tv William Hitchcock The Age of Eisenhower CSPAN December 29, 2018 2:15am-3:49am EST
[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome to this afternoon's session of the washington history seminar. my name is eric arnesen from george washington university. i co-they're the seminar with phil strum who is here. before we get started, and phillip row abuse our speaker, william hitchcock, let me just say for those who know or don't know, the washington history seminar is a long-standing joint endeavor between the woodrow wilson center and the american historical associations national history center. behind he signs amanda and pete work hard to make sure we can
have these sessions week after week and i'd like to thank those who helped make the seminar possible financially, schaeffer, the society for historians american foreign relations is a long-standing supporter of the seminar. thanks a well to the george washington university department of history and to various named and unnamed anonymous donors who contribute to help us put on this programming. if you could silence your phones before we get started, we'd very much appreciate that, and now, phillip will introduce william hitchcock. >> thank you. good afternoon. those who come here regularly know this is not our usual physical setup, and i have to say i like this because being up so high i can actually see all of you which normally i can't. >> agreed. >> i'm delighted to introduce william hitchcock, who is a professor of history at the university of virginia, and the randolph p. compton professor at
that university's miller center. he previously taught at yale,s we leand at temple and he is the author of a number of important volumes, france, cold war diplomaci' and the quest for leadership in europe, 1945 to 1954. the struggle for europe, the turbulent history of a divide constant sentence, 1945 to the present. and the bitter road to freedom, a new history of the liberation of europe, which was a finalist for the pulitzer prize. he is the coeditor of a number of volumes, including shaper nations, strategies for a changing world. so what we're going to hear from him about today is a world at looked as if is was changing in interesting ways, back in the 1950ss. talk about his book "the age of
eisenhower:mer and the world in the 1915ss. professor hitchcock." >> thank you very much. can you hear me all right? thank you so much for coming. it's a beautiful afternoon. i'm sure you would like to be out in the sun, but we're here in the 1950s and in the age of eisenhower. good for you. i just want to thank you very much for inviting me to come and speak, and i'm really looking forward to your thoughts about ike and the age of eisenhower. i just want to start with a biographical note. about dish won't say quite how many years ago but in college, i served in the one summer as a research assistant at the wilson center, and i worked for professor named kalidi, photo coaching things and providing him with information and then i've always been dedicated to the wilson center for bringing me -- allowing me as a young student to work at the center.
it was a magnificent -- it is a magnificent place. the quality of the intellectuals that come here, that gather here as a young college stunt, i was thrill to come here, it was in the castle back then. and an enormously excite can place to come and still is i. want to say that for scholars in cold war history in particular, the wilson center's work is absolutely crucial to what we do. so, what has been going on here for decades now in the area of cold war history is central and so thank you, thank you, thank you for the work you have done and continue to do in this field. today i'm going to talk for maybe 35 minutes or, so i hope it won't be much more than that because i'm eager to have your questions and i want to lay out the basic argument of my new book, i "the age of eisenhower. i lagger between 1945 and 1961, no individual dominated american public life and politics as did dwight
eisenhower. this most well-liked, the most admired man in america in that period. from the end of the second world war up to the inauguration of john kennedy. but i'm going to argue not just that he was well-liked. it would be a short book if i had to prove that because that's clear. but that he was the most consequential. my thesis is that eisenhower mattered. both in the '50s and the decades after he left office. he shaped modern america in crucial ways and i'll tell you why and how here today. but i'm going to start with a vignette of story to capture the moment. i hope that you'll follow along with me as i set the stage. two minutes before 9:00 in the morning, on december 6, 1960, or 1960, dwight eisenhower strode out on the north portico of to the white house, stopped at the top of the stairs and stool rigid a brown suit and a brown felt hat.
people still wore hats back then, didn't they? they war starting to carry. the. rather than wear them. he was -- did both. wore it and then took it off. an honor guard lined the driveway and a recent band was at a read clerk white house has a fresh coat of paint, the railings and lamp posts sparkled. across pennsylvania avenue the president could hear the hammering of carpenters who were erecting a large reviewing stand for the inaugural parade. that would take place in a few weeks. the president remarked, i feel like the fellow in jail who is watching his scaffold being built. at 8:00 at, precisely, cream colder limousine arrived at the northwest gate of the white house bearing the man only whop the worlds attention had been focus its since the morning of november 9 when hi election vote was announced, john john f. kennedy, now president-elect was coming to meet with president
eisenhower. as the car slowed to a stop, the lean, tanned senator, opened the door, and leapt out and the momentum carried him right up the south carolina, reached out of his sand and said, good morning, mr. president. this could have been a very difficult meeting. during the election campaign of 1960, kennedy had attacked eisenhower america leslie. accusing him of failing to meet the global communist threat with sufficient zeal. and accepting the democratic nomination for president in july, 1960, kennedy had painted the eisenhower years as a lost era. you'll hear the wonderful meter to he used net speech there has been a change, aslippage in our shell beck to all and moral strength, kennedy said, seven lean years of drought and famine have withered the field of ideas. kent mocked eisenhower for being old and out of touch and out of
ideas. but if kennedy expected to find an old, ailing, fragile, eisenhower, waiting for him in the white house he was deeply mistaken. instead eisenhower brought kennedy, the president-elect, into the oval office and treated him over the course of two hours to an astonishing tutorial in how the government works and what the world really looks like from the oval office. eisenhower took command of the might from the outset. spent time in this meeting with kennedy on the structure of the national security council, the setting for what the called the most important weekly meet offering the government. imagine the president chairing the national security council every week. the most important weekly meet offering the government as well as he talk about through defense department. eisenhower told kennedy it was vital have a chief of staff who could coordinate the flow of information the president. urged kennedy to stick to his own model. eisenhower's own mod of a
well-fireworksings staff. ike went on for minutes but the global balance of payments. said, we're having a table time. all the american soldiers in europe spend doing much money and so forth. eisenhower spoke totally freely for 20 minutes on that topic and for an hour without notes. sitting in front of a supremely smart and very well-briefed yrveg jfk who had been defouring briefing backs all we. ike is completely comfortable in his sewn skin. there was no doubt in the meeting who was the more experienced man. or who was the more accomplished man. there was no doubt at this moment who was in command. president-elect kennedy was obviously impressed by what he found in the eisenhower white house. he spoke to reporters afterwards, was gracious in his thanks to the president and staff for assuring an easy transfer of power, but privately, kennedy said even more than that. eisenhower was better than i'd
thought. he said to bob request kennedy when he got back in the limo. and bob kennedy remembered him saying this: eisenhower had a strong personality and he could see, he could understand, talking to him, why he was president of the united states. and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the keynote of my book. the constant discovery of dwight d. eisenhower's talents, his our ya of natural leadership and this skills at governing. eisenhower was better than i had thought. i oak see why he was president of the united states. i repeated that to myself frequently over the last eight years of toil work on this book and i really do believe that he is better than many of us had ever thought, and i want to carry on now and give you examples of what i mean. before i do that i want to dwell for a moment on this phenomenon that eisenhower ever should have
been underestimated there should heave been a time, not just time it ear years, decades when he was thought to be a numskull. hough did it happened man as talented, popular, successful, at the ballot box to crushing victories -- house is it possible such a figure was ever thought to be a dunce? ike waugh understatemented as a politician before he was president, even before he startled running in 1951, 1952 through eight years in offers and then for the ten years after he lived, after he left the white house, the press and especially the democrat party and his opponent necessary deckic matter styled him as a light situation, likeable imagine, dignified figure but a light situation, am an for, an or dough tox, pro business, do nothing president, lazy lead. he grinned a about but a thought to be callous, distance stand, cold. that's what kennedy called it, cold. not at all what he -- how it turned out. the two ended up getting along
quite well the central paradox of the eisenhower presidency that man so successful had been given such poor make the political class. this two-time opponent in the elects,s a lay stevenson marked eisenhower as slow and tongue tied, a tooling of the wealth where right wickers, president harry truman piled on the famous quotation, poor ike, truman said on his way out of office, he went be a bit like the army. he'll sit her and say do this and do and that nothing will happen. i think that describes the truman presidency. anyway, we'll get to that. his president si changed few minds among the commentators. a 1958 book, an important journalist of the ear remark described eisenhower in a wonderful phrase, a captive hero. he was a captive hero. he was a general who had been set up in office, he was imprinted by right wingers and nothing more than a kind of
ventriloquist dummy mouthing the words that other people wrote for him. william shannon next new york post's washington column is in concluded eisenhower accomplished nothing in eight years, the ion hour era is the type of the greatpose appointment, and schorls agreed. in july 1962 the harvard historian, arthur schlesinger series, the far, publish heed the fame mutt results of a poll, he asked 75 historians no, doubt all his buddhys to rank the presidents. eisenhower placed 22nd out of 31 president friday in pole. the bottom third of the class. he was nestled between chester a. arthur and incredibly andrew johnson who was widely now considered to be the absolute bottom of the barrel. but no one did more damage to ike's reputation hand the camelot clan and i'm not backing up on the kennedys. they can happen it.
not just during the 1960 election, kennedy didn't run against richmond nixon him ran against ion hour. the kennedy campaign used eisenhower as the perfect foil. kennedy was young, handsome, cool, sharp witnessed, sexy, smart, daring, dynamic, bold, all of thosed a jeck tide. with 1960 eisenhower was 70 years old. he had had a major heart attack while in office. he had intestinal surgery, mild stroke. bit the end of his time in office, he was starting to show the wear ask tear of age. he had all the sex appeal of a dried prune compared to john f. kennedy. and the kennedy people knew it and they used it both for kennedy and against him. for years and indeed i think decade after kennedy's tragic death, kennedy's admirers continued to demean eisenhower in order to heighten the beauty and glory of the kennedy era. arthur schlesinger jr., in this
1965 book, thousand days screened the nation's capitol as so many ulent in the eisenhower you're buts under kennedy, fresh winds were blowing. the kennedy presidency began with incomparable dash, one of his favorite worths, dash, everyone is dashing in the kennedy years. all these young, idealistic liberals poured into the capitol to lawn the new frontier, like the new dealers the quarter center earlier they brought with them the ideas of national reconstruction and reform which had been germinating under the surface of a decade of inaction. basically, the eisenhower years was gigantic eight year national nap, between two eras of deck -- a wakeful --ic act take. s? trying the eisenhower years by the team of his death, eisenhower had been largely
forgotten by the express obituary timing me concluded ike was morphinghead than president. quote, out of touch with his people, unquote. as a politician, by 1969, eisenhower seemed to be debt citizenned to be written off at a benign mediocritiy. well, that's an opportunity for an historian if there ever was one. >> we now know -- in fact we have known for some time that this caricature of eisenhower was wrong. in just the past couple of decade maybe scholar surely books have been published on eisenhower, the korean war, the rise of covert operations and the cia, nuclear weapons, policy over china, latin america, europe, the middle east, the third world and so on. scholars have begun to examine in much greater deal tail his policies on the home front as well, especially in areas such as civil rights and economic policy, infrastructure, science,
religion, education, how he handled the mccarthy. and the red care and so forth. we knee great neil many of these areas. so taking into account all of this scholarly dispel drawing on an enormous amount of relatively recently declassified material in abilene, kansas, at the wonderful eisenhower library. if urge you to go. itself is a distance from the coast but once you're which, go'll be treated to. we they're wonderful people and they're terrifically knowledgeable in the way they can identify the material you knee, whatever topic. so, drawing all of this material, the mon ographs the scholarly work, the new declassified materiality, this book, the age of eisenhower, gives you fully fleshed out portrait of the entire eisenhower presidency and i don't think we have had that since the effort in 1984 by stephen ambrose to write a big two-volume life of eisenhower.
unfortunately, as you may know, his book came under some criticism because unfortunately there were some fraudulent sources that were used not book, so i hope that is not the case here, and i offer a decisive verdict, dwight eisenhower must be counsel he month the most consequential presidents of hit, certainly the modern postwar period. what die moon by consequential? i'll tell you. his significantly shaped the united states in at least three lasting ways and i'll explain each of them a little bit. first, he built and sand. s and the warfare state that eventually won the cold war. second, he recast domestic politics. especially republican party politics. by creating a con seven sunday or at least aying to the consensus but the appropriate role of government in public
life. and third, perhaps his greatest legacy, is he gave us a model for how to be president. he gave us a model of how the presidency could be used. and i'll come back to that at the end. so to dem machine straight the significant impact of the ike years on modern america i want to ebra laplay. warfare state domestic politics of the united states and his shape offering the presidency itself. dwight eisenhower dramatically expanded the power and scope of the 20th century warfare state. now, obviously he did not create it himself single handedly. he built upon a set of assumptions and decisions that were made in the truman presidency. indeed, in the roosevelt presidency but between 1953 and 1961, eisenhower legitimatated
the idea of a permanent peacetime warfare state. permanent peacetime warfare state. designed to be technological dynamic, cutting edge, nimble, global, and responsive to national security needs all around the world. the warfare state eisenhower built dwarfed anything that truman had envisioned. yes, truman dramatically increased military spending when the korean war broke out in 1950, but before that his administration saw the dismantling and hollowing out of u.s. military capabilities between 1945 and 1950. not so with eisenhower. he was determined to maintain a permanent peacetime military establishment that would feather be caught unprepared. or incapable of responding to the soviets. the numbers tell the story. just give you one number. in the eisenhower years the united states spent about 10% of its gdp on the military
establishment. 10% of its gdp on the military establishment. a higher percentage than any peacetime administration before or since. today we're at 3-1/2. give or take. this man who warned later generations about the military industrial complex of course did a great deal to build it. he developed a rhetorical strategy to justify this kind of permanent warfare state. from the start of this president see he embassied the idea, as did many millions of americans, that in the 1950s the united states really did face an existential threat from the soviet union and global communism. he drew on the language of the red dire denounce communism and communists as insidious, one of his favorite, insidious, inseedus, secretive, temperature ran tall, immoral, in this first inaugural address, who wrote
force offices good and evil are massed and armed and opposed as rarely before in history. this is the man who just finished defeating hitler in europe, but here in 1953, forces of good and evil are massed as rarely before in history. a remarkable image. he continued, freedom is pitted against slavery. lightness against the dark. styling the communeistblock bloc as a slave umpiring is a constant theme. throughout his years in office he said that america was living in an age of peril. he used that term a lot in public. the cold war was real. it was dangerous. eisenhower meant to prosecute it vigorously. now, these views did not lead him recklessly to seek out foreign wars. on the contrary, in many respects respects the key note of the eisenhower national security policy was restraint.
after all he ended active hostility in korea in 1953, avoided u.s. military enter generalization indo-china in 1954. deterred china's military adventure in the taiwan straits and 1955 and 1958. compelled britain and france to deter fir ill concerned invasion of europe. avoided a conflict overber flynn 1958 and established stable person real estates with theist soviet leader, nikita cruise chaff. these choices could have bon a different way and every time he made the chose that south to diffuse and -- sought to use and diffuse restraint and those cases could have easily become watches eisenhower worked hard and successfully to keep the peace between the super powers. but he was no pacifist. his global strategy required the steady accumulation of immense national power and a willingness to deploy the power when necessary. the u.s. nuclear arsenal soared in the eisenhower years. a few hundred weapons at the
beginning of his term in office, to 20,000 warheads by the owned of it. deliverable on all manner over the platforms. long range b25352 bombers, atlas, titan missiles, polar his, by the time eisenhower left office the united states had plans for launching 3,200 nuclear wents also over 1,000 targets in russia, china, and eastern europe. in the event of a nuclear war. so you can use the term restraint in one way to say he did not pursue war but this is not restraint in building out the capabilities of the warfare state. eisenhower turn the united states or built the united states into a military colossus. a scale and lethality never before seen on earth and this had a knock-on effect not just in the defense industry be the mobilization of science if the universities, in industry, all pulling together to boost american military power. by the end of the 50s the u.s.
had taken the first steps towards the militarization of space with the launching of the corona spy satellite. just say one more thing but the ware far state. eisenhower presided over the significant expansion and we can talk about this more in the question -- significant expansion of america's secret intelligence agencies. he ordered them to conduct covert operations and coup d'etats around the world, fund eisenhower the cia developed a global strat that used american money, arms and tech tolling to contend with communism and anticolonial nationalism everywhere in the world. the u.s. led coups in iran in 1953 and got principal in 1954 were followed by massive investments of secret aid to south vietnam to rebels in indonesia, to covert operations in cuba and many other regions of the world. eisenhower began a practice, let's call it what it is -- that has become an american habit.
the delegation by the american president and congress of the enormous power and resources to a largely unaccountable agency to conduct a range of subversive and violent operations against the nation's enemies. the secret wars of our own times date from the 1950s. the question that you may be asking is, were these techniques for waging the cold war, good for the united states in the long run? did eisenhower by using such methods help to win the cold war? and if so, does that justify his method? these are difficult questions. i think we should talk about them. and i hope we can return to them in the question and answer. the second area i want to touch on is eisenhower's impact on politics inside the united states. and here, tour, think eisenhower was a far more important figure than we have tended to realize.
eisenhower actually recast american politics by strengthening a national consensus but the place of go in the lives of american citizens. before eisenhower, the political pendulum has swung from the arch conservative ideas of harding and coolidge and hoover, over to the bold and all encompassing activism of franklin room and the new deal. eisenhower is the least partisan president of moder typing and sought to stop the pendulum in dead center. to be sure when he ran for profit in 1952, he thundered against the statism of the new deal. and its expansive federal programs. but once in office, he adopted a centrist, practicing mat tick policy and approach that reflected the preferences of most americans. he managed to disarm the right wing of his own party. the so-called old guard republics who flocked to senator
robert taft and who are were antigovernment isolationists. her moved the g.o.p. to the center and he set out to make it into a moderating force in politics. for example, eisenhower made behalves the new deal. expanding social security to over 10 million self-employed principle by people. he raised the minimum wage. and he founded the department of education, health, education welfare, even suggested ideas for a national health insurance system. doesn't everybody president? they went about as well in his time as later years. eisenhower invested significantly in infrastructure. of course. he made -- found a way to make government work without making it too big and too costly, the interstate highway system is the preeminent example. building its 40,000-miles of roads, of course, cost billions, but most of the money came from user fees and he form of a gas expansion other licensing fees. used to replenish a highway
trust fund so the burden on the treasury relatively minor. his attitude toward taxes, tells us much about the man. and indeed about the g.o.p. of the 50s. in 1954 he facing janet demand friday pressures for tax cut from congress. eisenhower went on national radio, and he said, made a very elementary argument which one doesn't hear very much anymore. he said at schools and roads and housing and health care cost money. and here's what he said. quote, the good american -- oh, boy -- the good american is proud to carry his share of the national burden. when eisenhower tell outside but the good american he is making a very powerful point and in this case he believed paying taxes was a national and personal obligation in order to be -- to enjoy the benefits of american citizenship. not only should you do it and do
it without complaining. >> be proud of it because that was your pledge, your participation in the great experiment of american democracy. paying taxes was a job of every decent american as far as eisenhower was concerned. he also said things like no american would be happy having somebody else pay his share of the national taxes. i bet he didn't know his people very well but the affect that's what he said and i honor him for it. no wonder then that william if you were buckley's national review viewed eisenhower as an -- and heaped abuse on him throughout this years in office. on the other hand eisenhower was no liberal. and that became very evident in his happening of mccarthy. ism and the red scare. he accepted the basic premises of the red hunters. that there were in fact communists that had bored into the foundations of american government. and they needed to be rooted out, and this after all is why he put richard nixon on the next
1952. it's perfectly clear that eisenhower loathed joseph mccarthy, offend him a vial specimen of humanity, but it was mccarthy's cruel methods that, the destructive, baseless permanent attack that eisenhower scorned. not the idea of hunting down communists that might be doing subversive things in the american government. or for that matter, he did not scorn the idea of hunting down homosexuals in government, root area the which eisenhower's administration took decisive steps. it's a tell-all biography people, the good and the bad and this is an area in which i think we can be critical. eisenhower had hopes to steal' mccarthy's thunder in the anti-communist crusade and accepted the need for loyalty programs that would eventually force thousands out of federal employment. his executive order, 10450,
announced any procedures for rooting out anyone who was considered disloyal, well as, quote, habits to all drug users or sexual perverts. no place in the federal government and eisenhower signed the executive nord just his first months in office. so, for all of his hatred of macconsider the he was determined not be outflanked by the right wing of his own party and accused of softness toward internaling sub version. now we can talk about how eisenhower cleverly outmaneuvered mccarthy and gradually built a wall around him and contributed to significantly to his -- deflating the mccarthy challenge and that sense eisenhower gets a great deal of credit for damaging, ultimately fatally, joe mccarthy but mccarthyism and the red scares something that many people outside of the joe sir mccarthy circle, bought into and eisenhower felt he had to do some of this himself in his own administration to inoculate
himself from a challenge of his right wing that he was soft on communism. in confronting the greatest social and moral challenge of his time, the civil rights movement, eisenhower, like many white americans of the 1950s, responded with caution and with wariness. some authors trade to make eisenhower into an unsung hero of the civil rights movement. i was temped by that argue. i found evidence to support -- some evidence to support that argument. but at the end of the day, weighing everything issue felt that the view went a little too far. i felt that view went a little too far. however, eisenhower made a number of absolutely crucial decisions in this field that were bold, that were humane, that were consequential. and that could have gone the other way. when he had to make a decision, more often than not he made the right decision and this is a man
who had no background in this field, no understanding of the crisis of black life in america in the 1950s no familiarity, had spent his entire year in the segue agree gaited u.s. military but presidents often encounter problem they'd don't understand and they're not prepared for. and his inner moral conviction came through again and again when dealing with this issue. that said he understood turned the main regard as possibly the most consequential and influential cabinet officer -- not john foster dulles -- attorney general hebronell and -- harold brownell and they formed a really important team. they worked quietly through the courts to weaken jim crow segregation. they helped eat threads desegregation after to the nation ya california cap follow. i filed amicus briefs with challenges to segregation of restaurants and movie theaters here in the district and they pushed their thumbs on the scale and they succeeded in that area.
overall, eisenhower appointed five moderately progressive jurists to the supreme court. this most significant of whom was earl warren of california, as chief justice. and warren would write the unanimous decision in brown vv bordes that ordered thens of segregation in public education. eisenhower got through a deeply divided and quite skip tick cal congress the civil rights act of 1957, and this act was a landmark mainly because it was so rare. previous major act in civil rising had emerges from the reconstruction period so it had been 80 years since there was a signature piece of legislation on civil rights and eisenhower gets credit for seeing it through. lyndon johnson, if you're a fan of-care row, worked tirelessly to take all the teeth out of that act and eisenhower almost vetoed it but at the offered the day hi thought the crumb is better than nothing or half a loaf or quarter love and passed
the bill. but he did findly push it through. that act created a the civil rights division in the yates department. it also gave the attorney general very quiet limited powers to intervene in the states in cases of voting rights violations. it set the stage for what would come later in the later civil rights act of the next decade. eisenhower also took an enormous risk and enormous risk that was deeply uncharacteristic when he ordered federal troops to surround central high school in little rock, arkansas to ensure that court ordered desegregation proceed, despite the hostility of local authorities. in my view, eisenhower never public lud or personally embraced the fundamental demand of african-americans for equal justice. he did not understand the crisis of black life in america. i don't think that he sought to learn more about it while he was in office. at the same time, and here's the
point i really think needs to be driven home -- eisenhower did use his power to aide rather than halt the work of a courageous generation of civil rights crusaders just emerging on the national american scene. he aided rather than halted. he abetted rather than placed himself in the path of this generation of civil rights activists. you know, one can imagine in race relations in this country that there is a spectrum and we know it's easy enough mace people on the far end of the spectrum who always seem to do the right thing people on the other end of the spectrum who seem constantly to be behind in the arc of history and i like to put eisenhower in the upper third of that spectrum. i think though he did not perhaps -- not perhaps as aggressive as he might have been, actually was enorm
husbandly consequential in this eight years, blew hot and cold on the issue but if you add up the dedegradation of washington, dc, the appoints. of earl warren, brown verdict board and the intervention in little rock it's an astounding efforts and he did morning many of his predecessors in some of his successors to advance the agenda of civil rights in america. the last point i want to make is really about eisenhower's impact on the presidency itself. the way i see it, eisenhower established a distinct till model of presidential leadership that americans today, i think, could benefit from studying. i won't name names.
i called it in at the book the disciplined presidency. the disciplined presidency. disciplined was eisenhower's star. he was raced in a very strict and very frugal family. he was trained for a career of soldiering. ice horn believed the discipline was the key to success. not only did he apply discipline to his own person, he maintain head weight very carefully, weighed 175 pounds most of his life. he quit a four-pack- -- four packs a day habit overnight, just said i put it out of my mind. i don't know if that would work for everybody but he was a tough man. coming into harry truman's disorganized and improve vacational white house, eisenhower imposed order, stabbing clear rules of procedure, every monday he met with leader from the congress, wednesday were his weekly press
conference with print radio and after january 19 a 55 the division immediata. thursday, chaired the national security council. friday, met with miss cabinet true. did not convene the national security council very often and john kennedy largely spliffed it. eisenhower, by contrast, endowed the nsc, the national security council, we enorm mose import. he used the weekly meetings to craft to review and approve policies. in his eight years in office the national security council -- here's a number, think about this -- eight years 0 in office, eisenhower's nsc met 366 times. eisenhower was present at 329 of them. a 90% attendance rate, the meeting of his own national security council, once a week. now, a later generation, indeed the kennedy, lampooned this as bureaucratic drudgery, meetings, how boring. i'm an academic and i can say that. know how boring meetings can be but that's not how eisenhower
saw it. good government required constant focus, disciplined planning, famous phrase that he used again and again, plans are worthless but planning is everything. if you haven't been planning you can't start to work intelligently, at least. in the hour of crisis, ike wanted a disciplined, well-trained staff system in place and ready to roll. discipline carried over into this approach to the nation. he was a champion of the free market, eisenhower told americans that prosperity would come to those who worked hard. who made sacrifice us. the government was only going to do what it could to sort of clear a path so that individual americans could demonstrate their god given talents. it's no accident no accident, in my view, that eisenhower's closest friends were self-made
millionaires. he liked the mainaire part but what he really liked was they are self-made. almost all of his close pals started out with very little or indeed nothing, like eisenhower, and worked their way up through in the american system. emblems of what makes america great. the free market and hard work. ion hour told americans they needed to discipline to wage and to win the cold war. from his first inaugural to his farewell address, eisenhower insisted that to prevail in a struggle against global communism, americans needed to demonstrates vigilance and steadfast purpose. they needed to pay taxes. needed to serve in the military. they needed to rally to the defense of the country. they should spend wisely on defense. so as nod to jeopardize the health of the economy. most significant, he believed, he american system could only endure if citizens willingly imposed some self-discipline and prepared themselves to bear the common burden of defending free
government. well, if we added all up, we see eisenhower and his legacy issue think in a new light. he dramatically commanded the warfare state. he waged the global cold war with intensity and with skill. and put into place a high stakes, but eventually effective strategy to wage and to win the cold war. he dragged his own isolationist party into the bright light of internationalism. and he also gave the g.o.p. a hard transplant. come to think of it he could have used one bit gave the g.o.p. a heart transport and imagined to make the institution of the presidency stronger and better organized. more rigorous motion reactive to needs of the moment. eisenhower was often accuses of misunderstanding the powers of
the presidency. of failing to use itsler more effectively. that was an argument made largely by democrats at the time and in the later decades who saw the presidency as the office of the presidency as the incubator of big ideas, ambitious social policy, in the rooseveltan mode. perhaps that criticism is fair. perhaps that cit criticism is anti. that's up to you to decide. but eisenhower never aspired to construction an imperial presidency. he wanted the president so city to serve as one branch of government in cooperation and balance with the others him wanted the presidency to be responsive to be empathetic to be wise, but he wanted to its be limited in its reach and modest in its promises. is there no single pothole that every presidential candidate promises to filling in the first day in office?
is there nothing a president won't prom is in eisenhower inside time for that. the deliver on what me prime minister messed but didn't overpromise. he carried with him into office the values of his forebears. self-reliance, frugality, discipline, restraint, a deep spiritual faith, and humility. now, these have often been considered somewhat corny virtues in american public life ever sense. the 1960s. but perhaps after so many decades of excess and vulgarity and bar and conflict and hatred and violence, the unthinkable has happened, and some americans might actually wish to return to the age of eisenhower. thank you. [applause] >> now we move to our question
discussion period. please wait for the microphone too reach you. please use the microphone and please identify yourself. >> professor hitchcock, thank you so muchment for those who actually lived through the eisenhower era, the book is wonderful eye opener and very persuasive in many places. i want to ask you about one function or one could argue one function of president sal leadership that you haven't discussioned today. when you talk about eisenhower and the mccarthy phenomenon and talk about eisenhower and civil rights. and i'm wondering about the function of the president and moral leadership. remembering whatever eisenhower thought of mccarthy and whatever he ultimately did, the
lack of anything coming from the white house about the incredible harm mccarthy was doing -- you mentioned the harm but the incredible harm mccarthy was doing to so many americans and the american dialogue and to american values, and then we get to the civil rights issue, the same thing. don't think, as you do that i would give credit to eisenhower for brown v. board of ode killed, not out all. think that came from other places altogether but nevertheless, his not speaking out there, whatever he did quietly, is it your contention hes that to do those things, heyed toes shoe moral leadership in order to have the political fewer do the things he thought were more important and if that's the case, what does that alone say? could you just -- >> this is an area in which he's often been criticized, and all i can say those those criticisms have merit and we have come to a
very different view of what the role of the presidency is. eisenhower made a very simple tactical decision which is that joe mccarthy wanted nothing more than for dwight eisenhower say i denounce senator joseph mccarthy. he would never do it. and he -- many of his advisers began to despair of his restraint in doing that. because eisenhower believed that more than anything what mccarthy wanted was the attention that would come in a face-to-face duel between eisenhower and maccar the. now you can read the letters he received from friends who said, mr. president, i feel that you're -- the end of the day you're missing an opportunity, not responding up to this bully women need your moral authority to weigh in it and torture its him there are moments when he made veiled attacks on maccar the, the dark incomes spieth, don't join in the book burners and thing lies think but didn't name him. and i think it was a tactical
decision that its would destroy the republican party. when mccar i -- a republican part that's only just started to grow the issues that are pulling it back together into a unified party. when mccarthy was finally censures by the u.s. senate, many of you will know this -- 22 republican senators voted against the resolution of censure. this was deeply divided republican party, even at the end of all this. so i eisenhower felt, i have a number of obligations here. but going tow to toe with mccare the will only embolden imf have wherein in the book how eisenhower did in fact manage to use the executive privilege to start to starve mccarthy's committee of information, of documents, testimony of it ands and that did have an effect in isolating mccarthy.
but i think it's a reasonable criticism. i think it's a fair criticism. think it -- but i also want to say, we have changed our attitudes a good deal about what the president should do and can do and i think eisenhower still remained -- had view of the presidency that he didn't want to personalize those issues. civil rights, i disagree. think eisenhower, on brown v. board, eisenhower knew but a herbert brownell told him that earl warren was a progressive on civil rights. the brown v. board of education case was pending in the court when warren was appointed. they knew there would be a big decision there. they knew warren would have an influence on it. brownell probably knew better than eisenhower did but nonetheless brownell urge eisenhower carry through with what had been a rare cavalier promise eger warren the first available seat in the people
support. little did in the know -- nonetheless what i can say is eisenhower could have appointed a different per and was considering a number of far less progressive people. so this is a moment of contingency. does that mean he gets credit for authoring the opinion? of course not. did he then denounce brown versus board? people say he gave it up and denounce its warren and didn't like brown versus board. don't think that's true or fair help came to criticize warren a good deal over civil liberties later on in warren court but over brown vs. board, he was anxious. ry gallon if you thaw. worried but the pace of change. afraid that the south would explode in resistance to decision, and he guess what? he was right. hi was anxious but that. did he throw warren under the base and say the brown decision is their worst thing? i found that's not the case i. found he was actually -- praised warren after the decision in a number of instances. did eisenhower maintain racial
prejudice? yes. nuts flash. mores white americans in his position and of his background also did. did he say a number of regrettable things theft have been reported in the historyam record? yes, he did. but on this case i think he made a number of crucial decisions that pushed the course of history forward and i have said -- i've tried not to oversell him as a great hero of the civil rights movement. that is too much. but it's a fascinating transitional moment. youd. >> i can't resister with a followup. you make the case quite convincingly that eisenhower is a consequential figure, and throughout the book you are remarkably judicious -- on the other squall to many of the issues you deal with and you do not shy away from criticizing his errors, his misjudgments, his failure to do x for y.
but at the end of the day, and at the end of the book, on page 517, you ultimately conclude that the people around eisenhower and by implication those of white house are reliving this by reading the book -- wore in the presence of greatness. if i were to give an assignment to a student that said, i want to a critical paper on eisenhower, demonstrate that he is not all of these things, this book could be the first and last sores -- source that they use and you private becausor so darn judicious, all of the evidence a student would need to say, yes, on brown, he did something but really there was so much more to be done. or he kept the peace between the super powers but there's iran and guatemala, the congo and all these other examples that you go into copious and appropriate
detail on. so i guess my question is, as you add this all up, it is possible, is it not, to draw a conclusion somewhat different than the one that you ultimately conclude the book with? that eisenhower's presidency was marred as much by certain failures and indiana quick sunday as it was by success in some many areas. >> no. >> all right, next question. [laughter] >> i love that question and i've also flattered by it, because what the -- your impression of the book is just the win i hoped rather wood take away from and that is i'm a historian. historians are different from biographers, biographers tell a life are might be from bier to death bit a significant section of other life. did that in this book and you'll find out about eisenhower's life but i'm other historian and i
wanted to take on historical arguments like, brown v. board and maccar theism or covert operations and give it a fair hearing on both sides. i didn't want this to be an attack or an apology and i hope it's neither of those. at the same time, after a while, the people get bored of being around historians and they want the biographer to nation and say does this man isn't that right and if dwight eisenhowern't a great man i don't know who is. this was a man of course his presidency is filled with significant achievements as i've saved but also so is his life, and the reason -- so is his public service in the military, and of course americans who lived through the too 5s viewed eisenhower not just as the president but also as the great commander of the arms where that liberated europe so he had the benefit of being already a popular and successful public hero. now, that's why i mean by his people felt they'd lived among greatness and i think they did.
i think eisenhower's popularity had so much to do with his achievements both in the war and in the white house, and what surprising is that the historians who treated him for years, downplayed those achievements to such a degree and overcorrected completely, and many historians, i am by no means the first -- we have didn't doing since this the 1980s tornadod to move us back toward a more comprehensive view of his strengths and weaknesses. i like the question. i think it getted to he question of the tension between history and biography. >> okay. don right here on the side. the microphone is going eventually reach you. >> over here. >> don wolf with the wilson center, thank you for the talk and i'm -- a child of the 5s but one do-the 50s but you did
not mention sputnik and i think about eisenhower for instance putting forward in 575 -- you mentioned the highway act and he tagged that the national defense highway act. he wanted to tie it in with our military defenses. ... that he shake them up into a new outlook on the role of the federal government? >> i wrote quite a lot about this. i think it's a fascinating case. the missile crisis because it's a political disaster but it's not necessarily the worst thing for eisenhower. he looks at this and said, put up this fear that can circle the
earth, no capabilities to galvanize washington or new york here. we don't know what their capabilities are. he wasn't terribly alarmed by it. there's a period of two or three weeks with the press and public are really alarmed by this sputnik. eisenhower said, we are cracking along on a whole series of missiles. we are doing fine. he said that two or three times during the press conference. he said, don't worry. politically, such a disaster. this is one of the things that used against them for the rest of his presidency. he didn't react with alarm insight segment. in the congress, to firefight eisenhower. scientists who didn't get the big contract. we are doing this, this is a disaster. the missile research.
he said, going to have to do more. i will have to be proactive. one of the things i already want to do that i can use this crisis to advance the certain legislative agenda. that's where we get nasa which is, the military organization, we are focused on research. we will do that. spending but really quite moderate lee. they are spending so much, the numbers are staggering. the 1957 spending on the missile program increases tenfold. in two years. that's before sputnik. he stearns what is a political crisis by passing pieces of legislation he wanted anyway. the one thing he didn't mention was the organization act. he finally, this is the guy chief of staff of the army. he gets the services to work together. it strengthens the role of the
secretary over and above the chiefs of the service something he's been wanting to do since the mid- 40s. i think it's one of his shining moments. >> in the far back there. >> eisenhower had three major illnesses as president. one in his first term and there is a division of opinion among his positions as to whether he should run for reelection. what you think that affected his presidency? >> it's astonishing. he had a significant heart attack in the fall of 1955 and cardio vascular knowledge at the time was not what it is today. for about 24 hours, his army doctor had no idea what had happened to him. he started prescribing first,
milk of magnesia than morphine. he finally gave him ekg and they realized what happened. the treatment that was prescribed was basically bread and rest. blood thinners and rest for almost six months, between the fall of 55, he was out of action. as a leader. for almost that entire period. he stays in a hospital bed for months, the cabinet comes to him. adams basically becomes the president and guides the flow of information. there's one person who was not really in the inter- circle after the heart attack nuts with jordan nixon. he never gave authority, to operate over to nixon. this would lead eventually to that. this could get us into a discussion about what he really thought of nixon.
it's fascinating about how he doesn't turn things over to nixon. from the surgery, he was unconscious. they still don't overpower to nixon. only for a few hours. but even so, the same with a brief weekend long stroke. none of these moments did he turn over authority to nixon. it affected his presidency, not sure it was decisive. i think it would have been nowadays, much bigger factor in his decision to run again. he thought long and hard if he could handle it and the fact is, he was the most competitive manner, man i've ever read about. he was a competitive man. he bet on everything. he that nichols and every gulf he played. he didn't want to give up. there was nobody else to turn it over to except nixon. he didn't want to do that. all the enough, i don't think it
did dramatically affect the course of his presidency. >> right here in the middle. no, the back and forward. >> thanks so much. when i look at presidential studies and biographies to the degree that i followed, it seems to me over the past 20 to 30 years, all of you who do these. not so much. calvin coolidge, even uber hoover and probably george bush.
george bush the first. but i'm less aware of presidents who are being less well measured. they certainly change in relationship to each other as we take these polls but what is it in the historian, yours and historians who write on your subject who seem to be working to increase -- working to fill in and thereby to increase the reputation of so many of our presidential figures at least from abraham lincoln? >> let me challenge this question. i don't think historians are reputations of the president. i think many of you know this, historians don't write about presidents. people like me would actually work in history department at universities, do not write
presidential biographies. if you did, your career would come to a halt. it's not something considered cutting edge methodology. they've been scorned by history department, academic history department. the public loves to read biographies. maybe that's why they don't write them. which i everything we can to be unpopular, invisible. but in general, presidential biography is considered an unsophisticated genre of historical writing. that's why i think this difference between historians and biographers is important. we have wonderful biographies, wonderful presidents written by suburban stylus. they are coming out a mile a minute. they are not being by and large, not being written by people who have academic history department. go figure. why? we'll get into that but this is a fact. i'm taking a risk. i'm a professor from not taking that much of a risk. [laughter]
i've done something most of my colleagues view as a backward mythology. two people come to mind who are beginning to have a slightly less enthusiasm. this one will surprise you because there's so much about him on tv now, john kennedy discovered more criticism. he has a past over the last many years, his accomplishments, relatively thin compared to where he stands on the usual popularity pull. the treatment of women is now starting to really tell in his evaluation. the others, what are wilson, dara say it, handling of politics in the early 20th century has come under scrutiny. i to tell this audience what that means. it has happened and historians have done a great deal of that work in shining a bright light on the negative aspects of his
legacy. despite his enemas, schmitz, a huge significant figure. has begun to, he's embraced less enthusiastic we about this. >> i'm a journalist, semi retired. i started as a copy boy at the end of the eisenhower era. they were still just on the street then. i was always impressed by, books like yours really emphasize how little daily journalists know about what's really going on in our presidency. my specific question is, you talk about and eisenhower first meeting. a lot of that meeting was devoted to eisenhower warning
the laws, this two bit country was all of asia and i never could quite figure out why a great strategist like eisenhower was so obsessed with laos. michael spoke about the me too. eisenhower kept resisting dollars flying this plane over, he said like new, this is going to lead to catastrophe. you can argue, had the paris summit gone off and eisenhower policy continued, nixon might well have been elected president in 1960 rather than. so this is dubious. kennedy learned his own once he got into office. >> the great topics. it says that work, the bottle is going to burst if we can't, if it goes, the whole region will.
eisenhower spoke, he appeared he appeared to, even though he said it often in public, personally, i don't think he thought it was vital. he seems to have brought into it. it was one of those small, if these things goes and it was on the nice edge, as he was leaving office, he thought they would have a negative impact from everything they had been doing. this would be a significant problem. it was all handed off to kennedy. on the u2, it was the biggest mistake of his presidency. i've come to see it as the biggest mess, an error that he did not have to do. the fact is, alan but all of the security officials, advisers wore him down. we tend to think that eisenhower declined billions. so easy, no problem.
send a couple more over. they were relatively few flights over the soviet union. a terrible disaster. every day, i want more u2's. no, no. i'm not going to allow it. it had come to a halt. on the summit, it would be nice to know just how far along the program had got before i go into that meeting. then to come up with a deal on nuclear testing. the last one was the main one, 1961. i view it as a very uncharacteristically where they got the federal of eisenhower. >> go into detail about the break with herbert who did more
than any other individual to help eisenhower get the nomination 1952 and in terms of the interstate highway act was the slightest thought given to its likely consequences of railroad passenger service in this country. >> i don't know how many of you have been there but if you haven't, it's a good place to visit. there's a railroad that runs through the backyard of eisenhower's house in the library itself. the impact, the highway system because the interstate highway, is about a mile and a half north of town. the rest of the town has suffered as a result of the system. the first mile was built in kansas on purpose. i think it struggled ever since they built the intersection at the top with the gas stations are in the infrastructure has withered.
fewer people there now than when eisenhower was five years old. the answer is no, he didn't think about the consequences. the economic growth, highway system was an engine of economic growth. with the machine pick up perpetuating itself. highways use more gas, more taxes. it's an easy program to love. he resigned, he wanted to get out. he wanted to get back to his practice. he was, he had become a problem. a political problem. he burst through the civil rights act. that burned some bridges. he became a target. of criticism for the administration. it was time for him to go but think he was somewhat, i want say he was forced out, i don't think that true but the timing is suspicious about his departure.
>> john foster who, and on foster. >> john foster in my view, comes out -- in my assessment of him in the administration, comes out as outstanding presidential lawyer. his client is eisenhower and that is all he really cares about. i don't think, i think eisenhower very early on, contains the most instincts. i believe the sum of 1963 shirt size called the project in which eisenhower asked a lot of senior
military officials to go and be wasted away to the college. one of the options had? how should we waste the cold war? be more aggressive, more aggressive? i think the evidence is there that this was an exercise by and large designed to do that. the world is ending, taking over for everyone. the spring of 1953. come up with a plan for waging the cold war differently. they did that and eisenhower said fine. we'll go straight ahead. full speed ahead on what i've been doing anyway. the exercise to do the work and the way they had like. it was a way of containing those. time and time again, i think we see eisenhower besting. i went on a limb and coming back to get back closer to eisenhower. i know you're interested in this
crisis but foster was playing the game. he will actually want the british and french and israelis to get in quickly. before anything could be done. there is subjective evidence that he might have wanted that but there's also, he did not allow enough daylight to open up between him and eisenhower for that plan to be affected. eisenhower moved, moved so quickly to restraint the british and restraint the french and save the day. it's amazing, i think the ten days were his best days in office. he got reelected. >> quick observation. two of the president going down seemed to be introduction and
thomas jefferson. jackson's picture is so prominently displayed in the oval office probably doesn't help jackson. i have two quick questions. you mentioned the president eisenhower accomplishment in the field of religion. i wonder if you could give us a couple of examples and also, you alluded to the president's lack of appreciation to nixon and what was it about nixon that made the president be so cruel to nixon? >> religion is fascinating. he came from a spiritual background. his family was from brethren, branch of the netherlands.
they were deeply scriptural people. the red scripture probably every night. his parents became jehovah's witnesses. he grew up in a intensive religious family. after he left home, age 20, he went to west point and he never really went to church anymore. the brother didn't, it wasn't credible in church services. he was a religious man who knew scripture very well. he became president, he me it immediately to start he would have to demonstrate his faith and act in public. many of you might not know this. few days into office, eisenhower was baptized. he was baptized in the church here in washington. why does he do that? he firmly believed that
judeo-christian faith and belief was central to waving the cold war. it's what differentiated americans to all people who were believers from the communists. he embraced the public figures of the day who were popularizing popular religion american was a popular place and became more so as a decade or on. popular figures who were becoming what we later call televangelists were making a move into the public arena. eisenhower welcomed these figures into his popular displays of religiosity. the figures that we talked a lot about over the last few want is billy graham. they became close. billy graham advised eisenhower during the campaign. he was the first of whom billy graham gave a sermon. it's a fascinating -- there's a
lot in the book about religion in eisenhower. the national motto in god we trust. pledge of allegiance, yes. the signs of the ridge you lost any. religiosity. >> it's a tense one. i've noticed different worlds. the age gap for one thing, the experience gap, the comfort get. eisenhower was comfortable with who he was. especially when he was vice president. he was so intimidated by eisenhower. eisenhower never brought him into his personal circle. i said this before but eisenhower often brought in court figures he wanted to impress to get a good sport. he spent more time in india than
he did with nixon. he just didn't feel comfortable with him. >> given the time. , which is the post-world war ii, is there anything about nixon's views or expansion of immigration opportunities? >> eisenhower? >> eisenhower. talking about the postwar period. the people in europe wanting to come to the u.s. how did his experience different in the war influence or connect with american immigration policies in the 50s? >> i don't talk about immigration policy much in the eisenhower presidency.
it's one of the many subjects i was unable to include in depth. i regret it but he has a pretty mixed record. american policy is changing demonically in the postwar decades. one immigration problem is eisenhower, which was migrant workers in the red states and eisenhower cavalierly proved a series of deportation plans of mexican laborers who would be rounded up and shipped back to mexico and i wanted to write more about it. i found it hard to find material on it. i do think it's a great understudied topic not just of the 50s but the later decades and i'd like to come back to it. there are hints of material in the sources i looked at about that particular project, the deportation of laborers and it's
a really interesting, potentially explosive topic. >> , security i can't imagine having the meetings we do. you could never get the system to work. one of the more recent sick advisors, i asked him, who was his role model? he mentioned andrew goodpaster who was not actually the nsa but the staff secretary and liaison. maybe an army of one, versus the nfc officials themselves? how does that work? >> he was his most trusted we man. he was a brilliant servant of the president. i don't think, i think he worked closely and very well.
that's what he said. he said it in a variety of oral histories. at the end of the eisenhower. the first one was well taken. it's so much smaller. you could have the 5412 committee, it was a operation supervisor committee. you could have goodpaster standing there in the back on. representative cia one or two other agencies. they could really actually say, my associate like no if we could do government x or y. everybody knew that this was the established deniability. the team would discuss policy options and we will take this associate. what i'm getting at is, there was such a harmonious collegiality between these.
i think it's because they were all so deeply learned by eisenhower himself. they worshiped him. he thought goodpaster was popped toward. how many have we had? left. [laughter] >> i teach it happens. i mentioned china and eisenhower. i believe eisenhower visited taiwan. the only american president to have done so. in my recollection, using nuclear weapons against china. toward the end. china was a great leap forward, economic and social disintegration. lots of terrible problems in china. i'm wondering if you treated your book much about his views
on china. did he have his questions about china, anyways about that in china? >> this quite a bit on china and the taiwan crisis. just 30,000 feet, there's a global cold war. it's relatively stable and cold in the 1950s. they didn't know that at the time but by comparison, the one in asia is red-hot. if there was ever going to be a work that would start in asia. it would probably start over taiwan. we have the korean in the 1953 the have eisenhower decision 1954 to help the french in china not. it means he's not interested in fighting. what we see in 1955 is the united states emerging.
investing billions in the vietnam. there is an interest in containment but avoiding open conflict. there's a little bit of elasticity in the eisenhower approach in asia with respect to korea and china. but not on taiwan. the chinese said, for a variety of reasons, still not clear on why. domestic politics, to show the americans are weak, was it the beginnings of plans to liberate taiwan? eisenhower was pretty clear, it was waffling in the first crisis, zero link in the second. it will lead to the use of nuclear weapons. he said it as clear as it could have been said. it has an effect. it did lead to the chinese on both of those occasions to halt from further revocation.
the sign of how dangerous the cold war was in asia, and it's also a different president could have reacted quite differently. in the case of mo so, the congress passed the resolution said, you've got to take china, go ahead. that's a great question, the case is terribly broad, explosive in this period. i think eisenhower could handle it but it was a high-stakes. >> is a hand right here in the back. >> i have two questions. one is that, you talk in the beginning about eisenhower's restraints. so far, you can been a lot of
examples of the ways in which you are a stained foreign-policy. how do you deal with iran in guatemala? i'm interested to about that. you talked about "the age of eisenhower" being 45 to 61. i'm interested in why you think 45 instead of 44, 52. what is it about 45? >> she also got a good book. ask her questions. forty-five is because of the death of roosevelt. the dominant figure of his time. fans will be wondering what the heck, talking about, actually in the book, eisenhower still the most consequential figure right up until the death of john kennedy. so many continuities shaped kennedy years. so many of the policy albums in
the policy solution that he proposes are done. a lot of continuity across all of the presidencies. guatemala, iran. very briefly, when i would say is, eisenhower actually viewed those as examples of restraint. i hate to turn the question around but that's exactly how it was viewed. the operations have made this case that if you could achieve the objectives with a light touch, small amount of money in a few dirty tricks, wouldn't you rather do that than engage in major conflict in the theater wide war? he drew on his experience from the second world war. as a commander, he wanted intelligence. hitler's temne, i do so. he is testing cases for the ability to use small restrain.
great chaos. we know the story afterwards. we know the long-term consequences of some of these decisions. maybe he didn't think through them carefully enough. >> there is a lot more in this book and the book has only been out for the last week? if you have a brick-and-mortar bookstore, go and look it up. if not, it's available online. next week, you can join us with hopkins. his new book, american empire. global history. join us for a reception right now. thank you to our audience. [applause]