AN UNDERESTIMATED AND APPRECIATED PRESIDENT. HARRY S. TRUMAN IN THE OPINIONS OF AMERICAN HISTORIANS
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Vice President Harry S. Truman was appointed President of the United States in April 1945, after the death of officiating President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Objectively speaking, the role performed by Harry S. Truman changed several weeks prior to the end of the war in Europe and the difficult finale of the hostilities in the Pacific; thus, it constituted an enormous challenge for the new White House dweller. At the same time, it produced considerable anxiety among American politicians and their foreign partners. Several years after the war, and just before the end of President Truman's term in office, Winston Churchill, the British wartime Prime Minister, admitted that in 1945 he had underestimated Harry S. Truman. Initially, such opinions were not isolated. W. Churchill was emulated by American historians analysing the course of the second world war, American participation, and the person and accomplishments of Harry S. Truman, examined against this background. In the course of time, and certainly since the 1970s, the judgments formulated by American historiography have become increasingly affirmative. Historians take into consideration not only Truman's personal traits and manner of governing, disclosed already during the first few weeks after assuming the presidential office, but also the circumstances and conditions in which the new President was capable of correctly assessing the opportunities and threats facing the country, as well as of making rapid decisions of crucial significance for the wartime and post-war fate of the United States, its partners and enemies. At the beginning of the twenty first century, such a reevaluation has ultimately led to the inclusion of Harry S. Truman into the group of the 'almost great' presidents.
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