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
“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)
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.
The reader has a great voice, and there was a great mix of personal and historical context that kept me engaged
The events leading to D Day
Vocal tone and inflection were a perfect match to the character he was describing.
When he rejected recommendations by cabinet members and members of Congress to Use nukes in Vitenam
I enjoyed this book immensely. Although it is fairly difficult reading, the performer does a great job. The total story is a honest unfurnished view of Eisenhower's life. There is much to learn from his example his mistakes and his triumph. This is my second time listening to this book. I found it just as enjoyable as I did the first.
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.
Paul Hecht always does a good job with narration...
It's obvioulsly comparable to Smith's FDR...
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.
Extremely revealing esp. to those of us who know only a little of this period of our history.
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.
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.
Say something about yourself!
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.
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.
There is no particular scene that stood out; the entire book stands out in my mind.
The entire book moved me. Dwight Eisenhower is a person I wish I’d known personally.
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