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Stephen Ambrose, the book's author died this past month. He is perhaps best known for his books dealing with World War II, especially the recent Steven Spielberg/HBO series, "Band of Brothers," the book written in 1992, and "D-Day", published in 1994. It was after Ambrose, as a young man, met returning veterans from World War II, according to his obituary in TIME Magazine (p. 23, October 28, 2002) that he began his fascination with events before, during, and after World War II. All told, he was the author of 38 books, but his fame was somewhat diminished a couple of years ago when he was accused of plagiarism, or at least, of not quoting some of his sources and implying that they were his words. Eisenhower, The President is the second volume of an extensive biography of the general and president, published in 1984, after two decades of research, writing, and editing.

As Ambrose points out in his introduction, that "along with the two Roosevelts, he is the only Twentieth Century {President who, when he left office, still enjoyed wide and deep popularity" (Ambrose 9). However, there is a clear distinction between being a popular president both during and after leaving office, and a "good, effective" President. What we learn from this second volume, devoted to Eisenhower's presidency, is that he was pragmatic- the same traits he demonstrated as Allied Supreme Commander. There were those who would have preferred a Patton-type of activist President. What the American public, returning to the toils and travails of post-war America got was a father figure. There is no doubt that the campaign slogan "I Like Ike" continued until his death. But, being well liked (as Arthur Miller sarcastically points out in Death of a Salesman) is not always the optimum.

The chapters are chronological, and highlight events of a specific time period. Ambrose makes two important points at the outset of the Eisenhower presidential years: First,...

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'EISENHOWER, THE PRESIDENT". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:07, November 29, 2021, from