Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2004
Contact: Holly Milledge, 816-268-8245, Media Relations
Lisa Sullivan, 816-268-8248


(Independence, Mo.) - The Harry S. Truman Library Institute for National and International Affairs has selected Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations (Westview Press, 2003) by Stephen C. Schlesinger as the winner of the 2004 Harry S. Truman Book Award.

The Harry S. Truman Book Award recognizes the best book published within a two-year period that deals primarily and substantially with some aspect of the history of the United States between April 12, 1945 and January 20, 1953, or with the public career of Harry S. Truman.

Upon notification of the award, Mr. Schlesinger said, "Thank you for this wonderful news. This is really a terrific day for me. I am immensely flattered and honored and grateful for this award. I feel so deeply that President Truman never got his real due for his signal contribution toward making the United Nations possible. Now the American people hopefully know the true story. Thank you again for this great prize."

Mr. Schlesinger's book was selected from a field of twenty-two submitted entries including such important books as Carol Anderson's Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955, (Cambridge University Press, 2003); William Stueck's Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History, (Princeton University Press, 2002); and Michael Gardner's Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks (Southern Illinois University Press, 2002).

Dr. Jeffrey Gall, chair of the Harry S. Truman Book Award subcommittee, explained why Mr. Schlesinger's book was a standout among such a notable field of entries. "In an engaging narrative, Schlesinger tells the story of the San Francisco Conference and the creation of the United Nations in the spring and summer of 1945. Drawing upon public papers, personal memoirs of key participants, and the widespread newspaper coverage the conference received at the time, Schlesinger relates the day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour, struggles to create the U.N. charter. In this first ever full-length study of the San Francisco Conference, Schlesinger provides scholars and students of history a chance to reflect on the origins and original dreams of an organization that is still seeking to find its role in a troubled world."

Dr. Gall is an Associate Professor of History, Truman State University. Other members of the Harry S. Truman Book Award subcommittee are Susan M. Hartmann, Professor of History and Women's Studies, Ohio State University; R. Crosby Kemper, III, Chairman and CEO, UMB Bank, N.A.; Ellen W. Schrecker, Professor of History, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University; and the late Steve Neal, Political Editor, Chicago Sun-Times.

The Harry S. Truman Library Institute for National and International Affairs is a private, not-for-profit organization that supports the Truman Presidential Museum & Library in Independence, Missouri. The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of ten presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

About the Author:

Stephen Schlesinger is Director of the World Policy Institute at the New School University in New York City. The Institute is a foreign policy think-tank which hosts twenty-five Senior Fellows, publishes the quarterly magazine, The World Policy Journal, and sponsors lectures and panel discussions. Mr. Schlesinger received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. In the early 1970s, he edited and published The New Democrat Magazine. Thereafter he spent four years as a staff writer at Time Magazine. For twelve years, he served as speechwriter and foreign policy advisor on Governor Mario Cuomo's staff. In the mid 1990s, he worked at the United Nations at Habitat, the agency dealing with global cities. He is a specialist on the foreign policy of the Clinton and Bush Administrations. He is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation Magazine, and The New York Observer. In 1978, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Missouri. For more information on the Museum and programs, call (816) 833-1225 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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