Truman - Part 5 Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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Part 5 Chapter 17 Summary

Truman was 67 years old and had been President for seven years. He was physically fit and kept to a strict diet and exercise regime. He had the power to run for reelection. The new Constitutional Amendment limiting Presidents to two terms did not apply to him. But his popularity was low - he was at about 30% in the polls. Senator McCarthy's hearings were poisoning the atmosphere in Washington D.C. Also Democratic Senator Estes Kefauver was holding hearings on organized crime, which added to the feeling that something was very wrong.

When McCarthy went after George Marshall, Marshall retired. This was very distressing to Truman. He faced the usual accusations of cronyism. His friends Bill Boyle and Merl Young were investigated for corruption. Truman made an effort to clean things up, firing 113 Internal Revenue Service employees.

Truman was also taking a close hand in the...

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