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Dwight D. Eisenhower: Perspectives on a Presidency

Evening Program with Book Signing

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1M2959
President Dwight D. Eisenhower (detail), 1967, by James Anthony Wills (The White House)

From 1953 to 1961 no one dominated the world stage as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, behind the perennial top four: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt. 

Historian William Hitchcock examines Eisenhower’s enormous influence on modern America, the Cold War, and on the presidency itself. Drawing on declassified material from the Eisenhower Library, CIA, Defense Department, and troves of unpublished documents, he discusses Ike’s extraordinary accomplishments, including ending the Korean War, avoiding a war in Vietnam, and soothing relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death.
He traces how Eisenhower guided the Republican Party to embrace central aspects of the New Deal such as Social Security; thwarted the demagoguery of Joseph McCarthy; and advanced the agenda of civil rights for African Americans. Hitchcock also covers his role a president who expanded American military power, built a fearsome nuclear arsenal, and launched the space race as part of his strategy to wage, and win, the Cold War.

Hitchcock is a professor of history at the University of Virginia. His book, The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s (Simon & Schuster), is available for signing following the program.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)