Sunday, May 1, 2011

A book report

Soldier and President
By: Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen Ambrose has written many historical books. I consider him one of the best. When I was informed about this new book, I immediately purchased it, even though I have read other books on the life of Dwight Eisenhower. I was not disappointed. It did advance my knowledge and understanding of the great contributions to our country and the world of this special human being. Rather than my usual assessment of a book I have chosen to just let the author speak for himself.
“His greatest successes came in foreign policy, and the related area of national defense spending. By making peace in Korea, and avoiding war thereafter for the next seven and one-half years, and by holding down, almost single-handedly, the pace of the arms race, he achieved his major accomplishments. ----he rebuffed Symington and the Pentagon and the JCS and the AEC and the military-industrial complex. And no one knows how many lives he saved by ending the war in Korea and refusing to enter many others, despite a half-dozen and more unanimous recommendations that he go to war.”
In my opinion only Ike with his WWII record could have held back the war lovers. Any President without his credentials would have been considered soft.
He was adamant about the need to balance the budget and was successful in achieving that goal while Americans enjoyed prosperity as never before.
This is a very readable book, extremely interesting with many insights into his decision making process. His party expected him to reverse the 16 years of control by the other party but he took the best of both and formed alliances to assure the steady progress the country enjoyed. President Eisenhower is on my short list of the greatest Presidents in our history.

Jack B. Walters
April 30, 2011

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