Ike and Dick

Ike and Dick

Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage

Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon had a political and private relationship that lasted nearly twenty years, a tie that survived hurtful slights, tense misunderstandings, and the distance between them in age and temperament. Yet the two men brought out the best and worst in each other, and their association had important consequences for their respective presidencies.

In Ike and Dick, Jeffrey Frank rediscovers these two compelling figures with the sensitivity of a novelist and the discipline of a historian. He offers a fresh view of the younger Nixon as a striving tactician, as well as the ever more perplexing person that he became. He portrays Eisenhower, the legendary soldier, as a cold, even vain man with a warm smile whose sound instincts about war and peace far outpaced his understanding of the changes occurring in his own country.

Eisenhower and Nixon shared striking characteristics: high intelligence, cunning, and an aversion to confrontation, especially with each other. Ike and Dick, informed by dozens of interviews and deep archival research, traces the path of their relationship in a dangerous world of recurring crises as Nixon’s ambitions grew and Eisenhower was struck by a series of debilitating illnesses. And, as the 1968 election cycle approached and the war in Vietnam roiled the country, it shows why Eisenhower, mortally ill and despite his doubts, supported Nixon’s final attempt to win the White House, a change influenced by a family matter: his grandson David’s courtship of Nixon’s daughter Julie—teenagers in love who understood the political stakes of their union.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416587019 | 
  • February 2013
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Video

History in Five: Jeffrey Frank on Eisenhower and Nixon

Jeffrey Frank, author of Ike & Dick, presents five things you should know about the unique relationship between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.

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Ike and Dick

PROLOGUE

1
The war in Europe ended on May 7, 1945, when the chief of staff of the German army came to a small red schoolhouse in Reims, France, headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight David Eisenhower, and signed Germany’s unconditional surrender. Six weeks later, Eisenhower was in Washington for a parade in his honor. Stores... see more

About the Author

Jeffrey Frank
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Jeffrey Frank

Jeffrey Frank was a senior editor at The New Yorker and the deputy editor of the Washington Post’s Outlook section. He is the author of four novels, including the Washington Trilogy—The Columnist, Bad Publicity, and Trudy Hopedale. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Diana. They have one son.

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