Eisenhower: Soldier and President Paperback – Oct 15 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
In this admiring and enormously readable revision/condensation of his acclaimed two-volume biography, published in 1983 and 1984, Ambrose reminds us that this "great and good man" was the most successful general of the greatest war ever fought and the only president of this century to preside over eight years of peace and prosperity. Tracing Eisenhower's family background, education, military and political careers, and influence as elder statesman, the author chronicles Eisenhower's triumphs and failures and at the same time provides a vivid picture of the off-duty Ike. As Allied Supreme Commander, he is revealed once again as a coalition leader of extraordinary ability (and "an intensely alive human being who enjoyed his job immensely"). As our 34th president, he was a statesman who guided the free world through one of the most dangerous decades of the Cold War. Ambrose argues that Eisenhower has much to say to us today on such fundamental issues as national defense, arms expenditures, the importance of a balanced budget and the desirability of a United States of Europe with an all-European army. This is the definitive one-volume biography of Eisenhower.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Publishers Weekly The definitive one-volume biography of Eisenhower.
Robert J. Donovan The best book to date on its subject....Of Eisenhower's high rank on the list of presidents there can he little doubt.
John Keegan A magnificent biography.
James MacGregor Bums Fascinating....An important case study in military and political leader ship.
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Top Customer Reviews
1) Details of Ike's creation of the Highway system, he had learned first hand that americas roads were unexceptable in the 20s.
2) Ikes decision at Nromandy, where he penned a note in case of disaster.
3) Ike's simple manners and soldierly conduct. The quiet demeanor that held the alliance together.
4) Ike's term as president where he ended the Korean war, and created a policy of intervening to stop communism(Eisenhower doctrin).
The BEST book on Ike, a wonderful account. Clearly the best book on Ike ever written. Ambrose brings his superior prose to this volume.
I was most interested about his presidency and I feel like Ambrose did give me a very good idea of how Ike came to his decisions and also how Ike formed his beliefs.
I do think that this was a very favorable bio of Ike.
Ambrose seemed to not want to really find fault with Ike on any of the issues except for his stance on civil rights.
I also do not agree that Ike is one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century along with Wilson and the two Roosevelts as Ambose said.
I would say that the best presidents of the 20th century were the two Roosevelts, Truman,and Reagan.
I would rank Ike as a good president but not a great president.
Thus I feel this biography of Ike is the best out there and will teach you alot about the man and his policies but that I would not agree with the positive assessment of Ambrose of Ike in many areas.
The image of Ike as a do nothing golfer is changing. While there was relative calm at home he was in his element dealing with international affairs. This required a disipline & organized mind, so in that sense his military background served him well. His political instincts were good & he did not rush to judgement. Stevenson looked foolish running against him but how could have anyone have beaten him? He virtually ignored McCarthy & he eventually self destructed.
In race relations he was lost & did a poor job. He could have done more to advance civil rights but he merely enforced the law. Ambrose goes into some detail on how he basically managed the "cold war". That it did not become hot is an accomplishment. You don"t get credit for bad things that never happen. The most unfortunate event of his administration was the U-2 that was shot down over the Soviet Union. Ike was striving for a nuclear test ban treaty that was to be the capstone of his career. Ambrose was a well known cheer-leader for Eisenhower but takes the reader through the painful cover-up that ensued. A sorry chapter in the saddest year of his presidency & the last. Ike wasn't comfortable with Nixon as the Republican canidate for president in 1960 but except for Rockefeller there wasn"t anyone else.Read more ›
Though Ambrose views Ike in a very positive light he is willing to be critical of his choices not to engage the Civil Rights debates of the 1950s and not take a firm stand in regards to retaining or dumping Nixon as VP in 1956.
Eisenhower aimed to please and find compromise. It is striking how his style remained the same throughout the war and into his presidency. Though Ike was often viewed as a compromiser, Ambrose illustrates that Ike kept his options open at all times and thought out each major decision.
There has been no recent president more willing to think outside the box then Ike when it came to foreign policy affairs and the drive to limit the nuclear stockpiles of both the US and USSR as the Cold War began.
Ambrose again adds to the rich American tradition of the time with this book. It is an easy read and logically put together. I highly recommend this book on Ike, I have a great respect for a leader I knew little about prior to reading this novel. An A+.
For instance, there is hardly a mention at all about FDR's death on April 12, 1945. Surely the highest ranking American in the European theater had powerful emotions concerning the passing of his president, but the reader is left wondering.
Another area getting short shrift is America's use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I find it hard to believe that Eisenhower would not have a strong opinion or at least strong emotions concerning their use. Again, it barely gets a mention in the book.
Even if the two-volume set contains information about the above topics, it should have been included in the condensed volume.
My other complaint is that the book is slanted entirely toward the good points about Ike's life and presidency. One exception is coverage of Ike's possible affair with his war-time secretary, which Ambrose covers more than adequately.
If you like Ambrose, I would rate this as worth the read. It does offer insight to his war experiences and presidency, but for a fairly objective work, consider other tomes. I'd give it 3 stars, but it's Ambrose, so I suppose that makes me a bit biased as well.
Most recent customer reviews
great book loved reading about eisenhower and what he did to defeat the germans in ww2Published 5 months ago by James Gillap
He shouldered a tremendous amount of responsibility during WWII. The consequence of his decision were far reaching. There is a lot to learn from the man and his leadership. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2014 by Bernard Barbe
I have no doubt the two volume bio deserve the praise, but sadly this compilation is seriously lacking. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2011 by Yanick Dube
If you are only going to read one biography about Eisenhower, this one-volume version by Stephen Ambrose is the one to choose. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by A. Staggers
You can tell that Stephen Ambrose truly likes and admires his subject, Dwight Eisenhower, yet he's able to present a very balanced sketch of the 34th President in "Eisenhower:... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2002 by kelly6228
The book was good, but Ambrose seems to skip around the timeline within chapters which makes some confusion. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2002 by Michael R. Henke
I admit a favorable bias toward anything Ambrose writes. True to form, this biogrpahy is meticulously researched and detailed. Read morePublished on June 25 2001 by Jay
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