Rachel's Reviews > Ike: An American Hero

Ike by Michael Korda
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Jun 15, 08

bookshelves: military, history
Recommended to Rachel by: Dr. Marshall Gollub
Recommended for: history fans, world events, military history
Read in June, 2008

This was an excellent biography of Eisenhower. I enjoyed all 700 pages, which is saying something -- Korda is an experienced author with a good sense of what makes a story.

While several reviews of this book complain that Korda was too sympathetic to Ike, and not nearly critical enough, I felt that being critical was not the point of the work. He certainly pointed out Ike's mistakes and missteps, but his thesis was that Ike demonstrated courage, military skill, hard work, integrity, and common sense -- a combination rare in a U.S. President. His feeling was that Ike was a hero in every sense of the word, and deserved to be remembered for not only what he accomplished, but who he was.

While I will admit to being one of Ike's admirers (he beat the Nazis! He built NATO! He ended segregation! He built the US highway infrastructure! He got us out of Korea! I could go on...), I would suspect that even Ike's detractors might enjoy the book, and appreciate the additional insights into Ike's goals and mindset. And for those who have absolutely no opinion about a man who died almost 40 years ago, you have an opportunity here to get significant insight into the European part of World War II, and a glimpse of life in the US in the 50's and the beginning of the Cold War. (A small glimpse -- the majority of the book is on Ike's military experience; his presidency takes up less than 100 pages at the end.) I recommend this book, both for its insights into the past and its relevance to the world stage today.
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