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Extended Audio Sample Eisenhower in War and Peace Audiobook, 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: July 2012 ISBN: 9781464008283
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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 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 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 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 Stanley Cloud | 1/21/2014

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 1/21/2014

    " The first President I remember. I saw a chart in high school (1965) that rated his presidency as below average when rated against the other presidents. I dismissed Ike at that point and never looked at him again until I was in Abilene KS (2006). Went to the Eisenhower Presidential Library. Since then I have found a great deal to admire about the man and his Presidency. If you are a Eisenhower novice or admirer or just want to read about one of the most important men in the 20th century. Check it out. Warning... If you want to preserve your myths about JFK you may want to stay away. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dr. Heather | 1/11/2014

    " A wonderful account of the era as well as the man. He asked to have his title of General back after he finished his second presidential term. That epitomizes him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Denoo | 1/6/2014

    " This is an outstanding book. I read this book 5 times so far. Every time I read it I am more impressed with what he did. He tells us how to solve the countries problems today. No one listens. Please read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leo Hurley | 1/5/2014

    " Outstanding. I have a new respect for a man who was truly an American hero. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Welles | 12/8/2013

    " Really good insightful book about Ike who is really one of the good guys. Didn't shy away from using connections for advancement. Wasn't top of his class but great leadership akills "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Manray9 | 7/3/2013

    " As the dust jacket blurb asserts, Smith is "indubitably America's most distinguished biographer." "Eisenhower in War and Peace" is detailed and erudite, but also exceedingly well written. It is a masterpiece of the biographer's art. Highly recommended! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Gordon | 2/3/2013

    " Excellent account of the life of a good man who was a far better president than many of us realize. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken French | 1/4/2013

    " Supurb biography and one of the few to concentrate on Ike's presidency as much as his military career. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cinda | 11/15/2012

    " I hated to close this one. A wonderful telling of Ike's life, wisdom, and human qualities.. Wish we had more like him in the power corridors of this country now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Massarini RHIT | 10/15/2012

    " Very good in general. One completely unfounded reference to Adlai Stevenson being a homosexual comes ot of the blue in reference to Mamie's drinking! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joel | 8/1/2012

    " The more things change the more they remain the same. Bio of a great general and one of our best and most underrated presidents. Ike had the most amazing, even uncanny political insight. He would be amazed himself at how things have gone, and are going today "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Alexander | 4/14/2012

    " A great biography of a distinguished if flawed general and president of the USA. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Bouthillette | 3/21/2012

    " Long and detailed. Well referenced and thorough. Jean Edward Smith does an excellent job of teaching me who Dwight D. Eisenhower really is. A history book that any WWII enthusiast could learn something from. "

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About the Author
Author Jean Edward Smith

Jean Edward Smith is an acclaimed biographer and university professor. Named “Today’s foremost biographer of formidable figures in American history” by George Will, he has written biographies on a number of prominent figures in US history. His work has earned him many awards and accolades; his biography of Ulysses S. Grant was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2002, and his biography on President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower in War and Peace, was a New York Times bestseller. Currently, Smith is the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University; he also taught previously at the University of Toronto as a professor of political economy for 35 years. 

About the Narrator

Paul Hecht’s long career in audiobooks spans dozens of titles and authors as varied as Ray Bradbury and Gore Vidal, Jack Finney and Thomas Mann. He has recorded such books as Bob Dole’s One Soldier’s Story and Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verbs and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances. Hecht’s theater career in New York includes many Broadway and television credits. He has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations.