Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle To Save The World

My friend Joseph C. Goulden wrote an interesting review of Evan Thomas' new book on President Eisenhower for the Washington Times.

After leaving the White House in 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower fretted about what future generations would think of his legacy, stating that the peace and prosperity that marked his two terms “didn’t just happen, by God.” But as Evan Thomas writes in his study of the Eisenhower presidency, “[Ike] had trouble articulating just how that had happened. He never could admit that he had kept the peace by threatening all-out war. His all-or-nothing strategy worked brilliantly.”

A mystery that will never be resolved to the satisfaction of most historians is whether Eisenhower  would have used the  U. S. nuclear arsenal in the event of war with the Soviet Union. At one point Mr. Thomas hedges the answer by writing that “It is likely that Eisenhower had no intention of ever using nuclear weapons, as his closest aide, Andy Goodpaster, believed.”

But who can be sure? Ike kept his own counsel on the subject of how to maintain credible deterrence in eight years of incessant confrontation with Moscow. In years of meticulous research, Mr. Thomas found not a person — nor a document — that revealed Ike’s intentions. But Mr. Thomas hints at his own conclusion in the very title of his book “Ike’s Bluff."

With the Soviet Union defunct and the Cold War long ended, many younger Americans do not realize the fears that gripped much of the country during the 1950s.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link: 

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