Our list is 20 Dwight D. Eisenhower books take you back in time to his childhood, his time in WWII, and his accomplishments as President of the United States.
Eisenhower (Ike) was born in Texas in 1890 and grew up to become one of the most influential presidents in United States history. A five-star general during World War II, he served as president from 1953 to 1961.
During his time in office, he oversaw some of the most important changes in American society, including the introduction of interstate highways and the creation of NASA. In spite of his many accomplishments, however, Eisenhower is often overlooked in favor of more well-known.
Written by: Jean Edward Smith
Published: February 21st, 2012
Starting from his humble beginnings in Abilene, Texas, and then moving on to West Point, World War II, and then his time as president, this is one of the most in-depth biographies on the thirty-fourth president. It is incredible to learn about how Ike was able to command the Allies through so much danger and then be able to free Normandy.
This book then explains how he became president and ruled for two terms. In their opinion, some detractors thought he was boring, staid, and out of touch because he wasn't outgoing enough. Meanwhile, this book shows that he was very thoughtful, patient, and insightful. Just as when he was a general, he would plan each movement strategically and put them into action the same way. This includes dealing with Russia, the Suez Canal, Korea, and his domestic policies that were quite forward-thinking even though he rarely gets credit for them.
Written by: Alex von Tunzelmann
Published: October 11th, 2016
In his book Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower's Campaign for Peace, Alex von Tunzelmann takes a close look at the often-overlooked period of Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency when he worked to resolve two international crises. In just two short months, he had to deal with the Suez Canal crisis and events in Hungary, either or both, which could have caused a nuclear war.
Drawing on recently declassified documents, Tunzelmann sheds new light on Eisenhower's approach to foreign policy and offers fresh insights into his thoughts on leadership. The book includes information on how conspiracies were planted, the use of spies and terrorists, plots to assassinate high-level players, and so much more. It is a rollercoaster ride that still has repercussions to events in today's world.
Written by: Evan Thomas
Published: September 25th, 2012
In his book, Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World, Thomas explores how Eisenhower worked to end the Korean war as he had promised while running for president. Instead of just relying on his generals, who seemed to want to start a war, he consulted with others and made sure to listen to his morals so that he could use his wit to stop a war and save the world. Thomas reveals the behind-the-scenes story of how Eisenhower masterminded a nuclear showdown with Communist China.
Drawing on primarily on declassified documents, Thomas tells the story of how Eisenhower bluffing convinced the Soviets that he was ready and willing to launch a nuclear attack, ultimately helping to avert disaster. This book provides an interesting perspective on this time in history and sheds light on one of America's most underrated presidents.
Written by: Niall Barr
Published: December 7th, 2015
On June 6, 1944, Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy in what would be remembered as one of the most decisive military campaigns of World War II. However, this wasn't even close to the beginning of World War II's British and U.S. alliance story. The success of war hinged on cooperation between American and British forces, a relationship that had been carefully cultivated by General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff. Most people don't realize it, but the level of diplomacy used by Ike during these times was exceptional.
This book offers a detailed account of the complex relationship between America and Britain during the war years. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, Barr's book provides a fresh perspective on one of the most important alliances of the 20th century. This alliance would prove critical to victory in Europe.
Written by: William I. Hitchcock
Published: March 20th, 2018
William Hitchcock's latest book, The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s, provides a detailed examination of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's eight years in office. Drawing on extensive archival research, Hitchcock offers a new interpretation of this significant period in American history. In his book, Hitchcock discusses a wide range of topics, including the Korean War, McCarthyism, and the Space Race. His work in helping build a collation supporting the New Deal and civil rights for African Americans.
Eisenhower's relationships with foreign leaders like British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev are examined and explained on the foreign policy side. This comprehensive volume uses information gathered from the Defense Department, the C.I.A., material from the Eisenhower Library, and more. It is undoubtedly an invaluable resource for students and scholars interested in the 1950s.
Written by: Susan Eisenhower
Published: August 11th, 2020
How Ike Led is a comprehensive account of the principles behind Dwight Eisenhower's most significant decisions as president. Written by Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower, the book provides readers with a unique perspective on one of America's most celebrated presidents. Drawing on her grandfather's papers, letters, and diaries, Susan Eisenhower offers an intimate look at Ike's motivations and how they guided his actions as president.
From the origins of the Cold War to the landmark Operation Overlord during World War II, Ike Led delves into the decision-making process behind some of history's most important moments. It is an excellent read as you see Ike from the inside the family instead of others who are from outside historians.
Written by: Jim Newton
Published: October 4th, 2011
Most Americans know about Dwight D. Eisenhower as the general who led the Allied forces to victory in World War II and as president during some of the most significant years of the Cold War. However, he was so much more as he was able to usher in the interstate highway system, destroy McCarthyism and its fascist hunt for suspected communists in the U.S.A., and even appoint two liberal Supreme Court Justices in Earl Warren and William Brennan, which angered conservatives in his party.
In Eisenhower: The White House Years, Evan Thomas provides a detailed account of Eisenhower's time in office, painting a clear picture of how this complex and multi-talented man approached some of the most challenging problems faced by our nation. If you're looking for an exciting and informative read on one of our country's most influential presidents, make sure to check this one out.
Written by: Mark Perry
Published: May 10th, 2007
Marshall and Eisenhower had a unique partnership forged in war and tested in peace. This book tells the story of their remarkable lives, from their early days as soldiers through their time as leaders of the free world. It is a story of courage, character, and conviction. Marshall and Eisenhower were two men who knew how to lead and inspire others. They would both learn from each other, and teach each other, through their long years of friendship and pollical work together.
They were also two men who could put politics aside and work together for the good of their country even though they may have disagreed. Some of the events examined include D-Day, the Marshall Plan, NATO, the beginning of the Cold War, and more. This is an essential lesson for our times when political divisions seem to be increasingly polarizing. We can learn a lot from Marshall and Eisenhower about compromising and cooperating for the common good.
Written by: Bret Baier and Catherine Whitney
Published: January 10th, 2017
This book is one of the few that takes you inside the final days of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration. Eisenhower was determined to ensure a smooth transition of power, and he made sure to finalize critical decisions in the three days leading up to J.F.K.'s inauguration. Being incredibly prescient, he warned citizens to focus on national unity instead of partisan politics, keep the budget under control so the country wouldn't be indebted to others, and be wary of how they would try to influence politicians and politics with no regard to the everyday American.
He also used this time to say goodbye to his closest friends and advisers, reflect on his time in office, and chart the course for his post-presidential life. Drawing on extensive archival research, Baier offers a detailed look at Ike's thoughts and actions as he prepared to hand over the reins of government to John F. Kennedy.
Written by: Stephen Ambrose
There is simply no better biographer than Stephen Ambrose, which is clearly shown in this glorious history of President Eisenhower. One of the reasons is that Ambrose knew Ike well and used interviews with him to help build the body of this book. Some of the discussions range from what it was like growing up, being a soldier, being president, and even just what the average day for Eisenhower would be like to fill out her personality.
Along with interviewing Ike, Ambrose also spoke with his family members to get their views. Not content to just have them is that they could be biased. He also said with many others that would be essential to understanding the man. Some of these include Nikita Khrushchev, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and even one of his most hated rivals, Joe McCarthy, who led the House on Un-American Activities and was driven by paranoia regarding the communist party in the U.S.A. It is one of the most-rounded biographies you'll find anywhere.
Written by: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Written by the man himself, Dwight D. Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe is one of the best-known and highly regarded personal accounts of World War II. First published in 1948, it tells the story of Ike's years as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, from when he took over command until victory was declared over Germany in May 1945. Drawing on his extensive journal entries from that period, as well as on letters and other documents, Eisenhower provides a compelling overview of the war's progress and offers insights into both its strategic aspects and its human dimensions.
The book is widely praised for its clarity, objectivity, and lack of self-pity. In addition to being a valuable historical document, his commentary is frank, insightful and full of memorable anecdotes that bring the events to life. Anyone interested in military history will find much to appreciate in this compelling volume.
Written by: Geoffrey Perret
Published: January 1st, 1997
Eisenhower by Geoffrey Perret is a biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower that captures his life from his early days as a soldier to his time as president of the United States. This book provides an in-depth look at Eisenhower's personal and professional life, making it an essential read for anyone interested in American history.
Perret brings Eisenhower to life on the page with meticulous research and compelling storytelling, revealing him to be a complex and fascinating individual. Even if you think you know everything possible about President Eisenhower, this book will surprise you because he was complicated and exciting. Anyone who wants to understand America's 34th president would do well to read this book.
Written by: James Simon
Published: April 10th, 2018
In the 1950s and 60s, the United States was fighting civil rights and liberties. On one side was President Eisenhower, who favored a limited role for the federal government in safeguarding civil rights and slowly implementing it. Even though President Eisenhower appointed the liberal Earl Warren to the Supreme Court, it didn't mean they would always agree on their viewpoints.
On the other side was Attorney General Earl Warren, who argued that the federal government should immediately desegregate schools after the Brown vs. Board of Education law was enacted. These points of view match perfectly with the character and personalities of Ike and Earl.
This debate over equality and how to implement it would come to define America's approach to civil rights in the 20th century. Considering what is happening in today's world, it still does.
Written by: James Holland
Published: June 4th, 2019
On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious assault in history. Codenamed D-Day, the landing of some 156,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy signaled the beginning of the long-awaited liberation of France from Nazi occupation.
In this definitive account, you'll see a vivid portrait of the dramatic first weeks of the campaign. This includes when Allied paratroopers and glider troops faced fierce resistance as they fought to secure key bridges and villages. When British and Canadian soldiers struggled to establish a foothold on Gold Beach faced disaster. And when American forces broke through the hedgerows to take control of Omaha Beach finally.
Drawing on extensive new research and eyewitness accounts, Holland brings to life the incredible plans and actions to make this invasion successful against all odds.
Written by: David Nichols
Published: March 8th, 2011
When Gamal Abdel Nasser decided to nationalize the Suez Canal, the British, French, and Israel plotted to invade and overthrow him. Eisenhower immediately pressured them to stop, using his position at NATO, but then dealt with the Soviet Union making their move against Hungary and killing thousands. This book focuses on the Suez Canal crisis and how the Soviet Union decided to destroy an uprising in Hungary, and how both could have easily led to nuclear war.
On election day, Ike and his generals found out that there had been a cease-fire in the Suez Canal crisis. Russia then stated they would enter the war in the middle east. At this point, Eisenhower put the military on full alert and even warned that they may need to do a peremptory nuclear strike if the Soviet Union went through with its plans. This was primarily because of his intervention and power.
Russia also decided to stay out of the middle east, and this horrifying nine-day event, which could have caused the utter destruction of the world, was ended. However, there is so much more to this event that you will need to read this book to find out.
Written by: Jeffrey Frank
Published: February 5th, 2013
We've all heard the saying, "Politics makes for strange bedfellows," and this biography is the perfect example of that. These two men knew each other for over 20 years, through good times and bad, and continued what could be called a friendship until Eisenhower died in 1969. These men have many of the same qualities, such as being highly intelligent, driven to succeed, and the desire to be seen as great men history will never forget.
That being stated, unlike most of the books on this list, Eisenhower is more often shown as someone who could be pretty petulant and somewhat aloof. On the other hand, Nixon seems to be a bit more kind and an everyday type of man compared to how he is usually portrayed. This intimate portrait of their relationship is genuinely intriguing and sometimes perplexing. For these reasons alone, this book is worth reading.
Written by: Carlo D'este
Published: June 4th, 2002
Most people think of Ike as a war hero and president, but there is so much more to the man. For that reason, D'este tries to examine how and why the man became who he was in his life. Born into a poor family of Mennonites, no one in his family even thought that Ike would become a soldier because their religion forbids violence and is absolutely against any type of warfare. However, Ike wanted to be more than a farmer, and since his family couldn't afford to send him to college, he went to West Point.
The second part of this book focuses Ike and his time during World War II. Most people know about the battles that Ike led. Still, much more is examined here, including his relationship with his wife, the personalities and issues with the other generals who wanted more power, and so much more. Since D'este was a soldier at one point in his life, his views on what Ike achieved are fascinating, and he is the perfect person to write about these times.
Written by: Norman Gelb
Published: May 1st, 1994
Eisenhower and Montgomery were primarily thought to have gotten along and been teammates during the war. However, that is far from reality as they often clashed and disagreed on many ideas and how to implement strategies. The relationship between these two incredible generals is examined in this fascinating book. It is interesting to see how much Montgomery, a straightforward person, was, while Eisenhower was the classic solid and stoic man as often portrayed in most biographies.
We enjoyed that the book is written as a chapter for one general, then a chapter for the other, so you can see how they agreed or disagreed without getting too distracted if it was all in one chapter going back and forth constantly. However, and possibly because of their differences, they were able to work together on some of the most ambitious campaigns in military history. These include the invasion of North Africa, the Battle of the Bulge, and D-Day, as they attempted to defeat the Nazis and liberate Europe.
Written by: Michael R. Beschloss
Published: May 1986
On May 1, 1960, a U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union, igniting a diplomatic crisis that nearly led to nuclear war. This book tells the whole story of the incident and its aftermath. During this time, Eisenhower had to admit that the C.I.A. was running secret missions over the USSR for information. This book examines the relationship between Eisenhower, Khrushchev, and others involved in this event.
The meetings and discussions between these two superpowers, and other countries afraid nuclear war would break out, are full of incredible drama and suspense. Drawing on recently declassified documents, Beschloss provides a gripping account of how the U-2 affair unfolded and its role in the Cold War. This is a must-read for anyone interested in 20th-century history and how one mistake could have sent the world into nuclear war.
Written by: Jonathan W. Jordan
Published: April 5th, 2011
It is hard enough to weave together two personalities in one book, let alone three, but Jordan does a fantastic job of this in his book. Ike, Bradley, and Patton had known each other, and they all had their beliefs about the other as the war started and how the military should be used in it. So, instead of just getting the usual battles scenes, you get a view of the battles between these three and the scenes that they would cause. It is interesting to see how they changed and evolved during this time.
This book is an incredible read and thoroughly researched using diaries, interviews, and other sources. It was exciting to see how their egos, rivalries, and insecurities drove them to be who they were and who they became as events changed through the years. The book also includes interactions with military leaders of other countries, such as General Montgomery of England, to give more in-depth character examinations of all men.