This is the personal story of the first man in history to have the power to end civilization.
Dwight Eisenhower returned home in 1945 as a conquering hero and was elected president in 1952 almost by acclamation. Americans wanted someone to keep them safe. As president, Ike seemed like a benign figure, a little bland, comforting and reassuring.
The truth was much more complicated and a whole lot more exciting. Eisenhower had a huge temper, and he could be cold-blooded, even devious. During a series of crises, he craftily maneuvered and bluffed, facing down the Russians while controlling his own military. Eisenhower was a war hero who wanted to keep the United States out of war, and he did. But it was a close-run thing, and Eisenhower was able to succeed only at great personal cost—an emotional toll that led to a heart attack and stroke. When his doctors told him to worry less, he laughed and wondered aloud, “What kind of a job do they think this is?”
Eisenhower was above all else a leader. In our age of celebrity culture and political partisanship, his presidency is a lesson in what leadership can be. Eisenhower was willing to take personal responsibility for difficult decisions, to give credit to others, to demand and give trust. He had the confidence to be humble. He did not boast and he did not complain, even through times of betrayal and harrowing danger.
Ike's Bluff is a story about the wise use of power in a dangerous world.
Other books by Evan Thomas
Don't miss Eisenhower’s Secret War, two fast-paced documentaries hosted by Evan Thomas that tell the story of Ike’s quest for peace under the threat of international nuclear destruction. Visit EisenhowerLegacy.com for more information.