Eisenhower in war and peace book review
Book Review: Eisenhower in War and Peace - WSJFebruary 21, Historians do tend to agree on the greatest presidents — Lincoln, FDR , and Washington — and often come up with similar names one rung lower. Usual suspects in the latter category include Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson. After that, though, the rankings shift with historical cycles and reinterpretations of eras and achievements although those on the bottom hello Warren Harding , Andrew Johnson , and James Buchanan tend to stay there. Ulysses Grant is perhaps the lone bottom-rung president whose stock has risen to a notable degree. Commanders-in-chief whose legacies have muddled along, neither great nor awful, stand a much better chance of a restorative makeover — a bit of historical Botox — that, who knows, could even lead to a Ken Burns documentary some day.
‘Eisenhower in War and Peace,’ by Jean Edward Smith
By dallasnews Administrator. For most Americans, the view of Dwight David Eisenhower is that he was a great war hero but a mediocre president, mostly a caretaker who presided over a two quiet terms. Biographer Jean Edward Smith turns that notion on its head. He explains that as commanding general, Eisenhower was luckier than he was good and that his administrative talent of handling difficult and divergent forces led him to be one of our top chief executives. As a youth, the Texas-born, Kansas-raised Ike was fortunate, garnering an improbable appointment to West Point, then finding benevolent mentors in high places.
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Dwight D. Like Ulysses S. Grant, another general to make it to the White House, Ike won elections easily, but did not rise to the responsibilities these thrust upon him. Jean Edward Smith challenged that argument about Grant in a well-received biography published a decade ago: Grant had been a better president than contemporaries or previous biographers realized, Smith maintained. Apart from Franklin D.
Eisenhower would never have been that blunt in public. Born in , he grew up in poverty; his dour father, a failure in business, practiced a grim variety of Christianity so off-putting that Ike did not join a church until after he was inaugurated as president and then only because he deemed it politically necessary. He displayed those qualities as a career soldier, compensating for his lack of combat experience World War I ended as he was about to embark for France by making himself indispensable to a series of powerful mentors who accelerated his rise in the peacetime army. By the time Eisenhower arrived in Washington one week after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to work for Army Chief of Staff George Marshall, he was known as a hard-working officer with formidable executive abilities. His service in the War Plans Division, including a draft proposal for the invasion of Normandy prompted Marshall to appoint Eisenhower supreme commander of the European theater.