President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World
October 24, 2012
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy is pleased to welcome historian EVAN THOMAS for a discussion of his new book, Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World.
Upon assuming the presidency in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower came to be seen by many as a doddering lightweight. Yet behind the bland smile and apparent simplemindedness was a brilliant, intellectual tactician. As Evan Thomas reveals in his provocative examination of Ike's White House years, Eisenhower was a master of calculated duplicity. As with his bridge and poker games he was eventually forced to stop playing after leaving too many fellow army officers insolvent, Ike could be patient and ruthless in the con, and generous and expedient in his partnerships.
Facing the Soviet Union, China, and his own generals, some of whom believed a first strike was the only means of survival, Eisenhower would make his boldest and riskiest bet yet, one of such enormity that there could be but two outcomes: the survival of the world, or its end. This is the story of how he won.
"Evan Thomas's profoundly important book shows how the card-playing general who did as much as anyone to win World War II became the president most adroit at preserving peace. Behind his open smile, Eisenhower was a secretive and subtle leader with quiet moral courage. By projecting confidence while keeping his intentions concealed, he became the model of a nuclear-age peacekeeper. Thomas has produced a fascinating history that is also a brilliant guide to great leadership." —Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs
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