Even Academics Like Ike Now

Dwight D. Eisenhower was a paradoxical man—warm in groups but frosty in person; not an intellectual but steeped in history; a simple man who dominated giants. Jean Edward Smith's tome offers insight into this self-effacing yet effective man.

Issue: Mar-Apr 2012

Jean Edward Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace (New York: Random House, 2012), 976 pp., $40.00.

HE EXUDED warmth to large groups but was frosty in person. He was not an intellectual but had a remarkable mastery of history. He was known as a duffer but had a deep understanding of the mainstreams of his time. He was a pale eminence in a panorama of striking twentieth-century presidents. He was a southerner who didn’t resist desegregation, a military man who spoke of the evils of the military-industrial complex, and a Westerner whose rejection of the entreaties of Britain and France during the Suez crisis gave hope and inspiration to Third World nations around the world. He understood the necessity of military sacrifice, but he made no presidential decisions that led to an American combat death.

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