‘Going Home to Glory’ is a wonderful book that I suspect will appeal to a limited audience, which is made up of individuals who lived back in the days of the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, served during WW II, or are real history buffs.
The grandson of President Eisenhower, David Eisenhower with his wife Julie Nixon Eisenhower, has written a wonderful, insightful, and warm book that takes the reader inside and behind the closed doors following the retirement of this hero of World War II from a presidency that historians thus far have not treated kindly. The book covers the years 1961-1969.
As a senior citizen and lover of history and books, I enjoyed every single chapter, and I learned much about the real character of this legendary world figure. While reading, several points made by Eisenhower became especially significant and I made notes for inclusion in this review.
Permit me to quote directly when Eisenhower said, “In the last quarter-century or so, however, I have found my self intermittently looking backwards; putting down on paper or dictating on machine tape the record of deeds done, words said, goals attempted and sometimes achieved. Nevertheless, the future---what lies before my country and the world---is still my paramount concern. But for those who will be its shapers and leaders. I recognize the lessons of history can provide them guidance against repeating the mistakes of their forebears.”
Another Eisenhower remark I made note of is, “Always take your job seriously, but never yourself.” We should all take that comment to heart.
I found it interesting to learn that when DDE wanted to relax, he read pulp fiction western novels and re-read important books of his youth such as works of Arthur Conan Doyle, O’Henry, Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
When Sir Winston Churchill died on January 24, 1965 Eisenhower was asked to speak at his funeral and his words were particularly moving. After reading a poem by Tennyson he said, “With no thought of the length of time he might be permitted on earth, he was concerned only with the quality of service he could render to his nation and to humanity. Though he had no fear of death, he coveted always the opportunity to continue that service…In the coming years…there will ring out through all the centuries’ one incontestable refrain: here was a champion of freedom.”
Upon the occasion of his final confinement at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, he memorized the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, which is fully noted in the book and should be read to thoroughly understand the depth of this legendary world leader.
I found this book to be a very rewarding reading experience. I vividly remember all of General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unique accomplishments leading our armies to victory in WW II, and then as our President.
I firmly believe that history will be kinder to this great leader who loved his country like few since our Founding Father’s led us to independence. We owe our Interstate system to DDE. Can you imagine life today without it? David and his co-author wife Julie Nixon Eisenhower have done a great service to our understanding, appreciation, and the legend of a great American.