Eisenhower was never above politics, as his admirers claimed; Wicker shows that he was a political creature through and through, as Patton suspected while serving under him in World War II. ("Ike wants to be president so badly you can taste it," Patton said.) He held all the contradictory positions of a politician, too: a dedicated cold warrior and anti-Communist, he famously decried the power of the "military-industrial complex," resisted American involvement in Vietnam while setting the stage for it, and called himself a "liberal Republican" while doing little to attend to pressing domestic issues, especially in the realm of civil rights. He refused to stand up to Joe McCarthy and chose Richard Nixon as his running mate for reasons of political expediency.
Wicker gives Eisenhower middling marks: "The worst did not happen in his time, but neither did the best." His survey may not cheer Ike's fans, but it's balanced, highly readable, and useful for those seeking a window on American political life half a century ago. --Gregory McNamee
One reviewer complained that this was not a complete biography, and that is certainly correct. It is a biography of Eisenhower as president, in a series devoted to covering the... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2003 by Robert Moore
Tom Wicker spent thirty years writing on politics for the New York Times. Having worked as a young reporter in the 1950s, he combines memories of actual events with secondary... Read morePublished on April 4 2003 by Michael Oppenheim
Arthur Schlesinger's involvement in anything Republican can mean nothing more than an opportunity for him to denounce the subject at hand, and this diatribe is no exception. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2002 by B. Baldwin
Tom Wicker presents a portrait of Eisenhower that is as unfair and inaccurate as Paul Johnson's treatment of Napoleon, which also appears in this series of brief biographies. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2002 by "mr_arch_stanton"