The American Experience: Season 10, Episode 2

Truman: Part II (6 Oct. 1997)

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Title: Truman: Part II (06 Oct 1997)

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It picks up nicely where the first one left off....
16 October 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the second part of the exceptional and in-depth biography on Harry Truman that aired on PBS's "The American Experience". Part one ended with Truman as President at the end of WWII. Here, it picks up where part one left off and covers topics such as the spread of Russian-backed communism, the fall of the Chinese government, Truman's surprise victory in his re-election campaign and the Korean War. The 'Red Scare' is only mentioned in passing.

It is interesting to point out that almost all of this episode concerns the years 1946-1952. Very little of Truman's life following his presidency is covered and Truman as a man is difficult to see in this show. Part one seemed to capture more of him as a person--here, it's mostly just his presidency post-WWII and little more. As a result, the film feels a bit of a letdown near the end. I wanted to see and hear more about his post-presidency life and his relationship with his odd wife, Bess--who spent little time at the White House and hated the limelight. Still, apart from this, the film is about as perfect as you can get on this man.

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