Eisenhower in War and Peace
Jean Edward Smith
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Christian Science Monitor • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Magisterial.”—The New York Times
In this extraordinary volume, Jean Edward Smith presents a portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower that is as full, rich, and revealing as anything ever written about America’s thirty-fourth president. Here is Eisenhower the young dreamer, charting a course from Abilene, Kansas, to West Point and beyond. Drawing on a wealth of untapped primary sources, Smith provides new insight into Ike’s maddening apprenticeship under Douglas MacArthur. Then the whole panorama of World War II unfolds, with Eisenhower’s superlative generalship forging the Allied path to victory. Smith also gives us an intriguing examination of Ike’s finances, details his wartime affair with Kay Summersby, and reveals the inside story of the 1952 Republican convention that catapulted him to the White House.
Smith’s chronicle of Eisenhower’s presidential years is as compelling as it is comprehensive. Derided by his detractors as a somnambulant caretaker, Eisenhower emerges in Smith’s perceptive retelling as both a canny politician and a skillful, decisive leader. He managed not only to keep the peace, but also to enhance America’s prestige in the Middle East and throughout the world.
Unmatched in insight, Eisenhower in War and Peace at last gives us an Eisenhower for our time—and for the ages.
Praise for Eisenhower in War and Peace
“[A] fine new biography . . . [Eisenhower’s] White House years need a more thorough exploration than many previous biographers have given them. Smith, whose long, distinguished career includes superb one-volume biographies of Grant and Franklin Roosevelt, provides just that.”—The Washington Post
“Highly readable . . . [Smith] shows us that [Eisenhower’s] ascent to the highest levels of the military establishment had much more to do with his easy mastery of politics than with any great strategic or tactical achievements.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Always engrossing . . . Smith portrays a genuinely admirable Eisenhower: smart, congenial, unpretentious, and no ideologue. Despite competing biographies from Ambrose, Perret, and D’Este, this is the best.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“No one has written so heroic a biography [on Eisenhower] as this year’s Eisenhower in War and Peace [by] Jean Edward Smith.”—The National Interest
“Dwight Eisenhower, who was more cunning than he allowed his adversaries to know, understood the advantage of being underestimated. Jean Edward Smith demonstrates precisely how successful this stratagem was. Smith, America’s greatest living biographer, shows why, now more than ever, Americans should like Ike.”—George F. Will
were promoted as well. Roosevelt refused. “The President told General Marshall that he would not promote Eisenhower until there was some damn good reason to do it,” Harry Hopkins recorded. “The President said he was going to make it a rule that promotions should go to people who had done some fighting, and that while Eisenhower had done a good job, he hasn’t knocked the Germans out of Tunisia.”85 For his own part, Marshall was disappointed with Ike’s limp showing before the Combined Chiefs.86
Kempton, “The Underestimation of Dwight D. Eisenhower,” Esquire 109, September 1967. k At the press conference, Eisenhower told the Russian correspondents present that they must expect that American publishers would be harshly critical of the Soviet Union. “They will give you the devil,” said Ike. “All I suggest is that we all keep our sense of values and not be upset by the lies or propaganda of a few crackpots.” The New York Times, August 15, 1945. l On August 11, 1945, Patton complained to
it would be an immediate flop. I went downstairs to get a newspaper. I found the elevator man crying and the doorman was crying, and I knew then that I was wrong.”43 Across the nation there was an outpouring of sympathy for Nixon. More than four million telegrams, letters, and calls flooded in. The New York Times reported the early messages running two hundred to one in Nixon’s favor.44 Dewey said the speech was “superb”; Senator William Knowland expressed his “full confidence” in Nixon; and
all been up here to see you, and when asked by the newspaper men whether they talked any politics with the president, they were able to say no. If I go out of here and say I haven’t talked politics with you, they’ll call me a damned liar.” “Len,” Eisenhower replied, “you go out and say what you think you should say.” That was the way he operated. Ike was a fellow who could delegate. He would give you tremendous leeway. He wanted you to take the initiative. So I went out and said to the press
indispensible guide to his eight years in the White House and are essential for scholars of the period. Later, Ike wrote the commendable At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends, an informal, almost random, look at the events of his life before the presidency. Eisenhower dictated these reminiscences in the evenings at Gettysburg, and his portraits of old associates such as Fox Conner, Douglas MacArthur, and George Patton are frank and uninhibited. Ike at leisure in Gettysburg. (illustration credit