Harry Truman s Excellent Adventure The True Story of a Great American Road Trip On June Harry Truman got up early packed the trunk of his Chrysler New Yorker and did something no other former president has done before or since he hit the road No Secret Service protect

  • Title: Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip
  • Author: Matthew Algeo
  • ISBN: 9781556527777
  • Page: 214
  • Format: Hardcover
  • On June 19, 1953, Harry Truman got up early, packed the trunk of his Chrysler New Yorker, and did something no other former president has done before or since he hit the road No Secret Service protection No traveling press Just Harry and his childhood sweetheart Bess, off to visit old friends, take in a Broadway play, celebrate their wedding anniversary in the Big ApplOn June 19, 1953, Harry Truman got up early, packed the trunk of his Chrysler New Yorker, and did something no other former president has done before or since he hit the road No Secret Service protection No traveling press Just Harry and his childhood sweetheart Bess, off to visit old friends, take in a Broadway play, celebrate their wedding anniversary in the Big Apple, and blow a bit of the money he d just received to write his memoirs Hopefully incognito In this lively history, author Matthew Algeo meticulously details how Truman s plan to blend in went wonderfully awry Fellow diners, bellhops, cabbies, squealing teenagers at a Future Homemakers of America convention, and one very by the book Pennsylvania state trooper all unknowingly conspired to blow his cover Algeo revisits the Trumans route, staying at the same hotels and eating at the same diners, and takes readers on brief detours into topics such as the postwar American auto industry, McCarthyism, the nation s highway system, and the decline of Main Street America By the end of the 2,500 mile journey, you will have a new and heartfelt appreciation for America s last citizen president.

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      Published :2018-08-09T19:55:27+00:00

    One thought on “Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip”

    1. A couple of years ago my in-laws called offering to meet us in Independence, Missouri to tour the Truman library. First, I was surprised because they are dyed in the wool Republicans who think that all Democrats have already punched a one way ticket to the fiery furnaces of HELL. Second I was excited because I frankly don't know much about the President that was overshadowed by FDR, possibly the greatest president ever, and Eisenhower who was instrumental in saving the world from living under a [...]

    2. Harry Truman was an Ex-President before being one made you rich and famous. He left office in 1953 with no pension, Secret Service protection, or the prospect of being able to command exorbitant speaking fees on the rubber chicken circuit. He did get the expected book deal, but according to him, only netted $37,000. This may seem like a lot, especially in 1953, but evaporates quickly when you consider that Truman himself was expected to pay all expenses connected to his Ex-Presidency including $ [...]

    3. Okay, I admit it, I'm just wild about Harry. Harry Truman is one of my favorite presidential personalites and this book made me like him even more. Harry Truman was the last president to leave office without a pension and without Secret Service protection. All he had was a small Army pension for his service in World War I and an advance from a publisher for his memoirs. In June 1953, Bess and Harry Truman, just six months after leaving the White House, packed their Chrysler New Yorker and left I [...]

    4. This is a case where the cover pulled me in, and I ended up really liking the book. What a great photo - Harry Truman driving himself and his wife around, after his presidency. And that's pretty much the focus of the book - a road trip that the Trumans took the year after Harry stepped down from office. Algeo does a wonderful job giving great details about the trip, who the Trumans saw, where they stayed, etc. - and then following up on it with a road trip of his own, retracing the Trumans' step [...]

    5. If you look at my bookshelf, there’s an inordinate amount of books about Harry Truman (Plain Speaking, Pietruszka’s 1948, American Gunfight, Killing the Rising Sun). Okay, so some people read about vampires, some read about gunslingers. I read about Harry.Like Algeo’s other books, he finds another great lost historical nugget. After Ike was sworn in and Harry returned to independence, he and Bess decided to take a road trip to Washington DC. It seems unlikely, even in the 1950s, that Truma [...]

    6. The premise of this book is outstanding: Harry Truman and his wife, Bess, take a road trip in 1953 and try to be incognito as much as possible, which turns out to be virtually impossible. I think the author did a great job with telling a story about the all-American road trip that an ex-president takes with his wife. And that part of the book is worth reading -- I would give this section (the meat of the book) 5 stars.The other part of the book involves the author providing a history on differen [...]

    7. “I like roads. I like to move.”“Harry Truman was the last person to leave the White House and return to something resembling a normal life. And in the summer of 1953 he did something millions of ordinary Americans do all the time, but something no former president had ever done before—and none has done since. He took a road trip”In this charming and well-researched book, we get to ride along with Harry and Bess, in their new Chrysler New Yorker, on their trip, from Independence Mo, to [...]

    8. An entertaining and very readable yarn of when ex-president Harry Truman and his wife Bess set out from their home-town in Missouri to motor out to the East Coast to re-visit old friends. At that time there was no secret service assigned to an ex-president (as a matter of fact there was not even a pension for an ex-president). They journeyed out in Harry’s car with an immense amount of luggage (I guess an ex-president cannot just travel with shorts, sandals and a t-shirt). They thought they co [...]

    9. 3 starsJoin us noon on First Fridays at the Westport Branch of KCPL when Between the Lines will discuss this 50s road trip.

    10. Very interesting and fun to read. I feel as if I am in the back seat of Harry's big black car traveling the highways back in the early 50's.

    11. Even more than a record of Harry and Bess Truman's road trip during the summer of 1953, this little book is an excellent peek into 1950's Americana and the history that brought us there. As the author tells about Harry's love for the automobile (and driving) he gives us the rich history of our chosen modes of transportation, from the early days of the first horseless carriages to Harry's beautiful 1953 Chrysler New Yorker (the next model up was the Imperial - "too swanky for me," according to Ha [...]

    12. Matthew Algeo missed a great marketing tool by NOT titling his book Harry & Bess's Excellent Adventure (full stop). I mean, just look at that cover there on the left. Harry & Bess Truman look like they're ready for shenanigans, don't you think? Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip just sounds so normal and researched and boring.SoHarry Truman was the last President who didn't leave the White House with a cargo of Secret Service to follow him ar [...]

    13. Shortly after he left office, Harry and Bess Truman went on a road trip in their 1953 Chrysler New Yorker from Missouri to DC to New York and back to Missouri. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure is part chronicle of that trip, part biography about Truman, and part commentary on how the places the Trumans visited have changed in the over 50 years that have passed since. Packed with information and anecdotes that any Truman fan will appreciate, I highly recommend this book!

    14. The days before a presidents receive a pension,Secret Service protection or free mail, Harry and Bess drove from their home to New York and back. A wonderful book to read.

    15. This book will probable appeal most to those of us "of a certain age" (OK, I turn 78 this week) who remember Harry Truman and middle America of the early 1950s. In 1953, about a year after leaving office, the former president, as always dapper in a suit and tie, and former first lady Bess ("the Boss") packed their grips in their new Chrysler and hit the road for a trip from Independence (that's in Missouri for those of you who do not remember) to the East Coast where he planned to visit former c [...]

    16. After a time away from them, I think the American electorate tenderizes its opinion of ex-presidents, more comfortable remembering personality than the stream of policy events from the years they were in office. “Give ‘em hell” Harry Truman, our no-nonsense president, ascended to the presidency after FDR died, dropped the H-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and effectively ended WWII. In 1952 he held a 22% public approval rating, rivaling GW Bush’s equally bad numbers in 2008. In 2004, Tru [...]

    17. I’d classify this book as “history lite,” and I mean it as a compliment. It chronicles the 19-day road trip that Harry and Bess Truman took shortly after Harry left the presidency, so it’s a mix of “standard” history (McCarthyism, Cold War politics, etc.), human interest (the reminiscences of a Pennsylvania state trooper who almost gave Harry a ticket), and tidbits that fall somewhere in between (the birth of the motel industry in America). The two central themes were the Trumans’ [...]

    18. My friend Jim Erbe, himself a voracious reader of nonfiction of all kinds, not only recommended this book to me, but went out and bought me a copy. I guess that counts for a fairly strong recommendation.Thus, a little-known piece of history comes to life in this short volume. After he finished his presidency in 1953, Mr. Truman, along with his wife Bess, set out from his home town of Independence, Missouri, and drove his Chrysler New Yorker to the East Coast, notably Washington, D.C. and New Yor [...]

    19. Fun tale of a 1953 road trip by Harry and Bess Truman, private citizens, that would be incomprehensible today. It's big business being an ex-president in the 21st century, but that wasn't the case for Harry Truman, who had no independent wealth and couldn't afford any extravagant vacations after leaving the White House. When Harry was asked to speak at a military convention in Philadelphia, he and Bess packed up their beloved Chrysler and drove halfway across the country — just the two of them [...]

    20. This is a very enjoyable book about Harry Truman and his wife and their cross-country road trip soon after his presidency was over. Really shows how things have changed! Review from Library Journal:In the summer of 1953, back in Missouri after leaving the White House six months before, Harry and Bess Truman loaded up their new Chrysler and headed out, like thousands of their fellow citizens, on a summer vacation. Public radio reporter Algeo chronicles this unlikely excursion in great and wonderf [...]

    21. Matthew Algeo really didn't have a book. Harry and Bess Truman's road trip the year after he left the Presidency is, at best, a magazine article. But Mr Algeo vamps for 236 pages and makes it into hard cover. It is a great story and Harry Truman is an entertaining character. From the POV of 2010 it is inconceivable that an ex-President of the US of A could load his new Chrysler with luggage and head off for Washington DC, Philly and NYC and back again without an entourage of Secret Service and p [...]

    22. A cute and charming account of Harry's road trip to the East after he relinquished the Presidency. I'd read McCullough's epic biography of Truman and enjoyed it but Algeo comes up with a few things I'd forgotten or that weren't mentioned; like the S in Truman's last name stood for really nothing and he didn't write a period after it. Truman also almost joined the KKK at one point. Algeo tried to be as accurate as possible following in Truman's footsteps but many of the buildings have vanished. I [...]

    23. Note: I love Harry Truman, favorite modern presidentHarry Truman is charming and his road trip is of a bygone era. Truman held the office of President in such esteem that he would turn down paid board seats or multi-thousand dollar speeches. He needed the income, his only pension after the White House was $111 from his WWI army service. Instead Bess and Harry hit the road for a speech in Philadelphia, a short stop in DC and New York to visit his daughter. The Secret Service left Harry and Bess T [...]

    24. I read Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: the story of a Great American Road Trip by Matthew Algeo and LOVED it. I HEART HST!!! I really do love all things Harry. Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure was a most excellent book. Harry Truman was the last "real" person to become president; I don't think this could happen again (and even then, he was still a politician - back then an honorable profession). In 1953, Harry and Bess decided to drive by themselves from Independence to New York City (with [...]

    25. Reading this book is kind of like having a conversation with that uncle that knows a lot of stuff but spins it (get sidetracked?) with related, interesting tidbits. I say that to say this is so much more than just a book about a road trip the Truman's took once he was out of the White House. It is filled with anecdotes about the towns they visited, about the roads they took, and the hotels they visited. It is also contains some interesting historical bits such as the lack of pensions or secret s [...]

    26. Boy, Matthew Algeo sure knows how to pad a book out. An epilogue, a postscript and an afterword. We get it. You've done your homework. But do you have to regurgitate absolutely everything? This book was interesting, but mainly for the presidential parts. I fail to see what was so 'excellent' about this 'excellent adventure' that was basically just a nineteen or twenty day road trip. If nothing else, I learned more about Truman's rivalries with other presidents, some who were far better than him [...]

    27. I think i bought this book because i was bored and it was on sale. It's well worth it. The author traces a road trip Harry and Bess Truman took in 1953 shortly after he left office. Harry believed he was a private citizen now and could travel just as he used to. WRONG. There are great little vignettes, like checking in to the Waldorf Astoria where their room was on the floor above Herbert Hoover whom Harry was currently feuding with, and below Douglas McArthur whom he had fired. Besides the Trum [...]

    28. People in Columbus, Ohio are unobservant. Truman escaped the city on trip across Rt. 40 incognito with Bess! Interesting to follow the path in other cities where he was recognized, however. A former president could never take a trip like this today. Even at the time the Secret Service was appalled at the idea.A great read for enthusiasts of things presidential. My Mom and I qualify. I bought it for her for birthday.

    29. This book was so much fun to read. If you're a fan of history and storytelling this book is for you. Not only can I not recommend this book enough, I really think it should be made into a movie. The story is full of charm and warmth. I feel I got to know the Trumans a little bit by reading the book. I feel that Matthew Algeo had fun while researching and writing this book, it comes out in his words. I am very glad I read this book.

    30. The year is 1953. Harry S. Truman turned the office of POTUS over to Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 20 and in June of the same year he and his wife Bess took off in a brand new Chrysler New Yorker on a circuitous trip to Washington, D.C New York City and back to Independence, MO. This is a report on that trip. If you are not that familiar with Harry I suggest you try this one. I think you will find him likeable and I think he was one of our great and underappreciated presidents.

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