Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale
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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.
 
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

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

Review

“Magisterial.”— The New York Times
 
“[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

About the Author

Jean Edward Smith is the author of the highly acclaimed FDR, winner of the 2008 Francis Parkman Prize; Grant, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist; John Marshall: Definer of a Nation; and Lucius D. Clay: An American Life. A member of the faculty at the University of Toronto for thirty-five years, and at Marshall University for twelve, he is currently a senior scholar in the history department at Columbia.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE

Just Folks

I''m just folks. I come from the people,

the ordinary people.

-dwight d. eisenhower

dwight d. eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas, on October 14, 1890.1 He was the third of seven sons born to David and Ida Eisenhower, and the only one born in Texas. The Eisenhowers lived in Denison from October 1888 to March 1892, and it was the economic low point of their married life. David worked for ten dollars a week as an engine wiper for the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas (Katy) Railroad, and the family lived in a soot-encrusted shanty near the tracks.

David''s bout with poverty was self-inflicted. His Eisenhower ancestors had been prosperous farmers, first in the Odenwald region of Germany, south of Frankfurt, then in Pennsylvania, then Kansas. The first Eisenhower to arrive in America was Hans Nicholas, who landed in Philadelphia in 1741, part of the wave of Protestant emigration from Europe to the Quaker colony of Pennsylvania. The family flourished amid the fertile soil of the Susquehanna Valley. Originally Lutheran, they married into the River Brethren, a doctrinaire offshoot of the Mennonites, embraced the faith, and quickly emerged as leaders of the flock.1 Jacob, David''s father (and Ike''s grandfather), became the preacher and a patriarch of the sect, attracting large audiences to his sermons, which he delivered in German-

the plattdeutsch vernacular that was still spoken in most households.

In 1878, the River Brethren sold their holdings along the Susquehanna and moved to Kansas, lured by the promise of cheap land, deep soil, and the opportunity to plant their community in the virgin countryside. They took the train from Harrisburg, filling fifteen freight cars with their farm equipment and belongings, including a dozen heavy-duty eight-horse wagons new to the prairie. They also brought a half-million dollars in cash (roughly $9 million in current dollars), the product of a thrifty lifestyle and successful land sales in a rising eastern market.2 That combination of thrift and capital, of diligence and experience, plus a generous helping of communal support, ensured success where others failed. As an early Kansas history put it, the River Brethren were "one of the most complete and perfectly organized [colonies] that ever entered a new country."3

The colony settled in Dickinson County along the fertile banks of Smoky Hill River, smack in the middle of Kansas and twenty miles west of the geographic center of the United States, an area that would become one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world.4 Jacob purchased a quarter section (160 acres) of prime farmland and erected a large house that also served as a Sunday meeting place for the brethren. He built a huge barn reminiscent of the Dutch barns in Pennsylvania, added to his dairy herd, and constructed a wooden windmill.

The River Brethren thrived in their new setting. Jacob acquired more land, helped found a successful local creamery, and established a bank in the nearby village of Hope. When his children married, he provided each with a quarter section of tillable land as a homestead and two thousand dollars in cash, more than enough to get started if they wished to follow in his footsteps.

David Eisenhower was fifteen when his parents moved to Kansas. Unlike his siblings he had no interest in farming and secured his father''s permission to study engineering and mechanics at Lane College, a fledgling educational institution founded by the United Brethren in Christ in nearby Lecompton. With a faculty of ten part-time instructors and two hundred students, the school had a modest curriculum emphasizing religious studies and vocational training with a smattering of the liberal arts. David enrolled in September 1883, at the age of twenty, and the following year met a captivating young woman from Virginia, Ida Stover, who had entered Lane to study music.

Ida''s background was similar to David''s. Her ancestors had emigrated from Swabia (near Stuttgart) a decade before the Eisenhowers, settled initially in Pennsylvania, then in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Among the first Germans to reach the Shenandoah, they prospered tilling the soil and soon accumulated substantial land holdings. Ida was born at Mount Sidney in 1862, one of eleven children, and was baptized in the Lutheran faith. Her parents died when she was young, and she was raised by her maternal grandparents. Blessed with boundless confidence, she left home to attend high school in Staunton, and then taught for two years in a one-room schoolhouse near Mount Sidney. When she turned twenty-one, Ida came into an inheritance of a thousand dollars left by her father. Several of her brothers had already moved to Kansas, and she used part of the money to join them. In June 1883, she settled in Lecompton with her brother William, a successful local minister. That autumn she entered Lane.5

Ida and David made an attractive couple, but in many ways they could not have been more different. She was optimistic, perky, and, in the words of one biographer, "as bright as the Kansas sunshine."6 He was solemn, introverted, and stubborn-as humorless and self-absorbed as Ida was vivacious and outgoing. They were married on September 23, 1885, David''s twenty-second birthday, and Ida spent the last of her inheritance, some $600 (roughly $10,000 today), on a new ebony piano built by Hallett and Cumston in Boston, a possession she treasured for the rest of her life.

Neither David nor Ida completed their studies at Lane. With his father''s support, David opened a general store in Hope, using the proceeds from his wedding present as capital.7 The village of Hope, located twenty-eight miles southeast of Abilene, was the commercial center for the River Brethren. The main line of the Topeka, Salina, and Western Railroad had just reached the settlement, and the opportunity for growth appeared assured. Because David had no business experience, he formed a partnership with Milton Good, a young man roughly the same age who was a clothing salesman in Abilene and who was familiar with the retail trade. There were two apartments above the store. David and Ida lived in one, and the Goods in the other.

According to Eisenhower legend, Milton Good was a scoundrel who absconded with the firm''s cash, leaving David helpless to pay the store''s bills. The business failed, and David was forced to travel to Denison to find work. That is the account David and Ida told, and which the Eisenhower sons dutifully passed on.8

That is not what happened. Milton Good did not abscond with the money, and the store did not fail. It had been a rocky partnership from the beginning-the partners were temperamentally mismatched, and David was far from easy to work with. After eighteen months they dissolved the partnership and David bought out Good. He borrowed $3,500 from his father, pledged the store''s inventory as collateral, and used the money to purchase Good''s share of the business. Three days later Jacob Eisenhower canceled the mortgage, in effect converting the loan into a gift.9

Milton Good''s place in the store was taken by David''s younger brother, Abraham Lincoln Eisenhower, and the firm was rechristened Eisenhower Brothers. Abraham was a River Brethren preacher and practicing veterinarian, and was as genial as David was somber. With Abraham''s spark the business continued, although David grew increasingly dissatisfied. He lost interest in the store and walked away from it in October 1888. The business was renamed A. L. Eisenhower & Company, and David drifted off to Denison, leaving Ida, who was six months pregnant, and their two-year-old son, Arthur, in Abraham''s care.10

David''s decision to quit the store and abandon his pregnant wife is incomprehensible. He had no job lined up or profession on which to fall back, and he disdained the farm life at which the Eisenhowers excelled. In fact, the decision is so inexplicable that David could never own up to it, and neither parent ever revealed the truth to their children. Out of pity for David, those who knew the truth-the Eisenhower family and others-also kept the secret to themselves, complicit, as it were, in a myth that had no substance. As a result, Ike and his brothers died believing the family''s straitened circumstances were due to Milton Good''s treachery rather than their father''s instability.11

Ida remained in Hope with Abraham until her second son-

christened Edgar, for Edgar Allan Poe-was born, and in April 1889 moved the family to join David in Denison. Eighteen months later Dwight was born. By this time, the family had hit rock bottom. David was twenty-seven, Ida a year older. Of his own volition, David had squandered a substantial inheritance. The Eisenhowers lived in what was little more than a shack beside the tracks. Aside from Ida''s piano (which had been left in Hope), they had no assets other than their clothes and a few household possessions, and absolutely no prospect of doing better.

The family came to the rescue. In 1891, after the death of his wife, Jacob Eisenhower visited his eldest son in Denison and was visibly shaken by the poverty in which he and Ida were living.12 The Belle Springs Creamery, which Jacob had helped found, and which had become one of the largest and most successful enterprises in Dickinson County, had recently built a new plant in Abilene.13 Chris Musser, David''s brother-in-law (he had married David''s sister Amanda), was the manager of the plant, and Jacob prevailed upon him to find a position for David. Musser offered him a job as a refrigeration mechanic at "less than $50 a month."14 That is essentially what David was earning in Denison, but the job was a considerable step up from scrubbing the grime from Katy locomotives, and he would be back in the bosom of the family. At Ida''s urging, he accepted immediately. In March 1892, after three and a half years of self-imposed exile, David and Ida returned to Abilene. His total assets, which he carried in his pocket, amounted to $24.15.

David and Ida rented a small frame house a few blocks from the creamery. It had no plumbing or electricity, and sat tight by the neighbors with no yard or garden. The Eisenhowers remained there for seven years while three more sons were born: Roy in 1892; Paul in 1894 (he died in infancy); and Earl in 1898. Five boys in a cramped house made life nearly impossible. Again the family came to the rescue. In 1898, David''s brother Abraham sold his veterinary practice (he had sold the store several years earlier) and moved west as a religious missionary. Abraham owned a large two-story frame house set on a three-acre lot, complete with a barn and fruit orchard. He agreed to sell the property to David for a thousand dollars. Jacob advanced the money, and the title was put in Ida''s name-evidently a precaution against a recurrence of David''s wanderlust.15 That is the house in which the Eisenhower boys grew to maturity, and which is now the focal point of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene.

The Abilene of 1898 was not the Abilene of Wild Bill Hickok and the Chisholm Trail.2 The famous cow town of the 1860s and ''70s had faded into a sleepy Kansas backwater. The streets were still unpaved, the sidewalks still made of wooden planks, and the scent of the horse apples still lay over the main street. But the saloons and dance halls were gone. Abilene had but one policeman, who patrolled not for local crime, of which there was none, but for transient hustlers and others of ill repute. Churches, hymn singing, and picnics by the riverbank provided the town''s excitement. Abilene had become a citadel of Protestant fundamentalism, the Kansas cradle of Prohibition. It was one of many buckles on the Bible Belt: a wholesome town of 3,500 where respectable citizens did not profane the Sabbath with baseball or football. The politics were populist, but the lifestyle was as staid and proper as on Boston''s Beacon Hill. It was the American heartland.

Eisenhower was eight when the family moved to their new home. "I have found out later we were very poor," he recalled, "but we didn''t know it at the time."16 David worked twelve hours a day, six days a week at the creamery, but his meager salary scarcely covered basic necessities. Ida ran the household, assigned chores to the children, and managed what became a three-acre garden plot. There were two cows to provide milk, a flock of chickens for eggs, ducks, pigs, and a horse to plow the garden and pull the family wagon. Except for flour, sugar, salt, and kerosene for their lamps, the Eisenhowers were largely self-sufficient. The boys wore hand-me-downs, performed odd jobs around town for spending money, and grew to manhood unencumbered by the complexities of urban life.

Religion loomed large in the Eisenhower household. The day began with David reading scripture to the family, there were prayers before each meal, and after supper the family gathered again to pass the Bible from hand to hand as each boy read a passage out loud. "This was a good way to get us to read the Bible," said Ike''s younger brother Milton (who was born in 1899). "I am not sure it was a good way to help us understand it."17

None of the Eisenhower brothers shared their parents'' religious ardor. By the time Ike left for West Point he had read the Bible through twice. He was familiar with it and often quoted passages from memory, but he rarely took it literally. His vocabulary was punctuated with profanity that would make a mule skinner blush, and throughout his military service he never joined a church or attended Sunday service.18 As president he allowed himself to be convinced thath the United States was a Christian country, joined Mamie in the Presbyterian faith, and urged that the words "under God" be inserted in the pledge of allegiance.193 Like FDR, a nominal Episcopalian, Eisenhower appreciated religion''s political resonance.

For their part, David and Ida left the River Brethren and began the search for religious certainty in more personal terms. David found it in the Great Pyramid of Giza, which he reproduced in a six-by-ten- foot scale drawing and which he believed corroborated the prophecies in the Bible. Ida turned to a more austere and primitive sect known as Bible Students, which in 1931 adopted the name "Jehovah''s Witnesses."20 Ike''s brother Edgar remembers meetings in their house. "Everyone made his own interpretation of the Scripture lessons. Mother played the piano, and they sang hymns before and after each meeting. It was a real old time prayer meeting. They talked to God, read Scriptures, and everyone got a chance to state his relationship with Him."21 David attended Bible Students meetings with Ida for a number of years and then dropped out, retreating into personal mysticism.

After his misadventure in Denison, David was chastened and bitter. He became ever more sullen and introspective-something of a stranger to his children, with a quick and fearful temper. David never played with his sons, never took them hunting or fishing, did not swim with them, showed no interest in who their friends were, and rarely inquired about their activities. "He was an inflexible man with a stern code," said Edgar.

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Top reviews from the United States

TTP
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Eisenhower in War and Peace
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2017
Great read on the 34th president! Over the years I had read several books on Ike, including Ambrose’s works, but this one was by far the most balanced, objective and insightful and really makes you appreciate the special leader he was. He was not only a superb... See more
Great read on the 34th president! Over the years I had read several books on Ike, including Ambrose’s works, but this one was by far the most balanced, objective and insightful and really makes you appreciate the special leader he was. He was not only a superb administrator and executive, he was a political genius who delicately and shrewdly steered America though many crises in the 50s (not to mention, through WWII as well) that probably would have turned out much differently if a less able man had been at the helm, (i.e., most of our Presidents since Ike). That very few Americans (under the age of 50 anyway) know much about Ike or his presidency is actually a credit to what a balanced, strategic and quietly effective leader he was. But Eisenhower was truly a giant – they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore!
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Kenneth C. Mahieu
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Like Ike, five stars but with a few flaws
Reviewed in the United States on March 30, 2015
"Eisenhower in War and Peace" (EWP) is excellent and has changed many of the incorrect perceptions I have had about Ike since childhood. I was a third grader when Ike was first elected in 1952. In those days there were very few filmed news reports on television.... See more
"Eisenhower in War and Peace" (EWP) is excellent and has changed many of the incorrect perceptions I have had about Ike since childhood. I was a third grader when Ike was first elected in 1952. In those days there were very few filmed news reports on television. When Ike did appear in a rare TV speech to the nation, e.g., the "Little Rock school integration" speech, he often read from typed pages on the podium; his delivery was less than fair. My impression at the time was that presidents were dull, old men. And though my childhood was a happy one, my recollections of the 50''s were also "dull" and "old" as in old-fashioned. I thought of Ike as a bridge between some rather excellent presidents - FDR, Harry Truman, and JFK. But Smith''s excellent book has turned my impressions around 180 degrees. I am delighted to have become more familiar with Ike as a man, his accomplishments, and his character. He rose to the challenges of the day and we were fortunate to have him. Though there were no foreign wars during those eight years, Ike did have to deal with not only some of the most critical racial issues in our history, but also the Suez Canal, the U-2 spy plane downing, Sputnik and the space race, the Cold War, post WWII Germany, the construction of the national highway system and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Ike had his plate full, and had some serious health issues to deal with concurrently.

Though the book is listed as having almost 1000 pages, there are many pages of notes, acknowledgements, and an index. The actual text in my edition was about 766 pages and well more than half dealt with his years in the military, particularly the WWII years. Throughout it is clear that author Smith greatly admires Ike but that did not prevent his most critical assessment of Ike throughout both his military and presidential careers. For example, not too long after Ike was promoted to Supreme Allied Commander, several of his generals made clear that Ike''s strategic skills in battleground planning left something to be desired. Apparently, his strengths were most obvious in dealing with all the heads of state and others, e.g. Churchill, Stalin, FDR, DeGaulle, ensuring their total support and dealing with their ''suggestions'', all critical to a truly allied front. I particularly admired Ike for his leadership, his honesty, his unwillingness to pass the buck, his decisiveness, and his total commitment - and Smith gives countless examples of all of these strengths throughout the book.

The book was very readable, the pages seemed to fly by. Even the footnotes were interesting. In the paperback edition which I read, there were many photos, perhaps 1 every 15 pages or so instead of the typical gallery bound together in the middle of a book. Well done ! There are two areas that I wish were different and that diminished the book somewhat for me. I thought too much attention was paid to the Kay Summersby affair.. I was stunned and fascinated by what I read, but there were also times when I felt like I was eavesdropping. Summersby wrote two books about her time with Ike. I highly recommend "Past Forgetting", her second book; it is very charming and I feel it could be read as a companion to Smith''s book. By the way, Smith refers to information in Kay''s book a number of times.Secondly I wish about 50-100 pages of the WWII pages could have shrunk, as interesting as they were, to allow for more pages on his presidency. Needless to say, I recommend this book highly and without reservation.
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Clem
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I liked Ike
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2019
I recently read this author’s biography of Franklin Roosevelt that clocked in at 880 pages. I made the observation that even though 880 pages is an awful lot, it really didn’t seem enough when covering such a figure such as FDR. Now that I’ve read Jean Edward Smith’s bio... See more
I recently read this author’s biography of Franklin Roosevelt that clocked in at 880 pages. I made the observation that even though 880 pages is an awful lot, it really didn’t seem enough when covering such a figure such as FDR. Now that I’ve read Jean Edward Smith’s bio of Dwight Eisenhower that has 976 pages, I came away with the exact same conclusion. For someone such as myself who studies a lot of history, it seemed as though this book was missing a lot of key moments from Eisenhower’s history and should have been a bit longer. But 976 pages is an awful lot, and it’s actually a testament that the author must be doing a great job when he devotes so many pages to his subject, yet as a reader, I wanted much more.

Although wanting more, I felt the author devoted an adequate amount of page space to the key parts of Ike’s life. There’s an acceptable time devoted to his early life, his life in the army (before and during WWII) and a very digestible synopsis of his eight years as President of the United States from 1952-1960. I’m not sure if it was the author’s intention, but “War and Peace” is actually a perfect title to describe Eisenhower. First, we all know of his service as General during World War II which would be the “war” part, but the “peace” probably alludes to his eight years as president. There are many that tend to look at Eisenhower’s tenure as president with slight skepticism stating that he never had to rule during times of extreme adversity (i.e. major war), yet Jean Edward Smith makes it very clear that it was Eisenhower and his governing policies that actually made this possible. There were MANY times during 1952-1960 when the U.S. could have easily entered into yet another global conflict, but Ike made it a high priority to keep the U.S. out of such wars. He avoids potential wars with China, Vietnam, and Egypt just to name a few. He’d been in a war. He saw what it was like. He made it a priority to keep his constituents out whenever and however possible. He always succeeded. We should be thankful.

Fortunately, this book isn’t an instance of an author fawning over an idol. I was surprised to read about the many instances (most during World War II) where the author points out many poor decisions that Eisenhower makes and how it negatively impacted many of the major battles, and even possibly prolonged the European conflict. Smith reminds us that, ironically, Eisenhower never participated in an actual battle before he was made a general in 1942. This definitely hindered Ike in many instances. Eisenhower’s real strength, Smith tells us, is when Ike was a high-level commander. Such a position, even in the military, involves a lot of politics and a lot coddling. Eisenhower had the rare gift of getting all of the leaders from the different allied nations to play nicely with each other in the sandbox. Such cooperation is crucial during a world war.

Such a leader is a perfect candidate to run a nation as Commander in Chief. Not surprisingly, both Democrats and Republicans want Ike to run in 1948; even current president Harry Truman who is up for re-election. (No one knew at the time whether Ike was a Republican or a Democrat.) The stars do align, though, in 1952, and Eisenhower begins an eight-year journey of quietly becoming one of the best presidents the U.S. has ever (or will ever have) seen. He’s incredibly smart, often made major speeches extemporaneously, never gave a rip what other politicians nor voters thought of him and was always quick to acknowledge whenever he was wrong about something. A president who admits his mistakes. What a concept.

Although I’ve read many history books (including Stephen Ambrose’s bio of Ike), I really felt that I learned a lot of key things about Eisenhower that I had never been exposed to before. Events in Eisenhower’s life such as Operation TORCH, the Suez Canal crises, and the CIA initiated coups of Iran and Guatemala are just a few events that get an adequate amount of attention in this biography. The author has a very smooth delivery in his prose, and the reader never feels bored nor weighed down by useless statistics and inconsequential facts.

I would conclude this review with a cautious observation that the best thing that Eisenhower brought to the White House was the fact that he was not a career politician. It’s nice to have such a high reputation that, as president, you could simply shrug your shoulders whenever high-profile members in congress disagree with you. There were many times where it seemed the Democrats liked him more than his fellow Republicans. Think about that for a minute. How often does that even happen? Such credentials of being a political outsider don’t always guarantee success, though. Herbert Hoover is a good example. So is Donald Trump. But let’s not go there.

I thoroughly enjoyed this biography. I enjoyed it better than the Steven Ambrose volume, yet I really enjoyed that one as well. I love biographers that point out the good, bad, and ugly of their subject matter, and after reading two biographies of well-known U.S. presidents by this author, I can honestly and sincerely say that Jean Edward Smith is a great biographer.

Side note: Jean Edward Smith also wrote a biography of Ulysses S. Grant, and Smith seems to have a peculiar infatuation with the Civil War hero. I’m willing to bet there were at least 100 (seriously) comparisons and references to Grant in this book. I haven’t read his bio of Grant yet, but I found it rather strange that the author would mention Grant as often as he did. I guess I need to read the Grant bio as well. One day….
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good book though lopsided in areas of detail
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2020
Eisenhower in War and Peace is over-all a worth whole biography to read. I was just disappointed that when the author skimmed over portions of Ike''s life (such as the allied invasion of Germany and Germany''s surrender) yet he goes into pinpointed detail about members of... See more
Eisenhower in War and Peace is over-all a worth whole biography to read. I was just disappointed that when the author skimmed over portions of Ike''s life (such as the allied invasion of Germany and Germany''s surrender) yet he goes into pinpointed detail about members of Ikes presidential staff.
Otherwise as a native of Kansas who has visited his boyhood home, museum, and grave several many times and have long admired the general I am pleased from the experience from this biography.
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East Bremerton Roots
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is a GREAT book that provides lots of details about Eisenhower such ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2014
This is a GREAT book that provides lots of details about Eisenhower such as his personal and professional relationships with people like Generals Patton, MacArthur, and Marshall; Kay Summersby, and Mamie. The book makes it clear that the USA was so very lucky to have the... See more
This is a GREAT book that provides lots of details about Eisenhower such as his personal and professional relationships with people like Generals Patton, MacArthur, and Marshall; Kay Summersby, and Mamie. The book makes it clear that the USA was so very lucky to have the right man in the right place at the right time. It doesn''t gloss over Eisenhower''s mistakes, military and political, and these were huge, but the mistakes were far over shadowed by his major accomplishments that others without his military expertise and political sense would have been led to disaster on a global scale. I had no idea that powerful and influential advisers had recommended the use of nuclear weapons more than once, which Eisenhower flatly turned down. He stopped the Korean conflict, kept us out of Vietnam (for his tenure at least), and sided with Egypt against France and Great Britain in their ploy to take control of the Suez canal. Eisenhower made some mistakes in the Middle East, but sure gained credibility for the USA over the Suez issue. And what a proud "moment" when he took on segregation, esp given that his whole life experience up to that time was living with segregation. I like Ike, warts and all, now even more than I did before reading this book.
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Derek Atkins
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I Like Ike
Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower''s life. Author Jean Edward Smith definitely did a good job of researching Eisenhower''s life, and paints a sympathetic portrait of this essentially good-hearted man without making it a hagiographic... See more
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower''s life. Author Jean Edward Smith definitely did a good job of researching Eisenhower''s life, and paints a sympathetic portrait of this essentially good-hearted man without making it a hagiographic account.

As an example of Smith''s ability to present Eisenhower''s flaws is Smith''s inclusion of Ike''s affair with Kay Summersby during World War II. If anything, I think Smith dwelt a little too much on Ike''s wartime affair; while I feel it is necessary to include in any detailed biography of Eisenhower, I sometimes wondered why Smith devoted so much space to the affair, and especially to speculation about how physical the General''s relationship with her became.

Another thing that I found curious about this biography was how much Smith quoted and referred to historian Stephen Ambrose. Stephen Ambrose has encountered professional opprobrium because he included plagiarized materials in at least one of his books. Given Ambrose''s past history, I found it odd that Smith used material from Ambrose so much in his biography of Eisenhower, especially when Smith admitted that Ambrose had fabricated an entire episode from Ike''s life in one of his books.

Still, I did enjoy reading Smith''s biography of Eisenhower. I especially liked how Smith carefully recounted Ike''s early military career, because the reader can clearly see how Eisenhower''s experiences in his early career laid the foundation for things he did much later in his career. For example, in 1919, Eisenhower joined an Army convoy that travelled from the United States'' east coast to her west coast, and this trip gave Eisenhower the opportunity to experience in the most direct way possible how poor America''s highways were in the years immediately following World War I. This experience, in turn, led directly to President Eisenhower''s push to create the modern Intertsate highway system, which has greatly improved transportation throughout the United States ever since construction began on the Interstate highways in the late 1950s.

One insight I really value was the realization that Dwight Eisenhower kept the United States from dropping the atomic bomb not once, not twice, but three times during his years as President. He also calmly rejected plans by fellow generals to continue the war in Korea during his post-election visit to Korea prior to his inauguration as President. Smith notes that had any civilian won the 1952 Presidential election, that President-elect might easily have been intimidated by military leaders into approving their plans to continue the Korean War. President-elect Eisenhower, on the other hand, had enough military experience as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II to reject his fellow general''s plans as so much poppycock.

I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to read a well-written, in-depth account of the life and times of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
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Mary P. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
How we need an Eisenhower today!
Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2018
Although I was of voting age when Eisenhower was elected I had no idea of how great his presidency was until reading this fact-filled, fascinating biography. His entire life back to its Kansas impoverished roots through his studies at West Point and military World War 2... See more
Although I was of voting age when Eisenhower was elected I had no idea of how great his presidency was until reading this fact-filled, fascinating biography. His entire life back to its Kansas impoverished roots through his studies at West Point and military World War 2 triumphs plus riveting descriptions of his political skills. Jean Edward Smith''s Eisenhower in War and Peace convinces me that Dwight David Eisenhower was among our greatest 5 presidents which would of course include Washington, Lincoln and FDR.
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fogcutter
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
so good, I had to buy the hard copy!
Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2015
I read this on the Kindle after trying a sample, and immediately ordered the hardcover upon completion just so I had it in my home for re-visiting certain passages. It''s that good. Smith maintains an objective view but still infuses his carefully-researched biography with... See more
I read this on the Kindle after trying a sample, and immediately ordered the hardcover upon completion just so I had it in my home for re-visiting certain passages. It''s that good. Smith maintains an objective view but still infuses his carefully-researched biography with character and spirit. I took this as an opportunity to learn more about the WWI and WWII periods of American history, and found it informative when seen through the lens of Ike''s life. Unlike some other biographies, I found this one to be well-paced and Smith does well to break up some of the more arduous parts with humorous situations and personal exchanges for color. Smith also manages to round out the image of an imperfect man from a deeply troubled time in the world, who was driven enough to become a wise leader the world sorely needed. I personally took away many lessons from this biography, and Smith''s notations spurred me to buy Grant''s memoirs for future reading.

Where Smith is fair to Eisenhower, he is less charitable in his depiction of others. After reading this book, I shiver when I hear the name "De Gaulle" even in relation to the airport. Similarly, he is candid in re-counting the inappropriate decision-making of General Patton, in contrast to the quiet excellence of General Montgomery.

This is a long read, but perfect for anyone looking to learn more about the man and the world during his life. I was very happy to invest time in this one and had to give it five stars.
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HBH
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Soldier and Statesman
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 18, 2017
Eisenhower - In War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith is a very good book examining the life of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe and, subsequently, 34th President of the United States. It is an informative, well-written and detailed work which...See more
Eisenhower - In War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith is a very good book examining the life of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe and, subsequently, 34th President of the United States. It is an informative, well-written and detailed work which provides an expert insight on a most extraordinary career. Dwight Eisenhower was in many respects an unlikely choice as respectively the head of the invasions of North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. He had not been to France as part of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I, had very little experience in command of troops - having served as a staff officer in both Washington and the Philippines - and was not regarded as especially adept in the field of military strategy in comparison to some of his erstwhile colleagues. He did, however, possess unique abilities which allowed him to oversee the largest amphibious assault in history, whilst holding together a diverse coalition of Allies and dealing with a multitude of difficulties. Although Eisenhower rightly deserves plaudits for his role in winning the Second World War, his political career has often been overlooked or unfairly criticized. In spite of the fact that he was not an ideologue and allowed his Cabinet Secretaries a great deal of autonomy, Eisenhower was not a figurehead President. He supported many aspects of the New Deal Settlement, he kept the United States engaged with the world, took action to enforce Civil Rights legislation, spoke out against the pernicious influence of Joseph McCarthy, balanced the budget and - his probably most tangible achievement - helped to create the Interstate Highway System. Further, as President, Eisenhower - unlike some of the other individuals who have resided in the White House - was willing to work with politicians of all stripes to create a consensus on many of the big issues facing the United States. Overall, an excellent biography.
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John Blanchfield
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Achieving greatness - History made the General
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2015
Eisenhower''s was a life that touched and was touched by history, deserving an accomplished biographer. Smith seeks the deep character of his subject, for Eisenhower''s story is of crucial strengths and human blemishes. The shortcomings and episodes that reveal them are...See more
Eisenhower''s was a life that touched and was touched by history, deserving an accomplished biographer. Smith seeks the deep character of his subject, for Eisenhower''s story is of crucial strengths and human blemishes. The shortcomings and episodes that reveal them are indispensable to the picture, but Smith''s admiration for Eisenhower is obvious, and it is no less than fair and justified. Ike was not the master military strategist, but he was unequalled at keeping a cast of quarrelsome egos to their mission, victory in Europe. The life-long military man could use friendships to advance himself, and become a politician, could dissemble and procrastinate with aplomb. As a President in the rise of the cold war, his leadership seems now, in retrospect, a vision for a greater good. Here is an imperfect man with a sense of principle, decisive and willing to shoulder responsibility, confident in the post of Commander in Chief. Smith''s excellent biography has an engaging writing style. It embraces the wider historical contexts, and they are wide indeed. His prose flows from the individual to the protagonists to the strategic picture adroitly, without breaking the thread of the story. Smith admits that Ike is a difficult man to know to the full. Between lucidity and secretiveness, Ike kept part of himself behind a mask, but this book tells a seminal story well and argues convincingly for his place amongst the greats.
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Molten Beaks
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
So well written that I swept through all 800 pages
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2016
800 odd pages but I swept through it at a very fast rate. Mainly because it is so well written, which personally I find as important in a biography as its subject! It also gave me (1) the feeling that I was "there" with Eisenhower as his life unfolded and (2) a...See more
800 odd pages but I swept through it at a very fast rate. Mainly because it is so well written, which personally I find as important in a biography as its subject! It also gave me (1) the feeling that I was "there" with Eisenhower as his life unfolded and (2) a broader overview of the events of the time. It effortlessly switches between the two perspectives, which is no mean feat for a biographer. I therefore intend to read Mr Smith''s other books, because I found his writing style so accessible and interesting.
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Arthur L
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Solid treatment
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2021
Makes a good case for Eisenhower as part of a lost moderate humane tradition within US republican party. Worth five stars if not for the suspicion that the author maybe was a little favouring of their subject.
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Richard Monk
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Almost as good as McCullough''s book on Harry S Truman
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 9, 2018
Almost as good as McCullough''s book on Harry S Truman, it has to be the best biography of Ike and superbly well written. An invaluable contribution to understanding post-war America and Europe.
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Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale

Eisenhower wholesale in new arrival War and Peace outlet sale