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Extended Audio Sample Eisenhower in War and Peace, by Jean Edward Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (376 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jean Edward Smith Narrator: Paul Hecht Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In his magisterial bestseller FDR, Jean Edward Smith gave us a fresh, modern look at one of the most indelible figures in American history. Now this peerless biographer returns with a new life of Dwight D. Eisenhower that is as full, rich, and revealing as anything ever written about America’s 34th president. As America searches for new heroes to lead it out of its present-day predicaments, Jean Edward Smith’s achievement lies in reintroducing us to a hero from the past whose virtues have become clouded in the mists of history.

Here is Eisenhower the young dreamer, charting a course from Abilene, Kansas, to West Point, to Paris under Pershing, and beyond. Drawing on a wealth of untapped primary sources, Smith provides new insight into Ike’s maddening apprenticeship under Douglas MacArthur in Washington and the Philippines. Then the whole panorama of World War II unfolds, with Eisenhower’s superlative generalship forging the Allied path to victory through multiple reversals of fortune in North Africa and Italy, culminating in the triumphant invasion of Normandy. Smith also gives us an intriguing examination of Ike’s finances, details his wartime affair with Kay Summersby, and reveals the inside story of the 1952 Republican convention that catapulted him to the White House.

Smith’s chronicle of Eisenhower’s presidential years is as compelling as it is comprehensive. Derided by his detractors as a somnambulant caretaker, Eisenhower emerges in Smith’s perceptive retelling as both a canny politician and a skillful, decisive leader. Smith convincingly portrays an Eisenhower who engineered an end to America’s three-year no-win war in Korea, resisted calls for preventative wars against the Soviet Union and China, and boldly deployed the Seventh Fleet to protect Formosa from invasion. This Eisenhower, Smith shows us, stared down Khrushchev over Berlin and forced the withdrawal of British, French, and Israeli forces from the Suez Canal. He managed not only to keep the peace—after Ike made peace in Korea, not one American soldier was killed in action during his tenure—but also to enhance America’s prestige in the Middle East and throughout the world.

Domestically, Eisenhower reduced defense spending, balanced the budget, constructed the interstate highway system, and provided social security coverage for millions who were self-employed. Ike believed that traditional American values encompassed change and progress.

Unmatched in insight, Eisenhower in War and Peace at last gives us an Eisenhower for our time—and for the ages.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Magisterial.”

    New York Times

  • “Always engrossing…Smith describes a man who commanded the largest coalition army in history without grandiloquent posturing…leaving office more popular than any successor…Smith portrays a genuinely admirable Eisenhower: smart, congenial, unpretentious, and no ideologue. Despite competing biographies from Ambrose, Perret, and D’Este, this is the best.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Smith, America’s greatest living biographer, demonstrates why, now more than ever, Americans should like Ike.”

    George F. Will

  • “Jean Smith, indubitably America’s most distinguished biographer, has now produced the classic life of Dwight Eisenhower. Ike, who rose from an anti-military and non-elite background, resides in the ranks of the greatest war heroes of history, not to speak of his place as a leader of post–Second World War peace. Here he comes alive on every page—the beneficiary of the exhausting fresh research this handsomely written book is based upon. When the General died, Mamie, his lifelong wife, allowed that she never fully knew her famous husband. No reader of Smith’s work will render the same complaint.”

    Henry F. Graff, professor emeritus of history, Columbia University

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Earl | 2/12/2014

    " One of the few biographies I ever read that didn't require me to 'plow thru it'. Maybe it was because I am nearly a contemporary with Ike and have fond memories of the era in which he was our leader. I also happened to march in his Inaugural Parade 1957. 700 man battalion from 82nd Airborne. We practiced for weeks (meaning we avoided MUCH chickenshit during this time!) marched with fixed bayonets on M1 Garand rifles. Close order drill with fixed bayonets was a bit dicey, but who worried when you're 20?). Some of our tail-end charlies got lost swinging around those corners and walked back thru the crowd with their fixed bayonets. (I love my Army stories where the Army f***ed up!) Ike knew enough about war to NOT commit American kids to bullshit wars. But he stood ready to go nuclear should the occasion arise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Richard Wheeler | 2/11/2014

    " This is a magisterial biography of one of America's finest men. It transformed me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Roseanne | 1/22/2014

    " I'm about 2/3 of the way through this, and although it's taking me a long time to finish, I'm enjoying it very much. Eisenhower is perhaps one of the more under-rated presidents, and I really like how Smith handles his presidency. Also gives good insight into how Eisenhower managed the European war. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Stanley Cloud | 1/21/2014

    " World War II portion terrific! The rest: fair. "

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