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The author puffed out the book with a brief biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Also included was Eisenhower’s farewell address. Ike stressed the critical need for bipartisanship and balance in all governmental and foreign affairs. The complete speech is in the appendix of the book. I found the speech most interesting considering all that has happened since it was given.
When Ike took office, the relationship between Truman and Ike was strained. According to the author, Ike wanted to help the new president’s transition into office, as he apparently admired John F. Kennedy. Baier tells about the last three days in office where Ike attempted to prepare JFK for the current and ongoing problems he would be facing as president. Ike warned JFK about the military industrial complex, and the enormous federal funding that needed to be restrained. I found this part of the book quite interesting. I wish the author had gone more in depth about the discussions between Ike and JFK. I realize that there may be a limited amount of information available.
I was most disappointed in the rest of the book because of the numerous factual errors, particularly in the biographical sketch of Eisenhower and about WWII. Most books have one of two minor errors, but this book goes beyond that. I don’t know whether it was due to sloppy editing or sloppy research. For example, Baier states that Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle and FDR comprised a troika of the allied front. Troika connotes three persons working together. De Gaulle played no such role. There were to many errors in the North African Campaign to list here. There are a number of good biographies about Eisenhower available if one wants to know more about him, for example: one of the recent ones is Jean Edward Smith’s “Eisenhower in War and Peace”.
In spite of the errors, I found the book most interesting and enjoyed it. If you are interested in learning about the Cold War and presidential transitions, this book is for you. Bret Bier is an anchor newsman for the Fox Network.
I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is about ten and half hours long. Bret Bier and Danny Campbell did a good job narrating the book. Campbell is an actor and audiobook narrator.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The release of this book--which is based around President Eisenhower's farewell address--was timed to coincide with the changing of the guard from the Obama Administration. Although most of the book was written when the outcome was very much in doubt, the election of Donald Trump seems to create an interesting parallel. Eisenhower was primarily interested in passing along vital information to his brash young successor.
One could only wish that Eisenhower were here to pass along information to Obama's equally brash (although not younger) successor. Eisenhower's focus, as the book graphically demonstrates, was one key issue: What was best for the country. He did not like politics and was not much of a partisan. He regularly reached across the aisle. He tried to work with the other party, not trash its leaders.
What a contrast we have to today. After eight years of a "phone and a pen" and demonizing one party, the shoe is now on the other foot with a seemingly endless stream of "tweets." It's hard to say anything meaningful in 140 characters. What seems distinctly lacking in both parties are what we used to call statesmen.
I was born in 1957 and have no real memory of Eisenhower. This book taught me to have a much greater respect for Eisenhower. It demonstrates that Eisenhower was far from a caretaker. He was a careful and thoughtful leader who did everything within his power to keep us out of war. He knew firsthand that the massive waste of war was justified only in the most extreme circumstances.
The book is extremely interesting and moves very well. Baier is, not surprisingly, a smooth and able narrator.
Don't let any antipathy toward "Fox News" dissuade you. This is well worth your time.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
Would you ever listen to anything by Bret Baier and Catherine Whitney again?
What didn’t you like about Bret Baier and Danny Campbell ’s performance?
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
Was looking forward to hearing about a the transition took place. After a few chapters of hearing about the godlike Ike I gave up and moved on.