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Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission
     

Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission

4.3 8
by Bret Baier, Catherine Whitney
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
02/01/2017
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
Kirkus Reviews
2016-11-24
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.
Susan Eisenhower
“Bret Baier’s book succinctly captures the essence of Ike’s leadership style. Through stories and the keen observations at the time, Baier makes Ike’s world view and philosophy come to life. Three Days in January is a great read.”
Douglas Brinkley
“Bret Baier’s Three Days in January brilliantly illuminates the genius and intrigue behind Eisenhower’s historic Farewell Address. Written with verve and deeply researched, Baier ably dissects fact from myth. A landmark achievement in U.S. presidential history.”
TOM BROKAW
“Bret Baier has given history a great gift: a riveting account of Dwight Eisenhower’s determination to call on his vast experience to prepare America for the perils of the new war—the cold war.”
DAVID EISENHOWER
“Brilliantly captures the drama of January 1961. ... Three Days in January is the BEST book on Eisenhower to appear in a very long time.”
MICHAEL BESCHLOSS
“A valuable contribution to our appreciation of Ike, describing some of his most important qualities of character, wisdom, and leadership, which are so needed in the public figures of our own era.”
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY
“Bret Baier’s Three Days in January brilliantly illuminates the genius and intrigue behind Eisenhower’s historic Farewell Address. Written with verve and deeply researched, Baier ably dissects fact from myth. A landmark achievement in U.S. presidential history.”
CLARENCE PAGE
“Bret Baier has written a great book about a great president ... and the lessons in leadership that ‘Ike’ offers to today’s era of polarization and gridlock.”
SUSAN EISENHOWER
“Captures the essence of Ike’s leadership style. Through stories and the keen observations at the time, Baier makes Ike’s world view and philosophy come to life. Three Days in January is a great read.”
The Costco Connection
“Vital lessons for our time. ... Powerful and enlightening, Three Days in January sheds light on a little-known Eisenhower.”
JAY WINIK
“Magnificently rendered, Bret Baier’s Three Days in January is destined to take its place as not only one of the masterworks on Eisenhower, but as one of the classics of presidential history. Impeccably researched, the book is nothing short of extraordinary. What a triumph!”
David Eisenhower
Three Days in January is the BEST book on Eisenhower — and the best book written about a presidential speech — to appear in a very long time.”
Michael Beschloss
“A valuable contribution to our appreciation of Ike, describing some of his most important qualities of character, wisdom, and leadership, which are so needed in the public figures of our own era.”
Tom Brokaw
“Bret Baier has given history a great gift: a riveting account of Dwight Eisenhower’s determination to call on his vast experience to prepare America for the perils of the new war—the cold war.”
Clarence Page
“Bret Baier has written a great book about a great president... and the lessons in leadership that ‘Ike’ offers to today’s era of polarization and gridlock.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062569035
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/10/2017
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
26
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

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.

ThreeDaysinJanuary.com

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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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Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
NScottJtx 3 months ago
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.
Anonymous 12 days ago
MSmith035 15 days ago
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!
Anonymous 16 days ago
SharynR 19 days ago
excellent book, easy to read, taught me a lot
Anonymous 27 days ago
Light read, not sure all facts are spot on. Prefer the Jean Edward Smith version.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Monster girl quest
Anonymous 26 days ago
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