William I. Hitchcock, PhD, presents The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s
5:00 p.m. Reception | 6:00 p.m. Conversation | 7:00 p.m. Book Signing
On the anniversary of V-E Day, come hear an original and penetrating assessment of President Dwight D. Eisenhower from one of the country’s preeminent scholars, William I. Hitchcock, PhD, as he discusses Ike’s enormous influence on modern America, the Cold War, and on the presidency itself.
In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, behind the perennial top four: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt. Through his presentation, Hitchcock shows this high ranking is justified through Eisenhower’s enormous accomplishments which loom ever larger today from the vantage point of our own tumultuous times.
A former general, Eisenhower kept the peace, Hitchcock argues, pointing to the following accomplishments: he ended the Korean War, avoided a war in Vietnam, adroitly managed a potential confrontation with China, and soothed relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. Through his guidance, he was able to influence the Republican Party to embrace central aspects of the New Deal like Social Security. He thwarted the demagoguery of McCarthy and he advanced the agenda of civil rights for African Americans. As part of his strategy to wage, and win, the Cold War, Eisenhower expanded American military power, built a fearsome nuclear arsenal, and launched the space race. In his famous farewell address, he acknowledged that Americans needed such weapons in order to keep global peace—but he also admonished his citizens to remain alert to the potentially harmful influence of the “military-industrial complex.”
From 1953 to 1961 no one dominated the world stage as did President Eisenhower. The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s is Hitchcock’s definitive account of this presidency, drawing extensively on declassified material from the Eisenhower Library, the CIA and Defense Department, and troves of unpublished documents. In his masterful account, Hitchcock shows how Eisenhower shaped modern America, and he astutely assesses his close confidants, from Attorney General Herbert Brownell to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. The result is an eye-opening reevaluation that explains why the former chief of state, criticized as a “do-nothing” president in the 1950s, is rightly regarded today as one of our country’s greatest leaders.
Don’t miss this fascinating discussion! Register online today to reserve your spot.
About the Author
William I. Hitchcock is Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the Randolph P. Compton Professor at UVA’s Miller Center. His work and teaching focus is the international, diplomatic, and military history of the 20th century, in particular the era of the world wars and the Cold War. He has written widely on trans-Atlantic relations, the politics of the 1950s, and European history and politics.
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