Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage

Jeffrey Frank. Simon & Schuster, $30 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4165-8701-9
A novelist and former editor at the New Yorker and the Washington Post, Frank (Bad Publicity) turns his attention to history with a very good result. His look at the 1952 presidential election focuses on Republican vice presidential candidate Nixon, treating him more sympathetically than most observers have. Easily winning the Republican presidential nomination, Eisenhower left the choice of a running mate to advisers, who picked Nixon: a first-term senator, he was much younger, politically astute, and possessing suitably fierce anticommunist credentials. Uninterested in hardball politics, Eisenhower let Nixon take care of that. and Nixon worked hard and tried mightily to change his image from vicious red-baiting ideologue to statesman. He remained self-effacing and loyal, yearning mostly in vain for his boss’s approval. By 1960, he had achieved enough eminence to run for president, and few disagree that Eisenhower’s unenthusiastic endorsement contributed to his narrow defeat. Eight years later, a mellower Eisenhower supported Nixon’s successful presidential campaign. Nixon remains a chilly character, but Frank argues convincingly that he was intelligent, shrewd, and, regarding civil rights, more liberal than Eisenhower. Agent: Tina Bennett, Janklow & Nesbit. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 02/05/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4165-8820-7
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