Ike, His Life and Times: His Life and Times

Piers Brendon, Author HarperCollins Publishers $21.95 (478p) ISBN 978-0-06-015508-7
By a British historian and biographer of Churchill, this could fairly be subtitled Warts and All. Though not an outright attack on Eisenhower, it is a three-dimensional portrait in which the negative aspects predominate. Ike comes across as a man of endless contradictions, combining ""common decency with uncommon deviousness.'' Brendon lauds his great accomplishments as leader of the wartime coalition, but paints a very unflattering picture of his ``shaming compromises'' with Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s (which he calls ``a classic abdication of responsibility'') and his refusal to take a stand on civil rights. Brendon is also critical of the way Ike ``turned his country into a global secret policeman.'' The book is a pleasure to read, however, despite its largely negative point of view, because of Brendon's lucid style, lively sense of humor and psychological insight. Photos. (September 17)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
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