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Library Journal Review
The election of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 ushered in a Republican U.S. presidency for the first time in two decades. This election pitted the popular World War II general against well-known Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson. Greene's (history, Cazenovia Coll., NY) smoothly written book is a revised and updated edition of his 1985 work, The Crusade: The Presidential Election of 1952, the first lengthy treatment of that election; the author remains one of the foremost contemporary experts on that contest. Neither Eisenhower nor Stevenson initially sought the nomination, but ultimately both believed they were best suited to carry their party's banner into the fray. Using primary and secondary sources with aplomb, Greene has produced an excellent work, one that should stand the test of time for its accuracy and interpretation of this important postwar election. Greene's history complements other recent studies including Gary Donaldson's When America Liked Ike and David Blake's Liking Ike. VERDICT A significant contribution to the history of the 1952 presidential election that should reside on all library shelves.-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Greene (Cazenovia College) revisits the presidential election of 1952, a topic he wrote about in The Crusade: The Presidential Election of 1952 (CH, Mar'86) more than 30 years ago. With fresh eyes and insights, Greene presents a well-organized account of the primary elections, the two national nominating conventions, and the contest between the beloved WW II hero, Republican Dwight Eisenhower, and the intellectual governor of Illinois, Adlai Stevenson. After the conventions settled on their candidates, Greene contends that the outcome--Eisenhower's victory--was practically a foregone conclusion. Stevenson was a terrible campaigner who appealed to a narrow base of his party. Eisenhower hit the right chords with an electorate hungry for change after 20 years of control under the Democratic Party. Greene seems less interested in infusing drama into the election saga and more comfortable in exploring the roles of all the actors, large and small, who were involved in the two competing campaigns. Embedded in the election narrative are clues about Eisenhower's inability to challenge the powerful and charismatic anti-communist crusader, Senator Joseph McCarthy, as well as Ike's dysfunctional relationship with his running mate, Richard Nixon. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. --Bob Miller, University of Cincinnati-Clermont