Wuthering Ike

A review of Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda.

Issue: Mar-Apr 2008

Michael Korda, Ike: An American Hero (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 779 pp., $34.95.


DWIGHT D. Eisenhower was surely one of the most underrated presidents in American history. Posing as the amiable duffer and famed for his garbled sentences, Eisenhower was widely ridiculed by liberal elites at the time-and this perception has endured (perhaps, in part, because Eisenhower let an alcoholic Senator Joe McCarthy self-destruct rather than openly confronting him). Yet, particularly when measured against more contemporary presidents, Eisenhower was a quite successful chief executive. After all, during his tenure in the Oval Office, there was no war between the great powers, no economic recession, no real confrontation with the Soviets (apart from the U-2 glitch), no riots at home. What's not to like?

So a second look at Dwight D. Eisenhower and his presidency seems overdue. While Michael Korda has produced a sound, thoughtful and highly readable account, Ike does not quite fit the bill.

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