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Eisenhower Paperback – January 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation; First Edition edition (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580624316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580624312
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,058,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's no surprise that the biographer of Douglas MacArthur and Ulysses S. Grant clearly conveys the military talents that enabled Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) to ensure the Allies' victory in World War II, but Geoffrey Perret is equally perceptive when dealing with the personality behind the famously genial grin. Perhaps marked by his father's coldness and grim religious zeal (though his mother was a lively, cheerful woman), Eisenhower never expressed his feelings easily, even to his cherished wife, Mamie. His intelligence and scholarly gifts got the poor boy from Kansas into West Point; his administrative and training abilities made him too valuable at home to be employed for active duty in World War I, much to his chagrin. Professional fulfillment and fame as the general who won WWII couldn't change the self-controlled habits of a military lifetime, and Perret depicts Eisenhower as reluctantly drawn into politics by a sense of duty. Covering his presidency, Perret doesn't let him off the hook about such touchy matters as U.S. involvement in the 1954 overthrow of Guatemala's elected government or the biased hearing that lifted physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer's security clearance. But the author obviously likes Ike, and he helps his readers understand why most Americans in the 1940s and '50s did too. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Breaking no new ground in the way of facts or interpretation, Perret (Old Soldiers Never Die; Ulysses S. Grant) nevertheless provides a useful, generally efficient summary of Ike's long and multifaceted lifeAalbeit one devoid of critical judgments and one that is stronger on Ike's military career than on his political career. Evidently an ardent fan of the warrior-president, Perret fails to give adequate scrutiny to such troubling events as Eisenhower's well-known abandonment of his old friend George Marshall during the McCarthy era, or his key role in fostering the plan for the ill-starred Bay of Pigs invasion, put into effect so disastrously by KennedyAwhom he despisedAonce Ike had left office. Perret is strong in portraying all aspects of Eisenhower in his role as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WWII. The author is particularly good at depicting Ike's intense, sometimes tense relationships with British Field Marshall Montgomery and President Roosevelt, as well as with his own wife, Mamie, who tried but failed to get the general to assure their son John safe duty away from combatAsomething neither father nor son thought proper. What the book lacks as a presidential biography, it makes up for as the biography of a great military leader. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It is a fantastic read from start to finish.
Mystikeye
In "Eisenhower" Geoffrey Perret gives an outstanding biography of a very interesting and important historical figure.
James Gallen
The narrative flows poorly and is disjointed in many areas.
James E. Watkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard Graham on November 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This latest biography of Eisenhower adds depth and understanding to this very complex man. His role as supreme commander in the European Theatre and as president is extremely well researched and well written. The character and foibles of the generals around Ike are presented in such a way that the reader feels he is in the same room. An excellent read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the first biography I've read about Eisenhower and I'm not exactly an expert on World War II, so I really cannot comment on the degree to which the author does or does not offer new information. As my first biography on Eisenhower, Perret did an excellent job of elevating the former president's reputation in my own mind. In school, I was taught that, "...the American people believed that all Eisenhower did while president was play golf. They were right." After reading Perret's biography, I can see that this is clearly untrue. Eisenhower played a great role in the early years of the Cold War. Furthermore, unlike some of the men who became president after him, Eisenhower had a good understanding of world events, a vision of the United States' role in the world (esp. relations with the USSR), and went about making that vision a reality. The narrative, for the most part, flowed. However, there were several times in the book when I had to stop, shake my head a little and re-read a paragraph just to make sure I read an odd statement correctly as Perret makes some very odd remarks in this book. For instance, he advances the notion that General Marshall (of Marshall Plan fame) might have been gay; he laments the fact that Dwight and his son John S.D. Eisenhower never shared father-son moments such as urinating together; Eisenhower becomes angry because Russian ICBMs are larger than American ICBMs "like a man becomes upset when comparing his penis to another man's to find that the other man's penis is larger." Statements like this detract from the book rather than illuminate the facts. Overall, the book was very much worth my time, but I'm sure there are better Eisenhower biographies out there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David E. Levine on December 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Based upon sales figures, this effort by Perret is not destined to become a classic as is Ambrose's two volume (later condensed into one) standard biography of Ike. That's too bad because I believe that Perret gives great insights into the human side of Ike, such as his tremendous grief over the death of his first son, and his troubled relationship with his second son, John. Indeed, I recently saw John interviewed on television and John's uncomfortable reactions to being compared to his father, including his striking physical resemblence, show that Perret's observations are well taken. I also was fascinated by Perret's analysis of the Kay Somersby rumors. Perret carefully sifts the evidence and determines that the two were emotionally close but never had sex. Perret points out that if Kay's account is true, they would have been doing it in a common area of a house shared by others. That's highly unlikely. Most importantly, this book backs up recent historians who rate Eisenhower as a better president than did historians of a generation ago. Perret documents a great deal of achievenment in the Eisenhower administration that has previously been overlooked. Ike's seeming detachment was actually calculated and he always was in control and knew exactly what he wanted to do. I recommend this interesting biography.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Sellers on August 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Very well written, it lends itself to being read in a few days. It portrays Ike as a very complex and multifaceted man, much more than I had expected before reading it. I remember, not being able to wait until Ike goes to war in Europe. But actually the African Campaign is the most tedious reading in the book. The most entertaining part of the book, was the political intrigue of the presidency, which I enjoyed immensly. Still, I wish that there had been more about Ike's relationship with Nixon and more explanation of his mysterious final address, in which he spoke of the growing power of the military-industrial complex.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mystikeye on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was actually reading Mr.Korda's fine biography on Ike when a friend came in my shop and handed me Mr.Perrets work.No knock on Mr.Korda's but i found Mr.Perrets biography on Ike far superior,at least for my tastes.It is a fantastic read from start to finish.Eisenhower was indeed a complex man and far wiser that we have been led to believe by our media and so called "historians".If you are looking for a work on Eisenhower i highly reccommend this one by Mr.Perret.He covers Ike from childhood on up and does a wonderful job not only during the war years but examines Ike's Presidency.

Ike Presidency has been attacked by the far left/right for years but for me his was a very underated and underappreciated time in office.For my politics if youre attacked by the loons on the left and right you are doing something good for the country.I think he is one of our finest Presidents we have ever had and i think he had George Washingtons love of whats best for America not whats best for his party.After reading Mr.Perrets fine work here i think you will come to the same conclusion.Highly reccommended by little ol me.
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