Sunday, January 8, 2012

Going Home to Glory by David Eisenhower with Julie Nixon Eisenhower

At this time every year I try to find something to read that fits in with the Presidential History of The United States, last year it was Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and this year its Dwight Eisenhower with a cameo by his wife Mamie. David Eisenhower is the Grandson of Dwight and Mamie and Julie is the daughter of Richard and Pat Nixon, so they know their Presidents.
This very well written and researched book is an easy read yet it is full of History and a cornucopia of what not about the man who lead America in War time and in Peace for two terms as President. Eisenhower was obviously a bit of a challenge as a person and not someone whom it was easy to know, one imagines he could be quite frightening to a child and probably to a grown up who got on his wrong side, he had a bit of a temper!
In their writing David and Julie go along way towards humanising Dwight Eisenhower and showing that his complexities did not stop him from being a loving Father and Grandfather as well as a devoted husband to the ever colourful Mamie, he certainly did his best for his Country and for his Family and for those that mattered to him. The book is centred on the time after Eisenhower leaves the White House and moves to Pennsylvania and travels from there back and forth to California. It was the first time in their 50 odd years of marriage that they had their own home and Eisenhower`s son and his family also lived on the property and spent a lot of time with Ike and Mamie. Simple tastes, simple pleasures, strong values and an unwillingness to comprise himself, a wee bit out of touch with the young and the new America that was evolving, he fought health battles that would have knocked a lesser man at first base.
A fair, open and honest rendering of this period of  time in Dwight Eisenhower's life it adds to our collective knowledge of what made up the whole of a General who gave us freedom.

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