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)
somewhere in the middle.
yes. I thought it was well written, and had a fairly good pace.
He was smarter than you thought.
The only serious criticism I have is that the author keeps saying that Ike was smart, or did things in a skillful manner, but rarely explains what those things were or how Ike did it. We are told that Ike worked really hard, sometimes driving himself to exhaustion. Just what was he doing in all those long hours?
Smith's research and analysis make this work a cut above other Eisenhower biographies. The basic story is the same but nuance, insight and motivation behind the facts open another dimension on what took place at the time. For example, his analysis of Nixon's "Checkers Speech" makes it like a totally different exchange. It's not just the facts that are interesting but the "why" behind the facts that brings the story to life.
The performance is superb. It's truly a pleasure to hear the foreign terms and individuals' names pronounced correctly. Bravo!
This work truly rates five stars in all categories. It is a masterpiece.
Yes. If you lived during Eisenhower's time, you've probably forgotten most of the story the book tells -- and it is a story well worth remembering. This book permanently puts to rest the old tale that "Eisenhower proved you don't need a President!!!!" Hearing all the things he accomplished (both in WW II and in his later presidency), you see what a marvelous man he was and how much he really accomplished. You appreciate not only the things he did, but also the things he didn't do!! In my opinion,this book is a must read (or listen to).
One of the most engaging biographies I've ever encountered. Smith was fair and thorough in his treatment of Eisenhower. He presented his subject in such an authentic manner that I felt like I could almost reach out and touch the man. Excellent book.
This is a magnificent biography that caps the scholarship of the past two decades of work on Eisenhower and his presidency, placing him firmly and convincingly in the pantheon of the top American chief executives.
Smith manages to dispell some myths about Eisenhower -- such as the false statement that he regretted his appointment of Earl Warren to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at the end of 1953. On the other hand, for a study of such wide scope, some errors and other myths are bound to enter in. Smith writes of the French "surrender" at Dienbienphu, a myth that has been perpetuated over time by American historians and journalists. There was no French surrender at Dienbienphu. The French positions were over run and the fighting ceased. There was no white flag, no surrender. When the French commander radioed to Hanoi that he was being overrun by the enemy, the response was:"Of course you will fight to the end. It is out of the question to run up the white flag after your heroic resistance." A Soviet film crew recreated the battle in the two days after the fall of Dienbienphu and it was widely distributed -- parts even making their way into the PBS Vietnam series. In the filmed version, the French surrender.
Yes, In fact I've listened to it twice already. The book is packed with interesting details about Ike and let's us get to know him as a human with foibles, ambition and great political instincts.
David McCullough's Truman.
Brown vs Board of Eduction
I like Ike.
It was one of the better ones.
Ike. He was a great president who is often over looked.
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