Book Review: Ike and McCarthy by David A. Nichols (Five Stars)


Book Review: Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower’s secret campaign against Joseph McCarthy by David A. Nichols

Five Stars

“Always take your job seriously, never yourself.” DDE

This is what history is supposed to be. Minutely researched, but cogently told. Facts clearly delineated from opinion. Yes, Nichols has and expresses his opinions, but he does not disguise them as facts.

“We can’t defeat communism by destroying the things in which we believe.” DDE

This book is only 400 pages, not 800 like the fashionable historical biographies being peddled today. The footnotes equal a third of the text.

“Eisenhower’s penchant for camouflage contributed to the myth that he would rather play golf than pay attention to weighty matters.” Nichols

Eisenhower may have been the last progressive Republican, of the ilk of Theodore Roosevelt. The nation is the loser for their passing.

“I don’t believe in bitter partisanship. I never believe that all the wisdom is confined to one of the great parties.” DDE

Ike lied. Yes, he did. All politicians lie. It’s part of being a politician because sometimes telling lies serves the greater good. Sometimes it protects, not destroys. Ike lied to protect the nation, not himself.

“The easiest thing to so with great power is to abuse it–use it to excess.” DDE

Sadly, Richard Nixon apprenticed under Eisenhower but may have drawn many of the wrong lessons. Watergate could very easily have been his attempt to emulate his mentor. Not only did he fail tactically, but his cover-up was unworthy of the nation.

“Politics is not the frosting on the cake; it is the egg in the cake.” Henry Cabot Lodge

1 thought on “Book Review: Ike and McCarthy by David A. Nichols (Five Stars)

  1. Great review. These books aren’t usually my “thing” but this one might be. Kke’s “Never believe that wisdom is confined to one of the great parties.” I agree.

    Plus your painting I call “Polar Express” is at the top of the page.

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