Download Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World Audiobook

Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhowers Secret Battle to Save the World Audiobook, by Evan Thomas Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Evan Thomas Narrator: Brian Troxell Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781619691919
3.01197132616487 out of 53.01197132616487 out of 53.01197132616487 out of 53.01197132616487 out of 53.01197132616487 out of 5 3.01 (279 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Upon assuming the presidency in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower came to be seen by many as a doddering lightweight. Yet behind the bland smile and apparent simplemindedness was a brilliant, intellectual tactician. As Evan Thomas reveals in his provocative examination of Ike’s White House years, Eisenhower was a master of calculated duplicity. As with his bridge and poker games he was eventually forced to stop playing after leaving too many fellow army officers insolvent, Ike could be patient and ruthless in the con, and generous and expedient in his partnerships. Facing the Soviet Union, China, and his own generals, some of whom believed a first strike was the only means of survival, Eisenhower would make his boldest and riskiest bet yet, one of such enormity that there could be but two outcomes: the survival of the world—or its end.

This is the story of how he won.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With grace, insight, and originality, Evan Thomas has written a brilliant and engaging book about the most important of subjects: how close we came to Armageddon in the seemingly placid 1950s. Thomas’ Eisenhower is a canny savior, a president who kept the peace through feint and bluff. No one writes more astutely or more honestly than Evan Thomas. This is the work of a master of storytelling at his best.”

    Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • “Evan Thomas’ profoundly important book shows how the card-playing general who did as much as anyone to win World War II became the president most adroit at preserving peace. Behind his open smile, Eisenhower was a secretive and subtle leader with quiet moral courage. By projecting confidence while keeping his intentions concealed, he became the model of a nuclear-age peacekeeper. Thomas has produced a fascinating history that is also a brilliant guide to great leadership.”

    Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs

  • “Dwight Eisenhower was a great general and president because he was a great leader, and Ike’s Bluff uncracks the code. Evan Thomas’ original and fascinating book is an immersion in the Eisenhower School of Leadership, with lessons not only for presidents and military officers but leaders in other arenas of American life operating in moments of both tranquility and rapid change. Especially in these times, Thomas’ book is an essential reminder that strong leadership can be exercised with kindness, morality and respect for opponents.”

    Michael Beschloss New York Times bestselling author of The Conquerors

  • “A bustling, anecdotal book with a high-concept premise. [Thomas] approaches the ever more changeable Eisenhower legacy with new and intriguing questions.”

    New York Times

  • “Evan Thomas has written an insightful and penetrating study of my father, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dad was a hard man to know; he played it close to the chest. So despite my extensive exposure to him throughout forty six years, I still found myself learning new aspects, some of which, I must admit, are a bit painful. But the balance that Thomas achieves between Eisenhower the public servant and Eisenhower the man is, in my opinion, as close to the mark as we are likely to see.”

    John Eisenhower

  • “A thoroughly researched, tightly organized, and briskly written biography…Thomas is especially skilled at bringing characters of the era to life.”

    Washington Post

  • “An enjoyable book, fast-moving and packed with anecdotes.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “An imaginative, approachable volume that may well accelerate Eisenhower’s slow but seemingly inexorable movement toward presidential greatness. Evan Thomas is right. The greatest victories of the man who helped win World War II were the wars he did not fight.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Well-researched and highly readable…Thomas’ account is sure to appeal to older readers who can recall the mandatory duck-and-cover drills in the classroom and to others with an interest in a fascinating and pivotal period when the nation was in better hands than many at the time probably realized.”

    Associated Press

  • “[Thomas is] a five-star biographer who blows apart that image [of Ike as a bumbling old man] with devastating detail.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Highly absorbing.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Thomas has written a book that elucidates Eisenhower’s wisdom for general readers.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • A New York Times bestseller

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 7/4/2019

    " The book's scope is intentionally narrow; Therefore, it allows for deep and precise research, which Mr. Thomas has done extremely well. I have read several biographies of General/President Eisenhower and none of them has this level of detail of President Eisenhower's courage and determination to keep the World in general and The United States in particular, out of war. I commend this book to anyone, of any political persuasion, who desires to understand President Eisenhower and the environment in which he led the country. "

  • 4.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 54.333333 out of 5 Bur | 5/11/2016

    " This book is in agreement with a couple of Eisenhower books which I have read. This leads me to believe the concensus opinion. Very insightful into Ike's view of war and destruction. Indeed, he had the deeper view because of his position in WWII. Well researched and as concise as can be while telling the story. The narration was the only problem for me, due to mispronunciations of names and places, which were distracting. It require backing up, in some places, multiple times, to decide what name was meant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William | 2/13/2014

    " Interesting take on how Eisenhower choose to look ill informed and out of the loop in order to avoid answering questions he didn't want to answer. What's also true is that he had a news conference once a week. He handled the cold war with Stalin and later Kruschev (sp?) as well as anyone could have. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 1/30/2014

    " Somewhat general (no pun intended) biography of President Eisenhower's two terms in office; not sure if it is a fair comparison to expect more detail after recently reading McCullough's Truman and the first three books of Caro's LBJ series. It did feel like the author (Thomas) hit his stride in the latter 2/3 of the book (was a more engaging read as the book went on). Though in hindsight, I may have felt this way due to the two mistakes (both date related) that I found in the first quarter of the book (one was on page 4, not a way to hook your audience from the get go). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lcitera | 1/25/2014

    " This book filled a gap in my education as I knew only sketchy details as to Eisenhower. I was interested to learn that a man of military background would be so determined to keep peace in the world, or minimally keep the United States out of conflict. The Korean War, development of the nuclear bomb, Khrushchev's rise to power and the politics of the McCarthy debacle are all thoroughly examined. Eisenhower's personal life and family...and his obsession with a secondary role in the book. A bit painfully dry at times but well researched and well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 1/19/2014

    " Ike and his foreign policy OR why only 2 nukes have ever been used in wartime purposes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peregrina651 | 1/8/2014

    " Not the Ike you thought you knew. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger | 12/12/2013

    " Ike was a boring president, but a good kind of boring. This book doesn't make him much more interesting, it just explains how he used his "boring" facade as a tool against his opponents (and his staff many times). But it does help to put the '50s in context. Not a bad book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 12/10/2013

    " Loved this book. It taught me so much that I didnt know about Eisenhower's Presidency. After reading this my opinion of him is drastically changed. I reccommend this book to anyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sigrid | 11/26/2013

    " Would be a terrific book for those who are unaware of Ike's hidden hand presidency. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janette | 10/19/2013

    " A president rarely studied--I learned a lot about him as well as the Cold War. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 9/28/2013

    " Really good in depth look at Eisenhower's administration with an eye to things that the public didn't see. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay | 9/26/2013

    " Ike was the first President of the new world and the new America after WWII. Although this book deals with his Foreign Policy it does touch on his personal life a bit, Ike really loved golf & playing bridge. Very well written and it flows nicely, truly worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 4/13/2013

    " Interesting biography of Eisenhower's presidential years. More savy than most people thought and more understanding of world politics than many presidents who followed him. A good lesson and a thoughtful read for these times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 3/23/2013

    " An interesting look at Ike's handling of foreign policy during his presidency. The more I read about Eisenhower, the more I'm convinced he was the greatest President of my lifetime. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 2/4/2013

    " Fun material. But Jean Edward Smith's new biography of Ike is a better and more balanced read. "

About the Author

Evan Thomas is the author of several bestselling works of history and biography, including The War Lovers and Sea of Thunder. He was a writer and editor at Time and Newsweek for more than thirty years, and he is frequently a commentator on television and radio. He teaches at Princeton University and lives in Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Brian Troxell is an audiobook narrator and Atlanta-based actor and voice talent who can be seen and heard on television, film, radio, podcasts, and the live stage. He is a regular cast member of the Sketchworks sketch comedy troupe and performs regularly with the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company. He can also be heard as a cast member of the Harry Strange Radio Drama.