I would not read something else from Smith. He seems content in rehashing conventional wisdom spewed out in high school history classes. The sections on Ike's early life and military career are interesting. However, Smith dwells too much on Eisenhower's affair with his WWII driver, at the expense of more interesting (but I guess less salacious) accounts of Ike's wartime leadership.The sections on his presidential career offer no new information and simply regurgitate the common themes from history text books -- namely, demonizing the Republicans (Smith constantly refers to them as the "Old Guard"), lauding Ike for working with the "good guys" (Democrats), and gushing over Eisenhower's appointment of activist judges. Smith dismisses the communist scare without even a cursory mention of the Rosenbergs or Alger Hiss. I'm not excusing McCarthy, but Smith doesn't accurate describe the real threat at the time. He doesn't even mention the Rosenberg case or why Eisenhower didn't pardon them. Smith's retelling of Ike's television address during Little Rock is just plain inaccurate, and brings into question what else Smith mischaracterized in the book. Smith writes that Eisenhower "spoke directly into the camera" and "only rarely consulted the text in front of him." I watched the video to see for myself. Eisenhower is constantly looking down at his prepared remarks and for the first few minutes is looking away from the camera as if he doesn't know where to look. Smith concludes that this is a "powerful speech, powerfully delivered." The words are inspiring. The delivery was awkward and not at all as Smith had described.I enjoyed Hecht's reading style and tone. I had to speed it up to 1.5, otherwise it sounded too slow.
The River of Doubt
Good tone. Well done.
Watch historical videos to see for myself.
I'm not a WWII expert, so I appreciated the perspective. I also learned a great deal about Eisenhower's background. I could have stopped the book after Eisenhower returns home from the war. Nothing new there.
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