HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Harry and Eddie: The Friendship That Changed the World
Author: Beverly Joan Boulware
Publisher: Harry and Eddie Publishing LLC, 2015
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 9 – 13
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Boulware, Beverly Joan. Harry and Eddie: The Friendship That Changed the World (published in 2015 by Harry and Eddie Publishing LLC, 1000 Pearl Rd., Nashville, TN 37033). Do you know who Eddie Jacobson was? Most people probably don’t. Eddie’s Jewish grandfather emigrated to the United States from Lithuania. His parents moved from New York to Kansas, and Eddie ended up living in the Kansas City, MO, area. But now, let me ask you this. Do you know who Harry S. Truman was? Most people probably do. Harry was born and raised in western Missouri, was a Baptist, and also came to live in the Kansas City area. Eddie and Harry served in the army together and fought side by side in the trenches during the Great War known as World War I, becoming fast friends. Afterwards, they opened up a haberdashery shop in Kansas City. When their business failed due to hard times, Eddie became a traveling salesman for a clothing company and later started up a menswear store in Kansas City.
Harry went on to become a judge, a United States Senator, the Vice-President of the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt, and, upon Roosevelt’s death, the President, but he and Eddie remained friends. Following World War II, many Jewish people of Europe, whose homes and businesses had been destroyed by the Nazis and their collaborators, wanted to establish a homeland in Palestine. To do so, they needed support from the United States. At first, President Truman did not want to help the Jews. Was there any way in which Eddie could use his friendship with Harry to change his mind? Author Beverly Joan Boulware, a literacy specialist who received her Doctorate degree in Reading Education from Ball State University in Muncie, IN, has taught elementary children and middle grades learners, and is presently a Professor of Literacy Education at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in the College of Education, invites children and adults alike to enjoy learning about the lives of Harry Truman and Eddie Jacobson.
Harry and Eddie is copiously illustrated with numerous period photographs. I purchased it from No Greater Joy, the publishing concern founded by homeschoolers Michael and Debi Pearl. The biggest point of contention with which many of us would disagree is the clear implication that the events leading up to the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, including Truman’s involvement, are a fulfillment of some prophecy in Scripture that the Jewish people would one day return to the land of Israel. Let me just say that I personally support the modern nation of Israel simply because it is a free country with a democratically elected government, not because of any supposed Biblical connections. However, aside from this, the historical information in the book is very interesting and describes an important aspect of the twentieth century which is quite helpful in understanding the geo-political events of that time period with effects being felt even today.