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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eisenhower's Toughest Year, March 29, 2011
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This review is from: Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis--Suez and the Brink of War (Kindle Edition)
Eisenhower was often portrayed as someone who was not engaged as president during his eight years of his presidency. Little is known about his tenure as president except during that eventful year of 1955 to 1957 when Ike had to deal with his first major heart attack; his running for president and the two international events of a war in Egypt and the USSR invasion of Hungary. As I read this book I am stunned by the lack of communication between the two main departments: The President and the Secretary of State. Many times communication had to take place over regular telephone lines or face to face since there was no such thing as secure communications in the 1950's. Often times when the president was incapacitated and incommunicado, there was no attempt to bring Nixon into the decision tree, or even inform him of what is going on which made Foster Dulles free to make decisions that may effect the United States dramatically. Fortunately, the USSR was in the same state of communication that we were. Ike was very concerned about the effect of an all out nuclear exchange even prior to the war in Egypt and expressed his concern often in his letters and in his planning processes.

Eisenhower was one tough dude during this period of his life having a major heart attack and a major abdominal surgery to remove part of his intestines and still was able to run for president and work two major regional conflicts at the same time. This book is a good narration of that period of time backed up by copious footnotes. This read gives you a good insight of low tech government and wonder how we survived that period in our history.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 11, 2012 10:27:26 AM PDT
Scott says:
Great review - Read Evan Thomas' "Ike's Bluff" and your answers to this insightful question will be resolved!
I very much enjoyed this book, and the whole chapter dedicated to the heart attack was very enlightening.
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