The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s

The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s Review

An original and penetrating assessment of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, showing Ike’s enormous influence on modern America, the Cold War, and on the presidency itself.

In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Dwight D. Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, behind the perennial top four: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt. Historian William Hitchcock shows that this high ranking is justified. Eisenhower’s accomplishments were enormous, and loom ever larger from the vantage point of our own tumultuous times. A former general, Ike kept the peace: he ended the Korean War, avoided a war in Vietnam, adroitly managed a potential confrontation with China, and soothed relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. He guided the Republican Party to embrace central aspects of the New Deal like Social Security. He thwarted the demagoguery of McCarthy and he advanced the agenda of civil rights for African Americans. As part of his strategy to wage, and win, the Cold War, Eisenhower expanded American military power, built a fearsome nuclear arsenal and launched the space race. In his famous Farewell Address, he acknowledged that Americans needed such weapons in order to keep global peace—but he also admonished his citizens to remain alert to the potentially harmful influence of the “military-industrial complex.”

From 1953 to 1961 no one dominated the world stage as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Age of Eisenhower is the definitive account of this presidency, drawing extensively on declassified material from the Eisenhower Library, the CIA and Defense Department, and troves of unpublished documents. In his masterful account, Hitchcock shows how Ike shaped modern America, and he astutely assesses Eisenhower’s close confidants, from Attorney General Brownell to Secretary of State Dulles. The result is an eye-opening reevaluation that explains why this “do-nothing” president is rightly regarded as one of the best leaders our country has ever had.

Title:The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • ALLEN

    In my opinion this biography is the right thing at the right time, and a joy to read. Unlike other popular biographies, William I. Hitchcock's The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s...

  • Brent

    I really like this balanced, well-researched new biography of the Eisenhower presidency. Coverage of diplomacy and politics is top-notch. Coverage of civil rights is rich, and, like Eisenhower's own v...

  • Cynthia

    Hitchcock’s biography of Eisenhower is a good blend of Eisenhower’s political and personal life, his military and his public careers though the personal takes a back seat. As is required for such ...

  • Casey Wheeler

    I received a free Kindle copy of The Age of Eisenhower by William Hitchcock courtesy of Net Galley  and Simon and Schuster, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review ...

  • Melissa Dee

    Hitchcock carefully unwraps the history of the Eisenhower administration, with a balanced attention to both its strengths and its failures.I was left agreeing with Nixon’s conclusion, that Eisenhowe...

  • Chris Carson

    Excellent book on the Age of Eisenhower, often reported as a mediocre President compared to FDR and JFK - Ike was an accomplished leader before entering the White House and further his stature with tw...

  • Bill Powers

    I've always considered Eisenhower to be underrated as President of the United States. Hitchcock's very thorough and detailed assessment of Eisenhower as politician, President and leader of the free wo...

  • Barbara

    As a child of the 1950's, I remember very little about this time period. I do recall the "I Like Ike" buttons the adults wore during the 1956 campaign. The book gave me the political information I was...

  • Rob

    Outstanding treatment of Ike and 50s. I thought I knew this stuff, but there were many interesting - and new to me - Cold War nuggets. Exceedingly well written and organized. Thoroughly enjoyable read...

  • Mitchell Kaufman

    Just an excellent biography of David Dwight Eisenhower and his underappreciated role in American history, warts and all. This isn't a perfect president, it isn't a partisan president, but it is about ...