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Mandate for Change, 1953-1956 Hardcover – 1963
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Eisenhower, Dwight. Signed Limited First Edition of Mandate for Change 1953 - 1956. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1963. Signed by the five-star general in the United States Army and the 34th President of the United States! Number 282 of 1500 signed and numbered editions made. Hardcover book, specially bound in gray cloth with green spine label and housed in original slipcase. Stated First Edition. Glassine jacket. Very minute wear, looks exceptional! Slipcase looks great. NF condition.
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Both of these books are well organized and skillfully written.
"Waging Peace" begins with the reelection campaign of 1956, and it begins with a bang. Ike did not enjoy the luxury of being able to give his undivided attention to the campaign. In the three weeks leading up to Election Day, the Suez crisis erupted, rioting broke out in Poland and Russian tanks suppressed an independent spirit in Hungary. Suez was particularly trying as it put the U.S. into conflict with its traditional British and French allies. Hungary presented a still debated challenge to America's commitment to the Captive Nations. Any of these would be taxing enough, but in conjunction, they presented perhaps the most difficult combination of peace time events to confront an American president.
As the second term began, Eisenhower engaged in a series of summit meetings, including ones with Nehru of India, Bourgiba of Tunisia and King Saud of Saudi Arabia. The changing of the guard in Great Britain from Anthony Eden to Harold Macmillan necessitated a meeting, even though they had been colleagues going back to World War II.
In 1957 the dispute over integration of Central High School in Little Rock directed attention toward domestic issues. Eisenhower explains the issues of state versus federal jurisdiction and his behind the scenes attempt to influence Gov. Faubus through the intervention of other Southern governors.
When the immediate crisis in Little Rock was resolved, the Middle East erupted again with unrest in Jordan and problems in Syria. The launch of Sputnik sent America into a panic while the President suffered and quickly recovered from a stroke.
In 1958 attention again was directed toward the Middle East when unrest led to American landings in Lebanon. The merger of Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic and the union of the Hashemite monarchies of Jordan and Iraq further stirred a turbulent pot. As the year progressed, the Chicoms taunted the U.S. with shellings of Quemoy and Matsu, raising the issue of what response America would make to an invasion of the islands. Two domestic blows late in the year were the resignation of his aid, Sherman Adams, and the Republican defeat in the congressional elections.
The Communists could not long rest without mounting a challenge to the West. The next would come with a threat to interfere with Western access to West Berlin, as had been done during the Truman administration. Ike's decision to stand firm on this, and other Soviet challenges, was complicated by the illness and ultimate death of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, his main Foreign Policy advisor.
A domestic issue to confront the President was a series of strikes, culminating in the steel strike which threatened to disrupt the whole economy. Eisenhower's efforts to encourage settlement without dictating the terms provide instructive examples of his views on the government's role in the economy. The contrast with the roles of other presidents, such as Grover Cleveland, who sent troops into Pullman City, Theodore Roosevelt, who pioneered presidential intervention into labor disputes, Harry Truman, who seized the steel mills, and John Kennedy, who pressured steel prices, helps place Eisenhower's restrained wisdom in perspective.
Recognizing a president's waning influence over domestic affairs during the last two years of his service, especially with an opposition controlled Congress, Ike devoted energies to building international goodwill with a series of trips to Europe, Asia and Latin America. The extent and conditions of the trips command respect. Their methods present stark contrasts to the highly orchestrated, jet set travels of later presidents.
One issue that was never far from the surface was the push, largely from the British, for a summit meeting of British, French, Soviet and American leaders. Ike always dragged his feet on this until he felt that conditions would be favorable for real progress. He agreed to Khrushchev's visit to the US and to a return visit to the USSR, but the failure of the Paris summit, caused by the downing of a U-2 plane over Russia, brought those hopes for an easing of tension crashing down during the closing days of his administration.
Eisenhower provides the reader with an in depth study of the issues related to the rise of Fidel Castro. He cites, with some chagrin, the adulation given Castro by some more gullible American leaders. The outrageous antics accompanying the visits of Khrushchev and Castro to the United Nations introduce some light moments into an otherwise tense era.
Eisenhower's final, and, perhaps, greatest disappointment, was the defeat of Vice-President Nixon in the 1960 election. Ike admits the reader to his thoughts about Nixon and the roles which he played in the administration.
In the final section, Eisenhower shares his opinons on issues including term limitations, Election Day changes, the line item veto, the need to restore the two party system, the impact of his administration and his view of the future, as it appeared in 1965.
To any reader of "Waging Peace" and "Mandate For Change" it is clear that the Eisenhower years were years of challenge and accomplishment. After so many years it is instructive to reflect on how the world has changed since Ike's time and how he influenced that change. The reader sees Ike as a far sighted leader whose actions still resonate in the world in which we live. The reader may form his own opinions about Eisenhower's efforts, but it would be hard not to complete his books without an enhanced respect for this outstanding American.