Harry S. Truman’s Musical Letters

Author: Brandt, Thompson
This book presents for the first time over 100 selected letters with reference to music, written to Harry S. Truman’s wife Bess, later to his daughter Margaret, and finally to a host of 20th century musicians, historical figures, and other important people, including Bob Hope, Eugene List, Joseph Kennedy, Jose Iturbi, Guy Lombardo, et al.. Truman revealed in these letters a passion for music, mature taste and insight, and goodwill. As a single body, they trace the life of Harry Truman from the perspective of music. More intriguing is the tone of several letters from the late 1940s that clearly signals Truman’s volatile letter to music critic Paul Hume. The record shows that Truman corresponded with Hume on several occasions after 1950. Finally, Truman’s Musical Letters presents a full account of the Hume letter, from the time it was sent with a three-cent stamp on it to its current place in American history. The volume includes a selection of the public’s letters to Truman in reaction.


". . . a tightly focused and insightful glimpse into the personality of a major figure in American politics and 20th century world history. . . I was impressed with the many connections created by Harry Truman as musician, politician, and father that were revealed through his official and personal correspondence. . . . Brandt’s manuscript brought me closer to this towering figure than anything else I have read." Dr. Richard Kennell

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Foreword; Preface
1. Introduction
2. Dear Bess, 1911-1918
3. Dear Margaret and Bess, 1932-1945
4. Presidential Letters, 1945-1950
5. Dear Mr. Hume
6. Presidential and Former Presidential Letters, 1953-1972
7. Three Musical Images of Harry Truman
Epilogue; Notes, References, Index