Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip

Dreamscape Media. Nov. 2023. 8:01 hrs. ISBN 9781666649833. $17.99. HIST
A nonfiction book about a 2,500-mile road trip between Independence, MO, and Philadelphia, PA, that took place 70 years ago might not sound particularly exciting. But this road trip was special. The driver was recently retired 69-year-old President Harry S. Truman, who was accompanied by his wife, Bess. The two set out in their Chrysler New Yorker with no fanfare and no Secret Service agents or assistants in sight. They hoped to travel incognito, but this naive desire was dashed from the outset. Algeo (The President Is a Sick Man) details the couple’s remarkable journey, including visits to small towns and big cities, their anniversary (dinner and a Broadway show), and the many people they met and interacted with along the way. Algeo’s meticulous research combines with narrator Lesa Lockford’s engaging and pleasant performance to make the people and places come alive in a unique glimpse of small-town life in 1953.
VERDICT Algeo’s thoroughly engaging account of a former president’s unique summer road trip is chock-full of fascinating details and interesting people. Highly recommended for those interested in Americana and social and political history.
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