Thursday, September 4, 2014

Book Review: Eisenhower: A Life by Paul Johnson

Eisenhower: A LifeEisenhower: A Life by Paul  Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Eisenhower: A Life” is a concise, yet satisfying look at the life of the Supreme Allied Commander and 34TH President written by noted British historian Paul Johnson.  In a brief 136 pages, the reader gets a better understanding of a man who until recently was pushed into the background of American history.

Given the shortness of the biography, Johnson doesn't waste words as he details Eisenhower’s early life and the beginning of his career.  The path Eisenhower’s career took after the end of the First World War until the United States entry into the Second World War, was detailed enough to show how when the time came Eisenhower was able to keep the Allies on the same page until the end of the conflict.  The years between the war and his presidency were covered sufficiently and angled to show Eisenhower’s increasing interest in deciding to run for high office.  Eisenhower’s years in the White House were focused mostly on the international scene with only brief interruptions of domestic affairs.  Johnson covers the last years of Eisenhower’s in a page to finish the book.

While Johnson doesn't skimp attention on anything detail of Eisenhower’s life, he doesn't really go into detail due to the brevity of his text.  While this primer-like decision is fine, the occasions when Johnson used his own conclusions without detail proof to back it up hurts the overall effort.  Johnson’s conservative bent is seen throughout Eisenhower’s tenure as president of Columbia University and his White House years, although it was not an overly negative aspect to the whole work it could have been made less blatant.

Overall, “Eisenhower: A Life” is not a book for those looking for a serious in-depth look at Dwight D. Eisenhower in both the military and politics.  However, this book is good primer for those interested in the 34TH President of the United States for general knowledge of the man himself and of the time he lived in.

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