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Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World

By Evan Thomas

Evan Thomas's startling account of the way the underrated Dwight Eisenhower stored the realm from nuclear holocaust.

Upon assuming the presidency in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower set approximately to make solid on his crusade promise to finish the Korean warfare. but whereas Eisenhower used to be fast seen by means of many as a doddering light-weight, at the back of the tasteless smile and easy speech was once a grasp tactician. to finish the hostilities, Eisenhower may take a great threat by way of bluffing that he may possibly use nuclear guns opposed to the Communist chinese language, whereas even as restraining his generals and advisors who favourite the moves. Ike's gamble was once of such importance that there should be yet results: hundreds of thousands of lives stored, or thousands of lives lost.

A demanding, brilliant and revisionist account of a president who was once then, and nonetheless is at the present time, underestimated, IKE'S BLUFF is heritage at its so much provocative and thrilling.

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As Dulles droned on, Eisenhower tapped his pencil, stared up on the ceiling, and regarded bored. Worse, he came upon as an underling to Dulles—sitting sullenly, like a reluctant pupil who were summoned to the headmaster for a stern talking-to. three Eisenhower’s advisers spotted a slackening of their sixty-seven-year-old boss. vacationing the White condo in October, Emmet Hughes wrote, “I idea I detected—and it was once the 1st such celebration i may recall—a new deepening of strains within the robust face, a marginally reduce bent to the shoulders. regardless of the obvious facts, there has been in some way within the place of work a troubling experience of—age. ” In January, White condo leader of employees Sherman Adams confided to James Killian, the president’s technology adviser, “This guy isn't really what he used to be. ” nonetheless, Ike snapped out powerful reviews, “curt and tart as ever,” wrote Hughes, “sputtering indignation on the Democrats: ‘The proposal of them charging me with no longer being drawn to security! rattling it, I’ve spent my entire existence worrying with the security of our kingdom. ’ ”4 Ann Whitman’s diary documents blue moods and outbursts of anger, but in addition resilient reliable cheer. five Eisenhower suffered from a foul chilly he couldn't shake. Time journal was once operating snippy goods approximately his golf and dozing. as soon as, discussing a posh subject with Killian and Goodpaster, Ike laid his head on his hands, that have been folded at the table. in keeping with Killian, he “looked up and remarked that he didn’t be aware of no matter if his negative mind was once going so one can take it or no longer. ”6 attempting to recover from his chilly, in mid-February he flew all the way down to Thomasville, Georgia, to shoot quail on George Humphrey’s plantation and take in a few sunshine. It had snowed there for the 1st time in forty-six years, and Ike spent so much of his time in mattress or enjoying bridge, a hundred and eighty rubbers. The journey, Ann Whitman recalled, was once a “miserable fiasco. ”7 Mamie used to be fearful. in the course of a dialogue approximately no matter if to amplify the library in Gettysburg for Ike’s retirement workplace, she confided to Slats Slater, “I’m now not so definite we’re ever going so as to stay in Gettysburg. ” She used to be specifically nervous in regards to the engorged arteries in Ike’s temples. Slater attempted to reassure her they had continually been admired. eight At approximately this time, Ike welcomed an strange customer to the White condominium. Robert Frost got here to offer the president a booklet of his poems. at the flyleaf, the poet wrote: “The robust are announcing not anything till they see. ” Eisenhower used to be moved and thankful. “I like his maxim might be better of all,” he wrote. nine Ike’s disorder, the sniping within the press, and the president’s wishy-washy “chin-up” speeches hid his nice energy, yet he consciously hid that energy, too. Eisenhower had retained an strange capability, for a guy of such huge ego (and being president had no longer deflated that ego), to attend and see—to withstand the strain to behave purely for the sake of motion or for political purposes. It used to be a quiet, convinced form of muscularity, and he confirmed it in refined methods within the iciness of 1958.

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