Jack's Reviews > Eisenhower: The White House Years

Eisenhower by Jim Newton
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's review
Jan 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, history, nonfiction, politics, presidents
Read in December, 2011

Very good. People seem to be looking back more fondly at the Eisenhower presidency because of the frustrations moderates are having with more recent Republican presidents. This books offers a positive take on Ike, particularly focusing on Ike's desire to find balance between the left and right. This balance often worked well, particularly in dealing with foreign policy and the issue of nuclear weapons use, and in dealing with domestic budgetary issues. However, Newton does not shy away from pointing out Ike's massive errors of moderation in discussing race issues, and in allowing for some foreign policy fiascos. All in all, it seems to me that America is better off for having Ike as president for 8 years, particularly when compared to some of his rivals (Taft, McArther, Stevenson, eg). But again, he could have been MUCH better. Too many people, in no small part because of Ike's moderation, never had the opportunity to pursue their dreams in a society of equality. We are definitely lucky when it came to nuclear weapons and strategies considered with their existence in mind: as with JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, human civilization probably owes no small amount of thanks to Ike for keeping calm and carrying on.
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