A New York Times bestseller, this is the “outstanding” (The Atlantic), insightful, and authoritative account of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency.
Drawing on newly declassified documents and thousands of pages of unpublished material, The Age of Eisenhower tells the story of a masterful president guiding the nation through the great crises of the 1950s, from McCarthyism and the Korean War through civil rights turmoil and Cold War conflicts. This is a portrait of a skilled leader who, despite his conservative inclinations, found a middle path through the bitter partisanship of his era. At home, Eisenhower affirmed the central elements of the New Deal, such as Social Security; fought the demagoguery of Senator Joseph McCarthy; and advanced the agenda of civil rights for African-Americans. Abroad, he ended the Korean War and avoided a new quagmire in Vietnam. Yet he also charted a significant expansion of America’s missile technology and deployed a vast array of covert operations around the world to confront the challenge of communism. As he left office, he cautioned Americans to remain alert to the dangers of a powerful military-industrial complex that could threaten their liberties.
Today, presidential historians rank Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, and William Hitchcock’s “rich narrative” (The Wall Street Journal) shows us why Ike’s stock has risen so high. He was a gifted leader, a decent man of humble origins who used his powers to advance the welfare of all Americans. Now more than ever, with this “complete and persuasive assessment” (Booklist, starred review), Americans have much to learn from Dwight Eisenhower.
William I. Hitchcock is a professor of history at the University of Virginia and the Randolph Compton Professor at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. A graduate of Kenyon College and Yale University, he is the author of The Age of Eisenhower and The Bitter Road to Freedom: The Human Cost of Allied Victory in World War II Europe, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.