The decade of the 1950’s in America seemed passive and serene, but in a powerful new work, “Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World” historian Evan Thomas sheds new light on how Ike dealt with the tremendous underlying tensions which brought the world to the edge of Armageddon during the early days of the Cold War.
Thomas, author of several bestselling works of history and a frequent commentator on television and radio, will discuss his new book on Sunday, October 21 at 4 p.m. at Barrett Bookstore, 314 Heights Road, Darien. Seating is limited for this event. Please call 203 655-2712 to reserve a seat. (Here's the event listing on Patch.)
After Eisenhower became president in 1953, he came to be seen by many as a doddering father figure who was nevertheless widely trusted by the American people. In fact, as Thomas reveals in this enthralling revisionist history, Eisenhower was a master strategist who deftly juggled events on the world stage that threatened the very existence of the American way of life.
“Ike's famous, sunny smile was to some degree a façade,” said Thomas in a recent article in The Atlantic.
Using newly released documents, Thomas shows how Eisenhower faced off with Russia, China -- and even his own generals -- to stand against a first strike option which would have drastically altered the fate of the world. Ike’s most important bluff saved the world as we know it.
This engaging psychological portrait of one of the towering figures of the 20th Century is a must-read that reveals a new dimension to Eisenhower’s years as president, as a Publishers Weekly review states:
“Thomas paints a colorful, richly detailed portrait….[Thomas’s] vivid, compelling profile of Eisenhower—the man and the shrewd operator—should spark reconsideration of his presidency.”
Thomas is the author of eight books, including The War Lovers and Sea of Thunder. Editor-at-large of Newsweek until 2010, he wrote more than 100 cover stories there and won numerous journalism awards, including a National Magazine Award. He teaches writing at Princeton.
Editor's note: Here's more information on the book:
- "An Old Warrior with No Taste for Nuclear War"—Janet Maslin's review in The New York Times.
- "Historian Details How Ike Kept the Peace"—review in The Huffington Post
- Listen to an excerpt at the SoundCloud website