In this book a retired U.S. Army colonel and military historian takes a fresh look at Dwight D. Eisenhower’s lasting military legacy, in light of his evolving approach to the concept of unified command. Examining Eisenhower’s career from his West Point years to the passage of the 1958 Defense Reorganization Act, David Jablonsky explores Eisenhower’s efforts to implement a unified command in the U.S. military—a concept that eventually led to the current organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and that, almost three decades after Eisenhower’s presidency, played a major role in defense reorganization under the Goldwater-Nichols Act. In the new century, Eisenhower’s approach continues to animate reform discussion at the highest level of government in terms of the interagency process.
Newly discovered and declassified documents make for a surprising and revealing portrait of the president we thought we knew. America's thirty-fourth president was belittled by his critics as the babysitter-in-chief. This new look reveals how wrong they were. Dwight Eisenhower was bequeathed the atomic bomb and refused to use it. He ground down Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism until both became, as he said, "McCarthyism." He stimulated the economy to lift it from recession, builtan interstate highway system, turned an $8 billion deficit in 1953 into a $500 million surplus in 1960. (Ike was the last President until Bill Clinton to leave his country in the black.) The President Eisenhower of popular imagination is a benign figure, armed with a putter, a winnin g smile, and little else. The Eisenhower of veteran journalist Jim Newton's rendering is shrewd, sentimental, and tempestuous. He mourned the death of his first son and doted on his grandchildren but could, one aide recalled, "peel the varnish off a desk" with his temper. Mocked as shallow and inarticulate, he was in fact a meticulous manager. Admired as a general, he was a champion of peace. In Korea and Vietnam, in Quemoy and Berlin, his generals urged him to wage nuclear war. Time and again he considered the idea and rejected it. And it was Eisenhower who appointed the liberal justices Earl Warren and William Brennan and who then called in the military to enforce desegregation in the schools. Rare interviews, newly discovered records, and fresh insights undergird this gripping and timely narrative. JIM NEWTON is a veteran journalist who began his career as clerk to James Reston at the New York Times. Since then, he has worked as a reporter at the Atlanta Constitution and as a reporter, bureau chief and editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he presently is the editor-at-large and author of a weekly column. He also is an educator and author, whose acclaimed biography of Chief Justice Earl Warren, Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made, was published in 2006.
Stephen E. Ambrose draws upon extensive sources, an unprecedented degree of scholarship, and numerous interviews with Eisenhower himself to offer the fullest, richest, most objective rendering yet of the soldier who became president. He gives us a masterly account of the European war theater and Eisenhower's magnificent leadership as Allied Supreme Commander. Ambrose's recounting of Eisenhower's presidency, the first of the Cold War, brings to life a man and a country struggling with issues as diverse as civil rights, atomic weapons, communism, and a new global role. Along the way, Ambrose follows the 34th President's relations with the people closest to him, most of all Mamie, his son John, and Kay Summersby, as well as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Harry Truman, Nixon, Dulles, Khrushchev, Joe McCarthy, and indeed, all the American and world leaders of his time. This superb interpretation of Eisenhower's life confirms Stephen Ambrose's position as one of our finest historians.
Dwight David Eisenhower proudly claimed that he came from the very heart of America.Yet it could be argued that, despite those provincial beginnings, no other American exerted more influence on world history during the twentieth century. From his humble birth in Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower rose to the supreme command of the Allied armies that helped destroy Adolf Hitler's Nazi war machine and to the presidency of the United States. Douglas Kinnard's profile of this great soldier-statesman describes his rise through the ranks of the peacetime army of the 1920s and 1930s the recognition of his abilities by such leaders as Douglas MacArthur and George C. Marshall, his great crusade in Europe during World War II, and his two terms in the Oval Office. Kinnard's penetrating look at this great military leader and commander in chief serves as an introduction to Eisenhower's life and provides a concise account of the momentous military and political events of the first half of the twentieth century.