Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Missionby Bret Baier, Catherine Whitney
#1 National Bestseller!
“THE BEST BOOK ON EISENHOWER TO APPEAR IN A VERY LONG TIME”*: BRET BAIER’S “RIVETING ACCOUNT” OF IKE’S FINAL MISSION IS “DESTINED TO TAKE ITS PLACE AS ONE OF THE CLASSICS OF PRESIDENTIAL/strong>/strong>/strong>/u>/strong>
#1 National Bestseller!
“THE BEST BOOK ON EISENHOWER TO APPEAR IN A VERY LONG TIME”*: BRET BAIER’S “RIVETING ACCOUNT” OF IKE’S FINAL MISSION IS “DESTINED TO TAKE ITS PLACE AS ONE OF THE CLASSICS OF PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY”§
January 1961: President Eisenhower has three days to secure the nation's future before his young successor, John F. Kennedy, takes power — a final mission by the legendary leader who planned D-Day and guided America through the darkening Cold War
Bret Baier, the Chief Political Anchor for Fox News Channel and the Anchor and Executive Editor of Special Report with Bret Baier, illuminates the extraordinary yet underappreciated presidency of Dwight Eisenhower by taking readers into Ike's last days in power. Baier masterfully casts the period between Eisenhower's now-prophetic farewell address on the evening of January 17, 1961, and Kennedy's inauguration on the afternoon of January 20 as the closing act of one of modern America's greatest leaders — during which Eisenhower urgently sought to prepare both the country and the next president for the challenges ahead.
Those three days in January 1961, Baier shows, were the culmination of a lifetime of service that took Ike from rural Kansas to West Point, to the battlefields of World War II, and finally to the Oval Office. When he left the White House, Dwight Eisenhower had done more than perhaps any other modern American to set the nation, in his words, "on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment."
On January 17, Eisenhower spoke to the nation in one of the most remarkable farewell speeches in U.S. history. Ike looked to the future, warning Americans against the dangers of elevating partisanship above national interest, excessive government budgets (particularly deficit spending), the expansion of the military-industrial complex, and the creeping political power of special interests. Seeking to ready a new generation for power, Eisenhower intensely advised the forty-three-year-old Kennedy before the inauguration.
Baier also reveals how Eisenhower's two terms changed America forever for the better — perhaps even saved the world from destruction — and demonstrates how today Ike offers us the model of principled leadership that polls say is so missing in politics. The Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War II, Eisenhower only reluctantly stepped into politics. As president, Ike successfully guided the country out of a dangerous war in Korea, peacefully through the apocalyptic threat of nuclear war with the Soviets, and into one of the greatest economic booms in world history.
Five decades later, Baier's Three Days in January forever makes clear that Eisenhower, an often forgotten giant of U.S. history, still offers vital lessons for our own time and stands as a lasting example of political leadership at its most effective and honorable.
* David Eisenhower
§ Jay Winik
Using the 34th U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's (1890–1969) farewell address to the nation as a launching point for each chapter, this debut by Baier (Fox News Channel chief political anchor & former White House correspondent), with writer Whitney (The Calling), covers the general-turned-president's life and legacy. Baier offers a nonchronological narrative, combining biography with accounts of Eisenhower's most famous actions and decisions, effectively explaining how this transfer of power demonstrated the evolution of a changing American culture and mind set. Overall, this book tends to be laudatory of Eisenhower but not overly so; Baier provides readers who are unfamiliar with Eisenhower a thorough overview of his life, career, and the transitional period between presidents. While certainly packed with wonderful information, at times the format tends to be choppy and the writing somewhat stilted. Nevertheless, this account is well researched and shines when providing comparisons between Eisenhower and his successor John F. Kennedy. Boasting more than 20 pages of citations, many from primary sources, the appendix is rounded out with a full transcription of Eisenhower's final speech before becoming a private citizen. VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in presidential history; the history of World War II, the Cold War, or U.S. history; and fans of biographies.—Benjamin Brudner, Curry Coll. Lib., Milton, MA
A sobering return to Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address, arriving just before our own moment of uncertain presidential transition.Eisenhower was a paradox: a former supreme commander devoted to peace who managed to keep the country out of war for eight years and left a haunting warning in his final televised speech on Jan. 17, 1961, that the United States had become a "permanent war-based industry." With co-author Whitney, Fox News host Baier (Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love, 2014, etc.) brings new relevance to Eisenhower's parting message to the young, relatively inexperienced new president, John F. Kennedy. The author explores Eisenhower's last days in office, especially his sense of needing to prepare JFK for the "fate of the civilized world" and brace him against the military-driven mindset. Unlike his relations with his own predecessor, Harry Truman, which were strained and chilly, the World War II hero came around to respecting the glamorous young senator despite their vastly different backgrounds and his inglorious defeat of Richard Nixon. In the 1960 campaign, Kennedy had run on the "missile gap" between the U.S. and Soviet Union—the Soviets had launched the world's first artificial satellite—which Eisenhower knew was "a clever, yet devious, tactic." It was also misleading, since both countries had enough nuclear weapons to leave the world "a moonscape of radioactive ash." This was Eisenhower's message in his parting address, which is included in its entirety in an appendix: that industry had taken over the military; that bright retiring military people had gravitated to aerospace and other related industries; and that massive federal funding outlays were being granted for scientific-military research. As Baier notes, his speech warning of "unwarranted influence…by the military-industrial complex" proved enormously prescient even though it was not widely reported on at the time. Kennedy would learn this lesson quickly in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. A focused and timely study of Eisenhower's significant speech and the sticky transition to JFK's inherited new world.
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Meet the Author
Bret Baier is the Chief Political Anchor for Fox News Channel and the Anchor and Executive Editor of Special Report with Bret Baier, seen five days a week on Fox News Channel. Before assuming the anchor role, Bret served as Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News Channel between 2006 and 2009. Prior to being named Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News Channel, Bret served as National Security Correspondent based at the Pentagon, reporting on military and national security affairs, as well as on defense, military policy and the intelligence community from 2001 to 2006. He reported from Iraq twelve times and Afghanistan thirteen times. In his career Bret has traveled the world with various administration dignitaries and military officials, reporting from seventy-four countries. His first book, Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love, became a top-ten New York Times bestseller upon its release in 2014.
Catherine Whitney is a New York-based writer who has written or cowritten more than forty books on a wide range of topics. She is the author of The Calling: A Year in the Life of an Order of Nuns and the coauthor with nine female U.S. senators of Nine and Counting: The Women of the Senate.
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A powerful, well researched and gripping account of one of the most iconic presidents in US history. In this gripping account of transition of presidential power, during one of the most perilous times in our country's history, Baier brings to life the aspirations, hopes and concerns of a president in a generational shift in leadership to JFK. New insights, conflicts, concerns and drama leap off off the page in some never-before-covered aspects of presidential power. Baier's passion for the subject matter is evident in the writing, which for lovers of Presidential history, this book is a must-read. I predict that this work is destined become a definitive part of "the literature" on the Eisenhower presidency. It's parallels to today's presidential transition are stunning and instructive. You will not regret investing in this wonderful account of a great, oft-times underappreciated president,, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Well-written, insightful book that is as informative as it is entertaining. Very enjoyable read. Bret does an incredible job outlining the transition of power and the significant influence of Ike on our country. Great read!
excellent book, easy to read, taught me a lot
Light read, not sure all facts are spot on. Prefer the Jean Edward Smith version.
Monster girl quest