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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is to read […]
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Daniel D. Holt
James W. Leyerzapf
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Dwight D. Eisenhower's meteoric rise to prominence during World War II was not -- as popular myth would have us believe -- accidental, but the logical outcome of years of preparation. Eisenhower had enormous talents, opportunities to develop them, and an attentive corps of senior officers who watched and encouraged his ascent to high command. The diaries, letters, and documents assembled in this volume for the first time present a fresh, detailed examination of Dwight D. Eisenhower's formative years and the evolution of his genius for organization, logistics, and strategy.
Eisenhower: The Prewar Diaries and Selected Papers, 1905-1941, edited by Daniel D. Holt and James W. Leyerzapf, follows Eisenhower's career from his tenure as Tank Corps commander to his studies at the Command and General Staff College and at the Army War College. It covers his duties in Western Europe with the American Battle Monuments Commission, his assignment to the office of the Assistant Secretary of War, his service in the War Department with Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur, and his role as Assistant Military Advisor to the American Mission to the Philippines under MacArthur. The five diaries, personal and family letters, official military correspondence, speeches, published writings, and reports that constitute this volume offer the most compelling evidence yet of the impressive range of Eisenhower's experiences with the interwar army.]
Eisenhower emerges from these documents as a man with uncommon insight into the critically important relationship among military preparation, economic imperatives, public opinion, and bureaucratic politics. His diaries -- particularly the "Notes on Men," the diary entries expressing his mounting exasperation with MacArthur, and his appraisal of the Philippine Army's officer corps -- also reveal a natural leader who could instinctively discern the assets and liabilities of those around him. Eisenhower's conduct of coalition warfare in World War II, when he welded so many strong, disparate personalities into a unified command, is foreshadowed in Eisenhower: The Prewar Diaries and Selected Papers, 1905-1941. Helpfully annotated, with an introduction by John S. D. Eisenhower that places his father's papers in professional and personal context, this volume greatly enhances the portrait we have of Eisenhower's military career and his maturation as a soldier and a leader.
Published in cooperation with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
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