The Corner

Blegging Ike

What’s the best one-volume biography of Dwight David Eisenhower?

I’m particularly interested in Ike’s conduct of the cold war  as chief executive.  Why did he settle for stalement in Korea but insist upon massive nuclear superiority?  Why did he refuse to intervene, even diplomatically, in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, then permit training to go forward for an invasion of the Bay of Pigs?  Why did he devote some ten percent of GDP to defense (compare this with a brief high, under Reagan, of only six percent, or with the current figure of not quite four percent), then warn, in his farewell address, against “the military-industrial complex?”

Supposedly bland and detached, Ike proved crafty and complicated instead.  What’s the one book–one–that does the best job of describing what Ike was thinking?

Please place “Ike” in your subject heading. And to the best-read audience in cyberspace, thanks.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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