Eisenhower in War and Peace - cbm11.orgFebruary 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. Much as he did with his doorstop biography of FDR, in Eisenhower in War and Peace Smith sifts through mountains of earlier appraisals, anecdotes, and historical documents and synthesizes the information into a crisply written and meticulous analysis of Eisenhower.
Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith: A Review
Book review: ‘Eisenhower in War and Peace’ by Jean Edward Smith
T rouble was already brewing in Morningside Heights when Dwight Eisenhower arrived to succeed Nicholas Murray Butler as president of Columbia in the spring of What stands out about this letter, aside from its decisiveness and commonsensicality, is the quality of the writing. His mind was steady and judicious, not incandescent and original. It is unjust, then, that the man who led Allied troops to victory in World War II and managed eight years of peace and steadily rising prosperity as president should so often be cast as an eponym of mid-twentieth-century American incuriosity. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Although he left few traces at Columbia, Eisenhower put the University — which had been suffering from poor fundraising and a dwindling endowment — back on a solid financial footing, unified the campus by getting the city to close th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, and impressed a faculty that included Jacques Barzun and Richard Hofstadter with his command of history.
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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.
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.