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Epistles from the Eisenhower Age

- Abstract

THE EISENHOWER administration on the whole was not a bad administration so far as its policies and achievements were concerned: very little that was undertaken by the government of the United States might have been better–or even different-had we in 1952 placed our destinies in anyone else’s hands. What would have been different was the tone of those eight years, the style of public demeanor and public rhetoric that was created to some extent by the President himself, but to an even greater extent by the men around him. The disappearance of this tone is the most notable-and perhaps the only significant-change that has taken place since the Eisenhower Age ended.

The memoirs of five participants in the Eisenhower government have so far been published,* and it is already clear that the tone in question derived from the peculiar pietism of Eisenhower’s inner circle. Each of his servants not only had a supremely confident sense of his own divine election to lead a divinely elected America in its struggle against the godless forces of Communism, but each seems also to have treated the President as his religious background had trained him to treat God.

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