Review of “Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect” (Vol 1) by Stephen Ambrose

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

ikevol1saPublished in 1983, “Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890-1952” is the first of two volumes in Stephen Ambrose’s famed series on the thirty-fourth president. Ambrose was a historian and the author of more than two-dozen books; he is one of the best-known biographers of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. But numerous, and often convincing, allegations of plagiarism and exaggeration have tarnished his reputation over the past fifteen years. Ambrose died in 2002 at the age of sixty-six.

With 572 pages of text, this first volume in Ambrose’s series has long been considered the most thorough (and, often, the “standard”) account of Eisenhower’s pre-presidency. Proceeding from Eisenhower’s ancestry to his election as president in 1952, it moves steadily – if sometimes slowly – in a strictly chronological fashion.

The first one-third of the book carries the reader up through Eisenhower’s first commanding roles in World War II…

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