A clear and comprehensive biography of the twentieth century president. Though Eisenhower has long suffered from the grandfatherly caretaker image painted by the press then, Ike emerges from Korda’s pages as a capable, though quiet leader who European victories during World War Two carried into the White House a decade later.
Kordas relies heavily on public writings which might have biased his book toward conventional wisdom, but he goes against the tide of even his fellow Englishmen in Ike’s famous head butting with Brit favorite Montgomery during the war, and his capable handling of both foreign and domestic issues as President. As historians now know, the supposed “Missile Gap” a Soviet fiction picked up by a willing Democrat election machine.
If anything Kordas focuses more on World War Two than Ike’s presidency. He details the issues with Montgomery and Patton as well as Ike’s working with all the various political, diplomatic and logistical headaches. The Kay Summersby affair is examined separating fact from fiction. (You’ll be surprised what’s fiction.)
Good research, good writing, good interpretation. A needed corrective of several long-term distortions.