Merle Miller Papers

Dates: 1863-1976; Bulk Date Span: 1961-1976

Novelist; writer for Talent Associates television series and interviewer of Harry S. Truman; author of Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (1974)

The papers of Merle Miller at the Harry S. Truman Library are copied from original materials that are part of a larger collection in the custody of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library. This collection mostly documents the writing of Plain Speaking (1974), Miller's best-selling oral biography of Harry S. Truman, which was based partly on interviews he had conducted with Truman in 1961-62. The collection includes seven hours and forty minutes of tape recorded interviews with Truman; a manuscript and manuscript fragments of Plain Speaking; interview transcripts; research notes; related correspondence; printed reviews of the book; and other printed material.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List | Appendix]


Size: About 4 linear feet (approximately 8,000 pages) of textual material, and seven hours and forty minutes of recorded conversation (tapes in the audiovisual collection).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Merle Miller donated his copyright interest in his papers and tape recordings to the government of the United States. Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Other copyright interests are presumed to belong to the creators of documents or their heirs.
Processed by: Raymond H. Geselbracht, Carol Briley, Randy Sowell, Daphne Shelton, Michelle Loveall, and Mary Sue Luff (1993-2001).

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List | Appendix]

1919 (May 17)   Born, Montour, Iowa
1935-40   Student, University of Iowa and London School of Economics
1942-45   Served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an editor of Yank magazine
c. 1945-49   Editor, Time and Harper's magazines
1948   That Winter (first published novel)
1949   The Sure Thing
1961-62   Interviewed Harry S. Truman as writer for television series on Truman, to be produced by David Susskind's company, Talent Associates
1964   Only You, Dick Daring! (with Evan Rhodes)
1974   Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman
1980   Lyndon: An Oral Biography
1986 (June 10)   Died, Danbury, Connecticut

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List | Appendix]


The papers of Merle Miller at the Harry S. Truman Library relate mostly to his book, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (1974). Published shortly after Mr. Truman's death and in the midst of the Watergate scandal, Plain Speaking became a bestseller and contributed to a wave of retrospective public enthusiasm for President Truman as a man of simple integrity and forthright honesty.

Miller was an unlikely protagonist in the enshrinement of Harry S. Truman as an American folk hero. When he first met the former President in 1961, Truman (by Miller's own admission) "..hadn't been anywhere near the top of my list of favorite ex-Presidents." Miller had been hired as writer and "general organizer" for a series of television films on Truman's life and Presidency, which were to be produced by David Susskind's company, Talent Associates. At the time, Miller was forty-two years old, and the author of several well-regarded novels. "The Truman Program" (as it was tentatively called) was one of a number of ill-fated television enterprises on which he worked during this period, in association with Susskind or another producer, Robert Alan Aurthur, who was also involved in this project. (An amusing account of Miller's misadventures in television writing during the early 1960s can be found in Only You, Dick Daring! (1964), a book which he co-authored with Evan Rhodes.)

"The Truman Program" enjoyed the full cooperation of Mr. Truman, who was very interested in presenting the story of his Presidency to young people. The television series was to feature extensive interviews with the former President and others, along with film of the historic events they were describing. In conducting research for the series, Miller spent hours talking with Mr. Truman, usually in the former President's office at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, and usually in the company of Truman's friends and literary associates, David Noyes and William Hillman. About seven hours and forty minutes of these conversations were recorded on audiotape.

When the television networks displayed little interest in a series on Truman's life, Susskind abandoned the project after completing only two films (one on Truman's life and career, and the other on the Korean War). This ended Miller's association with the former President. Subsequently, Screen Gems took over the television project and produced a twenty-six part documentary series, Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman (1964). Still later, relying in part on the tape recordings of his conversations with Truman, Miller prepared an "oral biography" of the ex-President. At various times entitled "The Last Roman," or "Voices," it was ultimately published as Plain Speaking in early 1974. (Advance excerpts from the book were published in late 1973.) It consisted mostly of an extended dialogue between Miller and Truman, filled with the former President's colorful and sometimes profane comments on his life and times, and interspersed with snatches of narrative describing the circumstances surrounding the interviews and comments from other persons whom Miller had interviewed for the television project.

Plain Speaking was a spectacular success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies and spending months on various bestseller lists. This "oral biography" of the nation's thirty-third President brought Miller the wealth and recognition that had eluded him through his long career as a novelist and freelance writer. The book received generally positive reviews, although various critics over the years have questioned the authenticity and accuracy of some of the statements Miller attributed to Truman in Plain Speaking.

With the success of his Truman biography, Miller promptly undertook a second project of a similar nature, and in 1980 published Lyndon: An Oral Biography, a study of President Lyndon B. Johnson that was based on extensive interviews with people who had known Johnson. Miller then began work on an oral biography of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, but died in 1986 before completing it. The portion of the Eisenhower biography that he had finished was published posthumously as Ike the Soldier.

The papers of Merle Miller are organized into five series: a Tape Recordings of Interviews with Harry S. Truman File; a Manuscript File; a Research File; a Correspondence File; and a Review Article File. The Tape Recordings of Interviews with Harry S. Truman File consists of seven hours and forty minutes of recorded conversations between Mr. Truman, Merle Miller, William Hillman, David Noyes, and others who cannot be identified. The tape recordings of these conversations have been transferred to the Truman Library's audiovisual collection, and have been open to researchers since 1993.

The conversations occurred between the summer of 1961 and the winter of 1962. According to Miller's account in the preface of Plain Speaking, "Mr. Truman and I had days, sometimes weeks, of conversations, interviews if you insist, many of them on tape, many not." For those conversations that were taped, the two recording venues that can be identified with some confidence from evidence in the recordings are Mr. Truman's office at the Truman Library and some location in New York City. The conversations suggest that all the participants understood that what they said was being recorded. David Noyes, who speaks in a strong, deep, confident voice, occasionally explicates (sometimes at length) things that Truman has said. William Hillman, who speaks in a softer, gravelly voice, enters the conversation infrequently, usually to clarify some factual detail.

The recordings have a haphazard quality to them, and seem to begin and end without much technical finesse. The sound quality is not very good. Some of the recordings are at three-and-three-quarter inches per second, others at seven-and-one-half inches per second; one recording changes in mid-course from one speed to the other. The eleven individual tapes carry, with one exception, letter designations: A, 2A, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, and K. It is not clear what these letters meant to Miller, other than that they gave identities to the tapes. They do not seem to establish any meaningful order among the tapes. The interview that Miller identifies in Plain Speaking as being his first with Truman, for example, is recorded on the tape marked "H." Because Miller's letter markings do not seem to convey much meaning, the tapes have been given numbers, from one to eleven, and then the designation A and B in instances where one of Miller's tapes has been copied onto two tape reels.

The eleven tapes include a considerable amount of apparently haphazard duplication. About half of tape 1A, for example, is duplicated on tapes 4B and 10B, and the remainder of tape 1A is duplicated on tape 8A. A scheme showing the relationships among individual recordings is attached as an appendix to this finding aid, along with logs of the individual tapes. These tape logs are intended to guide researchers through the recordings and are not intended as complete descriptions. They include counter markings and elapsed time indications for specific topics discussed during the interviews.

The Manuscript File consists of two nearly complete typewritten manuscripts of Plain Speaking (one of them entitled "Voices"), along with manuscript fragments, outlines of programs for the Talent Associates television series, an introduction written by Miller for a book of Truman quotations, the manuscript of an article dealing with Miller's novel, The Sure Thing (1949), and other items.

The Research File comprises approximately two-thirds of the collection. It is organized into three subseries: an Interview Subseries; a Subject Subseries; and a Notecard Subseries. The Interview Subseries consists mostly of transcripts and summaries of interviews conducted with Mr. Truman and others in preparation for the planned television series. Included in this subseries are transcripts of some of Miller's tape recorded interviews with the former President, as well as transcripts and summaries of interviews with a wide variety of persons, ranging from such prominent figures as Dean Acheson and Omar Bradley to Mr. Truman's relatives and friends in Independence. Photographs of some of the persons interviewed are also included. The Subject Subseries consists of research notes, manuscript material, interview transcripts, newspaper clippings, printed material, and other items relating to a variety of topics connected with Truman's life and Presidency. Also included in this subseries are copies of two large charts listing various Truman-related topics, which were apparently used during the writing of Plain Speaking to help Miller organize his notes and subject matter. The Notecard Subseries consists mostly of typed research notes for the book, derived from published sources or from the interviews with Truman.

The Correspondence File includes many letters to Miller from friends and readers expressing their admiration for Plain Speaking and congratulating him on the book's success, along with a few negative letters, and copies of a few of Miller's replies to this mail from the public. The series also includes correspondence regarding public appearances by Miller to promote the book, as well as brochures and other promotional materials prepared for the hardcover and paperback editions of Plain Speaking.

The Review Article File consists mostly of newspaper clippings and other printed material featuring reviews of Plain Speaking; articles about Miller; bestseller lists on which Plain Speaking appeared; reviews of a television adaptation of Plain Speaking which appeared on the Public Broadcasting System in 1976; and German-language reviews of the book's German edition, Offen Gesagt.

More information about Merle Miller and his association with Mr. Truman can be found in the Secretary's Office File and the Television File of Truman's Post-Presidential Papers, and in the Truman Library's Vertical File. The Library's audiovisual collection includes the Decision series of television films which Screen Gems completed after Talent Associates was forced to abandon the project.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List | Appendix ]


Container Nos.   Series
Cross reference sheet for eleven tapes recording about seven hours and five minutes of conversation with Harry S. Truman, and about thirty-five minutes of a presentation that Truman made to a group of military officers. Topics covered include Truman's early life and political career, his accession to the Presidency on April 12, 1945, the campaign of 1948, the Korean War, hysteria in American history, the politician's role, and Truman's views about past Presidents and events in American history. The tape recordings have been transferred to the audiovisual collection of the Truman Library. They are arranged according to a numerical order assigned to them by the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, which has possession of the original tapes.
1-3   MANUSCRIPT FILE, 1961-1975
Two nearly complete typewritten manuscripts of Plain Speaking, manuscript fragments, outlines of television programs, and other items. Arranged in alphabetical order.

RESEARCH FILE: consisting of three subseries as follows:

  • 3-4 INTERVIEW FILE, 1961-73: Transcripts and summaries of interviews, and photographs of persons interviewed for the Truman television project. Arranged in alphabetical order.
  • 5-7 SUBJECT FILE, 1863-1976 (Bulk Date Span, 1961-73): Research notes, manuscript material, interview transcripts, newspaper clippings, printed material, charts, and other items concerning various topics relating to Truman's life and Presidency. Arranged in alphabetical order.
  • NOTECARD FILE, C. 1961-1973: Research notes for Plain Speaking, arranged in three numbered folders.
8-9   CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1955-1976 (Bulk Date Span, 1973-1976)
Correspondence, newspaper clippings, and printed material mostly documenting the public response to Plain Speaking and the efforts of Miller and his publishers to promote the book. Arranged alphabetically in variously identified correspondence folders and a folder of "promotional materials," and thereunder in chronological order.
9-10   REVIEW ARTICLE FILE, 1948-1976 (Bulk Date Span,1973-1976)
Newspaper clippings and printed material mostly containing reviews of Plain Speaking and information about its position on bestseller lists, with other items. Arranged alphabetically in variously identified "Articles" folders, "Best Seller Lists" folders, and a "Books by Merle Miller" folder, and thereunder in chronological order.

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List | Appendix]


TAPE RECORDINGS OF INTERVIEWS WITH HARRY S. TRUMAN FILE, 1961-1962 (See Appendix for descriptive logs of the tape recordings)

Box 1

  • Cross Reference Sheet for Tape Recordings Transferred to the Audiovisual Collection


  • Introduction by Merle Miller to The Quotable Harry S. Truman, and "The Liberal Novelist in the McCarthy Era" by Ruth Prigozy
  • Manuscript Fragments [1 of 3]
  • Manuscript Fragments [2 of 3]
  • Manuscript Fragments [3 of 3]
  • Outlines of Television Programs
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: pgs. 1-40
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: pgs. 42-69
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: pgs. 70-171
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: pgs. 172-289
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: pgs. 290-378

Box 2

  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: pgs. 379-473
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: pgs. 474-563
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: The Bomb and the 1940 Campaign
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: The Cause and Cure of Hysteria
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: The Korean Decision
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: General Marshall and the Marshall Plan
  • Plain Speaking Manuscript: McCarthy Footnote and Pendergast
  • Script Fragments and Confidential Memo
  • Script of Television Program: "Plain Speaking" by Merle Miller, adapted by Carol Sobieski
  • Suggestions and Recommendations
  • Voices [early draft of Plain Speaking] Manuscript: Introduction and pgs. 4-125
  • Voices Manuscript: pgs. 126-289

Box 3

  • Voices Manuscript: pgs. 290-430
  • Voices Manuscript: pgs. 297-378, Chapters 20-23
  • Voices Manuscript: pgs. 509-564, and Footnotes

RESEARCH FILE: Interview File, 1961-1973

  • Acheson, Dean
  • Bradley, Omar
  • Bronson, Mrs.
  • Brown, Robert
  • Burrus, Rufus
  • Chiles Family
  • Donnelly, Eugene
  • Duncan, Richard
  • Evans, Tom
  • Flynn, Mike
  • Gould, Sgt.
  • Graham, Wallace
  • Grandma Moses of Ex-Presidents [description of conversation with Harry S. Truman about his piano-playing]
  • Gross, Ernest
  • Hinde, Edgar [and Edgar Hinde, Jr.]
  • Jacobson, Mrs. Eddie [Bluma]
  • Lembcke, Rev.
  • Meisburger, Eddie
  • Miscellaneous Interviews [with Harry S. Truman and others]
  • Muccio, John

Box 4

  • Murphy, Tom
  • Noland, Ethel
  • Palmer, Mrs. W.L.C.
  • Perry, Dexter
  • Peters, Mize
  • Porter, Bud
  • Richards, Lew
  • Ridge, Judge Al
  • Script Fragments for Susskind Program
  • Spina, Frank
  • Susskind Interview [with Harry S. Truman]
  • Truman, Gen. and Mrs. Ralph
  • Truman Interview Fragments [Harry S. Truman]
  • Truman Interview: Tape 2
  • Truman Interview: Tape 2A
  • Truman Interview: Tape 3
  • Truman Interview: Tape 4 [partial duplicate of Tape 8]
  • Truman Interview: Tape 5
  • Truman: Outline
  • Westwood, Paul [Mike]

RESEARCH FILE: Subject File, 1863-1976 (Bulk Date Span, 1961-1973) Box 5

  • A-Bomb, Merle Miller Memo on
  • Acheson
  • Acting
  • Adams Papers
  • Architecture
  • Arthur, Chester
  • Assassination
  • Autograph Hunters
  • Baruch
  • Battery D
  • Berenson, Bernard
  • Bibliography
  • Birth in Lamar
  • Boyhood-Mary Jane [Truman]
  • Boyhood Sickness
  • Bryan Tape [Truman's recollections of William Jennings Bryan]
  • Castro, Fidel
  • Character
  • Charts [listing various topics for Plain Speaking]
  • Children
  • Chiles Family
  • Churchill
  • Churchill's Address for Peace ["Iron Curtain" speech]
  • Civil Rights
  • Civil War-Missouri-Kansas Border and Order No. 11
  • Clark, Tom
  • Clifford, Clark
  • Clinton's Drug Store
  • Clippings, 1948
  • Connelly, Matt
  • Constitution
  • Conway, Rose
  • Courtesy
  • Courthouse and Jackson Statue
  • Crisp on Sincerity and Counterfeits [Truman comments]
  • Cronies
  • Crowds
  • Decisions
  • Democratic Convention
  • Dewey, Thomas E.
  • Drinking
  • Driving
  • Education
  • Eisenhower
  • Family Closeness
  • Farmers
  • Fields on Truman [Alonzo Fields, White House butler]
  • First Tour of Library-Manuscript
  • Food-HST's Tastes
  • Generals
  • Gentry, Sue
  • German Surrender
  • Grandview
  • Greatness

Box 6

  • Haberdashery
  • Hersey [excerpts from John Hersey's New Yorker profile of the President]
  • Hinde, Edgar
  • History, Good
  • Hitler
  • Hoover, Herbert
  • Hoover, J. Edgar
  • Hope, Bob
  • Hopkins, Harry
  • Hume Letter
  • Humor
  • Independence History
  • Independence and Rejects [mostly material left out of the book]
  • Independence, 219 N. Delaware
  • Intellectuals
  • Introduction-Book Teaser
  • Jackson, Andrew
  • Jacobson, Eddie
  • James, Jesse
  • Johnson, Andrew
  • Johnson, Lyndon
  • Kennedys, Truman on
  • Korea
  • Korea-Leavenworth [filming of television program at Fort Leavenworth, December 15, 1961]
  • Last Roman, The
  • Leadership
  • Letters to Mother and Mary Jane
  • Lewis, Ham-Senate
  • "Life with Grandfather"-McCall's, January, 1967 [article by Margaret Truman Daniel]
  • Lincoln and Johnson, Andrew
  • Lippmann
  • Long, Huey
  • Luce, Clare Boothe
  • Loyalty and Hysteria
  • MacArthur-Truman the Jew ["The Late General MacArthur, Warts and All," by Faubion Bowers, Esquire, January, 1967]
  • Margaret-Look Piece [profile of Margaret Truman Daniel, April 18, 1967]
  • Margaret's Book [Harry S. Truman]
  • Marks, Ted
  • Marshall, George
  • Marshall Plan
  • Masons
  • Maxims
  • Mexico-Visit to Chapultepec Castle
  • Miller's Last Meeting with Truman Before Leaving for Spain
  • Millionaire
  • Miscellaneous
  • "Mr. Speaker"-Congressional Magazines [profile of Sam Rayburn in Atlantic Monthly, October, 1942, and other printed materials]
  • Mormons [RLDS]
  • Music
  • 1948 Campaign
  • Nixon
  • Noland, Ethel
  • Nominating Conventions of 1860
  • Oppenheimer-Look Article ["With Oppenheimer, on an Autumn Day," by Thomas B. Morgan, December 27, 1966]

Box 7

  • Palmer, Mrs. W. L. C.
  • Pendergast, Tom
  • Plutarch
  • Point 4
  • Poker
  • Political Campaign, 1944
  • Politics
  • Politics, Early
  • Post-Presidency
  • Presidents-Good and Bad
  • President's Personal Library
  • Problems of the Presidency [printed materials and portion of the transcript of David Susskind's interview with Mr. Truman]
  • Rayburn, Sam
  • Reading-Pure Truman
  • Rejects [mostly material left out of the book]
  • Religion
  • Roosevelt [Franklin], Comparison With
  • Roosevelt [Franklin], Death of
  • Roosevelt [Franklin], Truman Relationship With
  • Roosevelt, Theodore
  • Ross, Charlie
  • Senate
  • Short Biography
  • Sleep and Sleeping-Truman
  • Society
  • Speeches
  • Stevenson, Adlai
  • Summersby, Kay
  • Susskind on Character
  • Tapes, Miller's Notes From
  • Tiernan on Truman
  • Truman, Bess Wallace
  • Truman Doctrine
  • Truman Library
  • Truman's 83rd Birthday and the Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of His Taking Office
  • Truman's Eyesight
  • Truman's Father
  • Truman's Mother
  • Turnip Day
  • Twain, Mark
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Wake Island
  • Walking
  • Wallace, Madge
  • White House ["Ghosts in the White House," by John Hersey, New Yorker, April 28, 1951]

RESEARCH FILE: Notecard File, c. 1961-1973 Box 8

  • Notecards [1 of 3]
  • Notecards [2 of 3]
  • Notecards [3 of 3]

CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1955-1976 (Bulk Date Span, 1973-1976)

  • Correspondence, Harry S. Truman and Irving Caesar, 1955
  • Correspondence with Merle Miller on Plain Speaking, Etc. [1 of 3]
  • Correspondence with Merle Miller on Plain Speaking, Etc. [2 of 3]
  • Correspondence with Merle Miller on Plain Speaking, Etc. [3 of 3]
  • Plain Speaking Correspondence, 1974 [1 of 5]
  • Plain Speaking Correspondence, 1974 [2 of 5]

Box 9

  • Plain Speaking Correspondence, 1974 [3 of 5]
  • Plain Speaking Correspondence, 1974 [4 of 5]
  • Plain Speaking Correspondence, 1974 [5 of 5]
  • Promotional Materials

REVIEW ARTICLE FILE, 1948-1976 (Bulk Date Span, 1973-1976)

  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [1 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [2 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [3 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [4 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [5 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [6 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [7 of 10]

Box 10

  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [8 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [9 of 10]
  • Articles and Reviews-Plain Speaking [10 of 10]
  • Articles on Merle Miller
  • Articles on Plain Speaking, German [1 of 2]
  • Articles on Plain Speaking, German [2 of 2]
  • Articles on the Plain Speaking PBS Special
  • Best Seller Lists [1 of 5]
  • Best Seller Lists [2 of 5]
  • Best Seller Lists [3 of 5]
  • Best Seller Lists [4 of 5]
  • Best Seller Lists [5 of 5]
  • Books by Merle Miller [list]
[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List | Appendix ]

Conversation Topics

Tape 1, Side A
27 minutes, 14 seconds
7 1/2 inches per second


- the witchcraft hysteria in seventeenth century Massachusetts

- Jefferson accused of being a "Jacobin"


- Anit-Masonic movement in the campaign of 1832


- Know-Nothing movement

- these two movements were the foundation for the Ku Klux Klan

- description of the origin of the Anti-Masonic movement

- the Know-Nothing and Anti-Masonic movements became anti-Catholic, and then became anti-everything -- the Ku Klux Klan, "the orneriest outfit the country every produced"

- Nathan Bedford Forest organized and then tried to disband the Ku Klux Klan
- Reconstruction was in fact "Redestruction"

- Alien and Sedition Laws
    - post World War I hysteria

- not as bad as earlier hysteria

- Joe McCarthy

- "a no-good son-of-a-bitch"
- only Senator in history who was almost unanimously censured
- "I cussed him out every time I got a chance"
- he was afraid of Truman
- a coward

- something in the American character prevents hysteria from carrying on too long
- vast majority of Americans are people of common sense
- some hysteria in agricultural areas during depression of 1930s

- common sense returned and things calmed down


- reasons why people became hysterical



- common sense always returns



- John Birch Society



- the politician's role in a time of hysteria



- he must have guts and do what's right
- he must make government work
- 1948: a time when a politician had to lead the people in the right direction



- if the people see that a politician is trying to do what's right, they will stay with him



- Americans have good common sense



- Truman was not a "made up" person



- 1960 campaign: a public relations quality
- counterfeits never last long
- the people can see through counterfeits
- people can see the truth, they are moral and well brought up
- Eisenhower as synthetic figure

- his office went to his head



- the 1930s



- a period of demagoguery
- the Pearl Harbor attack finally brought the country together
- decent people always take charge eventually



- this is not a special time



- there are always problems in the world



- lessons in history



- one generation does not learn the previous ones until the lessons are brought home with a hammer blow



- youngsters today think they know how to do things better, but they will learn eventually that they are part of a continuum



- the need for international law that can be enforced

    Tape 1, Side B
24 minutes, 55 seconds
7 1/2 inches per second
    - tomorrow's topics

- Korean War

    - interview method; creating a story
- Reconstruction period

- Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War; raiding and destruction


- Order Number 11, moving everyone in the area into "posts"
- Independence was surrounded by Federal troops and the people confined

- Truman's family in the Civil War
- Andrew Johnson tried to prevent a punitive reconstruction -- "Redestruction"

- the Radical Republicans
- carpetbaggers

    - compassion as an important quality in a leader
- when Truman realized he might become President, and how it affected him
- Point Four program

- justification
- possibility of graft, and how Truman responded to it

- examples of Truman's work on the Truman Committee identifying and combating graft and fraud

- investigations
- FDR's view of the Truman Committee


- Stimson asked Truman not to investigate the atomic energy project

    Tape 2, Side A
47 minutes, 47 seconds
7 1/2 inches per second
    - decision to drop the atomic bomb
- letter from Mr. Price to Truman
- Miller's explanation of the purpose of the interview

- to get a sense of what the television programs should be like

- Truman's return to Independence after the presidency
- Truman's school days
- the Independence public library
- reflections on education and on Truman's "destiny"
- the beginning of Truman's interest in American history
    - the blackboard with the history of the country on the back
- wearing glasses and its consequences

- inferiority complex
- the need to fight for things

- bad boys in Independence
- early life in Independence

- Truman's teachers

- Truman's parents

- both parents influenced him
- his father (a fighter)
- his mother


- her feelings when Truman became President
- her trip to Washington

- reflections on "underdogs" in power