened by political ambition or vanity, Truman and Acheson reveal their characters and their loyalty to each other on every page. Truman, a Missouri farmer with the unpolished but sharp intellect of a largely self-educated man, and Acheson, well educated, urbane, and affluent, seem an unlikely pair. But both men shared a deep and abiding patriotism and a taste for politics that transcended their very different backgrounds. Affection and Trust is a remarkable book that brings to light the very human side of two of the most important statesmen of the twentieth century.
Introduction by David McCullough
1. February to December 1953
A New Outlet for "the Truman-Acheson Front"
2. January 1954 to April 1955
Eisenhower's Foreign Policy - Musings on History and Government - Truman's Memoirs - A Serious Operation - The Truman Library - Visits in Kansas City and Washington - Testimony and Tough Political Talk
3. June to August 1955
A Blunt Critique of Truman's Memoirs
4. August 1955 to September 1956
The Postdam Paper - "Intellectual Prostitutes" - Margaret Is Married - A Trip to Europe
5. November 1956 to December 1957
Foreign-Policy and Civil-Rights Crises - A Meeting in Washington - More Politics - The "S"
6. January 1958 to June 1959
Meetings in New Haven, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C. - A Political Season - A President Who Doesn't Know Where He's Going - Three Foreign-Policy Crises - Truman Is "Steamed Up" - A Grand Birthday Celebration
7. June 1959 to November 1960
A Candidate for 1960 - George Marshall's Death - The U-2 Incident - Sit-Down Strikes - A "Treaty on 'Don'ts'" - John F. Kennedy and the Democratic Convention - The Campaign
8. February 1961 to October 1971
JFK and LBJ - An Operation and a Fall - More Memoirs - Deaths in the Family - The Last Letter
List of Letters