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1 Beaverton US History- Eisenhower, Dwight

This title in other editions

Ike: An American Hero

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Ike: An American Hero Cover

ISBN13: 9780060756666
ISBN10: 0060756667
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A big, ambitious, and enthralling new biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower, full of fascinating details and anecdotes, which places particular emphasis on his brilliant generalship and leadership in World War Two, and provides, with the advantage of hindsight, a far more acute analysis of his character and personality than any that has previously been available, reaching the conclusion that he was perhaps America's greatest general and one of America's best presidents, a man who won the war and thereafter kept the peace.

IKE starts with the story of D-Day, the most critical moment in America's history. It was Hitler's last chance to win the war — he had the means to destroy the troops on the beaches, but he failed to react quickly enough. The one man who would have reacted quickly and decisively had he been on the spot, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, was home on leave and didn't arrive back at his headquarters until it was too late. It was Ike's plan, Ike's decision, Ike's responsibility. He alone, among all the Allied generals, could win or lose the war in one day, and knew it.

But of course there is more to this book than military history. It is a full biography of a remarkable man, ambitious, a late starter, a brilliant leader of men and perhaps the only American general who could command such a difficult coalition, and win the respect of not only his own soldiers, but also those of Great Britain and France, and lead them to a triumphant victory.

It is also the story of a remarkable family. Ike grew up in Abilene, Kansas, and the Eisenhowers were Mennonites, who, like the Amish, were deeply committed pacifists, so it is ironic that he went to West Point and became ageneral, to his mother's horror. It is as well the portrait of a tumultuous and often difficult marriage, for Mamie was every bit as stubborn and forceful as her husband, and it was by no means the sunny, happy marriage that Republican publicists presented to the public when Ike made his first moves towards the presidency.

Indeed, behind Ike's big grin and the easy-going, affable personality he liked to project was a very different man, fiercely ambitious, hot-tempered, shrewd, and tightly wound. He was a perfectionist for whom duty always came first, and a man of immense ability. In 1941 he was a soldier who was still an unknown and recently promoted colonel, and just two years later he was a four-star general who had commanded the biggest and most successful amphibious operation in history — TORCH, the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa. He commanded respect and was dealt as an equal with such world figures as President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Charles De Gaulle.

Synopsis:

A biography of Vietnam general William Westmoreland by the author of A BETTER WAR.

Synopsis:

Westmoreland is a great book, a classic by an author who knows his subject well and tells the story without hesitation.” — General Donn A. Starry, U.S. Army (ret.), Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command (1977-1981)

Is it possible that the riddle of Americas military failure in Vietnam has a one-word, one-man answer?

Unless and until we understand General William Westmoreland, we will never understand what went wrong in Vietnam. An Eagle Scout at fifteen, First Captain of his West Point class, Westmoreland fought in two wars and became Superintendent at West Point. Then he was chosen to lead the war effort in Vietnam for four crucial years.

He proved a disaster. He could not think creatively about unconventional warfare, chose an unavailing strategy, stuck to it in the face of all opposition, and stood accused of fudging the results when it mattered most. In this definitive portrait, Lewis Sorley makes a plausible case that the war could have been won were it not for Westmoreland. The tragedy of William Westmoreland carries lessons not just for Vietnam, but for the future of American leadership.

Westmoreland is essential reading from a masterly historian.

Synopsis:

Ike is acclaimed author Michael Korda's sweeping and enthralling biography of Dwight David Eisenhower, arguably America's greatest general and one of her best presidents—a remarkable man in an extraordinary time, the hero who won the war and thereafter kept the peace.

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Michael Korda's books include Ike, Charmed Lives, Horse People, Ulysses S. Grant, and Journey to a Revolution. Educated at Le Rosey in Switzerland and at Magdalen College, Oxford, he served in the Royal Air Force. He lives with his wife, Margaret, in Dutchess County, New York.

Table of Contents

Contents

Maps xi

Prologue xvii

1. ORIGINS  1

2. EARLY SERVICE 9

3. WORLD WAR II 14

4. AIRBORNE DUTY 25

5. JAPAN AND KOREA 31

6. PENTAGON 41

7. DIVISION COMMAND 48

8. SUPERINTENDENT 56

9. VIETNAM 65

10. FORCES BUILDUP 77

11. SEARCH AND DESTROY 91

12. ATMOSPHERICS 108

13. BODY COUNT 121

14. M-16 RIFLES 131

15. PROGRESS OFFENSIVE 143

16. ORDER OF BATTLE 159

17. KHE SANH 168

18. TET 1968 174

19. TROOP REQUEST 189

20. HEADING HOME 198

21. CHIEF OF STAFF 206

22. SHAPING THE RECORD 225

23. VOLUNTEER ARMY 233

24. VIETNAM DRAWDOWN 241

25. DEPARTURE 247

26. IN RETIREMENT 251

27. MEMOIRS 259

28. CAMPAIGNER 267

29. PLAINTIFF 278

30. DUSK 295

Epilogue 301

Acknowledgments 304

Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations 310

Notes 313

Selected Bibliography 356

Index 371

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rollyson2002, August 27, 2012 (view all comments by rollyson2002)
Michael Korda misses the point about American heroes, thinking we pester them into infamy or insignificance. In his new biography of Dwight Eisenhower, he quotes Emerson's comment, "Every hero becomes a bore at last," noting, by way of contrast, France's "national passion for Napoleon," England's "sentimental hero worship of Nelson," and Russia's "glorification of Peter the Great." But if we cut our heroes "down to size," as Mr. Korda contends, we do so only to build them back up again. Hence David McCullough's sanctification of Truman and now, in the same tradition, Mr. Korda's "Ike: An American Hero."

The title is positively antique ��" a throwback to 19th-century American biographical tradition, in which the hero's early years are rendered in the soft sepia of nostalgia and his command decisions related boldly so as to stand out against his lesser contemporaries.

If Mr. Korda breaks no new ground and is rather timid when it comes to describing Eisenhower the man, he is sound on Eisenhower's role as Supreme Commander. The biographer presents a powerful picture of a soldier gifted at inspiring and training his troops but just as savvy in dealing with world-class politicians and prima donnas such as Winston Churchill, Bernard Montgomery, and George Patton. The latter two often derided Ike as weak because he did not check their insubordinate behavior, but Ike tolerated their guff only so long as they adhered to his strategy of destroying the German war machine.

To bolster the prestige of Britain, a world power on the wane, Churchill wanted to take Berlin before the Soviets arrived, but Eisenhower resisted this political ploy. Patton and Montgomery wanted Berlin for their own glory. But in March 1945, the Soviets were only 35 miles from the German capital, while Patton and Montgomery were 200 miles away. Eisenhower was given estimates that taking Berlin (which had no strategic value) would cost 100,000 American lives. In the event, the Soviets lost something like 360,000 soldiers taking the German capital, according to John Wukovitsin"Eisenhower"(2006). What is more, with the atomic bomb as yet unexploded, Eisenhower knew Roosevelt counted on Soviet help with the invasion of Japan. To grab Berlin, especially after the Yalta agreement had ratified the city as part of the Soviet occupation zone, would have accelerated the Cold War, even if it did not provoke an immediate crisis on the Allied side.

Ike was such a strong wartime leader, Mr. Korda suggests, that he does not have to earn our respect again on the home front, does not, for example, have to denounce baddies like Joseph McCarthy. Eisenhower did not want to get "in the gutter with that guy," he writes. How would a strong public defense of George Marshall, Eisenhower's mentor, have been a brand of gutter politics? Yet Eisenhower, to the chagrin of many friends, failed to support Marshall, one of the towering figures of the century.

Similarly, Eisenhower's inaction on civil rights receives a pass from Mr. Korda. As president, Eisenhower reacted to the unanimous Supreme Court decision on Brown v. Board of Education with dismay, later voicing his deep regret that he had nominated chief justice Earl Warren to the court at all. Eisenhower believed that outlawing segregation went too far, and would have preferred a decision that simply affirmed equality of opportunity. But as Warren demonstrated to even the most conservative of the justices, separate but equal was a contradiction in terms. The true hero of the saga was Earl Warren.

Although Eisenhower's record of enforcing desegregation in the military was strong, and although he did enforce the Supreme Court integration decision when he sent troops to Little Rock, he was in his actions affirming the authority of the federal government, not making a moral statement about civil rights. In this, he simply did not act heroically. A hero is not only courageous, he must be farsighted. Eisenhower, devoid of a moral imagination, hoped instead to maintain the status quo.

After powerful Eisenhower biographies by Stephen Ambrose and Carlo D'Este, it would seem incumbent on Mr. Korda to provide a fresh assessment of the man. I thought that perhaps he might achieve a breakthrough in his treatment of Kay Summersby, Eisenhower's driver, social secretary, and companion during the war. After all, Mr. Korda published her memoir, "Past Forgetting: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower" (1975). Instead, the biographer retreats to the safe "nobody knows and prurient speculation is out of place."

Ike's wife, Mamie, suspected him, and friends generally assumed Kay was his mistress. (Mr. Korda even speculates that Ike's letters to Kay "are not those that a general would normally write to a driver.") Kay wrote about Ike with insight and sensitivity in her memoir, which she wrote while dying of cancer in the 1970s. What is it that Mr. Korda needs at this point? A photograph of them in bed? The biographer's reticence obfuscates the crucial role this woman performed in Ike's life. In the end, Mr. Korda's "Ike" differs little from previous accounts that have steadily increased Eisenhower's stature as a self-effacing man who nevertheless made a powerful mark on history.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060756666
Subtitle:
An American Hero
Author:
Korda, Michael
Author:
Sorley, Lewis
Author:
by Michael Korda
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20080506
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
800
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Military
Biography » Political
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » Biographies
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Eisenhower, Dwight
History and Social Science » US History » US Presidency
Young Adult » Nonfiction » History and Sociology

Ike: An American Hero Used Trade Paper
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Product details 800 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060756666 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A biography of Vietnam general William Westmoreland by the author of A BETTER WAR.
"Synopsis" by , Westmoreland is a great book, a classic by an author who knows his subject well and tells the story without hesitation.” — General Donn A. Starry, U.S. Army (ret.), Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command (1977-1981)

Is it possible that the riddle of Americas military failure in Vietnam has a one-word, one-man answer?

Unless and until we understand General William Westmoreland, we will never understand what went wrong in Vietnam. An Eagle Scout at fifteen, First Captain of his West Point class, Westmoreland fought in two wars and became Superintendent at West Point. Then he was chosen to lead the war effort in Vietnam for four crucial years.

He proved a disaster. He could not think creatively about unconventional warfare, chose an unavailing strategy, stuck to it in the face of all opposition, and stood accused of fudging the results when it mattered most. In this definitive portrait, Lewis Sorley makes a plausible case that the war could have been won were it not for Westmoreland. The tragedy of William Westmoreland carries lessons not just for Vietnam, but for the future of American leadership.

Westmoreland is essential reading from a masterly historian.

"Synopsis" by , Ike is acclaimed author Michael Korda's sweeping and enthralling biography of Dwight David Eisenhower, arguably America's greatest general and one of her best presidents—a remarkable man in an extraordinary time, the hero who won the war and thereafter kept the peace.
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