I thoroughly enjoyed this book for many reasons, partly because history is a hobby of mine and I have special interest in WWII and Cold War. BUT during the 2016 election cycle in particular, I think it will make for a very interesting read (at least the last third on Eisenhower's Presidency) for Republicans and Democrats alike, as it gives a needed window into a past where compromise, bipartisanship, and effective governance were easier to come by.
Eisenhower balanced the budget (no small task, post WWII!), was a foreign policy pro during the height of the Cold War, and he is the only President of the 20th Century to preside over 8 consecutive years of uninterrupted peace and prosperity.
These are hallmarks of what Republicans past and present claim they can do, but what sets him apart from today's Republicans (the vast majority anyway), is that He also: (1) was a staunch opposer of McCarthyite fear mongering, (2) he raised the federal minimum wage to over $9/hr (in 2016 dollars), and (3) he was the first president ever to attempt passage of universal healthcare for all Americans, based on healthcare available to military personnel [narrowly defeated, but believe it or not, this was a Republican undertaking first!!!].
He also commissioned the interstate highway system (to date the largest public works project in American history), appointed 5 judges to the Supreme Court (FIVE!!!), and was the first president to de-segregate the federal government and use Federal authority to oppose the States' rights crowd at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement (including using military force to de-segregate a high school in Little Rock, AR). And his work during a long and prominent previous military career is a whole other story... What a fascinating President!
I appreciated also how open and unflinching the author was about presenting his life as it was, both good and bad. EXCELLENT READ for anyone who is interested in modern American history. ABSOLUTE REQUIRED READING for anyone of either political party who has come to believe that crossing the aisle and cooperation in government are no longer possible.
A facinating walk through a man's life , who 's ability to coach community football opened doors to eventually becoming the leader he has been known to be, He was not really an impressive leader, but had an ability to communicate better than his boses who moved him up in rank and kept around for what most leaders would consider career stopping positions. Yet, when he asked for favors, they came through for him, true master in net working.
An absolutely excellent book, start to finish, and one which very substantially upgraded my knowledge and opinion of Eisenhower. What an incredible life he lived! So many people describe the Eisenhower presidency as "nothing happened." How wrong they are!
the war chapters are sparce on tactical details but the presidential review casts questions on poor choices and spares no expense in praise. a good balance. great character study rather then a PhD treatment
This book gives deep insight into one of America's greatest military and political leaders.
The chapters on his presidency should be required reading for all presidential candidates. The chapters on his early military service teach sound lessons our young officers need to learn. I will probably now read all three of his memoirs to expand further on my understanding.
As a military officer I feel there is a lot we can all learn from his example.
I appreciated the chance to learn more about the president is had thought of as being rather bland. he was anything but bland and more intellectual than I realized.
Very good narration, told the story of what seems to be a very under rated president.
The author provides a thorough and balanced view of Eisenhower's life. While detailed, the book is not boring. The author acknowledges weakness and mistakes as well as strength and success. I learned much of the history of WWII and Ike's presidency.