Eisenhower in War and Peace
Jean Edward Smith
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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.
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
FDR would have been incapable of writing such a missive, and George Patton would have said a warmer good-bye to his horse. With his letter Eisenhower closed the book on his relationship with Kay Summersby. Kay would not completely go away, but Ike had taken the necessary step to restore his marriage to Mamie and resume his career. Eisenhower and his son John have been assiduous in their attempt to minimize the role Kay Summersby played in Ike’s life.e Kay’s wartime diary, for example, which is at
late 1940s, Iran had become the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, supplying 90 percent of Europe’s petroleum.27 Given the lopsided distribution of benefits, Iranian public opinion clamored for a renegotiation of the 1933 concession, and there were precedents for doing so. In 1948, the Venezuelan government of Romulo Gallegos and Creole Petroleum agreed to a fifty-fifty compromise on profits, and in 1950 the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) reached a similar accord with the Saudi
Simply put, said Ike, it was to enforce the law of the land. “This thing is going to go on and on and on in other places. These damned hooligans … I was trying to speak last night to the reasonable people, the decent people of the South.” Eisenhower told Steele he thought his speech might have struck the right tone. But the ordeal had taken a toll. “It has been nagging me day and night.”53 Public reaction to Eisenhower’s speech was overwhelmingly favorable. A Trendex poll published on September
visit the Soviet Union after the summit, and an itinerary had been worked out with the Soviet ambassador in Washington, Mikhail Menshikov. For Eisenhower, as the end of his presidency approached, the world appeared far safer than eight years before. The Cold War was not over, but U.S.–Soviet relations had rarely been better. Domestically, America had never enjoyed greater prosperity. Ike’s final budget would be balanced; the national debt, which stood at 100 percent of the nation’s GDP when
retain the servies of his driver, Leonard Dry; his valet, Sergeant Moaney; and his aide, Colonel Robert Schulz. For Grant, see Jean Edward Smith, Grant 622–25. Acknowledgments Once again my principal indebtedness is to Rhonda Frye in the office of the president at Marshall University. I write in longhand with a ballpoint pen on yellow legal pads. As with FDR, Mrs. Frye reads what I have written, transfers it to typescript, and presents me with clean copy every morning. She has typed at