General Dwight D. Eisenhower's decision to campaign for the presidency in 1952 was a pivotal event in America's cold war years. It influenced almost a decade of policy toward the Soviet Union and the threat of communism abroad and at home. At the time, Eisenhower portrayed himself as the reluctant object of a presidential draft movement, but the truth is different. Based on recently discovered letters and diaries, William Pickett provides the first complete account of Eisenhower's decision to run, tracing it from 1943 when the supreme commander of Allied forces in North Africa first heard his name mentioned as a potential candidate for the presidency, to his victory over Senator Robert A. Taft at the 1952 Republican nominating convention. Mr. Pickett shows how international events and Eisenhower's own sense of duty combined to persuade him to enter presidential politics; how he began exploring the possibility in 1948; and how in 1951, from his post as NATO supreme commander, he secretly authorized his Republican supporters to begin formal campaign activity. He was not dissatisfied with Harry Truman's foreign policy, Mr. Pickett concludes.
Rather, he believed by late 1951 that Truman's standing in public opinion polls and Taft's candidacy placed the policy in jeopardy. He ran in an effort to restore popular and bipartisan support for what Truman had set in motion. Mr. Pickett tells this story in a lucid and engrossing narrative, clarifying a previously murky picture. With 8 black-and-white photographs.
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(233mm x 154mm x 22mm)
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Author Biography - William B. Pickett
William B. Pickett is professor of history at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. He has been a Fulbright lecturer and has written extensively on Eisenhower's presidency. His books include a biography of Indiana senator Homer Capehart and Dwight David Eisenhower and American Power.