Read Eisenhower: The White House Years by Jim Newton Free Online
Book Title: Eisenhower: The White House Years|
The author of the book: Jim Newton
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Loaded: 2583 times
Reader ratings: 7.7
Date of issue: October 4th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780385523530
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 347 KB
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An illuminating, clear and readable history of Eisenhower’s presidency. Newton concludes that Eisenhower was the right man for the times, rather than just an adequate caretaker, a babysitter-in-chief, or a bored, quiet old grandpa.
Newton emphasizes Eisenhower’s natural and consistent desire to always find a middle way between liberals and conservatives, and Newton’s discussion of how this applied to civil rights is interesting and nuanced. Newton also covers such topics as Eisenhower’s brother Edgar (who felt that the administration was almost socialist), Eisenhower’s skepticism toward Nixon, and Eisenhower’s health problems. According to Newton, civil rights was Eisenhower’s biggest blind spot. Newton does not believe Ike’s famous penchant for golf was much of a failing; instead it was a way for Eisenhower to communicate to the public that a normal life was still possible despite the hysteria and anxiety of the Cold War era.
In a thorough, reasonable style Newton covers the successes such as economic growth, avoiding a major war, avoiding nuclear confrontation, resisting increased defense spending, the interstate, the St. Lawrence seaway, bipartisanship, civil rights legislation, balancing the budget, the demise of McCarthyism and the creation of national parks. Newton also covers the failures, such as Eisenhower’s embrace of CIA operations that were mixed successes at best ( especially Iran and Guatemala), Eisenhower’s failure to exercise moral leadership over the civil rights movement, his failure to defend George Marshall from McCarthy (an episode Newton calls “imperfect”), the U-2 affair, and the treatment of Robert Oppenheimer. The author does cover Eisenhower’s famous valedictory speech and argues that Eisenhower decried the expansion of the “military-industrial complex” but not its necessity. Newton also convincingly argues that Eisenhower was the “decider” when it came to foreign policy, and Newton does not seem to believe John Foster Dulles was anywhere near as influential.
The book doesn’t always put policy decisions in enough context. And at one point Newton writes that the Chinese communists’ 1955 assault on Nationalist-held Yichang was supported by Russian air power, although I haven’t found anything to substantiate this.
Still, a coherent, engaging and well-written work.
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Read information about the authorJim Newton is editor at large of the Los Angeles Times and writes a weekly column for the Op-Ed page on the policy and politics of Southern California.
Newton came to the Los Angeles Times in 1989, having previously worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as a clerk at the New York Times, where he served as columnist James Reston's assistant from 1985-86. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the recipient of numerous local and national awards. He was part of the Los Angeles Times' coverage of the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and the earthquake of 1994, both of which were awarded Pulitzer Prizes to the staff.
Newton also is the author of two critically acclaimed, best-selling biographies, "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made," and "Eisenhower: The White House Years."
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