Eisenhower and the Cold War (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
The Eisenhower presidency has undergone massive reappraisal in recent years, with the president’s star continuing to rise. The image of Eisenhower fostered in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s was of a weak president who preferred golfing to decision-making, who allowed others, particularly Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, to make important decisions. He seemed to personify the tranquilized 1950’s, a time when “the bland were leading the bland.” A president who read Westerns and slept late seemed to fulfill the country’s expectations, a father figure who took life easy. It is now clear, however, that the 1950’s were anything but a tranquil period, and it is clear also that Eisenhower only pretended to sleep much of the time. His low profile was deliberate, designed to reassure the country while he continued to make difficult decisions, particularly concerning foreign policy matters. He now appears as a strong leader whose strong anti-Communism did not prevent him from negotiating with the Soviet Union and reducing military spending. The seemingly contradictory nature of Eisenhower’s foreign policy decisions, intervening to stop Communism in countries such as Iran and Guatemala while working strenuously to prevent nuclear war, has perhaps been most fully explored in Blanch Cook’s recent The Declassified Eisenhower (1981). Refurbishing Eisenhower’s image is also the goal of Robert Divine’s study, although, unlike Cook, he does not...
(The entire section is 1407 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
Best Sellers. XLI, June, 1981, p. 104.
Booklist. LXXVII, February 1, 1981, p. 735.
Choice. XVIII, June, 1981, p. 1476.
History: Reviews of New Books. IX, July, 1981, p. 184.
Human Events. XLI, February 7, 1981, p. 14.
Library Journal. CVI, February 1, 1981, p. 352.
The New Republic. CLXXXIV, May 9, 1981, p. 31.
The New York Review of Books. XXVIII, September 24, 1981, p. 54.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVI, June 28, 1981, p. 12.
Times Literary Supplement. September 11, 1981, p. 1042.
(The entire section is 60 words.)