The remarkable story of President Harry Truman's first four months in office when this unlikely, small-town, Washington outsider had to take on Germany, Japan, Stalin and the atomic bomb, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance - one of the most extraordinary challenges in American presidential history.
Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who find themselves facing extraordinary circumstances and, through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as President Roosevelt's fourth term Vice President for his admired work ethic, good judgement and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man from small-town America. That is, until he was thrust in over his head following the sudden death of Roosevelt.
With the world still caught up in the inferno of the Second World War, Truman found himself playing the roles of both judge and jury during the founding of the UN, the Potsdam Conference, the Manhattan Project, the German surrender, the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the decision to drop the Bomb and bring the war to the end.
Tightly focused, meticulously researched and drawing on documentation not available to previous biographers, The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during this tumultuous, history-making four months - when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher . . .
In the 1960s Enzo Ferrari emerged as the dominant force in sports cars in the world, creating speed machines that were unbeatable on the race track. In America, the Ford Motor Company was quickly losing ground as the pre-eminent brand. Henry Ford II saw a solution. He decided to declare war on Ferrari, to build a faster car than anything Ferrari had brought to the track, and to beat him at the world's biggest race, Le Mans. Ferrari was just as determined to see off this challenge from across the Atlantic.
With practically no safety regulations in place in the European Grand Prix races, horrific accidents were routine, with both drivers and spectators killed in many races. The stakes were incredibly high, money and men were thrown at the competition, neither Ford or Ferrari would accept anything but victory. The battle to become the fastest in the world truly became a race to the death.
A. J. BAIME is the New York Times best-selling author of The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War and Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans. Both books are in development for major motion pictures. Baime is a longtime regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, Popular Science, and Men’s Journal. He lives in Granite Bay, California. Visit him at facebook.com/ajbaime and trumanbook.com.