Ike: An American Hero

Written by Michael Korda
Review by Ken Kreckel

This ambitious work chronicles the life of Dwight D Eisenhower, from his roots in the rural poverty of Abilene, Kansas, to his quiet and dignified end at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It tells the story of the man who engineered the defeat of Nazi Germany and guided the United States through the subsequent Cold War with the Soviet Union. Through it all shines the quiet strength and self-effacing manner that defined the notion of a hero to a generation.

The book is at its best describing the early years of Ike’s life. The author skillfully takes the reader through the making of the future general and president. The bulk of the work, however, focuses on World War II, where unfortunately there is little new to be found. The serious student of the period will even be dismayed to find several jarring, if perhaps minor, factual errors. The post-war years are handled perfunctorily, as if the author was racing to put an end to an already voluminous book.

Although illuminating in its early chapters, Korda’s book is ultimately superficial and disappointing.