Ike and Dick by Jeffrey Frank
Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage

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At the heart of "Ike and Dick" are marvelously cringe-inducing anecdotes that capture an awkward relationship that improved over time without ever truly blooming.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon had a political and private relationship that lasted nearly twenty years, a tie that survived hurtful slights, tense misunderstandings, and the distance between them in age and temperament. Yet the two men brought out the best and worst in each other, and their association had important consequences for their respective presidencies.

In Ike and Dick, Jeffrey Frank rediscovers these two compelling figures with the sensitivity of a novelist and the discipline of a historian. He offers a fresh view of the younger Nixon as a striving tactician, as well as the ever more perplexing person that he became. He portrays Eisenhower, the legendary soldier, as a cold, even vain man with a warm smile whose sound instincts about war and peace far outpaced his understanding of the changes occurring in his own country.

Eisenhower and Nixon shared striking characteristics: high intelligence, cunning, and an aversion to confrontation, especially with each other. Ike and Dick, informed by dozens of interviews and deep archival research, traces the path of their relationship in a dangerous world of recurring crises as Nixon’s ambitions grew and Eisenhower was struck by a series of debilitating illnesses. And, as the 1968 election cycle approached and the war in Vietnam roiled the country, it shows why Eisenhower, mortally ill and despite his doubts, supported Nixon’s final attempt to win the White House, a change influenced by a family matter: his grandson David’s courtship of Nixon’s daughter Julie—teenagers in love who understood the political stakes of their union.
 

About Jeffrey Frank

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Jeffrey Frank was a senior editor at The New Yorker and the deputy editor of the Washington Post’s Outlook section. He is the author of four novels, including the Washington Trilogy—The Columnist, Bad Publicity, and Trudy Hopedale. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Diana. They have one son.
 
Published February 5, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 449 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Ike and Dick
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by JOE SCARBOROUGH on Feb 15 2013

A fascinating subplot in Frank’s story details Nixon’s role in pushing the administration on the issue of civil rights.

Read Full Review of Ike and Dick: Portrait of a S... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Jonathan Martin on Feb 01 2013

At the heart of "Ike and Dick" are marvelously cringe-inducing anecdotes that capture an awkward relationship that improved over time without ever truly blooming.

Read Full Review of Ike and Dick: Portrait of a S... | See more reviews from WSJ online

The Economist

Below average
on Feb 02 2013

Mr Frank tells an absorbing story in a breezy, lucid way. But as a work of history, the book leaves something to be desired.

Read Full Review of Ike and Dick: Portrait of a S... | See more reviews from The Economist

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