First Advisor

Jesse L. Gilmore

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1948



Physical Description

1 online resource (198 p.)


You can't judge a book by its cover. The cliche may be trite, nonetheless it is applicable to Harry s. Truman. The feisty Missourian wrested greatness from the hands of his challengers who would have denied it to him because of his background. His lack of a college degree seemed to rankle the press, and as far as they were concerned disqualified him as President of the United States.

Based largely on contemporary accounts, this thesis traces the color and drama of Truman's 1948 campaign. In order to appreciate fully the triumph of the President’s victory, it was necessary to follow his career from the time of his unexpected ascendancy to the highest office in the land to his ultimate triumph in 1948. The developments on the international and domestic scene, fraught with danger and anxiety for the American public, provided the backdrop which enabled Truman to prove his resourcefulness and courage.

This thesis does not pretend to solve the mystery of the 1948 election. Rather it has proven to be an exercise in research instead of a revealing analysis of the presidential campaign. No new material has been made available to the public which would help answer the question of why the press was so consistently wrong in its analysis of the outcome. Nor has the press admitted to an unreasonably biased view of Harry Truman. They maligned him unmercifully, still he prevailed. He was indeed the "uncommonest of common men."


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