Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower, and a Dangerous World
Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, consecutive presidents of the United States, were midwesterners alike in many ways—except that they also sharply differed. Born within six years of each other (Truman in 1884, Eisenhower in 1890), they came from small towns in the Missouri–Mississippi River Valley—in the midst of cows and wheat, pigs and corn, and grain elevators. Both w...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Knopf
(first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 121)
I was too lazy to read two books on Truman and Eisenhower separately, and I feel that I got the main points. I also got something extra, which was a very balanced view of both of their leadership qualities, and an unbiased look into their rift which lasted from approximately the beginning of the Korean War until the day of JFK’s funeral. The author seemed to like both of his subjects and presents them as fairly similar, but with a few key differences. Truman placed tremendous value in loyalty, s...more
In recent years, I have experienced a resurgence of interest in presidential history. Having read books on Washington, Garfield and FDR, I stumbled across this book which promised an interesting juxtaposition of two very different presidents who were contemporaries of each other, and who presided over the period from the end of WWII to the election of Kennedy. That period represents the time in which I made my appearance on planet earth. By comparing and contrasting Truman and Eisenhower in the...more
This is a book well worth reading; however, it really needs a good edit. I learned so much about the two men and the times in which they lived. They were very different yet had so much in common. They were only six years different in age, and both contributed so much to this country! I hadn't realized that Truman actually led troops in WW I; while Ike, who had recently graduated from West Point, was consigned to duty here in the states training troops. The man who led a platoon then became comma...more
Nothing really new here (and Ambrose's Eisenhower stuff is just radioactively problematic for anyone who relies on it), but I like the central conceit of the structure--the 1952 hand-off of power between two men, both Midwesterners, middle class, bracketed by Harvard-graduate Presidents, each with a flashy rival expected to eclipse them (Dewey and MacArthur), their different experiences of WWI and II, and ultimately how their time in power shaped a substantial and crucial chunk of the American 2...more
This book drove me crazy and it took about five weeks for me to finish it. I swear the chapters were edited by different people, some were well written while others were very redundant and took 20 pages to repeat what could have been said in two pages. There was lots of good historical information but at times the author felt it necessary to interpret the info and make judgements. I would prefer to be given the facts and come to my own conclusions.
In this book, the author tries painheardetly to draw parrallels between the lives and careers of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower---as they were the two most powerful men of the Free World during the late 40s and 50s. Although the two leaders worked side by side in bringing WWII to an end, they parted ways politically (and did not reconcile until JFK's funeral). Not sure if Miller accomplishred what he set out to do!
My advice: Open it in the middle and get straight to the chapters on World War II, Korea, and their presidencies. The earlier biographical stuff has is supposed to be focused on the odd synchronous connections and similarities between the two men, and it doesn't really show anything new or interesting.
Sep 17, 2012 Carolyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Joint biography, well done. The author is quite opinionated at times, but he makes clear where he is injecting his own judgments. It took me a long time to read this one, with lots of mysteries and other books between starting and finishing. It's interesting, but not especially gripping. You have to be a history buff to enjoy it.
William Lee Miller is Scholar in Ethics and Institutions at the Miller Center. From 1992 until his retirement in 1999, Mr. Miller was Thomas C. Sorensen Professor of Political and Social Thought and Director of the Program in Political and Social Thought at the University of Virginia. He was professor of religious studies from 1982 to 1999, and chaired the Department of Rhetoric and Communication...moreMore about William Lee Miller...