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Eisenhower in War and Peace | [Jean Edward Smith]

Eisenhower in War and Peace

Author of the best-seller FDR, Jean Edward Smith is a master of the presidential biography. Setting his sights on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Smith delivers a rich account of Eisenhower’s life using previously untapped primary sources. From the military service in WWII that launched his career to the shrewd political decisions that kept America out of wars with the Soviet Union and China, Smith reveals a man who never faltered in his dedication to serving America, whether in times of war or peace.
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Publisher's Summary

Author of the best-seller FDR, Jean Edward Smith is a master of the presidential biography. Setting his sights on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Smith delivers a rich account of Eisenhower’s life using previously untapped primary sources. From the military service in WWII that launched his career to the shrewd political decisions that kept America out of wars with the Soviet Union and China, Smith reveals a man who never faltered in his dedication to serving America, whether in times of war or peace.

©2012 Jean Edward Smith (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

“Always engrossing . . . Smith describes a man who commanded the largest coalition army in history without grandiloquent posturing . . . leaving office more popular than any successor. . . . Smith portrays a genuinely admirable Eisenhower: smart, congenial, unpretentious, and no ideologue. Despite competing biographies from Ambrose, Perret, and D’Este, this is the best.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Dwight Eisenhower, who was more cunning than he allowed his adversaries to know, understood the advantage of being underestimated. Jean Edward Smith refutes this durable misunderstanding. Smith, America’s greatest living biographer, demonstrates why, now more than ever, Americans should like Ike.” (George F. Will)

“Jean Smith, indubitably America’s most distinguished biographer, has now produced the classic life of Dwight Eisenhower…Here he comes alive on every page—the beneficiary of the exhausting fresh research this handsomely written book is based upon. When the General died, Mamie, his lifelong wife, allowed that she never fully knew her famous husband. No reader of Smith’s work will render the same complaint.” (Henry F. Graff, Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    jeffrey 05-28-14
    jeffrey 05-28-14 Member Since 2013

    Father of three with no time to actually read, but also a former history teacher and current attorney with a long commute-I love audiobooks.

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    "Overall, very good and even handed..."
    What made the experience of listening to Eisenhower in War and Peace the most enjoyable?

    Paul Hecht always does a good job with narration...


    What other book might you compare Eisenhower in War and Peace to and why?

    It's obvioulsly comparable to Smith's FDR...


    Which character – as performed by Paul Hecht – was your favorite?

    LOL....


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no...


    Any additional comments?

    The author spent about as much time on Ike's war mistress as on his wife...maybe Ike did too...but overall, a good read for Biography/History readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Chapel Hill, NC, United States 02-07-14
    Robert Chapel Hill, NC, United States 02-07-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Fascinating depiction"
    Where does Eisenhower in War and Peace rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Extremely revealing esp. to those of us who know only a little of this period of our history.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Good if somewhat dry bio"
    Any additional comments?

    Comprehensive bio of Ike written in a more or less scholarly way. Ike's life is presented within the context of world events that shaped him and in turn, he shaped. By the end, you'll have a great understanding of an increasingly revered president but I can't say this was a page turner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva 11-03-13
    Eva 11-03-13
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    "A great read!"

    Listened to this with my 94 year old father who served in WWII. This was his first audio book and he really enjoyed it. As an avid reader of history, it was a pleasure to "listen" to a book for the first time. It was an excellent and well written story of Ike's life, with a wonderful narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 10-20-13
    William SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 10-20-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "My favorite biography so far"
    What made the experience of listening to Eisenhower in War and Peace the most enjoyable?

    From this biography, we learn about Dwight Eisenhower the person, soldier and politician. We learn plenty practical ideas for being successful in our own personal and professional lives. Paul Hecht’s presentation is just excellent.


    What other book might you compare Eisenhower in War and Peace to and why?

    Richard Labunski’s James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights is, in my opinion, much like Jean Edward Smith’s Eisenhower biography. Like the Eisenhower biography, we learn about James Madison the person, politician, and statesman. I read this book, so I cannot comment on the narrator presentation.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There is no particular scene that stood out; the entire book stands out in my mind.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The entire book moved me. Dwight Eisenhower is a person I wish I’d known personally.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Poughquag, NY, United States 07-10-13
    David Poughquag, NY, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Disappointing: Breaks no new ground"
    Would you try another book from Jean Edward Smith and/or Paul Hecht?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The River of Doubt


    What about Paul Hecht’s performance did you like?

    Good tone. Well done.


    Did Eisenhower in War and Peace inspire you to do anything?

    Watch historical videos to see for myself.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christine ITHACA, NY, United States 06-24-13
    christine ITHACA, NY, United States 06-24-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Insightful, revealing Biography of President"
    What made the experience of listening to Eisenhower in War and Peace the most enjoyable?

    I was about 10 when Eisenhower was elected president so I had heard about him but I didn't understand what he had actually done. From the biography I have learned that he did some incredibly good things both during war II and as President. I also learned some of his shortcomings and some things I wish he hadn't done (like supporting a coup to oust a democratically elected leader and replace him with the Shah of Iran.) The story is detailed enough to give a good understanding of all the events in his life, but moves quickly so I couldn't stop reading.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Eisenhower in War and Peace?

    Learning about Eisenhower's role in advancing Civil Rights as well as being an person who tried to slow down anti communistic fanatic McCarthy even before Eisenhower was President.


    What about Paul Hecht’s performance did you like?

    I was not crazy about his reading. He often seems to put an H in front of words so Ike came out soundling like "Hike"


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but of course it was too long to do this. But I could hardly wait to get back to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SDit LA County, CA USA 02-28-13
    SDit LA County, CA USA 02-28-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Disappointing"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Recording or voice is recorded too low - sound gets lost if there is any ambient noise.


    Any additional comments?

    Was expecting much better. Should have been divided into multiple books, perhaps including "Eisenhower in War with Kay", as author seems to be obsessed the relationship between Ike and Kay. Should have just addressed it once or twice and moved on. Keeps coming back to the issue, sometimes re-examining the same "evidence" but drawing different conclusion.

    Author expects reader to be forgetful, repeats himself - forget that Ike liked westerns? No worry, I'll tell you multiple times.

    Works too hard to defend almost every action of the Eisenhower, employing inconsistent logic. In a rare criticism, author hangs our modern problems with Iran on Ike's intervention with Iran, yet offers no similar critique of the handling of North Korea.

    Finally, the cartoon ahistorical characterization of the Hoover presidency and dismissal of Coolidge presidency diminish the book's credibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-19-13
    Ed Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-19-13
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    "Outstanding for both the War years and Presidency!"
    What did you love best about Eisenhower in War and Peace?

    The author gives the reader a complete picture at the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her description of the young Eisenhower reads as an easy flowing narrative giving wonderful personal insights into Ike's life.

    The war years are written with attention to detail and gives great insight into the people that surrounded Ike in those years and the importance of these individuals. The author leaves you with the sense that you have actually spent time with this intriguing person.

    The Presidency of Eisenhower is presented in a balanced manner. Flaws and fortitude are brought to the reader and the author allows the reader to make their own decision as to Eisenhower's contributions.

    An outstanding book that I will be listening to more than once!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Eisenhower and his relationship with Kay Summersby is explored in a balanced manner.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Hecht’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Paul Hecht gives an outstanding performance as the narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Hell no. This is a meaty biography best served in smaller portions. Far too much to digest in one sitting. This a book you don't want to end!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Fruitland, ID, United States 01-07-13
    Monica Fruitland, ID, United States 01-07-13
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    "Surprise"
    What made the experience of listening to Eisenhower in War and Peace the most enjoyable?

    Althought not a WW II history buff I do enjoy biographies. Eisenhower in War and Peace was so well written and performed I had a hard time turning it off to interact with the world. If you like war stories and WW II you will definitely enjoy this work. If you just like good writing you will enjoy this book. If you like biography you will enjoy this story. If you just like to be entertained you will enjoy this venue.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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