By the late author of Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, this 896-page volume explores the kind of man Eisenhower was and how he developed as he did. Working with newly mined anecdotes and unpublished papers, Miller concentrates on the formation of Ike's character in his youth and then shows him in action. Brought into focus are his strained relationships with his father, his brothers, his son (John Eisenhower: ``I think sometimes he considered me a sign that West Point had gone to hell'') and, in particular, his by no means placid marriage. His relationship with Kay Summersby, his wartime driver-companion-confidante, is gone into in more detail than elsewhere. Miller takes pains to explain that there is no evidence to support Truman's Plain Speaking statement that Ike considered divorcing Mamie during the war. This is a highly enjoyable look at Ike's personal and official relationships with the people most important to him during the first 55 years of his life, including family, Army and Allied colleagues and heads of state. (November)
This is not a study of Eisenhower's ability as a general, nor is it a critical biography. It is, instead, a paean to Eisenhower by Miller, who idolized him. Beginning with his years at West Point, it follows his career as a junior officer, husband, father, and finally Supreme Commander in Europe. For his lengthy tribute Miller interviewed hundreds of people who knew the general. He read diaries, letters, manuscripts, the authors of which appear all to be favorably disposed. One becomes bored with so much adulation, even for those of us who like Ike. There is nothing new here, but public libraries should expect requests. Stanley Itkin, Hillside P.L., New Hyde Park, N.Y.