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Eisenhower was never above politics, as his admirers claimed; Wicker shows that he was a political creature through and through, as Patton suspected while serving under him in World War II. ("Ike wants to be president so badly you can taste it," Patton said.) He held all the contradictory positions of a politician, too: a dedicated cold warrior and anti-Communist, he famously decried the power of the "military-industrial complex," resisted American involvement in Vietnam while setting the stage for it, and called himself a "liberal Republican" while doing little to attend to pressing domestic issues, especially in the realm of civil rights. He refused to stand up to Joe McCarthy and chose Richard Nixon as his running mate for reasons of political expediency.
Wicker gives Eisenhower middling marks: "The worst did not happen in his time, but neither did the best." His survey may not cheer Ike's fans, but it's balanced, highly readable, and useful for those seeking a window on American political life half a century ago. --Gregory McNamee
Wicker has nothing but contempt for Eisenhower, and his prejudice is plain and wearisome.
I realize that so many glowing books have been written about Eisenhower that some balance is needed, but this is not the series for that to happen.
A more compelling figure might have stood up and directed his country through such difficult times; Eisenhower failed to act.
I read all the Biographies of the Presidents by way of the Presidential series. If you are going to do it, read John Hancock first because he was the first Continental Congress... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Frank Anderson
It is almost unfair to review this biography of President Dwight D. Eisenhower from Tom Wicker because after even just the first few pages it becomes painfully obvious that he is... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Zachary Koenig
I'm very surprised by the 4 and 5 star reviews. This was a decidedly average biography. It condenses and recites the basic outline of Eisenhower's life, though 85% of the book... Read morePublished 21 months ago by I. Kant
For the reader (such as myself) who is more familiar with General Eisenhower than President Eisenhower, one who has perhaps come by the notion that the Eisenhower administration... Read morePublished on June 1, 2011 by Bally Scotsman
I have read several of the books in the American President series and have discovered that generally speaking, the lesser known President's seem to get the best coverage but with... Read morePublished on May 24, 2009 by R. C Sheehy
This is a general outline of Eisenhower's eight-year presidential term. The volume (presumably limited by series format) includes a 140-page text, notes, a bibliography, and... Read morePublished on January 25, 2009 by ct reader
"I like Ike." A statement that defined the political world of the 1950s. The popular leader of Allied forces in the European Theater during World War II received high approval... Read morePublished on May 17, 2008 by Steven A. Peterson
Wicker shows the complexities of our 34th President. Eisenhower was a great wartime commander. He led men into battle and exercised diplomacy in his wartime alliance. Read morePublished on August 30, 2007 by Kevin M Quigg
FIRST OF ALL, I TEACH HISTORY FOR A LIVING, SO I KNEW QUITE A BIT ABOUT THE SUBJECT MATTER BEFORE READING WICKER AND AMBROSE'S BOOKS. Read morePublished on August 9, 2007 by J. Prescott