The Watchdog

How the Truman Committee Battled Corruption and Helped Win World War Two

by Steve Drummond

On Sale: 05/09/2023

The Watchdog

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The Watchdog

How the Truman Committee Battled Corruption and Helped Win World War Two

by Steve Drummond

On Sale: 05/09/2023


About the Book

The story of how a little-known junior senator fought wartime corruption and, in the process, set himself up to become vice president and ultimately President Harry Truman.

Months before Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that the United States was on the verge of entering another world war for which it was dangerously ill-prepared. The urgent times demanded a transformation of the economy, with the government bankrolling the unfathomably expensive task of enlisting millions of citizens while also producing the equipment necessary to successfully fight—all of which opened up opportunities for graft, fraud and corruption.

In The Watchdog, Steve Drummond draws the reader into the fast-paced story of how Harry Truman, still a newcomer to Washington politics, cobbled together a bipartisan team of men and women that took on powerful corporate entities and the Pentagon, placing Truman in the national spotlight and paving his path to the White House.

Drawing on the largely unexamined records of the Truman Committee as well as oral histories, personal letters, newspaper archives and interviews, Steve Drummond—an award-winning senior editor and executive producer at NPR—brings the colorful characters and intrigue of the committee’s work to life. The Watchdog provides readers with a window to a time that was far from perfect but where it was possible to root out corruption and hold those responsible to account. It shows us what can be possible if politicians are governed by the principles of their office rather than self-interest.

Critical Praise

"This is an original and insightful chronicle of an overlooked yet critical stage in the career of Harry Truman. Not only did his path to the White House begin during World War II, his dogged devotion to detail and bipartisan passion saved many battlefield lives along with billions of dollars. Vividly, The Watchdog takes Truman from junior Missouri senator to his stunning ascension as leader of a world still fighting for freedom."—Tom Clavin, New York Times bestselling author of Lightning Down: A World War II Story of Survival
“Steve Drummond has written an engaging, clear-eyed story of an important but overlooked chapter in the life of Harry Truman. The Watchdog will make you long for an era when government could be made to work.”—Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of First: Sandra Day O’Connor
"It takes a thoughtful and agile reporter to see the story that others have overlooked. It takes an astute student of history to understand how the past speaks to the present. Steve Drummond is both. His unlikely tale of the Truman Committee, a shocking example of governmental success, will have readers looking anew at its chairman and namesake: the wonky senator from Missouri, with a distaste for partisanship and publicity, who became our thirty-third president."—Robin Givhan, senior critic at large of The Washington Post and author of The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History

"Drummond shines a light on a dark, forgotten corner of wartime history."Kirkus -

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781335449504
  • ISBN 10: 1335449507
  • Imprint: Hanover Square Press
  • On Sale: 05/09/2023
  • Pages: 448
  • List Price:41.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / Military / World War II
  • BISAC2 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / United States / 20th Century

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