Ike and Dick

Ike and Dick

Portrait of A Strange Political Marriage

Book - 2013
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A groundbreaking narrative of the relationship between Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon--from the politics that divided them to the marriage that united their families.

D wight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon had a political and private relationship that lasted nearly twenty years, a tie that survived hurtful slights, tense misunderstandings, and the distance between them in age and temperament. Yet the two men brought out the best and worst in each other, and their association had important consequences for their respective presidencies.

In Ike and Dick, Jeffrey Frank rediscovers these two compelling figures with the sensitivity of a novelist and the discipline of a historian. He offers a fresh view of the younger Nixon as a striving tactician, as well as the ever more perplexing person that he became. He portrays Eisenhower, the legendary soldier, as a cold, even vain man with a warm smile whose sound instincts about war and peace far outpaced his understanding of the changes occurring in his own country.

Eisenhower and Nixon shared striking characteristics: high intelligence, cunning, and an aversion to confrontation, especially with each other. Ike and Dick, informed by dozens of interviews and deep archival research, traces the path of their relationship in a dangerous world of recurring crises as Nixon's ambitions grew and Eisenhower was struck by a series of debilitating illnesses. And, as the 1968 election cycle approached and the war in Vietnam roiled the country, it shows why Eisenhower, mortally ill and despite his doubts, supported Nixon's final attempt to win the White House, a change influenced by a family matter: his grandson David's courtship of Nixon's daughter Julie--teenagers in love who understood the political stakes of their union.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2013
ISBN: 9781416587019
Branch Call Number: 973.173 EIS 2013 23
Characteristics: viii, 434 pages : illustrations

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LJHan Mar 28, 2013

This is the third book I've read about the "early" Richard Nixon.
Mr. Frank was balanced in his coverage of both President Eisenhower and Nixon.
Eisenhower and Nixon would not have been in each others "orbit"...except that in 1952, they needed each other.
Eisenhower was not as his public image painted him and Nixon was not yet the man of the Watergate era.
I wonder how Nixon's life--how America's history--would have turned out if Nixon had won in California in 1960...or if Eisenhower had been able to remove Nixon as his Vice President in 1956.
I do know one thing after reading this book: Nixon would not have been welcome in the current version of the GOP.

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