By Jean Edward Smith
Random House, $40.00, 976 pages
In this new biography Jean Edward Smith explores the life and time of Dwight Eisenhower that could be viewed as a bridge across the 20th Century. As Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces and President during the mid-1950s, Eisenhower helped usher America into an age of peace and prosperity. Despite his growing up in a small town in Kansas, Eisenhower quickly rose through the ranks after joining the army and going to West Point. Becoming friends with important people helped his career. While Eisenhower might have never actually commanded troops in battles, he was excellent at playing the political games. After the war he briefly worked with President Truman. He ran on a record of restoring peace to the United States. Eisenhower was convinced that there is no way to back down and America can live in peace with its neighbors. Being not a die hard Republican, Eisenhower was willing to make hard decisions. He is also known for building the interstate highway system.
This is an excellent biography. Mr. Smith is not afraid to criticize Eisenhower and doesn’t glorify him. He puts Eisenhower into his context that makes this book a quick and enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter