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Dwight D. Eisenhower (The American Presidents #34)

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  95 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
An American icon and hero faces a nation-and a world-in transition

A bona-fide American hero at the close of World War II, General Dwight Eisenhower rode an enormous wave of popularity into the Oval Office seven years later. Though we may view the Eisenhower years through a hazy lens of 1950s nostalgia, historians consider his presidency one of the least successful. At home
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by Times Books
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Shawn Thrasher
Aug 21, 2012 Shawn Thrasher rated it liked it
Wicker's makes the statement that Ike was "a great man, but not quite a great president" at the end of the book, but this is pretty much his sentiment throughout. He convincingly makes the argument that while Eisenhower wasn't necessarily blundering his way through the 1950s, he certainly was squandering. A beloved, father figure of a president with much political will and capital, he could have done so much more but did not. Wasted opportunities included peace with Russia, truly fighting McCart ...more
Craig Knott
Mar 17, 2008 Craig Knott rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I got a strange sense while reaing this book that Ike was a failure as a President according to Tom Wicker. After a few short chapters on his career prior to the presidency. Chapter after chapter covered near successes that could be taken as failures and Ike's shortcomings. As I was nearing the end of the book, the hack author, revealed his typical journalistic bias in a blatant Kennedy loving statement. Talking about the bay of pigs Wicker excuses "Kennedy's Bay of Pigs" disaster as Ike's fault ...more
Fred Kohn
This was a hard book to rate. On the one hand, it was probably the best written book in this series that I have read so far. On the other hand, while starting out with a "just the facts" attitude, Wicker later strays into a reporter's habit of editorializing. Throughout, I got the sense that he was trying to take the reputation of a popular president down a notch or two, and wondered if there was an axe to grind here. In researching Wicker's reputation on the internet, it seems that there was pr ...more
Steven Voorhees
Apr 30, 2015 Steven Voorhees rated it really liked it
I've read several installments of THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS series. This volume was particularly impressive, for here one gets a feel for both Ike the leader and for the times in which he governed -- the 1950s. The '50s appear to be a placid decade -- a ten year span of June Cleaver, bobby socks and coonskin caps. But just below the surface, the '50s raged: the birth of the Civil Rights Movement, McCarthyism and the ensuing communist hysteria and serious US involvement in Vietnam all transpired in ...more
Steven Peterson
Aug 11, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it
"I like Ike." A statement that defined the political world of the 1950s. The popular leader of Allied forces in the European Theater during World War II received high approval ratings from the public throughout his presidency. This brief book, a part of The American Presidents series, provides a brief and readable glimpse of Ike's life and his presidency. The author is Tom Wicker, who originally achieved considerable visibility as a columnist with The New York Times.

If you're like me, you might
Gary Schantz
Dec 29, 2012 Gary Schantz rated it liked it
In a nutshell, Eisenhower spent 8 years on a peace-keeping mission which shouldn't be confused with placating enemies for the sake of making everyone happy.

He seemed to have addressed every problem by delegating out duties to others to get problems resolved unless he was forced to get involved. This viewpoint certainly encourages the idea that all he did was play golf, take naps, and visit his farm in Gettysburg.

Considering that WWII had just ended; Korea came and went; Vietnam was a few years a
Alicia Joy
Feb 05, 2015 Alicia Joy rated it really liked it
The style of writing was simple and clear. I could have done without the personal anecdotes in the last chapter. Eisenhower played a significant role in history but may have been able to have greater influence on relations with Russia and between balcks and whites.
Steven Freeman
Feb 02, 2016 Steven Freeman rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Mostly success in the cold war, but missed opportunities at home.
Peter Mayeux
Sep 26, 2013 Peter Mayeux rated it it was amazing
This was a brief, but interesting profile of Eisenhower's time as he approached and left the presidency and the two terms he had in the White House. Tom Wicker is an excellent writer. He provided interesting stories about issues and intrigue that surrounded Eisenhower's time as president. Wicker was critical in places, but the criticism was fair and balanced.

This little book is one in a series of books on American presidents. I have read a few others in the series. This one makes a good addition
Jun 15, 2013 Sky rated it liked it
Good not great. Definitely presented in a 'textbook style' that made it a little dry for an audio book.

The one thing that was a little bit of a surprise was Ike's disdain for the Civil Rights movement. I'd always considered him a moderate on this topic, but this book frames him as completely unenthusiastic about this issue in the immediate aftermath of Brown v. Topeka.
Aug 10, 2012 Jeffrey rated it liked it
Seems as if Ike did nothing great but did not let anything bad happen either. Wicker seems down on Ike as politician but likes him as a natural leader. Only addresses eight years of presidency, and has increased my interest in reading more on Ike to get a second opinion.
Sean Chick
About as fair a book on Ike's presidency as you'll ever read.
Kirk Bower
Aug 01, 2011 Kirk Bower rated it really liked it
Not bad, not great. Some would say good.
Sep 05, 2008 K.C. rated it really liked it
Lively and enjoyable.
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Thomas Grey Wicker’s respected talent as a journalist took him from his origins in Hamlet, North Carolina, to The New York Times. There he served as associate editor, former Washington bureau chief, as well as the author of the famous op-ed column “In the Nation” for thirty years. He was the author of a considerable number of acclaimed fiction and non-fiction books as well. Wicker earned his journ ...more
More about Tom Wicker...

Other Books in the Series

The American Presidents (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • George Washington (The American Presidents, #1)
  • John Adams (The American Presidents, #2)
  • Thomas Jefferson (The American Presidents, #3)
  • James Madison (American Presidents, #4)
  • James Monroe (The American Presidents, #5)
  • John Quincy Adams (The American Presidents, #6)
  • Andrew Jackson (The American Presidents, #7)
  • Martin Van Buren (American Presidents, #8)
  • William Henry Harrison (The American Presidents, #9)
  • John Tyler (The American Presidents, #10)

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