Dear Harry, Love Bess: Bess Truman's Letters to Harry Truman, 19191943
One evening in 1955, Harry Truman came home to find Bess burning her letters to him. “What are you doing? Think of history,” he said. “Oh, I have,” she said and tossed in another stack. Bess Truman thought her business was hers and nobody else’s, so she destroyed her half of the more than 2,600 letters she and Harry exchanged during their courtship and marriage. While making an inventory of the Truman home in the 1980s, archivists discovered 180 letters Bess had missed. Her grandson Clifton Truman Daniel shares them here, along with portions of Harry’s responses, family photographs, and stories. These letters provide new insight into the lives and personalities of Bess and Harry Truman during the formative years of his political life. Despite Bess’s shy and self-effacing manner, her lively correspondence offers a glimpse of a caring and witty woman who shared her concerns about family, politics, and day-to-day activities with her husband.
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