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A Candid View into Truman’s Presidency, Inscribed to a Young Admirer (SOLD)
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HARRY S. TRUMAN. Signed Book, Mr. President: The First Publication from the Personal Diaries, Private Letters, Papers, and Revealing Interviews of Harry S. Truman. William Hillman, New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1952. 253 pp., 8¼ x 11¼ in.

Inventory #24846       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Inscribed and signed “Kindest regards to Miss Dawn Knothe, Harry S. Truman,” under photo facing title page in black felt tip pen. Book in fine to very fine condition, with dark green covers and a mixture of text and color photos including some facsimiles of Truman’s correspondence.

With White House envelope fragment addressed to recipient Dawn Knothe. And with Matthew J. Connelly, Secretary to the President, Typed Letter Signed, June 13, 1952, on watermarked White House stationery. Three collateral items addressed or related to Dawn Knothe include a Christmas card from Sweden with envelope bearing dark blue 90 Norge stamp; and New York Central Building No. 143 identification card.


President Truman said to me: ‘I want the people to know the Presidency as I have experienced it and I want them to know me as I am.’ This is the idea and the theme of this book….

This book began when Mr. Truman granted me a series of special interviews during which he discussed the basic policies of his administration against the background of his surprising and reflective knowledge of American and world history…. The President made available to me all his diaries, his private papers and correspondence. With characteristic candor and directness, the President spoke out as no President ever has while in office.

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), Thirty-third President of the United States. A Missouri native, Truman first won elective office in 1922, winning a judge’s seat on the Jackson County Court. After serving several terms, Truman was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1934, and in 1940 gained national attention for his chairmanship of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, which was eventually nicknamed “The Truman Committee.” Truman continued his political rise in 1944, when he was elected Vice-President as FDR’s running mate. After only 82 days in the White House, Truman was thrust into the Presidency when FDR died unexpectedly. His inheritance was a world at war. Germany had surrendered, but Japan refused to give up the war. Truman, in a desperate move to avoid having to invade the Japanese mainland, ordered the deployment of two atomic bombs. They were dropped on August 6 and August 9, 1945. Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945. As President, Truman waged an undeclared war on the Soviet Union, drafting the “Truman Doctrine,” which proclaimed the United States’ willingness to provide aid to countries resisting communism. The Marshall Plan sought to strengthen the European economy in the hopes that this program, too, would prevent the spread of Soviet influence. Elected President for a full term in 1948, he also brought United States troops into the Korean War (1950-1953). In addition to his cold war activities, Truman’s administration expanded the New Deal and promoted Civil Rights initiatives.

Dawn Knothe (b. 1931) was born in New York and graduated from Tottenville High School on Staten Island in 1948. In 1951, she worked for General Aniline & Film Corp. in the New York Central Building. In 1959, she married Kenneth C. Vetterick but they divorced in 1966. She later lived in Toms River, New Jersey, and her father lived with her until his death in 1976.

William Hillman (1895-1962) was born in New York City and graduated from Columbia University in 1917. A journalist and news commentator from 1926, Hillman edited Mr. President in 1952. From 1953 to his death, he served as an assistant to Harry S. Truman in the writing of his memoirs and in other literary and television projects with the former President.


Fine, with isolated areas of weak binding and scattered discoloration facing a few color photos.