Eisenhower: The White House Years PDF À The White

Eisenhower: The White House Years Eisenhower The White House Years was published in 2011 and is Jim Newton s second biography His first, covering former Chief Justice Earl Warren, was published in 2006 Newton is a journalist who has worked at The New York Times, The Atlanta Constitution and The Los Angeles Times He recently moved to UCLA where he teaches and serves as Editor in Chief of a school magazine which he helped launch.Although its title suggests a singular focus on Eisenhowe Eisenhower The White House Years was published in 2011 and is Jim Newton s second biography His first, covering former Chief Justice Earl Warren, was published in 2006 Newton is a journalist who has worked at The New York Times, The Atlanta Constitution and The Los Angeles Times He recently moved to UCLA where he teaches and serves as Editor in Chief of a school magazine which he helped launch.Although its title suggests a singular focus on Eisenhower s eight year tenure in the White House this 357 page biography is surprisingly broad in coverage, focusing with varying degrees of scrutiny on his entire life Nevertheless, with nearly three fourths of the text dedicated to his two term presidency, this is not a perfect substitute for atraditional, comprehensive biography of Eisenhower.Newton s background as a reporter and editor is not surprising his narrative is remarkably coherent, impactful and unpretentious And despite the Eisenhower presidency s lack of breathless drama, the story line is always clear and often captivating Only Newton s occasional tendency in early chapters to jump around the timeline may lead to some confusion.Fortunately for the reader, however, there are countless instances throughout the book of articulate and keenly interesting discussions of events which, in many other texts, are dull or confusing And in other cases Newton simply does a much better than average job explaining complicated events in an exceptionally comprehensible manner.The back story Newton provides relating to Eisenhower s decision to seek the Republican nomination in 1952 is the most colorful behind the scenes account of those months I ve read And his review of the the 1952 presidential campaign itself is easily the most engaging I ve come across.Covert actions authorized in the early 1950s by President Eisenhower in Iran and Guatemala, which are relatively hard to follow in many other biographies, are presented with remarkable lucidity Also particularly well described are Eisenhower s lack of engagement with Senator Joe McCarthy and Chief Justice Earl Warren s masterful maneuvering to achieve a unanimous decision in the landmark Brown v Board of Education.But for all its shining moments this is not quite a perfect biography of Eisenhower Despite receiving competent coverage, the six momentous decades preceding his presidency are surveyed in fewer than fifty pages And, occasionally, the discussions of his actions as president leave the reader feeling as though the narrative has merely skimmed the tree tops that the messy details have been left aside often because that is the case But many readers will see that as a small price to pay for clarity and efficiency.Overall, Jim Newton s Eisenhower The White House Years does an excellent job fulfilling its core mission of examining the Eisenhower presidency in an interesting and comprehensible manner But because it does not provide thorough coverage of Eisenhower s pre presidency, for readers seeking to understand the whole Eisenhower this book is most valuable as a supplemental text read in conjunction with a traditional, comprehensive biography.Overall rating 4 stars A solid biography of Ike as president, eminently readable with good strong narrative threads For the most part, the book presents abalanced view of Eisenhower than Ambrose s work, with only one or two moments of descent into the whine of Eisenhower biographers that the stereotype of Ike as golfer is unfair it is, but hey, get over it I particularly enjoyed the passages dealing with his complex relationship with Richard Nixon Ike had as hard a time fathoming Nixon s motives as the rest A solid biography of Ike as president, eminently readable with good strong narrative threads For the most part, the book presents abalanced view of Eisenhower than Ambrose s work, with only one or two moments of descent into the whine of Eisenhower biographers that the stereotype of Ike as golfer is unfair it is, but hey, get over it I particularly enjoyed the passages dealing with his complex relationship with Richard Nixon Ike had as hard a time fathoming Nixon s motives as the rest of us, but also appreciated Nixon s virtues yes, there were some All in all, an excellent summary of the presidency of one of the better occupants of the White House This was a really good biography of the presidential years of Dwight D Eisenhower While he definitely had some failings as a President, he was pretty good at governing His failure tofully confront McCarthy and the Red Baiting that his fellow Republicans put the country through as well as his missteps onfully pursuing civil rights are the major failings However, he was very good at putting politics and specifically party politics aside and doing what was best for the country. Very good People seem to be looking backfondly at the Eisenhower presidency because of the frustrations moderates are having withrecent Republican presidents This books offers a positive take on Ike, particularly focusing on Ike s desire to find balance between the left and right This balance often worked well, particularly in dealing with foreign policy and the issue of nuclear weapons use, and in dealing with domestic budgetary issues However, Newton does not shy away from poin Very good People seem to be looking backfondly at the Eisenhower presidency because of the frustrations moderates are having withrecent Republican presidents This books offers a positive take on Ike, particularly focusing on Ike s desire to find balance between the left and right This balance often worked well, particularly in dealing with foreign policy and the issue of nuclear weapons use, and in dealing with domestic budgetary issues However, Newton does not shy away from pointing out Ike s massive errors of moderation in discussing race issues, and in allowing for some foreign policy fiascos All in all, it seems to me that America is better off for having Ike as president for 8 years, particularly when compared to some of his rivals Taft, McArther, Stevenson, eg But again, he could have been MUCH better Too many people, in no small part because of Ike s moderation, never had the opportunity to pursue their dreams in a society of equality We are definitely lucky when it came to nuclear weapons and strategies considered with their existence in mind as with JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, human civilization probably owes no small amount of thanks to Ike for keeping calm and carrying on I absolutely loved this book If it weren t for a few pesky details I would have happily given it 5 stars.First, the pesky detailsThe first few chapters are thematic summaries of Eisenhower s life before he reached the White House When I started reading the book I forgot to pay attention to the subtitle and started getting very disappointed in the book Newton s tome on Earl Warren was fascinating and I was hoping for the same with this book When I saw the subtitle, Newton s organizational cho I absolutely loved this book If it weren t for a few pesky details I would have happily given it 5 stars.First, the pesky detailsThe first few chapters are thematic summaries of Eisenhower s life before he reached the White House When I started reading the book I forgot to pay attention to the subtitle and started getting very disappointed in the book Newton s tome on Earl Warren was fascinating and I was hoping for the same with this book When I saw the subtitle, Newton s organizational choice made sense for these early chapters That being said, thematic overviews are not my favorite way to summarize history A casual or even studious reader might easily get tripped up in the overlapping, back and forth nature of these early chapters Additionally, this style lends itself to historiographical errors On the bright side, Newton avoids those errors and does an admirable job at keeping the timeline straight That being said, it s still not my favorite.The other pesky detail came in the epilogue Newton s bias in favor of Eisenhower shined bright and clear in the epilogue As a historian who strives for as much objectivity as I can maintain, this rubbed me the wrong way just a little I hated the fact that it was the last thing I read in the book.Besides those two pesky details, I find no fault in the book Newton s prose is captivating He transitions easily from widely disparate subjects as is necessary which writing in depth about a president s term in office After reading this book, I find it hard to believe that there is a man or woman alive today that would want the job of President When Newton introduces a new player on the presidential stage, the text is like a mini biography that wets the appetite to learnabout that man or woman Newton also capably summarizes news events that could easily baffle the average reader if the writer is not careful I learned so much by reading this book A good sign that I liked the book I want to read evenabout the topics discussed within.One last note, I m tempted to laugh every time time I read about Nixon now I ve read three biographies Earl Warren and Eisenhower written by Newton and Cronkite written by Brinkley that paint a picture of a man who I would think would never have gotten elected President if I didn t know otherwise.I strongly recommend this book to any lover of history, especially Presidential history Newton has put together a thorough study of Eisenhower as a president His writing was interesting and easy to follow My complaints about this work are mostly ideological 1 It is, in my view, too beholden to political centrism2 I think Newton s admiration for Eisenhower as a man caused him to pull his punches when reviewing the former presidents actions on racial equality and his libera use of CIA covert action While certainly a man of another era Eisenhower s reluctance to fully embrace Newton has put together a thorough study of Eisenhower as a president His writing was interesting and easy to follow My complaints about this work are mostly ideological 1 It is, in my view, too beholden to political centrism2 I think Newton s admiration for Eisenhower as a man caused him to pull his punches when reviewing the former presidents actions on racial equality and his libera use of CIA covert action While certainly a man of another era Eisenhower s reluctance to fully embrace civil rights must be seen with clear eyes Additionally the moral quagmires and atrocities caused by the meddling in other nations governments has been a lasting stain on the soul of his country Eisenhower did not live to see the full results of his administration s support of the Iranian coup All this being said, it is no easy task sorting out the morality and true costs of action and inaction during this tumultuous period Race relations aside, I agree with the authors premise that Eisenhower was a wise and strategically gifted leader who sought to do what he felt was right for his country An excellent portrait of Eisenhower s presidency Enough detail in the early chapters to give a measure of the man, but not so much as to bore and distract Newtown argues that the traditional interpretation of Eisenhower s tenure in the White House that Ike spent most of the time on the links, delegating substantive work to powerful aides misses the mark, largely because most people misunderstood Ike s leadership style He was not a self promoter and he resisted his staff s attempts to cl An excellent portrait of Eisenhower s presidency Enough detail in the early chapters to give a measure of the man, but not so much as to bore and distract Newtown argues that the traditional interpretation of Eisenhower s tenure in the White House that Ike spent most of the time on the links, delegating substantive work to powerful aides misses the mark, largely because most people misunderstood Ike s leadership style He was not a self promoter and he resisted his staff s attempts to claim credit on his behalf He preferred a middle way, true, but not because it was the path of least resistance On the contrary, he beat backconservative Republican Party members on a range of issues including tax cuts, resisted his national security advisers desire to pursue asweeping and costly security program along the lines of what Kennedy later adopted , and firmly believed that a balanced, sustainable approach to spending and policy was the only successful recipe for the long term good of the country Newton spends some time explaining the role Ike s friends The Gang played in his life These men were clearly influential with Ike, but Newton does not fall into the trap of labeling these as inappropriate ties based on contemporary standards of conduct He does discuss the sacking of Sherman Adams for similar ties, but does not draw the link Ike s record on civil rights was not impressive, and his private remarks at the time reveal a certain amount of racism His relationship with Nixon was never great he considered dropping him from the ticket when he ran for a second term and did not endorse him particularly strongly in the 1960 campaign Ike s famous farewell address warned of a military industrial complex and a scientific technical elite coming to wield undue influence in the halls of government On this he was prescient, but Newton shows that Ike had been thinking about this for many years, referencing the military industrial complex though not in those precise words in a 1953 speech The 1950s are often remembered as a quiet period of stagnation presided over by a kindly grandfather type president A study of the Eisenhower Administration proves that it was anything but that It included the end of the Korean War, the invasion of Lebanon and the Suez Crisis It was a period of covert action that effected pro American regime change in Iran and Guatemala but also saw the U 2 crash and the rise of Castro The Army was challenged by Sen Joseph McCarthy who was, in turn, defeate The 1950s are often remembered as a quiet period of stagnation presided over by a kindly grandfather type president A study of the Eisenhower Administration proves that it was anything but that It included the end of the Korean War, the invasion of Lebanon and the Suez Crisis It was a period of covert action that effected pro American regime change in Iran and Guatemala but also saw the U 2 crash and the rise of Castro The Army was challenged by Sen Joseph McCarthy who was, in turn, defeated by Ike It was a decade of accomplishment that saw the building of the St Lawrence Seaway, the start of the interstate highway system and the admission of two new states Eisenhower participated in summits with Khrushchev in the United States and the aborted one in Geneva.President Eisenhower is presented as a general, family man, politician and world statesman He had his successes in his own electoral victories but failed to rebuild the Republican Party He was disappointed in some of his personnel selections, such as Chief Justice Earl Warren, Vice President Nixon about whom he harbored reservations and aid Sherman Adams who fell from power over a vicuna coat He battled back from a series of health problems including a heart attack, ileitis and a stroke that would likely not be tolerated in a president today Eisenhower The White House Years is a well organized narrative of a crucial part of our post war history It guides the reader through the challenges and the steps Eisenhower took to meet them It reminds us of the extraordinary men who played important roles in bringing Ike to the White House and worked with him in it, men like Herbert Brownell and John Foster Dulles The Epilogue tells of Ike s retirement and an assessment of his legacy As readers of my reviews know, I have read many presidential histories and this is one of the best I have rarely such a well ordered explanation of a president s service Newton s contribution is as cogent an inventory of Eisenhower s White House years as I ve ever read He blends masterful writing with historic detail and provides the value added of Ike as the man and the leader Chuck Hagel, Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University US Senator Newly discovered and declassified documents make for a surprising and revealing portrait of the president we thought we knewAmerica s thirty fourth president was belittled by his critics as the babysitter in chief This new look reveals how wrong they were Dwight Eisenhower was bequeathed the atomic bomb and refused to use it He ground down Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism until both became, as he said, McCarthywasm He stimulated the economy to lift it from recession, built an interstate highway system, turned anbillion deficit ininto amillion surplus inIke was the last President until Bill Clinton to leave his country in the black The President Eisenhower of popular imagination is a benign figure, armed with a putter, a winning smile, and little else The Eisenhower of veteran journalist Jim Newton s rendering is shrewd, sentimental, and tempestuous He mourned the death of his first son and doted on his grandchildren but could, one aide recalled, peel the varnish off a desk with his temper Mocked as shallow and inarticulate, he was in fact a meticulous manager Admired as a general, he was a champion of peace In Korea and Vietnam, in Quemoy and Berlin, his generals urged him to wage nuclear war Time and again he considered the idea and rejected it And it was Eisenhower who appointed the liberal justices Earl Warren and William Brennan and who then called in the military to enforce desegregation in the schoolsRare interviews, newly discovered records, and fresh insights undergird this gripping and timely narrativeJIM NEWTON is a veteran journalist who began his career as clerk to James Reston at the New York Times Since then, he has worked as a reporter at the Atlanta Constitution and as a reporter, bureau chief and editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he presently is the editor at large and author of a weekly column He also is an educator and author, whose acclaimed biography of Chief Justice Earl Warren, Justice for All Earl Warren and the Nation He Made, was published inHe lives in Pasadena, CA From the Hardcover edition Newton s recounting of Dwight Eisenhower s years in the White House was rather eye opening for someone who was a child during his two terms as President I do remember thinking that he sort of breezed through and that the real Cold War problems occurred after he left office But, it isn t so he didthan met the eye of observers to stave off a nuclear engagement which would have destroyed much of humanity and civilization And he did it by bluffing and cajoling opponents, such as the R Newton s recounting of Dwight Eisenhower s years in the White House was rather eye opening for someone who was a child during his two terms as President I do remember thinking that he sort of breezed through and that the real Cold War problems occurred after he left office But, it isn t so he didthan met the eye of observers to stave off a nuclear engagement which would have destroyed much of humanity and civilization And he did it by bluffing and cajoling opponents, such as the Russians He flatly refused to allow his aides, Cabinet heads, and military leaders to instigate such a war, even when the practically begged him to utilize limited tactical nuclear weapons The downside was that he approved covert operations to overthrow leaders of whom he did not approve we all know what sort of instability that led to in Africa, the Middle East, etc He also was slower to confront the rising racial issues of the time, though he mobilized the federal troops when faced with insurrection in the South over school integration He remains a hero to most United States citizens, and in much of Europe I certainly have a better appreciation of his quiet approach to concerns in both the country and the world of his time

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