December 19, 2017
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v2.1 Reference


Becoming the Leader of the Free World

In this engaging, fast-paced biography, Louis Galambos follows the career of Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower, offering new insight into this singular man who guided America toward consensus at home and a peaceful victory in the Cold War.

The long-time editor of the Eisenhower papers, Galambos may know more about this president than anyone alive. In this compelling book, he explores the shifts in Eisenhower’s identity and reputation over his lifetime and explains how he developed his distinctive leadership skills. As a career military officer, Eisenhower’s progress was uneven. Galambos shows how Ike, with the help of Brigadier General Fox Conner, his mentor and patron, learned how to profit from his mistakes, pivot quickly, and grow as a military and civilian leader. On D-Day, Eisenhower guided the largest amphibian force in history to a successful invasion of France and a decisive victory. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, he turned to politics and was elected president in 1952.

While today’s fiercely partisan political climate makes it difficult to imagine a president forging consensus in Washington, that’s exactly what Eisenhower did. As America’s leader in an era of profound postwar changes at home and abroad, President Eisenhower sought a middle way with compromise and coalition building. He provided his country with firm-handed leadership, bringing prosperity and peace to the American people in the dangerous years of the Cold War—an accomplishment that made him one of the most influential men of the twentieth century.

Destined to be the best short biography of the 34th president of the United States, Eisenhower conclusively demonstrates how and why this master of the middle way became the successful leader of the free world.

About the Author

Louis Galambos is a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. He is the editor of The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower.


"highly accessible and sprightly written."

- Library Journal

"... Dwight Eisenhower was a mystery to many of those who favored and most of those who opposed him. Louis Galambos, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins and editor of the Eisenhower papers, resolves some of that mystery in his succinct, insightful portrait, "Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World"..."

- Wall Street Journal

"Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World is a biography following the career of Eisenhower that ordinarily would be recommended for biography collections alone; but which offers many insights into the politics and history of his times."

- Donovan's Literary Services


"Galambos masterfully contributes to the study of Eisenhower’s leadership."

- David L. Stebenne, author of Modern Republican: Arthur Larson and the Eisenhower Years

"One of our leading scholars of institutions brings to life the career of Dwight Eisenhower, demonstrating his immense and long-lasting contributions to the military and the presidency. Eisenhower has long been considered a detour in the New Deal Order. Here, Galambos brings to light the many ways that this president, underappreciated by historians but loved by voters at the time, deeply impacted our polity."

- Julian E. Zelizer, author of The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society

"A masterful depiction and an ingenious exploration of the Eisenhower enigma. Galambos combines encyclopedic knowledge of Eisenhower and his rapidly changing world with deftly nuanced character development. Powerful Machiavellian moments become revealing punctuation points in Ike’s life and his destiny as the leader of the free world. This is the one book on Ike you must read."

- Brig. Gen. Carl W. Reddel, USAF (Ret.), Eisenhower Memorial Commission

"A fascinating study of Eisenhower’s emergence as a national and world leader, written by a distinguished senior historian. Galambos explains the challenges Eisenhower faced and the ways in which he adapted to major events in the twentieth century. A wise, superbly written book, one that recalls what seems a distant era of American history."

- Charles E. Neu, author of Colonel House: A Biography of Woodrow Wilson's Silent Partner

"How does a young man from America’s heartland prepare to become the leader of the Free World? How do his experiences and the people who influence his life shape him for greatness? In this remarkable book, Louis Galambos examines how Ike’s life—from Abilene to the White House—was impacted by a cast of characters and moments of change that helped shape and define his identity, decision-making skills, and leadership style. This is a must-read for fans of Eisenhower, students of history and the presidency, and those who are fascinated by the challenges of leadership and decision-making on the world stage."

- General P. X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), Eisenhower Memorial Advisory Committee

"For readers looking for an overview of Eisenhower’s life and career, the Galambos book is a fine choice."

- Weekly Standard

"Johns Hopkins historian Galambos, editor of the Eisenhower papers, examines the development of the leadership style of President Eisenhower from his boyhood in Abilene, Kansas, through his presidency... Galambos's succinct style and penetrating analysis make for a rewarding study. Highly recommended."

- A. J. Dunar, University of Alabama in Huntsville - Choice

9781421425047 : eisenhower-b-galambox-b
296 Pages
$26.95 USD

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