MANDATE FOR CHANGE: 1953 - 1956: The White House Years: Vol. I by Dwight D. Eisenhower

MANDATE FOR CHANGE: 1953 - 1956: The White House Years: Vol. I

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

First volume of the political autobiography, companion volume to Crusade for Freedom, this encompasses the years from the war's end to the decision to run for a second term. It is an oddly impersonal book; nothing comes through of the people who surrounded Eisenhower, nothing of the feel of place or time, nothing of the climate of opinion; little of the man himself. And yet the facts are all here, carefully marshalled, soundly reasoned; even when he writes of controversial issues which other opinions have been more vividly and dramatically presented, he scarcely steps out of line of reportage to argue his case. The first term was full of events of world importance:- the changing role of NATO, from his own relation to it as Commander in Chief to the scuttling of EDC by France; the final armistice in Korea; the long drawn out war in Indonesia; trouble in Iran, recurrent trouble over Suez; the death of Stalin; the battle over admission of Red China to the UN; the bombing of the offshore islands by the Red Chinese; Guatemala- and the shifting focus; the St. Lawrence Seaway; unrest and insecurity in Latin America; two conferences in Geneva -- all are recorded, his relation to each issue made clear. And at home: the building of an organization, the Cabinet, the White House staff, the relations-often rugged- with Congress; McCarthy, gradually disintegrating as a menace, while McCarthyism remained; Nixon, from the campaign issues when Eisenhower backed him, through a whole term when --except during the interlude of the heart attack- he seemed virtually a cipher; contacts with Dulles- but never a hint of the rumored disunity; problems of patronage, of press relations, of budget and taxes, of government security risks, of labor and price wars, of trade agreements and farm surpluses; the Rosenberg case; briefly of civil rights, of recession conquered and prosperity launched, of TVA and Dixon-Yates and the rural development program, of reclamation projects and power. In one specific chapter devoted to defense he speaks with the authority one could wish for elsewhere. But what one feels throughout is sincerity, utter honesty, a kind of dedication and dogged perseverance. This somehow is not enough to spark a book. And yet this is surely destined for big sales. 50 half tones.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday