The Corner

U.S.

I Like Susan (Eisenhower)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower talks with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip following their arrival in Washington on October 17, 1957. (Reuters / National Museum of the U.S. Navy / U.S. Department of Defense)

The Eisenhowers, Dwight and Mamie, had two children, one of whom died at three. (He was Doud — “Doud” being his mother’s maiden name.) The other, John, became a military officer, diplomat, and historian. He had four children, including Susan, who is a veteran policy strategist and author.

She is my guest on Q&A, here.

Susan was about 18 when her illustrious grandfather passed on; Mamie lived ten years after. Susan knew them both well, and she wrote a book about her grandmother: Mrs. Ike. She has now written How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions.

We talk about some of those decisions: personal, military, and political. We talk about D-Day, for example, and the Holocaust. About Ike’s tenure as president of Columbia University. About his decision to run for president — of the United States, that is — as a Republican. About many other things: including Augusta National and golf. (Given my interests, I could hardly fail to bring up those.)

To some, the Fifties are a gray, dull period. It was the Sixties when things really got going, for better or worse. This is a strange view. The Fifties included, among other things, the Korean War, decolonization, Suez, the Hungarian Revolution, Sputnik — and American racial drama, as at Little Rock.

It is a pleasure to listen to Susan Eisenhower, whose familiarity with the relevant events is intimate. He was really an extraordinary figure, Eisenhower. Again, our podcast is here.

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