Friday, February 17, 2017

My Amazon review of Bret Baier's and Catherine Whitney's "Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission"

I Like Ike

Fox news anchor Bret Baier and Catherine Whitney have written a carefully researched hagiographic biography of President Dwight Eisenhower with a focus on his last three days in office. The bookends are Eisenhower’s farewell “military-industrial complex” speech and President Kennedy's inaugural “Ask not..” speech. Baier’s Eisenhower is a highly organized leader who is deliberate and recognizes the importance of processes and teamwork. After all he did lead the D-Day invasion and had a very successful presidency. Under Eisenhower the Korean War was ended, a war in Vietnam was avoided, civil rights moved forward and the interstate highway system was started. Perhaps more importantly the nuclear genie was kept in the bottle as he dealt with the post-Stalin era Soviet Union.

Eisenhower was most concerned about presidential transition and he wanted to make sure that President-elect Kennedy got off to a good start.  He actually spent a year thinking about is farewell address perhaps thinking that the “missile gap” was a creature of election year politics. Kennedy later acknowledged that there was no gap. Unfortunately, like too many of today’s politicians, Kennedy and his crew thought they knew it all. That led to the fiasco at the Bay of Pigs early in his administration.

I wonder after writing this biography how Baier as a Fox news anchor can report on Donald Trump without puking. If ever there were an opposite of Dwight Eisenhower it is Donald Trump. 

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