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.
J. E. Smith provides an impressively detailed and well researched study of the twentieth century's most underrated President. Drawing from a wealth of historic sources and personal papers, Smith gives a balanced story that does not avoid Eisenhower's weaknesses and failures. But, in the end, the reader will be left with the undeniable impression that this was one of this nation's most effective Presidents precisely because it appeared to the public it was an easy eight years of prosperity and peace. Eisenhower's gift of leading without appearing to lead, and with managing complex issues that seemed to somehow, and without great effort from the White House, solve themselves, was his gift and a mark of the uniqueness of his skilled leadership. Upon finishing this book, you'd be forgiven for putting an old "I Like Ike" poster somewhere in your house.
Smith's care and attention to detail is excellent. Expert storytelling and color in many facets make it time well spent. It is apparent that some bias in political themes is present, but if reader is prepared and careful, these can be set in context and not a stumbling block. Those who do not share Smith's personal or political tastes should not avoid this work but enjoy the great effort and comprehensive scope of the work and give credit for outstanding scholarship. Eisenhower's model of leadership is desperately needed today and Smith allows us to see the power and efficacy of Eisenhower's method.