Magazine May 28, 2018, Issue

Ike’s Triumphs

Premier Nikolai Bulganin of the Soviet Union, President Eisenhower, Prime Minister Edgar Faure of France, and Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden of Great Britain, 1955 (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s, by William I. Hitchcock (Simon & Schuster, 672 pp., $35)

Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency has been consistently underappreciated. Partly that is because Eisenhower, having commanded the Allied forces to victory over the Axis powers in Europe in World War II, had attained monumental historical importance before he became president in 1953. Partly it is because an attack line from Eisenhower’s opponents on the left — that he was a passive and detached figurehead who presided over an age of stagnation — became embedded among intellectuals in the 1960s. Eisenhower’s successors John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and their aides and auxiliaries in academia and the media, were master propagandists of this critique.


Paul Lettow, the author of Ronald Reagan and His Quest to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, served as the senior director for strategic planning on the National Security Council staff from 2007 to 2009.

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