A. J. Baime The Accidental President

Last updated date: December 6, 2021

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A. J. Baime The Accidental President

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We looked at the top Biography & History Books and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Biography & History Book you should buy.

Update as December 6, 2021:
Checkout The Best Biography & History Books for a detailed review of all the top biography & history books.

Overall Take

World War II fans will also be drawn to this book that details President Harry Truman's first 120 days in office after FDR’s sudden death. Truman’s administration oversaw the fall of Berlin, the first atomic explosion, the end of the Nazis and the victory at Okinawa. There's a lot to learn about in this text.

In our analysis of 14 expert reviews, the A. J. Baime The Accidental President placed 5th when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

A hypnotically fast-paced, masterful reporting of Harry Truman’s first 120 days as president, when he took on Germany, Japan, Stalin, and a secret weapon of unimaginable power—marking the most dramatic rise to greatness in American history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth-term vice president for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR’s sudden death. The first four months of Truman’s administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings in Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation in Europe, the Potsdam Conference, the controversial decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the surrender of imperial Japan, and finally, the end of World War II and the rise of the Cold War. No other president had ever faced so much in such a short period of time. The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during a tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

5,389 user reviews

What experts liked

His baptism-by-fire ascendancy to the presidency is well recorded here. History buffs and admirers of Truman will find this a most interesting and well-researched book.
- Book Reporter
The book is well-written and meticulously researched. Baime is a journalist and the book is written in that style. Baime detailed a chronology as to how Truman transformed into a president and leader of the world. Baime makes history come alive and makes an enjoyable read.
- Good Reads

What experts didn't like

The book is gossipy, readable, uncritical, full of trivia and snapshots of fascinating characters from history, but not as authoritative as I'd hoped.
- Good Reads
A serviceable but unexceptional review of Truman’s life up through the early months of his presidency. Readers unfamiliar with his life and legacy are likely to find this book generally interesting and insightful. But as a meaningful review of Truman’s life or legacy, or as a purposeful study of the possibly historic nature of his early presidency, the book proves disappointing.
- Best Presidential Bios

An Overview On Biography & History Books

Historical non-fiction books tell the stories of past ages with realistic details and facts. Some center around historical events, like the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the Holocaust, while others focus on powerful figures from history, like Martin Luther King, Jr. These books often depict broader views of past societies and reflect on how the events impacted peoples’ lives and brought us to our present reality.

Meanwhile, books of historical fiction transport readers back in time with made-up narratives set in real places and eras of history. Information about the traditions, manners and social norms are accurate and authentic, as are much of the events and people described.

But in the case of historical fiction, the setting, plot, dialogues, characters and conflicts can be a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Thus, these works can bring readers to another time and place, but at the expense of some accuracy.

Historical non-fiction and historical fiction are similar genres, but purists generally prefer non-fiction historical books, including personal accounts (memoirs) that retell exactly how things happened.

When shopping for historical books to buy as gifts, think about what the recipient’s hobbies and interests are. For example, a child who wanted to dress up as Cleopatra for Halloween might be interested in Egyptian history. Someone who is really into making their own clothes might like to read about Coco Chanel, and a biography about Malcolm X might be perfect for a reader who wants to learn more about African American history.

The Biography & History Book Buying Guide

  • Historical books make great holiday gifts for readers of all ages. However, if you are buying for children, make sure the book is suitable for the age and reading level of your young recipient. If it is too complicated or describes upsetting historical events, you might consider finding a different book.
  • World War II history buffs love to read books that detail the entire war, as well as more focused ones about specific battles, key players like Harry Truman and other war heroes.
  • Read the reviews on the back covers of these books. Typically, such reviews are from literary critics or other authors. This is a great source of insight about the texts.