Eisenhower by Jim Newton
The White House Years

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Synopsis

“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; U.S. Senator (1997–2009)

Newly discovered and declassified documents make for a surprising and revealing portrait of the president we thought we knew.

America’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 an $8 billion deficit in 1953 into a $500 million surplus in 1960. (Ike 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 schools.

Rare interviews, newly discovered records, and fresh insights undergird this gripping and timely narrative.

JIM 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 in 2006. He lives in Pasadena, CA.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jim Newton

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JIM 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, bureau chief and editor of the Los Angeles Times, where he presently is the editor-at-large. He also is an educator and author, whose acclaimed biography of Chief Justice Earl Warren, Justice for All, was published in 2006. He lives in Pasadena, CA.
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Anchor. 464 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Eisenhower

Kirkus Reviews

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13th, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-385-52353-0 Page count: 468pp ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Eisenhower's timid middleism on civil rights looks uglier, but Newton (Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made) notes that, once the courts ruled, Ike took his marching orders and sent troops to enforce school desegregation.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Eisenhower: The White House Y...

The Wall Street Journal

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Eisenhower was a political moderate often in search of a "middle way," a vigilant Cold Warrior aware of the strengths and limits of American power.

Oct 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Eisenhower: The White House Y...

The Washington Times

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Eisenhower’s programs were those of the tough-as-nails leader who had led the allies to victory, but his penchant for splitting the difference exacerbated problems within the party, and his refusal to roll back Democratic social programs set the stage for the emergence of conservatives like Barry...

Dec 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Eisenhower: The White House Y...

Los Angeles Times

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The author examines President Dwight D. Eisenhower's eight years in office thoroughly and reasonably.

Oct 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Eisenhower: The White House Y...

Christian Science Monitor

There are two kinds of popular presidential biographies.

Oct 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Eisenhower: The White House Y...

Bookmarks Magazine

Eisenhower was not complacent--he authorized the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran and Arbenz in Guatemala and welcomed the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg--but nor was he reckless or unhinged. Eisenhower was a terrific poker player, and he played his cards carefully, mindful of the ...

Oct 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Eisenhower: The White House Y...

The Roanoke Times

This war hero’s greatest contribution was in resisting his generals’ and some of his advisers’ push in times of crisis for hostilities that could easily have resulted in a third global war, with the devastation that only nuclear weapons could produce.

Jan 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Eisenhower: The White House Y...

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