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How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions

“How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions” cover with portrait

Release Date: 8/11/2020.

Published by: Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St Martin’s Publishing Group (August 11, 2020)

ISBN-10: 1250238773.

ISBN-13: 9781250238771.

Pages: 400.

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats.

Buy now:

Politics and Prose (for a signed hardcover)

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Few people have made decisions as momentous as Eisenhower, nor has one person had to make such a varied range of them. From D-Day to Little Rock, from the Korean War to Cold War crises, from the Red Scare to the Missile Gap controversies, Ike was able to give our country eight years of peace and prosperity by relying on a core set of principles. These were informed by his heritage and upbringing, as well as his strong character and his personal discipline, but he also avoided making himself the center of things. He was a man of judgment, and steadying force. He sought national unity, by pursuing a course he called the “Middle Way” that tried to make winners on both sides of any issue.

Ike was a strategic, not an operational leader, who relied on a rigorous pursuit of the facts for decision-making. His talent for envisioning a whole, especially in the context of the long game, and his ability to see causes and various consequences, explains his success as Allied Commander and as President. After making a decision, he made himself accountable for it, recognizing that personal responsibility is the bedrock of sound principles.

How Ike Led shows us not just what a great American did, but why—and what we can learn from him today.

Praise for How Ike Led

“Susan Eisenhower’s How Ike Led distills from her grandfather’s life the enduring qualities of successful leadership. Those qualities—dedication to duty, sincerity, fairness, optimism, humility, patience and restraint, moderation and accountability—are illuminated through anecdotes both moving and entertaining from Dwight Eisenhower’s decades of unparalleled service to America. It is an inspirational book with lessons highly relevant and desperately needed for current and aspiring leaders, especially those in public life.”

Robert M. Gates, U.S. Secretary of Defense 2006–2011

“A well-written reflection on one of the most significant American presidents. The compelling substance of How Ike Led is enhanced by the author’s sensitive style. It brings one of America’s most remarkable public figures into lasting focus.”

Henry A. Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State 1973–1977

“A tour de force by Susan Eisenhower with rare, unprecedented insights which only this author could deliver. Insights that combine the public persona of General then President Eisenhower with first-hand accounts from Ike’s family, friends and personal staff providing new dimensions for our collective understanding of America’s foremost strategic leader of the 20th Century.

“By dissecting the anatomy of his most momentous and impactful decisions, she reveals a leader who not only possessed abundant strategic understanding, intellect, moral courage and emotional intelligence but who was also humble, respectful, values-based and self-aware in how he implemented those decisions.

How Ike Led is not only an exceptional work of history, more importantly it provides the model for all who are or aspire to be our national leaders as we navigate the challenges of the 21st Century.”

General John Nicholson, U.S. Army (Retired), former Commander NATO Resolute Support and US Forces Afghanistan

“Susan Eisenhower’s How Ike Led is not only a moving account of her grandfather’s major decisions, but an astute and timely reminder that his virtues—good judgment, taking full responsibility, self-control, courage and devotion to the truth, however uncomfortable—remain the lodestar of leadership in peace and in war, and of his own long, remarkable career of public service as a general and president. I had a wonderful time reading it—and there could not be a better time to read this book.”

Michael Korda, author of Ike and Hero

“This riveting account of Dwight David Eisenhower’s brilliant World War II leadership and his visionary Presidential accomplishments sets a new benchmark for excellence in the study of strategic leadership. Once again Susan Eisenhower brings her extraordinary storytelling skills to bear in this compelling history of one of America’s most gifted leaders of character and courage; the result is an authoritative and revealing perspective on “Ike’s” unparalleled role in shaping his era and our own.”

Lieutenant General David Huntoon, U.S. Army (Retired), former Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point

“An eloquent, compelling tribute to our 34th president, lovingly—but not uncritically—penned by the author’s granddaughter. This eminently readable book is laced with personal anecdotes and insights from his friends and closest advisors. Although Eisenhower’s life and presidency have been the subject of abundant scholarly study, the family details and flowing style of How Ike Led make a special contribution to our understanding of him as a person and as a leader.”

Dr. Susan Hockfield, President Emerita, MIT

How Ike Led takes us inside the mind of one of the towering figures of the 20th-century, indeed one of our nation’s most accomplished and yet still misunderstood presidents. Our host on this journey, Susan Eisenhower, one of the revered general’s granddaughters, uses personal stories and memorable anecdotes to provide a deeply-moving insight into one of the master-strategists of our time. As her book makes clear, Eisenhower’s leadership and his sublimation of ego stand in stark contrast to the qualities of far too many elected officials today. Read it with pride and be reminded of the virtues that defeated Nazism and contributed mightily to the nation that we Americans too often take for granted.”

Robert Edsel, author of Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

“Susan Eisenhower has given us an insightful and inspiring profile of Ike’s brand of leadership; his authority was grounded in his unshakable integrity and deep commitment to the service of others. Drawing on extensive research and her own personal experience, Eisenhower paints a 20th century portrait that is even more relevant in the 21st century. This book calls us to remember how essential true leadership is for American democracy to thrive.”

Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary and CEO, The Phi Beta Kappa Society and Distinguished Lecturer, Georgetown University Law Center

“This remarkable book is a priceless gift to people young and old, seeking the secret of America’s past success: wise and selfless leadership; written by an expert on the life, times, and personal values of a man called Ike.”

Ambassador Richard T. McCormack, former Executive Vice Chairman, Bank of America and former undersecretary of state

“Susan Eisenhower’s unique insights into the values, vision, and courage of our 34th president and unmatched command of the history of his era deepen and at times transform our understanding of the events that shaped the modern world, from D-Day to Little Rock, from Suez to Sputnik…Ike’s humanity as well as his wisdom shine through as he steered the Nation to peace and prosperity…A must read for anyone who cares about America’s past, or its future.”

Daniel B. Poneman, CEO of Centrus Energy Corporation and former Deputy Secretary of Energy

“Susan Eisenhower’s skillful melding of personal experiences and erudite observations from scholars and contemporary observers give us as good a picture of Ike as we have ever had.”

David Nichols, author of Ike and McCarthy, Eisenhower 1956, and A Matter of Justice

9 Comments leave one →
  1. catherwoc0001 permalink
    March 4, 2020 1:40 pm

    Hurrah! May the Ike revival continue! I am writing two books on your wonderful grandfather and you have fired the starter gun on what we can all hope will be many more works that show how outstanding he was! Well done! This is fabulous news! Christopher

  2. fred k wade permalink
    March 4, 2020 2:56 pm

    Susan is there a way to get a signed copy of the new book?
    Thank you

  3. March 4, 2020 5:25 pm

    Yes, if you send your address to we can send you a book plate when your book arrives. If you want the book itself signed let me know and we will look into what that would entail. All best— S

  4. August 15, 2020 3:03 pm

    So Excited Susan. I will order next week ans request a Signature !!! God Bless and Stay Safe.

  5. August 15, 2020 3:13 pm

    Thanks so much for mentioning signing the book. You can either get the book through Politics and Prose (under the information on the book)–they can send a signed copy on the book itself–or you can let me know at this website if you would like me to send you a bookplate. All best.

  6. John P. Kaverman permalink
    September 3, 2020 10:54 pm

    Thank you for writing this book. I long for Americans to look for and listen to leaders who, like your grandfather, seek to find the “Middle Way”. Your epilogue left me feeling hopeful, even as we continue to struggle as nation polarized.

  7. russ gordon permalink
    January 27, 2021 12:06 pm

    thanks for the heartfelt tribute to Remembrance Day and to your loving grandfather who we all admired and loved; my gramps survived Auschwitz though he lost a daughter when she was taken from him leaving the trains at the camp so your words and President’s firsthand comments were very touching to me on this day; Edna Friedberg is one of the great assets of USHMM…so kind thanks and all the best/ russ gordon miami

  8. charlenenotgrass permalink
    May 8, 2021 2:42 pm

    Dear Ms. Eisenhower,

    Thank you for writing How Ike Led. You write beautifully. I finished listening to it last night on Audible, but my husband and I have also purchased the book. I expect to turn to it again and again. The audio presentation was excellent and what a treat to hear your grandfather’s last speech to the American people and to hear your introduction. Thank you for your continuing devotion to your grandparents. Thank you for following their example by serving our country through your career. Our country desperately needs every word you wrote in How Ike Led. My father-in-law landed on Utah Beach on D-Day plus one as part of the 1st Army headquarters company. He had deep respect for your grandfather. I was born in 1953 and am grateful to have spent my early years in a country that Ike led.

    With deep appreciation,
    Charlene Notgrass

  9. May 10, 2021 10:47 am

    Thank you for this very kind note. Your father’s service helped bring about the long-sought victory in Europe. I have been to Utah Beach many times and the landscape is evocative and moving. All the very best to you and your family. Susan

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