Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier, President, Statesman

By Joann P. Krieg | Go to book overview
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24
Eisenhower and Soviet-American
Relations: Robert Fedorovich Ivanov's
Dwight Eisenhower

Alexej Ugrinsky

On any given subject, a view from outside the ordinary circle of consideration is always valuable. When it involves Soviet-American relations and the place of Dwight David Eisenhower in their development during the years of the Cold War, a Soviet point of view is invaluable. We are fortunate in that Robert Fedorovich Ivanov's recently published book, Dwight Eisenhower, offers an illuminating glimpse at how a Russian scholar, an "Americanist," and knowledgeable visitor to this country, views Eisenhower the Soldier, the President, and the Statesman. The author has kindly allowed me to translate his remarks on some of the book's major topics.

After two rather sympathetic chapters devoted to Eisenhower's childhood and youth in Abilene (Chapter 1) and to his pre-World War II Army career (Chapter 2), Ivanov turns to his main topic, World War II (Chapter 3). He writes that in 1942 the military leaders of the United States, statesmen, and politicians were full of admiration for the heroic deeds of the Red Army fighting the Germans, a view shared by the Supreme Commander of the U.S. Army. 1 Following the decisive battles at Moscow and Stalingrad, which proved that the Red Army was fully capable of driving the German aggressors off Russian soil and of liberating the European nations, Eisenhower turned to the leaders of the Western Alliance, stressing to them the importance of reaching the European countries ahead of the Russians. 2

Regarding Eisenhower's personal conduct as Supreme Commander and leader of men, Ivanov claims that "Ike" was always easily accessible, and that those who worked with him throughout the war noted how deeply he cared for his soldiers and officers. His personal inspection of military units is viewed as proof of his deep concern, and Ivanov points out that Eisenhower once rejected an Italian villa which was assigned to him, ordering that it be made a resthome for

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