Three Days in January by Bret Baier
Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission

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Many have tried to assess Ike. Few succeed. Mr. Baier does, with the inspired selection of the closing event of Ike’s presidency as a touchstone in a passionate search for the diverse, complex and energizing “spirit of Ike.”
-Washington Times

Synopsis

January 1961: President Eisenhower has three days to secure the nation's future before his young successor, John F. Kennedy, takes power — a final mission by the legendary leader who planned D-Day and guided America through the darkening Cold War

Bret Baier, the Chief Political Anchor for Fox News Channel and the Anchor and Executive Editor of Special Report with Bret Baier, illuminates the extraordinary yet underappreciated presidency of Dwight Eisenhower by taking readers into Ike's last days in power. Baier masterfully casts the period between Eisenhower's now-prophetic farewell address on the evening of January 17, 1961, and Kennedy's inauguration on the afternoon of January 20 as the closing act of one of modern America's greatest leaders — during which Eisenhower urgently sought to prepare both the country and the next president for the challenges ahead.

Those three days in January 1961, Baier shows, were the culmination of a lifetime of service that took Ike from rural Kansas to West Point, to the battlefields of World War II, and finally to the Oval Office. When he left the White House, Dwight Eisenhower had done more than perhaps any other modern American to set the nation, in his words, "on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment."

On January 17, Eisenhower spoke to the nation in one of the most remarkable farewell speeches in U.S. history. Ike looked to the future, warning Americans against the dangers of elevating partisanship above national interest, excessive government budgets (particularly deficit spending), the expansion of the military-industrial complex, and the creeping political power of special interests. Seeking to ready a new generation for power, Eisenhower intensely advised the forty-three-year-old Kennedy before the inauguration.

Baier also reveals how Eisenhower's two terms changed America forever for the better — perhaps even saved the world from destruction — and demonstrates how today Ike offers us the model of principled leadership that polls say is so missing in politics. The Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War II, Eisenhower only reluctantly stepped into politics. As president, Ike successfully guided the country out of a dangerous war in Korea, peacefully through the apocalyptic threat of nuclear war with the Soviets, and into one of the greatest economic booms in world history.

Five decades later, Baier's Three Days in January forever makes clear that Eisenhower, an often forgotten giant of U.S. history, still offers vital lessons for our own time and stands as a lasting example of political leadership at its most effective and honorable.

 

About Bret Baier

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Prior to joining Fox News Channel, Bret worked for CBS in Raleigh, NC, NBC in Rockford, IL and PBS in Beaufort, SC. A graduate of DePauw University, Bret has a bachelor's degree in Political Science and English. He was a member of the DePauw golf team. He and his wife, Amy, reside in Washington, DC with their two young sons.
 
Published January 10, 2017 by William Morrow. 388 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Three Days in January
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Nov 24 2016

A focused and timely study of Eisenhower’s significant speech and the sticky transition to JFK’s inherited new world.

Read Full Review of Three Days in January: Dwight... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by Pat Roberts on Feb 19 2017

Many have tried to assess Ike. Few succeed. Mr. Baier does, with the inspired selection of the closing event of Ike’s presidency as a touchstone in a passionate search for the diverse, complex and energizing “spirit of Ike.”

Read Full Review of Three Days in January: Dwight... | See more reviews from Washington Times

Open Letters Monthly

Good
Reviewed by Steve Donoghue on Jan 19 2017

Baird’s book, for all its careful research, is clearly intended in large part to echo that political fantasy – no doubt a smart move in a book written during the heat of the calamitous 2016 US presidential campaign.

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Look At OKC

Good
Reviewed by Philip Hart on Feb 05 2017

Baier's insight in seeing the relevance of the address to current times and proceeding to call attention to it is all to the good.

Read Full Review of Three Days in January: Dwight...

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