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)
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.
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.
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