Just finished reading Truman
by David McCullough. It was a little long (just shy of 1k pages), but very interesting. Truman had an improbable life and it makes for a very good story. He also lived through some very interesting times.
I'd highly recommend it. It is also timely, given that Palin has compared herself to Truman. Although the circumstances around her selection as VP are quite similiar to his, as are her small-town political roots, she is also missing a few key things that Truman had going for him:
1) He had spent about a decade in the Senate, and had some people there on his side
2) He had been an artillery officer during WWI, serving with distinction
If she ever ends up being president let's hope she turns out to be half the president he was.
One other intersting thing I noted was the paralells between the current election and the Truman/Dewey campaign of 1948. Dewey was the young, smooth talking favorite who was frequently seen as aloof and elitist. He ended up spending too much time "playing not to lose" and happened to do just that. Truman was the older war veteran and Washington insider, who insisted on taking his message to the people against steep odds. If McCain ends up winning it'll be interesting to see if others make that connection.