Thursday, September 2, 2021

the last book I ever read (Truman by David McCullough, excerpt twenty-two)

from Truman by David McCullough:

They were all the same, familiar faces around him—Charlie Ross, Matt Connelly, Harry Vaughan, Charlie Murphy, Bill Hassett, George Elsey, William Hopkins—with one addition, the author John Hersey, who was wriing a “profile” of the President for The New Yorker and had been given permission to follow him trhough several working days, routine working days presumably. (It was unprecedented access for a writer, but Hersey had appealed to Truman on the grounds tha what he wrote might be a contribution to history).

Truman paused. The room was still. The shock of what he had said made everyone sit stiff and silent. Everything that had seemed to be going so well in Korea, all the heady prospects since Inchon, the soaring hopes of Wake Island were gone in an instant. As Hersey wrote, everyone present knew at once what the news meant for Truman, who would be answerable, “alone and inescapably,” for whatever happened now in Korea. The decision to go beyond the 38th parallel had been his, just as the decision to risk the Inchon invasion had been his. Only this time the results would be different.

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