Books: The Sublime Commander

EISENHOWER: SOLDIER, GENERAL OF THE ARMY, PRESIDENT-ELECT

by Stephen E. Ambrose; Simon & Schuster; 637 pages; $22.95

In the minds of some scholars, he was a mediocre President, indifferent to the civil rights movement, spineless in the face of McCarthyism, slow of wit and out of touch with the currents of upheaval swirling beneath the calm surface of the 1950s. To more and more students of the era, however, Dwight David Eisenhower was a canny leader who brilliantly outmaneuvered subordinates and statesmen. Author and Biographer Stephen E. Ambrose can claim a seat in each camp.

A professor of history at the University of...

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