Miracle of ’48: Harry Truman’s Major Campaign Speeches and Selected Whistle-stopsis the first published collection of the public addresses Harry Truman made as he crisscrossed the United States from New York City to Los Angeles to Independence, Missouri in 1948. Edited by veteran political journalist Steve Neal, and complemented by a foreword from presidential historian Robert V. Remini, this volume captures the infectious spirit and determination of Truman’s message to the American people.
In an era when policy issues were paramount and televised debates were a thing of the future, Truman boldly stated his case directly to the American people, and they responded. “Senator Barkley and I will win this election and make these Republicans like it,” he declared in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “Don’t you forget that. We will do that because they are wrong and we are right.”
From the start of his “non-political” western tour in Crestline, Ohio, through his victory celebration in his hometown of Independence, the plainspoken Truman waged the good fight against all odds, never mixing his words or apologizing for his aggressively honest tactics. In blaming the GOP for a decline in farm prices, he alleged that the 80th Congress had “stuck a pitchfork in the farmer’s backs.” Truman is now regarded as among our greatest presidents and the populist message of his ’48 campaign is still as compelling and relevant today as it was over half a century ago.
“The political history of the United States reveals many unusual developments,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote Truman after the 1948 election, “but certainly at no point does it record a greater accomplishment than yours, that can be traced so clearly to the stark courage and fighting heart of one man.”