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3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  6,129 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Dwight Eisenhower was not exactly born into poverty, but the family's circumstances were at least austere. He was one of seven children; his father, a railway worker. But the family was strong and unified, the youngsters energetic and ambitious.

Ike made it to West Point, where he excelled in sports. He was a natural leader. But it was at Leavenworth years later, as a stude

Published August 4th 2003 by Pocket Books (first published 1990)
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Pete daPixie
Mar 14, 2012 Pete daPixie rated it it was amazing
Stephen E. Ambrose's 'Eisenhower-Soldier and President' is just an out and out five star biography.
The authors treatment of his subject is so well balanced, informative and well written. Published back in 1990, it's just a shame that it has taken me so long to find this six hundred page gem.
American politics of the 1950's was something I knew little about prior to this read, but I just thoroughly enjoyed Ambrose's guided tour through Ike's two term presidency. The decade of the 1950's may be the
Carol Storm
Jun 18, 2015 Carol Storm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book but I wish there'd been more on Ike and Kay Summersby!

I haven't actually finished this book yet, but wonderful amazing Goodreads (my favorite site) won't let me change the status back to "currently reading" just because I hit the wrong button one time.

Anyway, this is a great book in some ways. It's certainly detailed and Ambrose tries to be fair to Eisenhower even when he's letting Patton slap crippled soldiers around or playing around behind Mamie's back.

I do wish there had been mo
Ken Garrett
Jan 04, 2013 Ken Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very readable, enjoyable biography, yes. But more, this book is a profound, fascinating, challenging study of character and leadership. Both the amazing strengths and the appalling weaknesses in leadership that characterized Ike are honestly presented here to the reader. For any who function in a leadership role, this is a work that may be best read with a pen or pencil in hand to note its many valuable leadership lessons.
Mar 08, 2017 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Six years after completing his two-volume biography of Dwight Eisenhower, Stephen Ambrose authored an abridgement of the series: “Eisenhower: Soldier and President (The Renowned One-Volume Life).” Ambrose was an author and historian whose legacy has been seriously tainted by numerous and often convincing allegations of plagiarism and exaggeration. Ambrose died in 2002 at the age of sixty-six.

Published in 1990, this biography quickly became the “standard” o
Ben Sweezy
Sep 28, 2012 Ben Sweezy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: government
I will admit, this has been hard to review. On the one hand, as you're reading it, this feels like a real blow-by-blow retelling of thirty years of history (if not more). On the other hand, if you want to get a sense of the government institutions, practices, and methods that came out of the Eisenhower administration, this is wholly lacking.

I get it. Stephen Ambrose and I may have a very different sense of "what's important" in history. He focuses on the man. The struggles, the family, the perso
Apr 17, 2011 Marsha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting and informative. I learned about the man who was President the era before my birth.

Dwight Eisenhower (“Ike”) was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas. His family moved to Abilene, Kansas in 1891, when a relative found his father a mechanic position at the Belle County Creamery. His parents ultimately had six boys and Dwight was the third oldest. His family was generally poor. Religion was important to his father, as he believed in hard work, and the strong sense o
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 29, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Stephen Ambrose is a favorite writer of mine--one of the most readable and insightful of the contemporary historians I've read. He's written extensively on World War II at all levels from the generals to the ordinary soldier serving on the battlefront, as well as writing a respected biography of Richard Nixon. I can't think of anyone more qualified to tackle questions of political and military leadership, this particular era, and Eisenhower as "soldier and president."

I didn't always agree with A
This is a compilation of the two volume biography that Ambrose had earlier released. It’s a slightly condensed version, but it certainly isn’t lacking. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s history is fascinating and for good reason. He was the commander in chief for the allied forces during World War II, and the first third of the book tells the story of his rise, the decisions that propelled the allies to victory and his relationships during the war – personal and professional.

Following the war, he was a sta
Muhammad Flanagan
One is fortunate if one has the two separate volumes of DWIGHT EISENHOWER ' s biography , as originally written by the late STEPHEN AMBROSE . [ Short of finding the original two volumes via a used bookseller , I don ' t think one can expect to get any but the condensed one - volume book . ]

Titled , respectively , ' EISENHOWER : SOLDIER , GENERAL OF THE ARMY , PRESIDENT - ELECT ' and ' EISENHOWER THE PRESIDENT ' , the two separate books are more fitting a personage as consequential , as great and
Mark C. Kelly
Nov 27, 2013 Mark C. Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-done
Eisenhower believed the traits of leadership can be taught. If he is right, then this book is a textbook to be studied for generations to come. Whether or not you agree with his policies, his actions while a general and president often brought exactly the results "Ike" desired.
The peace and prosperity of his presidential term is often taken for granted, but it was the product of a lot of great decision-making. By seeking the middle of the road politically, he kept the peace in Washington, D.C.,
Jan 11, 2009 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs, bio buffs, Cold War buffs
Recommended to April by: Doug Andrew
i'm about halfway through this, and I'm loving it. Stephen Ambrose may well convince me that the best way to learn history is through one person's (Eisenhower) or one group's (Easy Company in Band of Brothers) story. Read either of these book, and I'll be he'll convince you too.

One thing I learned - surprisingly (to me in any event), Eisenhower was a major peace-nik. Nothing like seeing war first hand to convince you how horrible it is I guess.
Dennis Meier
Insightful. I had always assumed that the supreme commander of the allied forces had fought during WWI, so it was a surprise to learn otherwise.

My greatest disappointment was to learn that he was an overt racist. Even though overt racisms was the norm for his generation--my parent's generation--it was disheartening to hear about it. (Today, racism is nicely covert--real, but better hidden.)
Dec 25, 2014 Loren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very solid book. Certainly made me look at Eisenhower, the President very differently.

In retrospect, I would consider this an essential read for anyone who wants to better understand the beginning of the second half of the American 20th century and our first time on the stage as the accepted "leader of the free world."
Feb 02, 2009 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great editorial on the European theater. But, Ambrose is heavily biased toward Eisenhower. It is almost as if he can do no wrong in Ambrose's eyes.
Much like the Tom Hanks movie 'saving private Ryan' but much more graphic.
Dan Zoeller
Jun 16, 2017 Dan Zoeller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fair and balanced, Ambrose's writing resonates with lessons for today and fascinating moments of historic significance.
Benjamin Thomas
Every time I take a trip somewhere, I always buy a book to add to my library. As often as possible I try to get a book about the area I am visiting. About a year ago I took a trip to Washington DC for about the 12th time but since I've seen just about every tourist attraction there is to see there, I decided I would finally visit that which I had been putting off all this time...the Pentagon. I had never been all that excited about the Pentagon; when you get right down to it it's just one of the ...more
Sep 25, 2016 Leonard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military, history
A typical Ambrose work, carefully researched with great pictures and notes. I felt eisenhower was only a one item president, the interstate highway system, but forgot many of the crisis that he presided over and his problems with the Vietnam problem that hinged on several other problems around the world. What a complicated mess!!!! It shows that in world politics, if you pass over a current problem, it will come back later on an even bigger problem. I was very pleasantly surprised at this book, ...more
Jeremy Perron
Oct 22, 2014 Jeremy Perron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Ambrose has written a few books of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This book is a condensed one-volume biography on the nation's thirty-fourth president. As the book's title suggests there are two main focuses in the work, Eisenhower the solider and Eisenhower the President.

The early part of his life is glossed over. The important moments are there, the time he almost lost his leg as a kid, his rebellious West Point years, courtship and marriage, his disappointment with his lack of invol
Pierre Lauzon
The author leads the book with the question: Was Eisenhower a great man? The book does a good job of illuminating Eisenhower as a great man, but a great man who made mistakes.

The first half of the book is Eisenhower as soldier and General. It speaks to his early career as a staff officer, most notably to MacArthur in the Philippines. It continues with his support of General Marshall and into World War II. The book discusses the invasion of North Africa, of Italy, the decision not to invade Sardi
Jason Phillips
Feb 09, 2013 Jason Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the first biography I read on Eisenhower, and being an Ambrose fan I knew he worked with Ike on editing his memoirs back in the 60's. What better historian to tell the tale of Ike's life than the one who spent countless hours with the man himself?

The real value of this book is on the study of the man himself, and less about the facts, figures, and personalities Ike experienced in a truly remarkable life. Events and people are examined only in light of Ike's relationship to them. Wh
Ryan Curell
Jul 15, 2009 Ryan Curell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eisenhower's presidency is one of the last large pieces in my overall understanding of the Cold War; this book provides a fair assessment of not only Eisenhower the man but his stamp on American foreign policy of the 1960s and 1970s.

This is an abridged work; unsurprisingly, there are parts that are light on detail where I wished for more. (I'm thinking in particular Eisenhower's role in World War II: There's some much-needed detail and context; there's definitely some missing links in the events
Don Stanton
Jan 11, 2011 Don Stanton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambrose does a nice job here. The difficulty in writing such a book is that his subject has been a fixture in our collective lives until recently. Ambrose does a magnificent job in the description and in such exceptional detail.

Ambrose captured the very essence of “The Supreme Commander,” from Ike’s modest beginnings to the man on which the free world held its hope, on his shoulders.

I been to France and visited many of the battle sites. I often wept for the lost of good men on both sides, yet se
Sep 30, 2016 Stacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-bio
Stephen Ambrose's biography of Eisenhower is jam packed with information on the late president's war years and time in the White House.

I didn't know much about Eisenhower and wanted to plug that hole in my knowledge. This book helped with that, but it would have helped more if I hadn't found it easy to put down. It took me months to read, because I could always find another book that looked more interesting. Mr. Ambrose's writing style and the enormous amount of detail in this one book are prob
Andrew Scholes
Feb 09, 2017 Andrew Scholes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good biography. It shows some of Eisenhower's faults and struggles he had.
Feb 19, 2009 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I write very few reviews, it can be said that I truly enjoyed this book. It was a fascinating look at not just the man, whom I knew very little about, but about his time. That time laid the ground work for everything we have to cope with today from foreign policy, to defense spending to the battle of Social Security. WWII and the era after redefined what America was and what it was going to be.

The fascinating part about Eisenhower was the fact that he walked the line. Usually, he was right do
Mark Kasten
May 05, 2013 Mark Kasten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As easy reading as one will find any biography, Ambrose does a great job at giving one an inside look at Eisenhower's making and the world he helped shape. Ambrose does a solid job at both distinctly pointing out Ike's highs and lows and the short and long term consequences of the plethora of very real, far-reaching decisions he made. He's forever the great General of the last great war so it's far more interesting to look at how a man resigned to being a mid-level Army lifer had a meteoric rise ...more
Mar 30, 2009 Billcorcoran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being both a political and historical junkie, it goes without saying that I enjoyed this book. I had decided last summer to read the biographies of every president from FDR to the current president over the course of the next couple of years. With the biographies of FDR and Truman I was able to get insight into the presidential decision making process during WW II, but with Eisenhower I got to see the view point of the top general during WW II which made for an interesting change of perspective. ...more
Nov 19, 2010 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is more of a 4 start rating, but it is just so much better then some of the other stuff out there. It was excellent and very thorough on a lot of details of the man. The interesting part was that a little bit after him leaving office people regarded him as a poor president, but as time went by they viewed him as one of the best. He along with Washington and US Grant were the only presidents to be both Commander of the Army and Presidents.

I recommend to the those who like WWII.

One thing that I
Mar 28, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all Presidents, he had his strengths and weaknesses but he presided over the most peaceful 8 years in the 20th century. He was also prophetic: "The congjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence - economic, political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influenc ...more
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Stephen Edward Ambrose was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He received his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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