Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Eisenhower, A Life by Paul Johnson

Publisher: Viking, September 8, 2014
Genre: Non-fiction, biography
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 144
Rating: 3 Stars for Good.
Source: Free copy from Viking in exchange for a review.

Author page for Paul Johnson.

For more information at publisher: Eisenhower.

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Summary:
In the 20th Century, Dwight David Eisenhower, also known as Ike, is a person who stands "head-and-shoulders" above so many of the more talked about historical figures. It was remarked in the book, that Ike appeared to be taller than his erect 5'10 stature. He was a man who people were attracted to, they leaned in closer to listen to him, his famous grin charmed the most difficult of people. Eisenhower, covers his childhood in a small town in Kansas, to his studies and training at West Point, to the successful years in the army-including the battle at Normandy, to his stint as a college president, his years in the White House, and the few brief years of retirement.

My Thoughts:
My first thought when the book arrived by mail is "gosh this is a short biography!" I was shocked, floored, that a biography on Eisenhower would be 144 pages! How can a person of his magnitude in history be 144 pages? I never got over the shock.
The book itself is fine. It's interesting reading material. I read the book cover to cover in one sitting.
But, I came away wanting so much more.
If you are a reader who prefers short reads, Eisenhower is the book for you.
If you are a reader who loves to read thorough biographies, Eisenhower is not the book for you.
I do feel this edition is perfect for a student of public or homeschooling. For a student the book gives the concise history of Eisenhower, all the basics are covered from his life.
Because my dad was a World War II Veteran, and Veteran of D-Day Omaha Beach, and Veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Eisenhower is a favorite historical figure for me. I admire him.
One of the points in the book I enjoyed reading was Eisenhower's relationship with Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur as we all know was not a easy to get a long with person, his ego sucked all the air out of the room, building, and continent. The precarious nature of working with MacArthur is explored, but in brief.
Another point is Eisenhower's gifted writing skills in a speech, and his oration. He also was astute at dealing with the press.
The current people in the White House needs to study Eisenhower. Maybe I should send them this copy?


I found an excellent video of an Eisenhower interview 20 years after D-Day.


Video of Eisenhower commenting on John F. Kennedy's death. This is also excellent.


Link for more videos, many of them short: Eisenhower.

Link for Eisenhower's speeches from 1943-1961: Eisenhower.

Link for Eisenhower's speech on The US and the Middle East: Eisenhower.  


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