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Eisenhower: A Life by Paul Johnson

Eisenhower: A Life (2014)

by Paul Johnson

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“Eisenhower: A Life” is a concise, yet satisfying look at the life of the Supreme Allied Commander and 34TH President written by noted British historian Paul Johnson. In a brief 136 pages, the reader gets a better understanding of a man who until recently was pushed into the background of American history.

Given the shortness of the biography, Johnson doesn’t waste words as he details Eisenhower’s early life and the beginning of his career. The path Eisenhower’s career took after the end of the First World War until the United States entry into the Second World War, was detailed enough to show how when the time came Eisenhower was able to keep the Allies on the same page until the end of the conflict. The years between the war and his presidency were covered sufficiently and angled to show Eisenhower’s increasing interest in deciding to run for high office. Eisenhower’s years in the White House were focused mostly on the international scene with only brief interruptions of domestic affairs. Johnson covers the last years of Eisenhower’s in a page to finish the book.

While Johnson doesn’t skimp attention on anything detail of Eisenhower’s life, he doesn’t really go into detail due to the brevity of his text. While this primer-like decision is fine, the occasions when Johnson used his own conclusions without detail proof to back it up hurts the overall effort. Johnson’s conservative bent is seen throughout Eisenhower’s tenure as president of Columbia University and his White House years, although it was not an overly negative aspect to the whole work it could have been made less blatant.

Overall, “Eisenhower: A Life” is not a book for those looking for a serious in-depth look at Dwight D. Eisenhower in both the military and politics. However, this book is good primer for those interested in the 34TH President of the United States for general knowledge of the man himself and of the time he lived in. ( )
  mattries37315 | Sep 4, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670016829, Hardcover)

Acclaimed historian Paul Johnson’s lively, succinct biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower explores how his legacy endures today
In the rousing style he’s famous for, celebrated biographer Paul Johnson offers a fascinating portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower, focusing particularly on his years as a five-star general and his time as the thirty-fourth President of the United States.

Johnson chronicles President Eisenhower's modest childhood in Kansas, his college years at West Point, and his rapid ascent through the military ranks, culminating in his appointment as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. Beginning when Eisenhower assumed the presidency from Harry Truman in 1952, Johnson paints a rich portrait of his two consecutive terms, exploring his volatile relationship with then-Vice President Richard Nixon, his abhorrence of isolationism, and his position on the Cold War, McCarthyism, and the Civil Rights Movement. Johnson notes that when Eisenhower left the White House at age 70, reluctantly passing the torch to President-elect John F. Kennedy, he feared for the country’s future and prophetically warned of the looming military-industrial complex.

Many elements of Eisenhower’s presidency speak to American politics today, including his ability to balance the budget and skill in managing an oppositional Congress. This brief yet comprehensive study will appeal to biography lovers as well as to enthusiasts of presidential history and military history alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:00 -0400)

Acclaimed historian Paul Johnson's lively, succinct biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower explores how his legacy endures today with a focus on Eisenhower's years as a five-star general and his time as the thirty-fourth President of the United States.

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