Congress and Harry S. Truman: A Conflicted Legacy

Donald A. Ritchie

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A Democratic President facing a Republican Congress and a divided Democratic Party, Truman stands as a model for other presidents during periods of divided government.  (TLS 7)

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Description

The Truman Legacy Series, Vol. 7

This collection of essays examines President Truman’s somewhat contentious relationships with Congress. Authors evaluate Truman’s successes and defeats and measure him against later presidents of the United States. While the Truman era has been perceived as a stalemate between the executive and legislative branches, and while Congress failed to enact many of Truman’s major domestic proposals, he still scored some notable legislative achievements in foreign and military policy. Truman tapped into experiences from his ten years in the Senate to forge relationships with members of Congress at a difficult time.

A Democratic President facing a Republican Congress and a divided Democratic Party, Truman stands as a model for other presidents during periods of divided government.

Contents

Series Editor's Preface.....Michael J. Devine

Foreword.....Senator George S. McGovern

Introduction
Presidents Working with Congress, from Truman to Obama.....Donald A. Ritchie

Section 1: Congress in the Truman Era
What President Truman Thought of Congress and How He Chose to Deal with It.....Ken Hechler
Congress and Truman: A Clash of Parties and Personalities.....Raymond W. Smock
Triumphs, Tribulations, and Turnip Day Sessions in the 80th Congress: Harry Truman Copes with Divided Government.....Richard S. Conley

Graphic Essay.....Raymond H. Geselbracht

Section 2: Domestic Policy
Harry S. Truman and Congress: Presidential Effectiveness and the Liberal Scorecard.....Alonzo L. Hamby
Truman the Bipartisan? Reassessing the Record.....Robert P. Watson
Truman, Anticommunism, and Congress.....Robert David Johnson

Section 3: Foreign and Military Policy
Winning the Bipartisan Support for a New Approach to the World: Truman, Foreign Policy, and the Eightieth Congress.....Susan M. Hartmann
Truman's National Security Policy: Constitutional Issues.....Louis Fisher
Truman, Congress, and the Military.....Burton I. Kaufman

Contributors

Index

Authors

Donald A. Ritchie is historian of the United States Senate. A former president of the Oral History Association, he also served on the council of the American Historical Association. His books include Press Gallery, Reporting from Washington, Electing FDR, and The U.S. Congress.

Reviews

During the 1948 election campaign, Harry S. Truman's rocky relationship with Congress became a centerpiece of his remarkable victory when he lambasted the Republican-dominated Eightieth Congress as a "Do-Nothing Congress." This volume examines that relationship and sheds light on what is too often treated as merely an event in the 1948 campaign.... This is a fine collection of essays that challenges conventional views of Truman's relationship with Congress, and it does so in nuanced arguments that use a variety of analytical approaches.

Missouri Historical Review

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