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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on October 10, 2016
The popular misconception is that the Eisehnower years were a period of great stability, wealth, prosperity and peace.
Eisenhower's greatness is seen in that this illusion exists- he steered the world through Berlin, Hungary, Suez, Formosa, Cold War, ended the Korean War in a fortnight, avoided World War 3, kept a lid on the military- all while maintaining the facade of a golfing granddad.
Most biographies and assessments now focus on his in editable achievements in Geo-politics and the use (and control) of the military - he walked quietly and carried the biggest stick of all time.
Ike's msassive achievements in civil rights have been overlooked until now- with much Panglossian credit going to Kennedy- the real movers were Eisenhower and later LBJ.

THis book demonstrated how Ike used the office of President to do what could be done, and to do it with whatever power and influence he could bring to beat. He understood his office like no other modern President- and he understood the nature of his Exexutive power. He didn't waste his time trying to achieve noble failure in seas he could not influence.

Rather, by setting a positive example and exercises what power he has ever he could (desegregating WashingtonDC; enforcing school and college desegregation with force, making liberal and progressive appointments to Courts) he paved the way for the later civil rights groundswell.

He showed the way, and new that by starting the journey at the beginning, others would follow- rather than tilting at unattainable windmills that were still a generation or two distant.

Ike will be remembered at the greatest figure of the 20th century- he shaped the world we know today.
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on March 5, 2017
Book arrived as described & in good condition. An excellent civil rights read! Eisenhower used his 101st Airborne to get these young kids to school and let justice begin. Read this book.
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on July 9, 2012
This book takes issue with the traditional view of Eisenhower as one lacking any commitment to the struggle for civil rights. It shows his early achievements in desegregating the army (for which Truman gets all the credit) and explains his actions in Little Rock and elsewhere. A good read for anyone interested in a different point of view. Its suggests that what Ike needs is his own David McCulloch to re-furbish his reputation as DM did for John Adams.
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on October 11, 2016
Remarkably thorough in its documentation and even handed in tone. The parts addressing desegregation of the military and Washington DC were entirely knew to me along with the massive influence that Ike had in his judiciary appointments. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.
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on September 16, 2007
David Nichols' work on Eisenhower's support for the cause of civil rights, as the blurbs on the back cover indicate, advances the historical record. Eisenhower's view was that the best way to advance the cause of civil rights was through action rather than oratory. This approach to government was a consistent theme of Eisenhower's modus operandi as reflected in Fred Grenstein's ground breaking work. While Nichols enhances Eisenhower's civil rights record by calling attention both to his actions and his public and private comments, he also acknowledges Eisenhower could have (should have?) used the bully pulpit of the presidency more in support of the first Brown decision and the civil rights movements. Nichols lays much of the blame for southern resistence to Brown I to the Court's timidity in its enforcement decision, Brown II, and claims that Eisenhower also was disappointed in Brown II.

Eisenhower, whatever his motives and modus operandi, can be faulted for failing to recognize that a bully pulpit was needed in the aftermath of Brown I and that his overly legalistic and above the board approach stroked southern resistence. The repercussions of not using stronger rhetoric during his presidency caused ripples which reverberate today. While Eisenhower may have provided leadership, he failed to use all the tools of the presidency, including the bully pulpit, to provide moral leadership.
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on May 6, 2010
As one who vividly remembers Eisenhower's influence on the Civil Rights Movement, especially Central High at Little Rock when he sent in troops, I find this book to be a fascinating and accurate recounting of what many people have forgotten. Some seem to think that the Civil Rights Movement started with John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. They forget that Eisenhower was not only a great general, but a great President. This book is a must read!
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on November 8, 2014
Even though he spent his first two years pursuing integration independent of the NAACP, Eisenhower has been criticized for his civil rights record for decades. Nichols' great book shows why Eisenhower was as important as any politician in ending the evil of segregation.
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on June 30, 2013
Just loved this book. Saw the author on CSPAN and decided I wanted to know even more than the great information in his talk! Nice job and a terrific read.
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on September 22, 2014
A very nice look at the eight years of the Eisenhower administration. DDE got things done and didn't brag about it, a characteristic our current politicians should have.
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on December 12, 2013
An important book and when added to Unlikely Heros by Jack Bass you have a very dramatic story.A new look at this important time.
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