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‘The President and the Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon, 1952-1961’, by Irwin Gellman

Robert B. Zoellick

By Robert Zoellick (original source Financial Times)

“In recent decades, scholars have gained a new respect for the administration of Dwight Eisenhower. Once dismissed as an inarticulate and ineffective president who spent more time playing golf than governing, he is now more likely to be studied for lessons in leadership. Yet one part of the old narrative — Eisenhower’s supposedly distrustful relationship with vice-president Richard Nixon — has so far resisted revision. Irwin Gellman’s The President and the Apprentice vigorously sets this right.

Gellman, author of a well-regarded history of Nixon’s congressional years, The Contender (1999), is a prodigious researcher. His new book can be mined for many gems about the American presidency, US policies in the 1950s and the evolution of the cold war after Stalin’s death. He also charts the tides, tensions and treacheries of American politics. Though the weight of Gellman’s 800-page work may be intimidating to general readers, future scholars will need to take account of his evidence.”

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