Cross Fire: The Eight Years with Eisenhower

Cross Fire: The Eight Years with Eisenhower

Cross Fire: The Eight Years with Eisenhower

Cross Fire: The Eight Years with Eisenhower

Excerpt

On February 1, 1961, about two weeks after leaving my Cabinet post, I participated at Michigan State University in a non-political discussion of the nation's farm problem with four other past Secretaries of Agriculture. The five of us--the others were Henry A. Wallace, Claude R. Wickard, Clinton P. Anderson, and Charles F. Brannan--had occupied the Agriculture chair in various Cabinets for the preceding twenty-eight years.

Each of us was asked to respond to three questions:

Why does a Secretary do the things he does?

What changes affecting agriculture took place during your term of office?

What of agriculture's future?

When these questions were posed at East Lansing, I considered them pertinent. I still regard them as pertinent. In fact, I find that, without conscious design, I've attempted to answer them at considerable length in this book.

Cross Fire was made possible in part by the fact that throughout the eight years in office, I kept a daily journal in which were recorded the fresh recollections of each day's events, incidents, conversations. It ran to ten volumes and totaled, I judge, some three-quarters of a million words. This journal encompasses the body of facts around which the book is written.

Why was the book written? One reason is that I believe the more the people know about what goes on in government the better. The people need to know more about what their leaders are like, what motivates them, how decisions are made, the kind of infighting that takes . . .

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