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Eisenhower: Soldier and President (The Renowned One-Volume Life) Paperback – October 15, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Robert J. Donovan The best book to date on its subject....Of Eisenhower's high rank on the list of presidents there can he little doubt.
John Keegan A magnificent biography.
James MacGregor Bums Fascinating....An important case study in military and political leader ship.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is Ambrose's condensed, one-volume biography based on his earlier two-volume work, but I didn't feel as though I was missing out on anything.
I gained a better understanding of the realities of war from this book. Eisenhower knew when he launched the D-Day invasion, that thousands of soldiers would die even if the mission was successful. It made me think back to earlier in the book, when a young Eisenhower bemoaned the fact that World War I had ended before the West Point graduate saw any 'action'. Be careful what you wish for. Even in monumental success, there had to be quite a weight on Eisenhower's soul from all the young lives lost under his command.
I had a little trouble warming up to Eisenhower as reluctant politician. He obviously wanted to run for President, he just didn't want to be seen as someone who wanted to run - he insisted on seeming above the fray, passively waiting to be drafted into presidential politics. Similarly, he liked to act like he was above party politics, was coy about his party affiliation for quite a long time, didn't really want to be associated with Republican party politics - he just seemed like he was in the mushy middle to me.
Ambrose provides interesting insight into Eisenhower's relationship with his Vice President, Richard Nixon.Read more ›
However, just to do an Eisenhower biography focusing on the Presidency would be insufficient: as a general, he masterminded Operation Overlord and led the final assault on Germany, in the process defeating German genius Erwin Rommel. The first half or so of the book details his military successes and failures, his relationships with Generals Marshall and MacArthur, and how his remarkable victory came about. However, few deny that Ike was a great military leader. His presidency, on the other hand, is a quite contentious matter to this day, and Ambrose defends his record. He doesn't obfuscate facts, though: Eisenhower declined to take leadership on the single most important issue of his term in office: civil rights. The book makes it very clear that Ike's sympathies were with the southerners in the integration battles, and although his response to the Warren Court's decision to end segregation was far from Jackson's famous one ("John Marshall has made his ruling, now let him enforce it"), he didn't enforce Warren's sweeping proclamation with much vigor. In fact, for several years, he didn't enforce it at all. It took outright defiance for him to act, which he ultimately did.Read more ›
With EISENHOWER: SOLDIER AND PRESIDENT, his earlier biography of the man most responsible for the Allied victory in WWII, we can see his talents beginning to come into bloom.
This volume is an abridgement of a two-parter Ambrose authored, and, as such, is not the book CITIZEN SOLDIERS is. Further, there are those who hold that Eisenhower as President really did nothing (a canard this book helps to dispel), and so would be quite boring as the subject of a book.
In truth, neither is the case. Ambrose forcefully catalogues Eisenhower's accomplishments, both on the battlefield and in the Oval Office. And, in spite of his obvious asffection for Ike, he is not afraid to deal with the General's shortcomings--his temper, his early failing as a commander, his reluctance to help the Civil Rights Movement, and his use of the CIA in covert actions.
Along the way, he paints a marvelous picture of a humane warrior, a man who detested battle beyond even the pacifists of his generation because he'd actually seen what it could do. And he gives a much-needed boost to a presidency that did much more than meets the eye in terms of preserving peace and prosperity in an otherwise dangerous world climate.
EISENHOWER: SOLDIER AND PRESIDENT, then, is a great place to start for both an understanding of the importance of Ike AND an introduction to the writing talent of Ambrose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Buy this book! Agreed that I like Ike, but this book made me aware of so much that I did NOT know. I can't put it down. I keep reading and re-reading. Read morePublished 2 months ago by M. Blanton
Excellent read. Ambrose did a wonderful job in organizing his material and illustrating the career and the life of Eisenhower. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jim R.
Well written and sourced account of Ike's record with good insight into his mentality. Good and bad are treated equally and pretty objectively.Published 4 months ago by Russ Hill