MNU news

Author and Alum Phillip White at MNU March 26

Phillip White, celebrated author of his new book, Whistle Stop: How 31,000 Miles of Train Travel, 352 Speeches, and a Little Midwest Gumption Saved the Presidency of Harry Truman, will be at MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) for a book signing and presentation Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m., at Mabee Library.

Alumnus, frequent guest speaker at MNU and contributor to the Huffington Post, Phillip White will discuss how Whistle Stop explores how Harry Truman had to overcome a double split in his party, a Republican “dream ticket” and the Berlin Blockade to win the 1948 election.

White says that his book is different than many others who have written about Truman.

“I did something different by tracking down sons of two gentlemen who were in the [Democratic National Convention] Research Division in 1948,” White said. “These seven young men, one of whom escaped Nazi Germany just in time, holed up in a Washington DC office and dug up talking points on each of the 352 places Truman spoke. The documents were then sent out by air courier, and a runner from Truman's train collected them. Truman read them over and then went out on the back platform to make his next speech. It was this localized, personal approach that helped the President beat Thomas Dewey on Election Day.” 

White will not only be sharing fascinating stories about President Harry Truman, but he will also be sharing his experiences in researching and writing his book. He’ll tell the full story of the Democratic research Division, who dug up talking points on each of the 352 stops Truman made and helped the President connect with audiences across the country.

Philip White graduated from MNU with a BA in English in 2004. Since then he has written two books, Our Supreme Task and Whistle Stop, and been featured on national news networks. He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Canoe & Kayak and

"Whistle Stop tells in masterful fashion the story of the election that the smart money said Harry S. Truman would lose,” said Paul Reid, author of the New York Times bestseller The Last Lion: Winston Churchill, Defender of the Realm.

“An intimate and richly detailed view of one of the most colorful presidential campaign tours in American history.” — Candice Millard, author of the New York Times bestsellers The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic

“…a far more compelling account of just how Harry gave ’em hell—the campaign’s war cry—than the gauzy version that has hardened into legend." — The Wall Street Journal 

“A fascinating page-turner.” —Matthew Algeo, author of Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure


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