RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 47182140 LA English T1 Harry Truman and civil rights : moral courage and political risks A1 Gardner, Michael R.,, PB Southern Illinois University Press PP Carbondale YR 2002 SN 0809324253 9780809324255 0809325500 9780809325504 AB Given his background, President Truman was an unlikely champion of civil rights. Where he grew up--the border state of Missouri--segregation was accepted and largely unquestioned. Both his maternal and paternal grandparents had owned slaves, and his beloved mother, victimized by Yankee forces, railed against Abraham Lincoln for the remainder of her ninety-four years. When Truman assumed the presidency on April 12, 1945, Michael R. Gardner points out, Washington, DC, in many ways resembled Cape Town, South Africa, under apartheid rule circa 1985. Truman's background notwithstanding, Gardner shows that it was Harry Truman--not Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or John F. Kennedy--who energized the modern civil rights movement, a movement that basically had stalled since Abraham Lincoln had freed the slaves. Gardner recounts Truman's public and private actions regarding black Americans. He analyzes speeches, private conversations with colleagues, the executive orders that shattered federal segregation policies, and the appointments of like-minded civil rights activists to important positions. Among those appointments was the first black federal judge in the continental United States. Gardner characterizes Truman's evolution from a man who grew up in a racist household into a president willing to put his political career at mortal risk by actively supporting the interests of black Americans.