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#199 - Ike Memoir
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, January 31, 2024



                  #199 Blogpost– 31 January 2024



Posted byDenny Hatch




How America and the World Were

Introduced to a Kansas Boy Who

Became Our Fifth Greatest President.




      NOTE: My father, Alden Hatch (1898-1975),was a historian who wrote 40+ books that included the very first biography ofthe virtually unknown general pictured above. The book was published in 1944when the Battle of the Bulge was raging in the Ardennes. General Ike wasa roaring success —great reviews, best seller in retail stores, chosen by bookclubs and received wide publicity and press coverage. 

Ingoing through Alden’s papers we stumbled upon an intimate memoir he secretlywrote in his spare time during his later years. It is the riveting account ofhow my father became the world’s foremost authority on Dwight D. Eisenhower, anewly minted four star general who had been an obscure lieutenant colonel inFebruary 1941 that virtually nobody (outside the U.S. Army and Pentagon) hadever heard of. In the next two years — thanks to his brilliant work in the WarPlans Division, sunny, lightning quick mind, upbeat personality, Ike went ona dizzying ride of lightning promotions that took him from half-colonel tofour-star general in just two years to become one of the most powerfulcommanders in world history. 


ADaunting Challenge for a Biographer Whose
Suddenly-famous Subject Appeared Out of Nowhere.

In1941, Dwight David Eisenhower was one of roughly 263,000 officers in the U.S.Army — veritable ciphers with zero coverage in the national media (aside fromthe legends: Generals Douglas MacArthur and George C. Marshall). No Internet,no Wikipedia, no encyclopedia entries, no mentions in the press. What's more,Eisenhower's whereabouts was a closely guarded secret. Hatch had to start fromscratch. 

Hereis Alden’s story first hand — how he quickly unearthed Ike’s family and friends— his mother and brothers in Kansas, classmates in grade school and highschool, the girls he dated, fellow cadets at West Point and officers and menwho served with him between the wars and in Washington in the early WWII years. In 1952 my father was commissioned to update General Ike tobecome the Republican National Committee’s official presidential campaignbiography.






By Alden Hatch


Late in December 1943, the White House announced that theCommander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies in Europe would be General Dwight D. Eisenhower.Having just finished Young Wilkie Iwas eagerly looking for a new subject. One night at a dinner party at the RiverClub in New York someone, whose name I have ungratefully forgotten, suggestedIke. That was it!

If he gained a great victory, he would be the hero ofAmerica; if defeated, he would be a villain. Either way people would read abouthim.

On January 2, 1944, I rushed in to see my agent, AnneWatkins. She offered the idea to Harcourt-Brace, who turned it down. Atelephone call to Henry Holt and Company brought a favorable reaction and anappointment for that afternoon.

"Go over to the public library and make yourself anexpert on Ike," Anne Watkins said.

There was extraordinarily little about Eisenhower in thelibrary. Although he had commanded the invasion of North Africa, the SicilianCampaign and the landings at Salerno in Italy, there were only a few magazinearticles, most of them erroneous.

Crammed with misinformation I presented myself at Holt andtalked as though I had been studying Ike's career for years. The result was animmediate contract.

Straightway I telephoned Mrs. Eisenhower in Washington.

Neither I nor anyone else knew that Ike was on a super-secrettrip to the United States to confer with President Roosevelt and The CombinedChiefs of Staff. With surprisingly little difficulty I reached Mrs. Eisenhower whoknew no better than to agree to talk with me in San Antonio where she was goingafter Ike went back to England. She also suggested that I get in touch withIke's oldest brother, Arthur, who was regarded as the head of the family.

I called him immediately in Kansas City and he also agreed tosee me late in January. The truth is that the Eisenhowers were so unused to theways of publicity that, instead of making a careful inquiry about my bonafides, they thought they had to see anybody who wanted to write about theirsuddenly famous general.

At that point I had an inspiration on which much of thesuccess of the book eventually hinged. I remembered that Victor White—awell-known artist who was a close and dear friend of mine—had a brother Tim,who lived in Kansas City.

I called Victor and asked him to come over to my house. ThereI explained the situation and said, "I would very much like to see ArthurEisenhower, not in the formal surroundings of an office, but in someone's homewhere a friendly atmosphere prevails. Will you call Tim and get him to ask theEisenhowers to meet Ruth and me at his house for a drink?"

"Of course," Victor said. "I'll call himtonight."

"No. Call him from here. I don't want you to pay for thecall."

Victor telephoned his brother. The Tim Whites weremagnificent. They offered to have a little dinner party for the Eisenhowers andourselves. Not until later did I realize how much this meant to me. ArthurEisenhower, as Executive Vice President of the Commerce Bank of Kansas City,had a leading position in the business community. But, despite his wife'ssocial ambitions, they had never cracked the inner circle of Kansas Citysociety.

The Tim Whites—she had been Miss Peppard, heiress of thePeppard Seed Company—were just that. So when the Eisenhowers received aninvitation to dine with the Whites for the first time, Louise Eisenhower realizedher dream. My stock hit a new high before I ever got there.

Ruth and I—along with our eight-year-old son, Denny—went toChicago on the Twentieth Century and from there to Kansas City on the SantaFe’s Chief.

As our train pulled into Kansas City, the eastbound Chiefrolled up. Off stepped Jean Harlow, looking even prettier and more sexy than inher pictures. It made us feel our luck she was running good, as ErnestHemingway would say.

The omens did not lie. The next day we met Arthur Eisenhower inhis office. He was prepared to like us, and he did. Ruth was at her mostcharming and her Texas accent made everyone feel easy.

 Arthur did not lookthe least bit like his famous brother. He was a typical mid-western banker,with a strong, hard face, iron-gray hair and eyes that could be either steelyor warmly welcoming. He gave a lunch for us at the leading men's club, for whichhe had imported especially from Abilene the Eisenhower boys’ favorite meal,mush-‘n’-puddin.’ It consisted of a sort of scrapple made by grinding up theless edible parts of a hog (including its entrails), rendering it down in a bigiron pot and pouring the resultant greasy stew over fried cornmeal mush. It wasdelicious, but sheer murder. After lunch Ruth and I took to our beds.

Denny was to go alone on the Katy's [Missouri-Kansas-TexasRailroad] crack train, the Bluebonnet, to visit Ruth's Uncle Harry and AuntMamie Friedman in Fort Worth. When the time came to take him to the stationRuth was engaged in throwing up mush-‘n’-puddin'. I was already rid of mine soI saw my little son off on his first adventurous trip alone.

When we boarded the train, I handed the porter ten dollarswith careful instructions as to how to care for my precious infant. Then Dennyand I sat talking uneasily as people do prior to parting. Finally Denny said, "Hadn'tyou better go now?"

I took his advice and got off, wondering if he would be lonelyand homesick. As I walked down the platform, I peered anxiously into Denny'scar to see if he had burst into tears. He was reading a book!

Denny had a fine trip. He picked up some GIs on leave andadvanced his education considerably. The moment he reached Fort Worth he askedhis Texas relations, "Have you read The Yellow River by I. P.Freely?"

The puritanical Friedmans telephoned us that they dared nottake Denny to see his grandparents until he cleaned up his language. He never did.

The dinner at the White's was an enormous success. Timdispensed the charm of an Irish gentleman and Mrs. White was the kind ofhostess who made you feel at home the moment you stepped into her beautifulhouse. Before the evening was over, we all felt as though we had known eachother forever. Louise Eisenhower was quite clearly in orbit; and the next day,Arthur telephoned his brothers and Mamie saying, "The Hatches are realgood people. Be nice to them."

That day, in an incipient blizzard, we started for Abilene ina rented car. Weather reports were dubious, roads were icy, black cloudsdropped snow flurries. Driving through the vast, flat, frozen fields I worriedabout the possibility of being caught in heavy snow. "They don't haveblizzards this far south, do they?" Ruth said.

"Are you crazy? I answered, “This is the country where aguy starts for his barn to milk the cows and they dig his corpses out two weekslater.”

But the blizzard veered off and we reached Abilene aboutfive-thirty. Knowing that Kansas was dry I had loaded the car with liquor.

At the hotel we ordered set-ups. Hardly had the first lovelyswallow of bourbon eased our jangled nerves when the phone rang. It was CharlesM. Harger (1863-1955), owner and editor-in-chief of the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle and our key man inAbilene. It was he who had first recognized the quality of young Ike Eisenhowerand arranged for him to take the competitive examinations for West Point, whichwas the first step toward SHAEF [Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force].Mr. Harger said, "Mr. Hatch, I'm downstairs. How about meeting me in thedining room for dinner?"

Stricken, I looked at my just-tasted drink. In a dry state maybepeople were prohibitionists. If I offended Harger I was in big trouble; on theother hand I needed that drink.

"Why yes, Mr. Harger. But--uh--Mr. Harger--uh, we werejust having a little--uh--drink. Would you by any chance care to join us?"

"I'll be right up," said Charley Harger.

Two hours later we staggered down to the dining room, verymerry indeed.

In Abilene we were again transported back to that lost,never-was America. We went to the little wooden house on the wrong side of thetracks where the Eisenhower boys had grown up in hardscrabble poverty, leavenedby fun, sports and religion.

Ike's mother was still living there wearing her long,full-skirted dresses and frilly white cotton mobcap. The Eisenhowers were RiverBrethren, a Quaker-like sect. Mrs. Ida Eisenhower's aged mind faded in and outlike a worn-out radio, but she could remember every prank her boys had everplayed on her and each other. At her best, her brain crackled with the sparkthat had taken her through college in a time when few farm women even finishedhigh school.

We also talked with the gray-haired "boys" who hadplayed with Ike on his high school football and baseball teams, as well as thegirls he had courted by the Smoky Hill River. They all looked much older thanhe did. There seems to be a beneficent chemistry in success. We went to thecreamery where Ike's father had been engineer of the ice-making machinery at$1,900 a year. Ike, himself, had been night fireman, studying his lessons andcatching catnaps through the long nights of keeping up steam under the fifteen-foot-highboilers and checking the ornate and intricate stationary steam engine with itshuge, cast iron flywheel and tall cylinder. It was still functioning as it hadsince 1890.

And in the railroad yards steam locomotives belched columnsof white smoke into the frosty air as they had when Ike was a boy and, indeed,long before that when Abilene was the end of steel rails and cowboys drove thebig-horn herds up from Texas along the Chisholm Trail. Everything was stillthere as it had always been, though such things are not there now—nor anywhere.

Then we drove via Fort Riley, the once-great cavalry post, toManhattan, Kansas to call on Milton Eisenhower, who was President o£ KansasState College of Agriculture and Applied Science. By contrast it seemed a muchmore sophisticated milieu. Milton and his pretty wife, Helen, were equally warmand welcoming.

From Manhattan we went back to Kansas City, and on to FortWorth via Denison, Texas where Ike was born. We did not stop there but we couldsee his rambling, dilapidated birth-house from the train windows. From FortWorth we went to San Antonio to meet Mamie.

I had told Ruth's uncle Sam Lard that we must have a suitableroom in which to entertain Mrs. Eisenhower whom, I had been told, was shy aboutdining in public while Ike was away. He did it Texas style, getting us thePresidential Suite at the St. Anthony Hotel. I was slightly stunned by the finde siècle magnificence of purple silk draperies, fancy Grand Rapidsfurniture and genuine crystal chandeliers. I wasted twenty minutes worryingabout the price until I found it was only seventeen dollars a day, which eventhen was the cost of a double bedroom in a good New York hotel.

Much relieved I said to Ruth that this is pretty classy and weought to give a party. “Only we don't know anybody in San Antonio."

Ruth said, "Wait until Aunt Mary gets here."

Aunt Mary breezed in about an hour later having driven 750miles from Houston in the middle of gas rationing. (If you owned afifty-thousand acre ranch you had plenty of gas.) Mary stumped along the corridorwith her gold-headed cane to the suite. Ruth mentioned my remark.

"So you want to give a party?" Mary said andplumped down at the telephone. About twenty minutes later twenty exuberantTexans arrived. All the men but one brought bottles of Johnny Walker BlackLabel; the maverick brought twelve-year old bourbon!

About one o'clock we left the party still going strong in oursitting room and went to bed. When I got up the next morning, I found eight ofthem having breakfast with me. The party lasted for three days, moving aboutSan Antonio to different private houses and back to our suite, with briefinterruptions when we went to interview people.

First on our list was Mamie Eisenhower who was staying atFort Sam Houston. Although the temperature was seventy-two that afternoon, Maryinsisted that Ruth wear her magnificent mink coat so she would be properlydressed for such an important occasion. It was really wasted sweat becauseMamie was so friendly and unpretentious that before we left Ruth told her thestory of the coat. Mamie was also much prettier than her pictures, with deepblue eyes under dark lashes and exquisitely delicate skin. Her famous bangswere the subject of a brief comment. "All the newspaper people wonder whyI wear them," she said. Sweeping them back to reveal an abnormally highforehead she asked, "What would you do if you were half-bald?"

We loved Mamie at first sight. She had an apartment in abuilding directly across a green lawn from the red brick Bachelor Officer'sQuarters. It was on that very lawn she had met Ike nearly thirty years before.

After a perfectly delightful and most enlighteninghour-and-a-half, we went on to have drinks with some Texas friends of VictorWhite named Brown—first name imperishably forgotten.

Quite a contrast. The Browns’ money was so new you couldalmost smell the oil, and they were correspondingly pretentious. Their brandnew, block-long house was Humble Classic, redeemed by a fine mural Victor hadpainted in the vast dining room. Its formal garden contained a hundred and threevarieties of camellias. Before we ever met the Browns a little old femalerelative was deputized to show us the gardens. "The war has madeeverything so difficult," she sighed. "Before it we had thirteengardeners. Now we have only six, not counting the head gardener, of course."

Mrs. Brown turned out to be a fragile southern belle. Brownwas a handsome, rugged Texan dressed in British tweeds by Neiman-Marcus. Thetemperature was still seventy degrees. Other tycoons and their wives dropped infor cocktails, which were very good and strong. The conversation wasgolden—black gold that is. We tried to hold our end up but we were clearlyoutclassed. Just at the end I had a shock. I stepped into the coat closet toget my hat and turned pale as I saw six identical mink coats hanging there—howwould Ruth ever know which was hers? But she was equal to it. She found onewith the initia1s M.P.L. that she hoped stood for Mary Pottishman Lard. When wegot home, she said to Mary, "I hope this is yours."

"If it ain’t," Mary said gaily, "it's probablya better one if you got it at the Browns."

The following evening we adjourned the party while Mamie cameto dinner escorted by Ike's West Point roommate, Colonel P. A. Hodges. Thischarming gentleman was in uniform but so crippled by arthritis that he couldonly hold a desk job at Fort Sam. The dinner was excellent. The talk was allabout the Army and West Point and I tried to take notes and eat at the sametime. The happy serenity was only interrupted by occasional telephone callsfrom our party that had been adjourned to the downstairs dining rooms. Ruthwould whisper, "No, they haven't gone yet."

To our great delight Mamie stayed until ten-thirty—very lateby Army custom. The moment she left—the party re-assembled in our suite andwent on and on.

On our last night in San Antonio Mamie's sister,"Mike,"(Mrs. George Gordon Moore) gave a buffet supper party for usin her parent's winter home. Mr. and Mrs. Dowd had not yet arrived. It was a big,classically beautiful wooden house, far more spacious than the Dowd's officialresidence in Denver.

And it was the kind of party at which Mamie shone most brightly.

She never enjoyed big functions, but among old friends in aninformal atmosphere she sparkled with such effervescent gaiety that everyone presentcaught her mood. Mike Moore was a good and thoughtful hostess but lacked hersister's brilliance. Was this the chemistry of success? Or perhaps success wasdue to chemistry.

We gathered up Denny in Fort Worth; thence I went alone toWashington where Mamie had opened all doors. I interviewed everyone from UnderSecretary of War, John J. McCloy and Major General William J. (Wild Bill) Donovanto former soldier servants who had been with the Eisenhowers in Panama, thePhilippines and at various Army posts. Then home to start writing.

That was a happy book to write. Ike's whole life had, intruth, been so simple, honest and idealistic that there were few, if any,problems of what to put in and what to leave out for fear of injuring hisreputation or downgrading his prestige as Supreme Commander. This would notordinarily be a question for an honest biographer, but in the midst of a war itwould have been unpatriotic almost to the point of treason to make injuriousstatements about a man in Eisenhower's position. Fortunately my conscience waseasy; there were no shadows in the General's past.

 Ike's idealism at thistime was founded on two apparently contradictory things. First was the religioustraining of his parents who, belonging as they did to the Plain People, weremorally opposed to war. Second was the code that had been drummed into him atWest Point and which he had whole-heartedly accepted. It can be summed up inthe motto of the Military Academy: Duty, Honor, Country. Eisenhower managed tohold to the best of both codes.

He lived a soldier's life, lived it to the hilt in the senseof training himself to his full capacity in that ungentle art so that he mightbe prepared to serve his country to the best of his ability. And yet ...

I have written about a number of military men and, in thecourse of my research, talked to hundreds of career soldiers.

All of them said they hated war, usually adding, "becauseI know an ordinary man spends his entire life preparing himself for aprofession never to practice it, he is inevitably frustrated.

Even the great and gentle General Robert E. Lee watching fromthe heights at Fredericksburg as the Union Army deployed in all its glory onthe plains beneath, said, "It is well that war is so terrible else wewould grow to love it too well."

Or as Monsieur Beaucaire put it in Booth Tarkington's play ofthe same name, "All zat practice and not one leetle fight.”

For example, who can forget George C. Scott as General GeorgeS. Patton surveying the wreckage and death of a terrible battle and exclaiming,“Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavorshrink to insignificance. God help me, I do love it so!”

But Eisenhower was not an ordinary general. Of them all he wasthe only career soldier who convinced me that, in all truth, he hated war.

In practice his rare humaneness militated against hisprofessional competence; and twice cost his country dear.

The first time was at the Falaise Pocket in the early stagesof the liberation of France. Two German Panzer armies were almost trappedbetween the First United States Army and Patton's Third Army, hooking aroundtheir flank from the west. Eisenhower's plan was that the Third Army shouldmeet General Bernard Montgomery's British and Canadian Armies west of Falaiseto close the ring. It became evident that due to unexpected resistance andMontgomery's procrastination, the Canadians would not reach Falaise in time,whereas Patton was rolling merrily ahead. In his memoir, Crusade in Europe, Eisenhower never blamed Montgomery. As he put itto me, "We had no time to warn the British forward units of any change ofplan. To allow Patton to go on and close the gap might have meant Allied Armiesshooting at each other. For this reason Bradley and I decided halt Patton nearArgentan according to plan.”

The result was that the German Panzer Armies slipped throughthe gap between the British and Americans and lived to fight again. They werethe mainstay of Hitler's final ferocious thrust at the Battle of the Bulge. AsEisenhower recounted in Crusade in Europe,this cost 77,000 American casualties and came within sight of capturing themain Allied supply port of Antwerp.

The second and more disastrous result of Eisenhower's humanitarianattitude again hinged on his horror of Allied troops shooting at each other. InJanuary 1945, as the Battle of the Bulge was ending in an Allied victory, Ikeinitiated conversation with the Russian General Staff to arrange a line wherethe American and Russian armies would meet and halt. The line of the Elbe Riverwas chosen and Ike communicated this decision to President Roosevelt at Yalta.Roosevelt has often been blamed for the unfortunate result. Eisenhower'sexplanation of it to me in 1948 was, "At the time, I was 250 miles fromBerlin and on the other side of the Rhine. The Russians were only about 50miles from Berlin. How could I possibly know we might be able to get therefirst?” He asked me rhetorically.

True enough. But Eisenhower did not have to begin those talkswith the Russians right then. He confessed to me that he had an almostpathological fear of allied armies accidentally firing upon each other. If hehad taken Berlin, as Winston Churchill wished him to, history might have beenfar different.

However,in General Eisenhower's defense, it must be pointed out that at the PotsdamConference in July 1945, he strenuously, even violently, objected to theagreement which placed the border of the Russian zone on a line from Lubecksouthward to Eisenach and on to the Austrian border. This forced the Americantroops to retire 150 miles to the westfrom their standstill line. Thatnonsense was the work of Roosevelt and Truman.

During the spring of 1944, I made several trips to Washingtonto see Mrs. Eisenhower and meet people in high places who could contributeinformation about Ike. At that time Mamie had an apartment at the Wardman ParkHotel, and she would get me a room close by. Since she had a kitchen and amaid, she thoughtfully invited me to breakfast every morning. She also gave oneof her delightful buffet suppers to which came a whole flood of generals, manyof them wearing the big silver star of the General Staff. As good whiskey and goodfood warmed them, they talked pretty freely, though they did not disclose anymilitary secrets.

One thing I learned though was the Staff's intense dislike ofGeneral Douglas MacArthur. When his name was mentioned, I heard one general askanother, "What brand of makeup is he using this year?"

On one of these trips to Washington, late in May, I began tofeel quite ill, but kept on going. Then one morning I discovered irrefutable proofof the nature of my illness—I had mumps. I hastily telephoned Mamie to ask ifshe had ever had the disease.

"No," she said. "Not that I know of."

I was horrified. I retreated to New York, where I telephonedAndré de Saint Phalle, who had recently had mumps at the age of forty."What has it done to you?" I asked.

With a smile in his voice, André said, "For your comfortI can tell you that it has not in the least interfered with my enjoyment or mypotency"—a fact which his lovely wife, Jacqueline soon confirmed by givingbirth to their fifth child. Though this eased my self-concern, I was terriblyworried about Mamie. I waited out the 14-21 days of the incubation period inmiserable anticipation of the news that she had caught the disease. Luck waswith us; she did not catch it. If she had, she would have been in the worst stageon June 6, 1944, which was not only D Day for Ike's invasion of France, butalso the day their son, John, was graduated from the Military Academy.

What a dog that would have made me!

I had met John Eisenhower on a trip to West Point in March todo research at the Academy. He was a tall, good-looking young man whose onlyambition was to become a good soldier. Like most sons of great men, he was tobe frustrated by his father's fame. No commanding general would let Johnanywhere near the front lines for fear he might be captured and held hostage.He hoped that when his father retired, he could have a military career of hisown.

Not so. Near the end of the Korean War John was ordered tojoin a regiment there. His father was President-elect of the United States.When General Matthew Ridgeway, commanding our forces in Korea heard that Johnwas coming he groaned, "Why have they done this to me?"

My book, General Ike,was published early in August 1944 just as the Allied Armies made the greatbreakthrough that culminated in the liberation of France. Inevitably it was agreat success. The People's Book Club bought it in November for distributionthe following June, provided it was brought it up to date.

Soon after the contract was signed the Battle of the Bulgebegan. The American lines had been broken by a massive, last-ditch, super-secretbuild-up of German Panzer tanks, infantry and materiel.

Rumors of utter disaster were flying around New York;Eisenhower's reputation hit an all-time low. The Book Club tried to back out ofour contract. In their offices I felt as popular as a hyena at an Africanpicnic.

The situation, though perilous, was fortunately not as bad asthe rumors foretold. However, the Bulge did represent a failure, not ofcommand, but certainly of intelligence. How the Germans could have concentratedsuch a vast military force in the Ardennes without Eisenhower's knowledge isonly partly explained by the atrocious weather that prevented aerialreconnaissance. A first rate espionage system operating behind enemy lines couldhave prevented much of the grief. Despite the American public's present ratherdisdainful attitude toward the CIA and our military intelligence systems, thelesson of this costly omission would seem to justify their existence, in peaceas well as war.

The final victory in Europe of course raised Eisenhower to aheight of popularity probably never equaled by any other American General. However,it was not only victory, but also his personality that made the people love himso much. For he was more than a successful general. He was the embodiment ofthe ideal American—simple, friendly, brave, idealistic—a good man who seemed tohave come uncorrupted by modern cynicism out of America's innocent past.

At that time Eisenhower was, indeed, surprisingly naive.

Though he had great military expertise he was almost totallyignorant of economics and politics. He had never had any money of his own andrelied entirely on Mamie to manage the family finances; and his incognizance ofthe national economy was even more profound. As to politics: until World War IIit was an article of faith among Americans that the Army should take no part incivilian government. Career soldiers could not even vote until after World WarI. The Military Academy inculcated this tenet into its graduates and Cadet Eisenhoweraccepted it so completely that he never voted until after his retirement asChief of Staff in 1948.

Not only that, but virtually nothing was taught at West Pointabout foreign policy, which was to be left to the wisdom of civilianstatesmen—theirs but to do and die as ordered.

This is the reason American generals, including Ike, hadlittle conception of the political implications of their strategic decisions. Theyfelt that their job was to win the war as efficiently and expeditiously aspossible without regard for the after consequences. That was why they could notunderstand Winston Churchill's farsighted effort to channel the Allied drivethrough Eastern Europe to prevent a Russian takeover, and his anxiety to havethe Allies take Berlin. And that is why the President of the United Statesfrequently got poor advice from his generals.

Later Eisenhower was to become much more sophisticated insuch matters, for unlike many military men, he had an open mind and thecapacity to keep on learning. The Eisenhower of the 1950s would not have madethe same decisions as the Supreme Commander of the forties.

As to his professional ability he was a good general but notan inspired one. MacArthur was a far more brilliant strategist, as were some ofthe men who served under Eisenhower. In private, though not in his books,Eisenhower stated that he relied heavily on General Omar Bradley's advice onstrategy and tactics. On one occasion he said to me, "I only overruled Bradleyon one occasion and that was probably a mistake."

"When was that?" I asked.

"When I took the airlift of supplies away from Patton toallocate the planes to Montgomery for the parachute drop in his attack onArnhem in September 1944."

It was more than "probably" a mistake. All three Alliedairborne divisions were used, being dropped in a north-south line fromEindhoven near the Belgian border to Arnhem on the other side of the Rhine.They were, in order, the American 101st, the 82nd Airborneand the British 1st Airborne. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands,then in command of the Dutch Underground, told me many years later thatunfortunately Montgomery refused the intelligence reports. As a result, the 1stBritish Airborne was dropped beyond Arnhem right in the middle of aconcentration of two divisions of crack German troops. In addition, Montgomerywas, as usual, behind schedule in bringing up the ground forces to theirsupport. The British 1st Airborne was literally cut to pieces. Outof about 8,000 British paratroopers, only 2,400 fought their way back tosafety.

This offensive did gain some valuable ground for the Alliesand put them in a favorable position to take the great port of Antwerp. However,this much could have been accomplished with far fewer troops, less transportand fewer casualties. The Battle of Arnhem must be described a great opportunitylost and a bloody defeat.

Though Eisenhower was admittedly not as brilliant as some, hewas probably the only general in either the American or British militaryestablishments who could have united the vast conglomerate armies andsuccessfully exercised Supreme Command in the European Theater. One shudders tothink of the shambles that the brilliant but temperamental MacArthur, thedashing and equally tempestuous George S. Patton or even comparativelyphlegmatic Bradley would have made of British-American Relations. It is notimprobable that if feisty Field Martial Bernard Montgomery had been in SupremeCommand, the British and the Americans might have ended up shooting at eachother.

Eisenhower's goodwill, his modesty, his stability, hisintegrity and his willingness to see the other fellow's point of view, andabove all, his genuine, irresistible friendliness, welded a weird and disparatecollection of men from six nations into a winning team. If he was not an inspiredgeneral, he was an inspiring leader. The troops of all nations loved him.

Perhaps Ike’s greatest personal triumph was keeping the friendshipof Montgomery. Both Patton and Bradley hated the little British Field Marshal, asdid members of Montgomery's own service. Many an Englishman said to me at thetime, “I don't see how Ike manages to get along so well with Monty. It's amiracle!”

Nor was Montgomery especially considerate of Eisenhower. Morethan once he said things and did things that caused Ike great distress. And hewas frequently openly contemptuous of the Supreme Commander's strategic thinking.Yet many years later, when Eisenhower relinquished command of the NATO forces inFrance to run for President of the United States, Montgomery, making thefarewell speech, burst into tears and could not finish his tribute.

When Ike returned to America for his triumphal tour in June1945, I was already at work on my life of President Roosevelt who had died onApril 13th. I carefully arranged my schedule so as to be in Washington on theday of Ike's return. As usual, I stayed at the Wardman Park and secured a roomdirectly over the entrance Ike would use. Mamie, with the discipline of asoldier's wife, had put herself entirely in the hands of the Pentagon Committeeon arrangements. However, the day before her husband’s return, she confided inme that she was upsetbecause she had been allotted no seats in the reviewing stand on PennsylvaniaAvenue. She was, of course, to meet Ike at the airport but she wanted a fewseats for some of the Army wives who had stood by her through the long, lonelyyears.

"Why don't you call up the President or GeneralMarshall?" I asked.

"Oh, I couldn't do that," she said. "Ikewouldn't like me to interfere with the arrangements."

That morning I was to interview Assistant Secretary of StateWilliam Phillips for the Roosevelt book. I already knew him well enough to tellhim about Mamie's predicament.

"That's outrageous," Mr. Phillips said.

"I know it isn't your bailiwick," I said. "ButI thought you might know somebody over at the Pentagon who could fix Mamie up.Only for God's sake don't say I told you."

"You bet I do," Phillips said. "I'll call McCloy."

When I saw Mamie that afternoon she said, "You know Ineedn't have worried about those seats. Secretary McCloy called up and said hewas sending me eight seats right opposite the White House."

"That's great, Mamie," I said. "I thought thingswould work out alright."

I had no desire for a seat on Pennsylvania Avenue to see Ikewhiz by, but I did want to meet him. Mamie said she would call me if there werea chance in their tight schedule.

The next morning I awoke and turned on the radio to hear thatIke was due to land in five minutes. I rushed to the windows on an off-chance,and sure enough, I saw President Truman’s DC4, “The Sacred Cow” with a fighterescort, heading for Andrews Field.

That afternoon I asked a few very special friends tococktails to watch Ike arrive at the Wardman Park. They came running. We had agood, if brief, look at him. He seemed so young with his hair still gold, hisbright sea-blue eyes and ruddy complexion.

After that we sat around drinking. I was not a good host. I waslistening for that telephone too intently. Finally it rang and I leaped. It wasMamie saying, "We are just leaving for the White House dinner. Meet us inthe lobby."

Abandoning my guests with a muttered apology, I rusheddownstairs. An elevator door opened and there was Ike with Mamie, shyly proud,on his arm. She steered him over to me and said, "This is Alden Hatch whowrote the book about you."

The famous Eisenhower grin struck me with all its warmth. Ikeshook hands and said, "Happy to know you, Mr. Hatch. You did a goodjob."

I muttered. "I hope so. Great honor, Sir.”

It was all over in thirty seconds, but I had met General Ike.

Our friendship with the Eisenhowers grew warmer during thelate forties. When General Eisenhower succeeded General George C. Marshall asChief of Staff he, of course, moved into Quarters One at Fort Myer just outsideof Washington. In 1947, I was commissioned to write a series of articles for Liberty Magazine on each of thePresidential possibilities for 1948—Truman, Dewey, Stassen, Vandenberg, Taft,J. Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace. This took me to Washington right at the beginning of the Greek Crisis.Great Britain had abruptly announced that it could no longer afford to support theGreek Government in its battle against the Communist rebels who were beingsupplied by the U.S.S.R. with money and arms. If nothing were done to fill thevacuum, Greece would certainly fall into the Communist sphere.

A tremendous debate immediately began between those whobelieved that the United States must forsake its traditional peacetime policyof neutrality in Europe to save Greece, and the neo-isolationists headed bySenator Robert A. Taft.

Only two days after the news became public Ruth and I wereinvited to have cocktails with the Eisenhowers at Quarters One. We arrived atabout six o'clock to find the Eisenhowers alone. Ike's legendary attendant,Master Sergeant John A. Moaney, brought drinks and for a few moments we chattedinconsequentially. Then I said, "General, what do you think should be doneabout the Greek situation?"

That was all Ike needed. He launched into a brilliantexposition of the situation in the Mediterranean that lasted for three hours.Every fifteen minutes one of the servants would bring in fresh drinks. Ruth andMamie and I quit after the third round, but Ike kept on talking and drinking—hemust have had at least eight strong Scotch and sodas. They affected neither theprecision of his speech nor the lucidity of his mind.

I could only guess as to why General Eisenhower took me socompletely into his confidence and why he bothered to give me such a detailedbriefing on his ideas about the policy the United States should adopt vis-a-visRussia. I think it was partly because he knew I was sympathetic to his thoughtand loyal to him personally; and that I was in a position to publicize histheories. Also, he may have been clarifying his own thinking before anintelligent audience. I did little but scribble furiously in my notebook andask an occasional question.

It was then I realized that Ike had come a long way in his graspof international politics from the days when military considerations had beenhis guiding principle.

When I got back home to Cedarhurst, Long Island, I temporarilyshelved the articles on the candidates and began one on Eisenhower's reactionto the Greek Crisis. It was wasted effort. A few days later President Trumanmade his famous address to a joint session of Congress in which he outlined theTruman Doctrine of containment of Communism which has been the basic foreignpolicy of the United States ever since. That speech was, in effect, a rewordingof Eisenhower's exposition to me. In fact many of the General's phrases foundtheir way into it: “the bastion of the Free World in the Eastern Mediterraneanwithout which Turkey and the Dardanelles would be outflanked”; "thenecessity of checking Communism everywhere lest the whole world be lost by thegradual erosion”; “the domino effect on the shattered and wavering countries ofWestern Europe, such as Italy” if Greece were then allowed to fall.

Perhaps Eisenhower was simply expressing ideas he had heardin the frantic councils of state; but I do not think so. At that time he wasvery close to President Truman and, as Chief of Staff was the president’s principalmilitary adviser. I believe that he was the main originator of the TrumanDoctrine and that I was present at the dress rehearsal of his exposition of itto the President, with whom he conferred the day after my visit to Fort Myer.

I note that in my account of that, for me, thrilling evening,I describe Eisenhower as drinking a good deal. Yet he was never accused ofover-indulgence in alcohol nor should he have been. Those Scotch and sodasseemed only to stimulate his mind.

On the other hand, ever since the campaign of 1952, there hasbeen a widespread underground rumor that Mamie was an alcoholic. It is time toset the record straight.

The truth is that until Ike's first attack of gastroenteritisin 1950, when he tapered off drinking and gave up smoking on his doctor'sorders, Ike drank a great deal more than Mamie. While he was consuming Scotchand sodas before and after dinner, she would only have consumed at most two oldfashioneds before dinner.

And what old fashioneds! Sergeant Moaney, who had been withIke since he was a Lieutenant Colonel, would fix them for her exactly as shewanted. He put in the most awful mess of garbage I have ever seen—an ounce anda half of very good bourbon drowned in grenadine, slicesof orange and other fruit, a dash of Angostura bittersand heaven knows what else. The resultant mixture was a sweet, syrupyconcoction that nobody, but nobody, could have drunk more than two of withoutgetting sick.

Therumors about Mamie were started by the Democrats during the '52 campaign. Thebasis for them was the fact that she had a difficulty with her inner ear, whichoccasionally made her lose balance and stagger, particularly if she happened tobe on a little height, such as a dais or the head of a flight of stairs.

Irecall that James Wechsler ofthe New York Evening Post onceattacked me on the subject of Mamie's drinking at a party at the EustaceSeligmans. "I know it's true,” he said, “because I was standing at thehead of the stairs leading to the ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel when she and Ike came by. She staggered and Ike took herarm and said, “Do you think you can make it, Mamie?'"

"You see," Wechsler said triumphantly. "I havefirsthand knowledge."

Of course I saw. And I explained to Wechsler how completelynatural it was for Ike to solicitously ask if she could make that steep flightof stairs. And, of course, Wechsler did not believe me because he did not wantto.

I will say now, what I said to him: I have been with Mamie inall sorts of circumstances, at big parties and small gatherings of intimatefriends; sometimes alone, except for my wife or Ike; sometimes at celebrationsor less-happy occasions; in my own house and hers and her father's house; butnever, no matter how convivial the groups, have I ever seen Mamie drink morethan her two hideous cocktails before dinner.

 While on the subjectof rumors concerning the Eisenhowers, I must touch on the subject of Kay Summersby—Ike'sBritish driver during World War II. The scuttlebutt had him sleeping with her allthe way from Algiers to Berlin. Of this I have no firsthand knowledge. Onlyonce did I hear her name mentioned in the Eisenhower house. That was when Ikewas briefly president of Columbia University. Mamie said to Ruth, "Summersby'sbook came out today."

We dropped the subject like a hot potato.

The whole business was completely out of key with what I knewof Ike's character, but in wartime you can never be sure how men will act.

Both my wives have told me that I am incurably naive about suchthings and perhaps I am. Kay was an attractive girl, a tall, slim brunette witha nice sense of humor, plenty of courage and a crackerjack bridge player, aswas Ike. Certainly Ike enjoyed her company. And the aura of his fame and theagony of his spirit at times, were quite enough to make any girl fall in love withhim. In the camaraderie of long, weary hours of driving over hideous roadsthrough horrible weather and of perils shared, they may have become moreintimate. Or they may not.

It would seem that after the war Kay was not inclined to denythe rumors whether true or not. The editor of Summersby’s memoir, EisenhowerWas My Boss, told me that she once laughingly suggested that her book becalled, My Three Years Under Eisenhower.

The attitude of the Army was expressed by a General Blimp,whom I interviewed at the Pentagon on another subject. When Summersby's namewas mentioned, he snorted, "That girl! She ought to have slept with him,been honored by it and kept her damned her mouth shut!"

Obviously General Blimp—I have honestly forgotten his realname—believed the rumors. However, Army officers are notorious gossips, asinclined to believe the worst as any suburban housewife. Personally I cannotdeny the rumor as categorically as I can the story ofMamie's drinking, but I consider it too dubious for credence.

Oneof our happiest times with the Eisenhowers was I was commissioned to write aseries of articles for Liberty magazine about all the candidates forpresident in the 1948 election — Truman, Dewey, Vandenberg, Stassen, Taft, whenMamie invited Ruth, Denny and me to visit them at Quarters One in the spring of1947. Denny, was of course, in school and having some trouble with his studies.When I told his headmaster that I was taking my son out of school for threedays to visit General and Mrs. Eisenhower, Tony Barber protested that it wouldset him in his studies and endanger his passing. Rather rudely I'm afraid, but Iknew Tony well enough to say it with a smile, "Tony, Denny will learn moreand get more inspiration in three days with General Eisenhower than in threemonths of school."

Iwas quite right. Denny had breakfasted every morning alone with Ike—it was tooearly for Mamie or Ruth and myself. He would be full of his talk with theGeneral, who had the happy gift of communicating with people of any age. Theupshot was that Denny scored much highermarks in his examinations than anyone expected.

One night during our stay, the Eisenhowers had to go to aformal function, so Ruth and I went to the movie theater on the post. As theywere using their regular driver, Sergeant Dry, Ike assigned Sergeant Moaney todrive us. Not wanting to keep Moaney up we insisted, against his will, that he notcall for us after the show. When the movie was over, we rather regretted ourconsideration because the whole fort looked black and empty and there was noplace to telephone for a cab. However, I saw a sergeant in a jeep andasked him for a lift. When he asked where we were going, I said, "QuartersOne.” That was one occasion when I literally saw a man's eyes bug out.

When we got home, we found General Walter Bedell Smith beingentertained by Denny. Smith had just arrived from Russia where he was our ambassadorand was to be our fellow houseguest. “Beetle” Smith had been Ike's Chief ofStaff, and, perhaps, his most intimate friend in SHAEF. He was a thin, gray manwho looked inadequate in his civilian clothes—a deceptive appearance, for hehad a brilliant mind and a Prussian attitude toward discipline. He was aloyal and devoted friend and his staff work played a major, if little known, partin the great Allied victories.

The Eisenhowers soon returned from their party. When we toldMamie how we had, gotten home from the movies she was horrified. "You shouldnot have done that," she said sharply. "Now it will be all over thepost that we don't take proper care of our guests."

Moral: an Army post is a very small town where even the Chiefof Staff's wife worries about what the neighbors think.

The following day Lord and Lady Halifax came to tea. I hadfollowed the career of Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax and greatlyadmired the diplomatic dexterity and humane wisdom he had displayed in three terriblydifficult posts—Viceroy of India, British Foreign Secretary in 1939 andwartime British Ambassador to the United States. Meeting him was no letdown. Heseemed to me the very acme of a British aristocrat. That is a dirty wordin these days, but when exemplified in a man like Halifax, a great public servantwho worked hard and skillfully, not just for his class and the Empire (anotherdirty word) but for all the people of Britain, “aristocrat” takes on the Greekmeaning of the word—one of the best.

Halifax was tall and very thin. He had beautifully modeled featuresand a merry eye. He had been born with an atrophied left arm and no left hand.His artificial hand was encased in a gray glove that was formed with the fingersloosely closed so there was a space between them and the thumb into which he stuckhis long cigarette holder when he wanted his other hand free.

Lady Halifax is less vivid in my memory, a sweet, gray-hairedEnglish lady.

After we had chatted for a few moments an elaborate teaservice was brought in, followed by trays of thin bread-and-butter sandwiches,English crumpets and little cakes.

Ike said, "Would you rather have a drink, Edward?”

"To tell the truth ... " Lord Halifax began, whenMamie interrupted him.

"No you don't. I worked all afternoon getting up thesort of tea Ike said you used to have in England. You'll take tea! Then you can have a drink..."

"Tea, of course," laughed Halifax.

We all had tea, followed by drinks with good talk throughout.

In the summer of 1947, John Eisenhower's engagement wasannounced to Barbara Thompson, the daughter of Colonel Percy Thompson who, likeJohn, was with our occupation forces in Vienna. Soon afterward Mamie telephonedRuth, who had started a dress shop in Cedarhurst, saying that Barbara was cominghome alone on a transport and would Ruth take her under her wing and get hersome good-looking clothes so that she would be properly equipped to meet theirfriends in Washington.

On the appointed day I drove to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn topick up Barbara. She turned out to be very pretty and sweet.

An Army brat, she was wise in the ways of the service and incrediblyinnocent of the world outside. As we drove along the Belt Parkway towardCedarhurst, Barbara said, “Mr. Hatch, will you tell me what I'm gettinginto?"

"How do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, when the ship got to quarantine, all those reporterscame aboard, taking pictures and asking questions. I thought John was justanother Army officer, but I guess I was wrong."

"You sure were," I said. "Before you get throughyou may find you're married to the son of the President of the United States."

Barbara and John were married in Fort Monroe at Old PointComfort, Virginia, where her father was then stationed.  We were asked to the wedding,but in a fit of misguided economy, I didn’t go. I have always regretted it.

The young Eisenhowers somehow managed to retain theirengaging innocence for many years. In the winter of 1950 they came out toCedarhurst with Ike, who was then President of Columbia University.

John and Barbara got me aside and said, "We've neverbeen to a New York nightclub, and we thought of going to one tonight. Someonesuggested the Latin Quarter. Is that good?"

I told him that it was an excellent choice. John asked,"Is it very expensive?"

I said, "Well, rather. How much did you plan to spend?"

John answered, "I've got twenty-five dollars."

I said, "Oh, dear." Then I called across the room."General Ike, these kids want to go to a nightclub. How about giving themfifty bucks so they can do it right?"

Ike grinned and said, "Alden, why do you put the bee onme?" But he handed over the fifty dollars.

I had no compunction because Ike had just sold Crusade in Europe to Doubleday for$650,000 [$6.6 million today]. A deal had been arranged with the Bureau ofInternal Revenue that since his book was supposedly a one-shot deal, the resultof all his lifetime experience, the money would be regarded as capital gains.Ike was the only person who ever got away with that.

On another occasion John and I were discussing this. Johnsaid, “I don’t altogether like it.”

“Why not?”

"The responsibility of someday inheriting all that moneyworries me.”

Very gently I said, "John, it just ain't that muchmoney.

In 1947, General Eisenhower had gone as far as he could go inhis profession. He wanted to retire as Chief of Staff in 1948, partly as he saidto me, "So Brad (General Omar Bradley) can have a crack at it.”

At the same time he was too young to lapse into desuetude."I do not feel that I am about to stumble over my beard,” he said to me.

Where to go from there? Of course several of the great corporationshad offered him a huge salary to become their CEO, but that did not comportwith his idea of integrity. "I don't want to use the fame I gained servingmy country for personal profit," he said to me. Nor did he want to enterpolitics.

At Potsdam in 1945, President Truman had told him that if hewanted to run for President in 1948, he would back him. Ike had beenflabbergasted and laughed it off. He was very conscious of the fact that theAmerican people listened when he spoke because they believed he had no selfish orpartisan object. To run for office would destroy their confidence in hisimpartiality.

There were times when Ike talked of a cottage in theCarolinas and books to write; but he felt impelled by a sense of obligation tothe men and women who had served and sacrificed under him to take a more activerole and to use his utmost powers to achieve the peace for which they hadfought and died. He wanted a position that would give him a platform from whichhe could speak and be heard. From 1946 on, he was searching for the right job.



The Trustees of Columbia University had been looking for aPresident for two years. Frank Fackenthal, the acting President, was a finescholar and a good administrator, but the trustees felt they needed a man withnational prestige to replace retired President Nicholas Murray Butler; and amore genial character to raise the huge sums necessary to keep the universitygoing. They interviewed a number of possible candidates, none of whom seemedjust right. After one of these negative interviews, six of the trustees wereriding downtown in one limousine discussing the problem, when Thomas J. Watson,the austere head of International Business Machines suddenly said, "Whatabout Ike?”

Columbia trustee Thomas Parkinson told me that every man inthe car agreed it would be great… "If we can get him."

When Eisenhower received an invitation to meet with two ofthe Columbia Trustees, Watson and Parkinson, to discuss an important matter, hethought they were after his brother Milton for the presidency. So did Milton.

The meeting took place in the Thayer Hotel at West Point.When the trustees offered Ike the presidency he was literally astounded. Hesaid, "You don't want me," He said, "Go to see the Eisenhowerwith brains!"

More seriously he continued, "The President of Columbiashould be a scholar of renown; one who knows his way around

"We have many fine scholars on the campus," Watsonsaid. "We are seeking a leader."

So it was Ike they wanted. The more Eisenhower thought aboutit the better he liked the idea. Though he recognized the difficulties in hislack of scholarship and training he said to me—and many others—"You knowhow much I want to work for the peace of the world and to influence young people.I think Columbia is a place where I can make my ideas known without engaging inpartisan politics."

However, he left it up to Mamie to decide, saying, "Upto now our orders have always come from above and we had no choice. You havealways gone along. This time you have to decide."

Mamie told me she did not want to go to Columbia. Sherealized that it would mean more of the fishbowl publicity-haunted life shehated. In addition she dreaded living in New York; the crowds, the noise, thepressures, quite literally frightened her. But she could see that Ike wasenthusiastic about the job, and she believed it would be good for him. So shesaid, "I think you ought to take it.”

There was one other slight hitch. The President of Columbiawas required to be an Episcopalian (Anglican) by the original charter of King'sCollege. Ike was not of that persuasion. Though he was essentially religious, hewas not wedded to any particular sect any more than he was to any politicalparty. He said, “I am not about to join a church just to get a job.”

The requirement was dropped.

The announcement that General Eisenhower had accepted thepresidency of Columbia caused bewilderment and anguish among New York intellectuals.

I happened to be in town that day seeing editors and lunchingwith journalists. Knowing I was a friend of the General, they asked me why hehad been chosen and why he had accepted it. I said, "I don't know, butI'll find out.

I telephoned Walter Davenport of Collier’s magazine and asked him if he would like me to interviewGeneral Eisenhower on his new job. Davenport jumped at it. Then I called Ike atQuarters One and told him about the confusion in New York and suggested that I writeabout his thinking on the matter for Collier’s. He thought it was a good idea andasked me to come to Washington.

Once again, he completely opened his heart to me, giving methe basis of a splendid article. However, that did not answer the question ofwhy Columbia had chosen him. To find that out I interviewed two of the trustees—ThomasParkinson, President of The Equitable Life Assurance Society and MarcellusHartley Dodge, President of Remington Arms. We met at Mr. Parkinson's spaciousDirector's Room. The three of us sat at the big mahogany director's table. Itwas hardly the sort of place I prefer for an interview, but it went off well.Parkinson was a round, jovial man whose geniality concealed a steel-trap mindand excessive caution. Marcy Dodge was small, thin and wiry and one of thefinest, most courteous gentlemen I ever met. Throughout the interview Parkinsontook the lead, telling me exactly what he wanted me to know, no more, no less.

Toward the end Dodge hesitantly suggested that they mightlike to see the article, before it was published. Parkinson vetoed that."We don't want to assume any responsibility for what Mr. Hatchwrites," he said.

The morning that I finished the article and was about to deliverit to Collier’s, Mr. Dodge called meup in Cedarhurst.

Very embarrassed he said, "Tom Parkinson didn't want meto do this, but I would like very much to see the article. There are somethings about the situation at Columbia you have not been told, and you might inadvertentlymake things more difficult for General Eisenhower."

I told Mr. Dodge that I had promised the article to Davenportby three-thirty that afternoon, but that if we could meet for lunch orsomething I would show it to him.

You could fairly hear the wheels revolving in his head as he weighedthe necessity of breaking some important luncheon date. Then he said, "Allright. Meet me at the Empire Club in the Empire State Building. I'll get aprivate dining room so we can talk. But please, never tell Parkinson."

"I won't," I promised.

The Empire Club was very handsome and tycoonish, with finelypaneled rooms, thick carpets, discreet servants and superb views of New YorkCity. Mr. Dodge escorted Ruth and me to a private dining room where two liveriedwaiters were in constant attendance. We had drinks and an excellent lunch.

Then the waiters were shooed out, and Dodge read the articlemaking a few notes. After that he said, "What you don't realize is thatthe Columbia faculty are somewhat upset by our appointing the General. Fackenthalwas their man—one of them who had come up through the ranks, as it were. Also,they have the usual intellectual prejudice against the military. Fackenthal isvery disappointed and so are they."

“What can I do about that?”

"You can put in some nice things about Fackenthal"Dodge said. "It may make it easier for Ike."

We worked out a couple of paragraphs, which I wrote as aninsert.

Walter Davenport was delighted with the article, but he saidit was too long. "What are you going to cut?" I asked.

"For one thing, that stuff about Fackenthal."

"Please don't do that," I said, and explained why.

Walterimmediately agreed to cut something else. Everyone wanted to help Ike in thosedays—except the faculty of Columbia. Though, at Ike's request, I had been verycareful to say nothing about the growing sentiment in both major politicalparties to nominate Eisenhower for President in 1948, Collier’s published my piece as the feature story. The portrait ofIke on the cover had a ghostly White House as background.

GeneralEisenhower retired as Chief of Staff in February 1948. He took two months off.Though Mamie had encouraged him to accept the Presidency of Columbia, Ike knewthat she wanted to live in New York about as much as she wanted to live onDevil's Island. To make things easier for her he bought her the finest car hecould obtain, a Chrysler Imperial limousine. When he told her about it Mamiesaid, "What a beautiful present!"

Ikelooked a little embarrassed. "There is a slight hitch," he said."I put my lifetime savings into it, but that wasn't quite enough. Can youlend me a thousand dollars, Mamie?"

Afive-star general is never retired. Eisenhower still drew his full pay and wasentitled to two Army aides.  

InApril the Eisenhowers started for New York in the Chrysler driven by SergeantLeonard Dry. As they maneuvered through theheavy traffic on old Route 1, Ike said, "Well, Mamie, we're driving to NewYork in our capital.”

This was only temporarily true. During his two month vacationEisenhower had written Crusade in Europe. It was a stupendous feat to haveproduced a book of nearly six hundred pages in six weeks. True he had the helpof several Doubleday editors, four secretaries to whom he dictated alternatelylike Napoleon—and several aides running around checking facts. Nevertheless, theeditors have told me that he dictated every word of it himself and rememberedthe location of almost every army unit—American and German—that he mentioned.The aides and editors, checking through the huge mass of military documents,for the most part merely confirmed the General's recollections. From a writer'spoint of view, that was an even more remarkable tour de force than thecampaigns themselves.

The Eisenhowers moved into the President's House at Columbiain April 1948. Superficially everything was great, but beneath the surface themajority of the faculty were out to get him, and eventually they did.

Almost immediately Ruth and I were invited to have dinnerwith the Eisenhowers. On that occasion I extended to the General an invitationfrom George Purves of the Wyandanch Club to go trout fishing. Ike accepted andthe expedition was arranged for the second Monday in May when presumably fewmembers would be present.

Wyandanch was a sportsmen's club at St. James, Long Island.It owned hundreds of acres of fields for shooting, and clear swift trout streams,which were kept fully stocked. I was not a member of the club. It wasfar too expensive—the dues were three or four thousand dollars a year. Inaddition, I was one of the world's worst fishermen, being too impatient andunlucky to boot. I could sit in a boat in the Gulfstream surrounded by fishingcruisers hauling in sailfish as fast as they could. Not only would I not catcha fish, but nobody in my boat would get so much as a nibble.

As we planned the expedition to Wyandanch, only clubpresident Newbold Herrick, George Purves, the General and me would be present.But Monday, May 10th turned out to be the first beautiful day of theseason—full summer in the fresh glory of May. The General fished in the morningand caught nothing. When we went in to lunch a dozen members were present,lured out by the lovely weather. Their double-takes on being introduced to theGeneral were great fun to watch.

After lunch George and Newbold conferred with the oldest guideabout where Ike should fish. They rigged his pole and selected the fly with thegreatest care. I rigged my own pole.

We all drove to the head of the number one stream—freshly stocked.Ike started out with the guide. George and Newbold followed. They knew they didnot have a chance of catching anything after the General had roiled the waters;they just wanted to watch him fish.

As a boy of four I contracted tuberculosis of the boneresulting in a shriveled left leg. I have used crutches all my life. Standingforlornly on the bank I shouted, "What am I supposed to do, George? Ican't walk down that stream on crutches."

Very off-hand George said, "Throw a line into that lakeover there. You might catch something."

         There wasnothing else to do, so I followed his advice. On my second cast, Bang! I hookeda beauty. But I was in a spot. I couldn't handle the rod, landing net andcrutches all at once. Playing the fish I moved close to the edge of the lakeand deliberately fell down. Then I grabbed the net and got him. Twice more intwenty minutes I went through this performance. Then I went back to the clubwith two big trout and a small-mouth bass. An hour later General Ike and partyturned up with one tiny trout just over the legal limit. It was my one fishingtriumph.

From the club I took the General back to my house, Somerleas,where Ruth and Mamie joined us. As we sat talking and drinking in that superbevening the world was at its very best.

At one point the subject of flying came up and Ike mentioned thathe earned a pilot’s license. He said casually, “You know what I really love todo? Take a Piper Cub up high, take my hands and feet off the controls and seewhat the damned thing will do.

“My God, Mamie!” Ruth shrieked. “Did you hear that?”

Mamie shrugged.

The general looking out over the salt marshes, all green andgold between strips of deep blue water, paid Somerleas its finest compliment.“I could sit here forever," said Ike.

Eisenhower's Presidency of Columbia was subject to many interruptions.The first was political. After sixteen years of Democratic rule the Republicansdesperately needed a winner.

Back in January, Senator Charles W. Tobey and Mr. Leonard V.Finder, Publisher of the Manchester Evening-Leaderhad entered Eisenhower’s name in the New Hampshire presidential primary. Ike wastempted. He was bone-weary, anxious for a comparatively peaceful life; and heknew the rather dismal history of generals in the White House.

On the other hand was his genuine feeling of obligation tothe American people and the knowledge that as President he could exerttremendous influence on the shape of the future. Let us not rule out ambition,which every American boy of his era must have felt at one time or another to bePresident.

In the end he wrote a Shermanesque refusal to Finder saying,"It is my conviction that the necessary and wise subordination of themilitary to civil power will be best sustained … when lifelong professionalsoldiers, in the absence of some obvious and overriding reason, abstain fromseeking high political office … Nothing in the international or domesticsituation especially qualifies (me) for the most important office in the world.

"In any event, my decision to remove myself completelyfrom the political scene is definite and positive … I could not accept the nominationeven under the remote circumstance that it were tendered me."

In private Eisenhower said, "I see no reason why Ishould allow the Republicans to use me as a catspaw to regain the presidency."

Commenting on this, John said to me, "Of course, Fatherhas no false modesty."

So much for the Republicans. They went off happilypoliticking at their National Convention, in which the leading candidates ofthe liberal and internationalist wing were Governor Thomas E. Dewey of NewYork, Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg of Michigan and former Governor Harold Stassenof Minnesota. The conservative, neo-isolationist front-runners were Senator Taftand Speaker of the House, Joseph W. Martin.

The Democrats were desperate. President Harry S. Truman wasat his nadir of popularity. The party chieftains knew he could not win. In their frantic search for a candidateoutstanding and popular enough to take the nomination away from a President inoffice they approached Eisenhower, who, true to his West Point training, hadnever voted or joined a political party, though all his instincts, based on hisyouth in Republican Kansas, and his natural conservatism made him at heart aRepublican. However, to everyone's surprise, Eisenhower did not repeat the flatdenial he had given the Republicans; he said nothing.

After a bitter battle at the Republican Convention late in June,Governor Dewey was nominated. He looked like a sure winner unless Ike acceptedthe Democratic Offer. Rumors flew.

In June Parent'sMagazine asked me to write a brief biography of General Eisenhower's firstgrandson, David, who was three months old. I got permission to do so from theEisenhowers who asked us to lunch on the Fourth of July so we could photographthe baby.


 As Ruth and I drovethrough 125th Street, my eye caught a bright red headline: IKE WILL ACCEPT. We stoppedand bought the paper.

When we reached the Eisenhower's house we found an unexpectedvisitor—George Allen, who was President Truman's round, merry court jester andpolitical fixer—and hatchet man.

It soon became evident that Allen had come on a mission fromthe President to plead with Ike to make another positive denial that he wouldaccept the Democratic nomination.

Of course our newspaper was just what Allen needed to clinchhis argument. We all sat in the Eisenhower’s little upstairs sitting room whileAllen read it aloud, mouthing the phrases with unctuous emphasis. According tosome obscure Democratic Congressman, Ike had definitely promised to run ifnominated. The General got madder and madder. His face became turkey-wattle redand he snorted violently at each innuendo. "I never saw that fellow in mylife," he said. "He came to my office, but never got past the receptionist."

"All the same, you've got to say something," Allen argued. "Otherwise the Convention mightnominate you by acclamation.

Then what would you do?"

"I'm sure going to look like a darn fool," Ikemuttered, "twice refusing a crown that wasn't offered to me even once."

Nevertheless, the following morning the newspapers carriedIke's unequivocal statement that under no circumstances would he accept theDemocratic nomination.

The next time I saw Eisenhower I said to him, "You knewthe way things were going that you would have to speak out. Why did you wait solong?"

Very slowly Ike said, "I waited to see if theRepublicans would nominate someone acceptable."

"Do you mean that if Taft or Joe Martin had been nominated…?"

"I'd have done something," Ike snapped.

I took that to mean that if a neo-isolationist had been nominatedEisenhower might have made himself available to the Democrats. Though, as Ihave said, his inclinations were definitely Republican, they had not yet beenfixed in the mold of partisanship to the extent that, as he phrased it, hewould be willing to see "all the things I have worked for go down thedrain" rather then turn Democrat.

Later that summer of 1948, I wrote an article for Harper’s magazine called "The Men AroundDewey." It was based on the fact that I, like almost everyone else in bothparties, believed that Truman did not stand a chance. Without exactly saying soI wrote about the men who would hold the different cabinet positions underDewey. In the course of it I interviewed a dozen probable appointees to theCabinet and kitchen cabinet advisers.

I had been told to handle it very tactfully, not everimplying that they had 'already been chosen. When I talked with John Foster DullesI followed the technique of saying, "Now, Mr. Dulles, if you should beoffered Secretary of State what would be your attitude toward such and such?"

After a few such questions Mr. Dulles twinkled at me andsaid, "Mr. Hatch, is there any doubt in your mind that if Dewey is elected,I will be Secretary of State?"

"NO, SIR!" I replied.

All the men around Dewey seemed to me to be qualified, withone exception. When I asked, "Who is his adviser on militarymatters?" the answer was, "General Drum."

General Hugh Drum, the Commander of the National Guard inGovernor Dewey’s state of New York. Drum was the type of soldier who, in the AtomicAge, was still fighting World War I or possibly the Battle of Waterloo. GeneralEisenhower, who was taking more and more interest in politics, asked me to givehim my opinion of Dewey's principal advisers. I mentioned a number of themfavorably and then said, "His military adviser is General Drum."

"That's a help," Ike growled.

A few days later I interviewed Roger W. Straus who was veryclose to Dewey. Again I brought up the question of the candidate's militaryadviser and Straus said it was Drum.

“Mr. Straus," I said," will you tell me why theGovernor is content with a second-rater when one of the greatest generals in theworld is sitting on his doorstep?"

Straus' eyes flew wide open. "Eisenhower!" heexclaimed. "Do you think Ike would consent to talk with theGovernor?"

"I cannot speak for General Eisenhower," I said."But knowing him as well as I do, I cannot imagine his refusing to givethe man who will probably be our next President, the benefit of his militaryknowledge."

When I saw Governor Dewey, I asked him about military advice.Smiling his little pussycat smile he said, "Mr. Hatch, within the next fewdays you will read an announcement that, I think, will please you very much."

About a week later it was announced that General Eisenhower hadgone to Pawling, New York to brief Governor Dewey on the military stance of theUnited States.

Meanwhile, my brief interview with the Governor had somewhatdisenchanted me. In the course of it I asked a set question.

"How do you account for the extraordinary loyalty of themen around you? Dulles and Brownell who are neglecting fine law practices toserve you—[Judge Charles D.] Breitel and [Former Editor of Business Week] Elliot Bell,who could command salaries many times what New York State is paying them.”

Touching his silky mustache the Governor replied, "Perhapsit is because I treat my associates, not as lackeys, but as my friends andequals."

I went stiff with shock. All I could think was, "You condescend to treat John Foster Dulles,a far greater and nobler man, as an equal!"

I must confess I trifled with truth in the Harper's article. After considerablesoul-searching I omitted Dewey's remark. I did so because, in spite of his arrogance,I then believed that Dewey, with his brilliant counselors and excellentadministrative ability, would make a better President than Truman. If publishedit, I thought, it might kill his chances.

The American people, God bless their acuity, caught onanyhow! On October 11, 1948, the night before Eisenhower's official installationas President of Columbia, there was a white tie reception in the rotunda of theLow Memorial Library. However the brilliant the minds of the academic communitymay be, they don't know how to give a party. This was the usual, sort of thingwith women in frumpy evening dresses and eminent scholars in ill-fitting, hiredtailcoats, uneasily sipping loathsome punch and nibbling dried up sandwicheswhile they exchanged banalities or stared silently at one another.

The scene in General Eisenhower's private office just off therotunda was quite different. All his brothers were there, along with forty ormore of his intimate friends—generals, bankers, writers, politicians and even oneor two professors were packed into that small room drinking excellent scotchand talking fast and furiously. There I learned how little hope even PresidentTruman's closest friends had for his election. George Allen, downing his umpteenthscotch and soda, said, "I sure am going to enjoy Ike's inauguration tomorrow,for I think it’s the last one I'll be going to for a long time."

How wrong can you be?

The next day we sat among 10,000 people on rows of chairsthat filled the campus square solidly to watch Eisenhower installed asPresident of Columbia. Dark clouds flew overhead on a swift cold wind. Collegepresidents and distinguished academicians from all over the world trooped in twoby two in the academic procession, wearing the medieval robes and rainbow hoodsof the fabled universities from Oxford and Cambridge, Heidelberg, Salamanca,the Sorbonne and Rome to those from China (not yet red), India, all the FarEast and South America; they had gathered to welcome the neophyte to their sacredgroves.

There were the usual speeches followed by the presentation ofthe golden key office. Then Eisenhower made a really touching orationproclaiming his belief in the doctrine of academic freedom, and his own faithin the American free enterprise system to which he owed so much.

When he had finished, the procession reformed, now inbright-omened sunshine. First came the macebearer properly stern, then the newPresident trying to look equally solemn, but his gold-tasseled mortarboard wastilted just a bit like an overseas cap and the wide grin would break out. AsGeneral Eisenhower reached the bottom of the steps ten thousand people rose totheir feet in spontaneous homage. Pacing slowly the macebearer passed thefront-row seats where Mamie was sitting.

Suddenly Ike skipped out of line over to Mamie and whisperedsomething that made her laugh. Then he skipped agilely back again, and theprocession moved forward like a long black dragon with multicolored scales onits back.

Of course every reporter rushed up to Mamie to ask what Ikehad said to her. "It was private," she replied.

Eisenhower later told me what he had said was, "Don't youever stand up because of me, Mamie!"

Most of Eisenhower's high hopes and idealistic plans for greataccomplishments at Columbia came to nothing—frustrated by the enmity of the faculty,his frequent and necessary absences, and by his own unfamiliarity with anenvironment to which he never had time to grow accustomed.

The few things he did accomplish were good—The Citizen's EducationProject for which he procured a grant of $450,000 from the Carnegie Corporationthat sent men and women specially trained at Teachers’ College to give coursesin citizenship and in all phases of government to Americans; the Institute of Warand Peace; the National Manpower Council and the School of International Affairs.He was proudest of all for his part in founding the American Assembly, aprivately financed program of conferences in which representatives of Industry,Labor, the Professions, both politicalparties and the government regularly met at Arden House— the beautiful mansionin the Ramapo Hills presented to Columbia by Averell Harriman—to discuss themajor problems that confront America.

Despite these very real accomplishments, Ike's Presidency ofColumbia cannot be considered successful from the University's point of view.In fact, when Ike was on leave from Columbia to run for President in 1952, MarcyDodge telephoned me and said,

"The trustees do not want Eisenhower back if he loses.If we made an announcement to that effect, do you think it would have an adverseeffect on his campaign?"

I replied, "It could be disastrous. Please holdeverything until the election. Then if he loses you can work something out."

Dear Marcy kept the trustees muzzled. The question never cameup, of course, because Ike won.

When Eisenhower first accepted the invitation to become Presidentof Columbia he had said to the trustees, "I shall belong to the Army aslong as I am above ground. On that basis I accept the honor you wish to conferon me."

The first time the Army called him was due to the bitterstruggle over unification of the Armed Services into a single department undera Secretary of Defense. The Army favored this eminently sensible arrangement, theAir Force was willing, but the Navy, fearing to lose their favored position asthe senior service and other special perquisites, fought it bitterly. Evenafter the bill had passed Congress and the Department of Defense had been setup under Secretary James Forrestal, a most far-seeing and honorable man,admirals sabotaged it in every way they could think of. So sulfurous was the infightingthat it drove overworked Secretary Forrestal literally insane. On May 22, 1949,he jumped out of a 16th-floor window of Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Forrestal was replaced by Louis B. Johnson whose pinchpenny policy and lack of even a rudimentaryknowledge of military matters left the United States almost defenseless just asthe Korean War loomed. Under these conditions the three services fought evenmore bitterly among themselves over the inadequate appropriations granted theDefense Department.

In August or early September 1949, Eisenhower went briefly toWashington and succeeded in arranging a truce—a gentlemen's agreement as to thetestimony to be given by the Chiefs of Staff before the House Military AffairsCommittee on proposed changes in the Defense Department. Late in September I wasdining alone, with the Eisenhowers at Columbia when Sgt. Moaney brought a telephoneto the table and said, "General [Alfred M.] Gruenther wishes to speak tothe General."

Ike said, "Hello, Al. What happened at thehearing?" As he listened his face grew stern. Then a red flush spread overit and his eyes popped with anger. "No!" he snorted. "I can'tbelieve it! … Really? … Why? … Did he say that? … The son of a bitch has goneback on everything he promised … Impossible … That's completely irresponsible!… A damn lie! … What are we going to do, Al?"

At this point Ike's face was crimson. He was so enraged thathe did not care what he said—normally he never swore before Mamie.

To spare him later embarrassment, I suggested to Mamie thatwe have coffee in the library. It was a silent session, for neither of us couldthink of anything to say.

In about half an hour Ike joined us still steaming. "Thosesons of bitches have reneged on everything they promised," he stormed."Things are in an awful mess. I cannot believe men can be so small, sonarrow-minded … so selfish!

Then very solemnly he said, "I'd like to resign from theArmy and say what I really think—for once."

That was the measure of Eisenhower's desperation. Of coursehe did not resign. Instead he obeyed President Truman's plea that he come to Washingtonand try to mediate the Battle of the Pentagon that, naturally, had becomepublic property.

It was the most unpleasant assignment he ever undertook. Thevindictive bickering and senseless fury of the opposing admirals and generals,backed by their partisans in the Congress, were incredible to a man of Eisenhower'spatriotic and fair-minded nature. Controlling his outrage he somehow managed towork out a compromise between the contending forces. None of them liked it, butusing his full powers of persuasion and his enormous prestige with the Americanpeople as a club, he brought them to a semblance of reason and saved theDefense Department from a chaotic collapse. Agreement was reached in the nickof time; the Korean War was only five months away. Though it is forgotten now,this was one of Eisenhower's most signal services to his country. No man butIke could have done it.

However it took a frightful toll of him. Sixteen-hour days ofmeetings and negotiations were followed by sleepless nights of tossing and turningas the rage he had bottled up all day burst forth in private and sent bile boilingthrough his system. Mamie described those nights to me, and told how, even insnatches of sleep, he would cry out against the men who were putting their selfishpartisan motives before the safety of their country.

When it was all over, in January 1950, Ike had that first·violent attack of gastro-enteritis. He was in Walter Reed Hospital for severalweeks. When next I saw Ike, the change was unhappily evident. He was thinnerand much of his bounce was gone. So were some of his optimism and his geniality.He no longer roared out his hearty laughter, nor could he seem to relaxcompletely. There was always a sense of restlessness. He was more guarded evenamong friends. Though not yet old, he was no longer young.

He had been a chain smoker—reportedly four packs a day duringthe war. Now on Dr. Howard Snyder's orders he had quit the habit. I saidto him, "Do you think you'll ever take up smoking again, General?"

"I don't know," said Ike, "but I know darn wellthat I'll never give it up again!"



There was a complete change in my own life in 1949. Ruth fellin love with a mutual friend and asked me to give her a divorce. At herinsistence I went to Las Vegas in June. While there I had the good fortune tomeet a lovely young lady who was touring the west with her mother. AllenePomeroy (Squeaky) Gaty and I were married in September 1950. 



During the last months of Eisenhower's tenure at Columbia thepressures on him to run for President began to build up again. The Liberal wingof the Republican Party had been discredited by Dewey's surprising defeat.Senator Taft, heading the Conservative element, was the odds-on favorite to winthe nomination in 1952. The Liberals knew that their only chance was to induceIke to run.

There was no question now as to which party Eisenhowerfavored. Though he still said that if either of the great parties spontaneouslydrafted a man it would be difficult to refuse, he privately added, "Icannot imagine running as a Democrat."

Eisenhowerhad deliberately learned a lot about economics. As was his way, he went to thetop for his information—which to him meant the great New York bankers and industrialleaders with whom he was in constant contact. They taught him pre-Keynesianfiscal theories which he took as gospel. This made him rigidlyultra-conservative in his thinking about financial matters though he remainedcomparatively liberal in his attitude toward labor, education and most otherthings. Nor did his anxiety to promote American cooperation in world affairschange. Though his economic orthodoxy worried me, foreign policy seemed muchmore vital, and I reckoned that if he became Presidentthe realities of government finance would soon change his attitude about economics—whichit did.

Ever since 1947, except for a few months in 1948, I had beengently needling Ike to enter politics whenever the opportunity arose, for Ibelieved that, with his breadth of vision, his humanity, and the leverage ofthe trust which people had in him—not only Americans, but also people all overthe world—he great would make a great President.

As early as September 1949, I brought Eisenhower a messagefrom former Governor Morley Griswold of Nevada who said, "Tell Ike that ifhe will run for the Republican nomination in 1952, I guarantee to deliver tohim the following states: Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevadaand possibly California.”

I remember a small dinner party at Columbia in the spring of1950 at which Eisenhower's aide, Lt. Col. Craig Cannon and Major Robert Schulzwere present. Seizing the opportunity, which the conversation had presented, Isounded off on Eisenhower's patriotic duty to make himself available to theRepublicans—the argument that always touched him most.

We all left rather early, as we knew Ike still retained thearmy habit of rising with roosters. In the elevator Cannon said, "Come onback to my apartment for a drink, Alden. I want to have a serious talk withyou."

When we got there, Cannon and Schulz, both utterly devoted totheir general, attacked me for urging Ike to enter politics. Cannon said veryearnestly, "Please layoff this President thing, Alden. Ike is so sensitiveabout his honor; he is completely honest and is so proud of the trust peoplehave in him, that the ordinary political mudslinging, which is just part of thegame to professional politicians, will kill him."

"I think you underrate Ike," I answered. "He'stougher than you think. Otherwise he could not have borne the strain of thegreat and perilous command decisions he had to make, decisions that inevitablycost the lives of thousands of young men for whom he felt a deep personalresponsibility."

"That's different," Cannon said. When he chose an Armycareer, he accepted such things as inevitable. Though he agonized over them, hewas psychologically prepared for them. He did his best; left nothing undonethat could ensure victory and left the rest in the hands of God. Though thingswent badly in a few cases—damn few as we all know—everyone knew he had done hisbest and there was never a question of his complete integrity. But in politicshis integrity will be constantly questioned. I dread the effect on him. Youdon't know him as well as we do."

Equally earnestly I said, "Craig, I agree you are more intimatewith Ike than I, but perhaps for that very reason my judgment may be betterthan yours. I think he can take it. There is a risk, I admit, but though I loveand revere him I want him to take that risk because I feel that his becomingPresident is so important for America and for the whole damned world."

There it was. Though we talked in circles for two hours ormore, neither of us yielded. As it turned out, it did not matter much, becauseevents soon removed Eisenhower from whatever small influence I—or CraigCannon—had upon him.

With the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationPresident Truman named Ike Supreme Commander of the nascent NATO forces. He wasthe obvious choice, the one man all thejealous, mutually suspicious partners in the alliance trusted, the one man who mightbe able to put it together and make it work.

  Ike answered thePresidential summons with a heavy heart, well knowing the immense difficultiesof this new task. Yet had he not done it before? Many of his friends both inthe Armed Services and civilian life begged him not to take the post. They saidthat attempting to build a conglomerate military force made up of bits and piecesfrom so many nations with different arms, different habits and oppositenational objectives, without the cohesive pressure of actual war, was a hopelesstask that might dim his bright fame. They said he was a fool to try. There wasanother reason that nobody mentioned because it would have only made him moreadamant.

Little as Mamie had liked Columbia, she dreaded this moveeven more. But she did not hesitate either. As soon as word came fromWashington she began packing. There was an immense amount to be done. All theEisenhowers’ personal possessions had to be separated from the Columbiafurnishings and either sent to storage or to Europe.

One day I asked her, "Why go to all this trouble? Youcould leave the stuff here. The General is only on leave from Columbia; andyou'll be coming back when this assignment is over."

In a completely matter of fact tone Mamie mentioned the thingeveryone had avoided. "Sure we'll come back if we can," she said,"but even in Western Europe there are about twenty million Communists and everyone of them will be out to get Ike. You just can't be sure."

Ike was perfectly aware of all these things but he never hada moment's hesitation about accepting the Supreme Command. It was a thing hehad to do.

General Eisenhower's success in NATO is a matter of historyto which I can add no new information. Nor had I anything to do with hiseventual decision to run for the Republican nomination for President in 1952. Iwas only an onlooker during his campaign for the nomination and watched theneck-and-neck finish between him and Taft on television. But the moment Ike wasnominated I decided to get into the campaign, perhaps write a piece about the Men Around Eisenhower as I had forDewey—not that it had done him much good.

After their convention the Republicans rested while theDemocrats nominated Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois—the best man they couldhave picked.

When the Democratic Convention ended, I telephoned James C.Hagerty, Eisenhower's press secretary, and told him that I would like to cometo Denver and do some writing that might help Ike. Jim Hagerty said, "Comeon. We’ll fix you up."

Squeaky and I arrived at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denverlate one evening in July. The hotel looked like an enormous wedge of chocolatecake standing on a triangular lot in the middle of the city. It was builtaround a central well ten stories high with balconies running around it onevery floor. Republican headquarters were a gopher's warren of rooms on themezzanine and second floor. The Eisenhowers had the Presidential suite on thetop floor, though when they slept at all it was usually in the Douds’ house onLafayette Street where Mamie had grown up.

I went to the desk to register but no room had been reservedfor us. Desperately I called Jim Hagerty who said, "There's been a littledifficulty. Come on up and see me."

Even that early in the campaign Jim looked haggard. Hegreeted us—we were old friends—and explained that the governor of some statehad arrived unexpectedly and he had to give him our room. "I've got you ina hotel down the street," Jim said. "I hope you don't mind."

"Of course not. Governors come first."

Then Jim wearily wiped his brow and said, "I've neverbeen in a campaign like this one. Usually the candidate doesn't get downstairsuntil about ten o'clock. Yesterday morning I got to my office bright and earlyat eight-thirty and everybody said 'Where have you been? The General's beenasking for you since seven-thirty.’"

Next to handing Ike ninety-two of New York's ninety-six votesat the convention, Governor Dewey's greatest gift to the candidate was JimHagerty. Jim was a great old newspaperman who had been Dewey's press secretaryfor many years. There was nothing he did not know about politics and handlingthe press, with whom he was very popular. 





Ike's campaign for the nomination had been a disasterpresided over by incompetent amateurs until Dewey and Nassau County ExecutiveRussell Sprague had taken things in hand and sent Hagerty to him about threeweeks before the convention. I am positive that without Dewey's efficiency,Sprague's influence and Hagerty's expertise, Ike could never have beaten SenatorTaft's beautifully organized, professionally manned machine, even though Ikewas far more popular.

Squeaky and I went to the fleabag where Hagerty had stashedus. We are both night birds to whom the dawn is something that happens while wesleep, but we saw we would have to alter our habits in Denver. We did this bykeeping one of our watches on Eastern Daylight Time. Thus, when we had to, getup at seven we could fool ourselves into feeling that it was really ten.

Jim Hagerty was right; that was the strangest campaign ever.The first day we that were there Republican Headquarters was in a state ofchaotic confusion. Usually a presidential candidate comes to the campaign froma political base such as senator or governor. He has an organization in beingwhich forms the nucleus of his campaign machinery. Ike had nothing of the sort.

Even his pre-convention organization was a jerry-built affairmanned by dedicated neophytes. The exception was, of course, the staff work Deweyhad provided. But except for Hagerty, even this disappeared after theconvention.

In addition the Taft people had to be fitted in and givenjobs commensurate with their dignity. That first day no one knew anything,including Ike. From his luxurious suite upstairs he presided over the chaosbelow rather like a constitutional monarch who has just acceded to the throneand is not yet sure of his proper function. All Ike did was to ratify decisionsmade by other people, and to arbitrate differences of opinion, producing harmonythrough compromises between zealous and opinionated subordinates, a thing hecould do supremely well. But he did not and could not have been expected tocontribute a great deal in the way of organizing the campaign.

But if headquarters was short on political machinery, it washigh on morale. Ike had called the campaign a crusade and that was truly thespirit of it. Everyone believed that they were engaged in a great andsignificant endeavor to give America a new direction and a high purpose throughthe election of General Eisenhower. People who pompously call politics a dirtybusiness should have been there to see a large group of Americans workingselflessly and tirelessly eighteen hours a day for an idealistic purpose. Itmatters not at all whether the endeavor was in the end worth all the sweat andsacrifice. The point is they were driving themselves to the point of collapsefor something they believed in.

The Taft people, who had fought so bitterly against Ike inthe convention, were caught up in it and were just as dedicated as the originalIkeites. Even the paid secretaries were working sixteen hours a day—eight formoney and eight for Ike.

With that kind of effort the thing had to work. It wasthrilling to watch the machinery evolve and cohere. As we rambled through thatgopher colony day after day it happened before our eyes. One day you would finda bit of organization beginning to function in one set of rooms—one area—and anotherquite separately working somewhere else. A day or so later the two would havemeshed and be working smoothly together. On the third day other parts of this fledglingpolitical machine would appear and be joined to thelarger mass.

Ofcourse, there were at least ten crises a day to be met and overcome. Anypolitical campaign is a series of desperate crises. That is part of the fun andthrills that, together with the underlying serious purpose and the tremendousstakes of a chance to make history and, perhaps, form the world nearer to theheart's desire, make politics the greatest gameof all. But I must admit there were more crises in Ike's campaign then most.

However, though it may sound wildly helter-skelter, therewere by now some real old pros at work. Besides Jim Hagerty, two of the bestwere original Ikeites, Arthur Vandenberg, Jr., son of the late great senatorfrom Michigan, who had served his apprenticeship on his father's staff, and GovernorSherman Adams, the little, gray Yankee trader from New Hampshire. Though Adamswas later forced to resign because of some nonsense about vicuña jackets and hotel bills paid for by a somewhat unsavorybusiness friend, I consider him an honest man. Not for a moment do I believethat these minor gifts ever influenced him to make a decision contrary to thebest interests of his country, his state or his party. Nor was it cupidity onhis part; for he was too well off to need such cumshaw; rather it was just the customof his era to accept such things as tokens of old friendship and the normalperquisites of power. This is merely an opinion, based on knowing the man. ButI can definitely state that Sherman Adams by his canniness in politics, hiscool, unflappable handling of crises and his shrewd assessment of people and whatthey had to offer, together with his remarkable administrative ability, was enormouslyhelpful in getting Eisenhower elected.

The Taft people from the mid-western states were the greatesttechnicians at the Brown Palace. Had Dewey paid them due heed, he would havebeen elected President of the United States in 1941. But he succeeded in alienatingthem, less by his ideology than by his arrogant manner and his neglect of them,based on his certainty that since he was the Republican candidate, they had nowhereelse to go and could be taken for granted. Many of these gentlemen in recountingtheir political experiences to me said, "I have ridden every RepublicanCampaign train since 1920 (or 1916 or 1928) except one."

That one was always Dewey's second train.

Nor were the gifted amateurs to be overlooked. Once the oldpros got things in hand, these freelancers played a vital role in voicing theidealistic aspects of the campaign. Among them were Kevin McCann, an old friendof Eisenhower's who was President of Defiance College; Stanley High, on leavefrom the Reader's Digest to write speechesfor the candidate; Tom Stevens, who became Ike's appointment secretary; MaryLord, who considered herself a pro, but really belonged in the amateur category;Walter Williams and entrepreneur-investor and Stanley Rumbough, who was marriedto Dina Merrill. All were sparkplugs of the non-partisan, youth-oriented citizensfor Eisenhower.

Others included Manufacturer’s Trust chairman Gabriel Hauge,whose outsized head housed a massive brain; he was a Master of Economics andbadly needed. I place Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts among thegifted amateurs because Lodge was a sort of American Earl of Rosebery, capableof functioning brilliantly in many spheres of public service from politics todiplomacy to war and so financially and socially secure that he did not have toworry. Lodge never acquired the professional's total immersion in politics. Withhis tall elegance, his blue-eyed, curly-haired good looks, and his mesmerizingcharm, he was a great help to Ike, and devoted himself so completely to thepresidential campaign that he neglected to keep his home fires burning, losinghis seat in the Senate to John F. Kennedy.

Another character in the amateur category was Joe AlexMorris, formerly of Collier’s, whohad the unlikely and infinitely complex job of arranging transportation foreverybody from anywhere to everywhere. Arthur E. Summerfield, who became PostmasterGeneral, must be put down as a pro. He had devoted a good deal of time to politicsand was national committeeman from Michigan, but he had never held an electiveoffice. Stout, strong and cool, he was a good balance wheel as head of the RepublicanNational Committee.

There were many more eminent men and women who, at greatsacrifice to themselves devoted all their time and energy to electing Ike.

The press corps, while supposed to impartially record facts,was in the main, very friendly and helpful to the general. With the best will inthe world it is almost impossible to write completely objectively about men withdynamic personalities who represent definite political ideas. If you like themand believe in them, that colors your reporting and vice versa. Many of thegreat newspapermen covering Ike's campaign were completely beguiled by him.This was hardly an unfair advantage as even more journalists took the part ofAdlai Stevenson, who, because of his liberal views, quick wit and highintelligence quotient, was the darling of the intellectuals.

One of Eisenhower's most effective friends in the press wasBeverly Smith, head of the Washington Bureau of the powerful Saturday Evening Post. Bev made nopretense of objectivity. He was given an office of his own in the EisenhowerHeadquarters. It was a triangular room in the prow of the flatiron-shaped BrownPalace with dark gothic paneling. From it he campaigned and wrote on Ike'sbehalf in a most effective manner.

An example of Bev's method came when I told him that DefianceCollege president Kevin McCann had refused to let me interview him.

"He's just shy," Smith said. He called McCann andinvited him up to his office. Though it was only eleven o'clock in the morning,he insisted that McCann try his special drink—a combination of bourbon andmaple syrup served in a glass as big as a compote. Before McCann was half throughit, he was chattering like a chipmunk, quoting in ringing tones General AnthonyWayne's famous challenge at Point Defiance: "From here I can defy theBritish, the Indians and all the devils in hell!" This was followed by asplendid uninhibited interview.

On that same morning the medical missionary-to-China-turnedCongressman, Walter Judd, dropped Bev's office. His seamed and pitted face andslightly tilted eyes gave him a gnomish look, while his mind struck sparks.When the conversation turned to foreign policy I remarked, "Though I hateto say it in this company, I think Dean Acheson is a damn good Secretary ofState.

To my amazement all those Republicans agreed with me—strictlynot for publication.

Besides being the strongest Ikeite of all the newspaperpeople there, Bev Smith was the gentlest gentleman in the press corps.

But many other wise and acute journalists were at the BrownPalace.

The press had a two-room suite on the mezzanine. One room wassupplied with an enormously long table on which stood twenty or more typewritersand batteries of telephones ready for action. The other was furnished like adrawing room with a small bar in one corner. There we spent the pleasantest hourof the day. At six o'clock all the flurry and pressure suddenly ceased as thepoliticians, many of whom kept farmer's hours, stopped work for dinner.

In the blessed interval while they ate, we drank and talked.And talked! One by one the big by-liners strolled in, ordered a drink, sankinto an easy chair and let down their hair. Nothing said in that room wasquotable, so, in a phrase not yet invented, they told it like it was. BillLawrence of The New York Times wasthere along with the top men of the three wire services, and people fromReuters and the great English newspapers who always seemed a little bemused bythe moirés of American politics (and were kindly set right by men who reallyknew the score). Of course Jim Hagerty was very much present setting up drinksand then telling tales out of school he would not have dared to anywhere else.

Right in the middle of our stay in Denver Eisenhower went offto make a speech in Los Angeles, which was written up as a great success, but accordingto reports in the pressrooms was a great flop. The advance work was sloppy,arrangements fouled up, resulting in a half-filled stadium. In addition, thewell-known truth is that Ike was not much of an orator. With his habit of numberinghis points One, Two, Three, Four, he always sounded like a general briefing hisstaff on a proposed operation. He improved, of course with practice, but whatreally got across and won the people was his completely transparent sincerity.If he did not say it well, everyone knew that he meant what he said, which wasa great relief for a change.

Despite all the enthusiasm in Denver, I often wondered howIke would ever win; but he seemed to have no doubts. When we went up to talk withhim, the Olympian calm of the top floor was a soothing contrast to the chaos onthe mezzanine.

Mamie, too, was quite her old self, chattering about hergrandchildren—there were three of them now—and paying no apparent heed topolitics. When she entertained the big name politicos, either in the long,flower-filled drawing room of the Presidential suite or, preferably sittinginformally on the steps of the Doud house on Lafayette street, she continued totalk about the grandchildren, without realizing that this was very good politicsindeed. Mamie's approach to the campaign was typically simplistic. Her solutionfor all the ills of the world was to elect Ike President, and she felt certainthe American people would agree.

My own doubts were based partly on the confusion below stairsand partly on the nature of Eisenhower's cohorts. Stanley High mentioned thataspect of the campaign. Squeaky, who was drawing caricatures of the people I interviewed, said to him, "It's awfullyhard to make distinctive pictures of the people around Ike. They all seem tohave snub noses and blue eyes."

"You've put your finger on one of our major problems,"High said. "This is an All-American, white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestantoutfit. There are only a couple of Jews and one Negro girl secretary. She getsphotographed so much she hasn't time to do any work.

"Why we hardly even have any Catholics,” High went on.“Tom and Jim Hagerty have good Irish names, but damned if they aren’t North ofIreland Protestants. We've got to do something about it."

Things were done about it later, but not to any great extent.

When Squeaky and I got back to Cedarhurst I made myselfavailable to the different Republican committees as a speaker. Eisenhower wasusing my up-dated General Ike as the campaign biography, so I came in handy.The format was for me to precede the main speaker with a twenty-minute talkabout Ike's boyhood and youth, interlaced with the best anecdotes. Then the bigshot, whoever he was, would follow with a political speech.

Once I had an hour-and-a-half debate over the air withCroswell Bowen of the New Yorker, anavid supporter of Adlai Stevenson. We sat at a long table with our host/commentator,radio news analyst George Hamilton Combs, at its head. Cros Bowen had spent daysin the New York Public Library preparing himself. His accumulated data coveredhis entire side of the table. All I had was a few notes written on filingcards. His impressive array of cards frightened me a little. But not to worry.Each time a subject came up Cros would dive into his research while I chatteredon. When I saw he had found what he was looking for I would quickly change thesubject. It was mean of me—but effective.

My strategy was not to attack Stevenson—who, I thought, was afine man, but to keep talking about Eisenhower. Bowen kept attacking Ike. That suitedme well. No matter what was said, I just kept Eisenhower's name going out overthose airwaves to millions of people—Eisenhower! Eisenhower! Eisenhower!

After it was over Bowen said to me, "I'm surprised youdidn't attack me about Stevenson's death wish. I was prepared for that."

"What death wish for Pete's sake?"

"You know," Bowen said. "For instance, whenAdlai was first asked about running for President he said, ‘I'd rather be shot'.That's a clear psychological indication of a death wish."

"Not to me," I answered. It's just an expression. Iuse it all the time."

That I think is an excellent example of the over intellectualizationof Stevenson's campaign. Most Americans don't think any more about death wishesthan I do.

My other big moment, not really very big, was when JohnFoster Dulles asked me to be his stooge in his television debate with AverellHarriman on foreign policy. The format was to have a moderator, Cecil Brown—aassociate of Edward R. Murrow at CBS—with a panel consisting of the foreigneditors of Time and Newsweek. In addition, two other panelistsappointed by each of the principals to ask the questions rehearsed questions.The debate was carried by The Daily NewsTV station WPIX, so we all met in Walter Annenberg's office. We arrived more orless in reverse pecking order—stooges first, then the foreign editors, followedby Mrs. Harriman. John Foster Dulles drifted in quietly and was introduced allaround, shaking hands with everyone. Then he and I withdrew to a corner todiscuss strategy.

The last to arrive was Averell Harriman. Make no mistake, Iconsider Mr. Harriman a dedicated man who has served his country well and farbeyond—at least fifteen years beyond—the call of duty. But he was not at hisbest that night. Precariously close to airtime—about seven minutes—there was a trampof feet in the hallway. The door flew open and Harriman marched in surroundedby a group of yes men or bodyguards, like a gangster visiting a fellow capo. Heacknowledged introductions with an unsmiling jerk of his head. Whereupon principals,panelists and stooges hurried into the studio.

To my thinking, Dulles won the debate without question, andwithout much help from me—I only had time for two questions. His easy mannerand complete command of every phase of foreign affairs contrasted with his opponent'sstiff, slightly condescending style and phony smile, which Harriman onlyflashed when the camera swung on him. When it was over, we all ran for anelevator.

For that was the night of Richard M. Nixon's exculpatoryspeech, scheduled immediately after our broadcast, and Mr. Annenberg had heldan elevator to take us back to his office to hear it.

Of all the crises of Ike's crisis-plagued campaign the Nixonone was the worst. The Democrats had suddenly publicized the fact that a group ofbusinessmen had financed Nixon's political expenses to the extent of about$18,000. I could not see that it was so bad, for I knew that all the time he wasPresident of Princeton and Governor of New Jersey right up to the moment he waselected President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson had received a gift of$25,000 a year from a group of millionaires who believed in his ideals. No onehad questioned Wilson's integrity and it seemed hardly fitting for theDemocrats to make a row about Nixon. However, the news created a public outcry thatalmost forced Nixon to resign.

If one had to listen to that speech, and one did, Mr. Annenberg'sbig office was the place. It was filled with comfortable sofas and easy chairs,and there was a bar manned by two waiters who kept our glasses filled.

Admittedly, Mr. Nixon made a rather lachrymose speech, thoughit served its purpose. Considering that half the people in the room wereRepublicans I thought Harriman's behavior rather rude.

Each time Nixon shed a tear of self-pity Harriman snortedloudly, and when Nixon made that pathetic gambit about his dog, Freckles,

Harriman grumped, "Corn! Pure corn!"

So it was, but I thought some riposte was due from our sideso I said, "He learned it from Franklin Roosevelt and Fala, didn't he?"

I was referring to Roosevelt’s aside that brought hugeguffaws from his audience at his 1944 after-dinner speech to the InternationalBrotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America:


These Republican leaders have not beencontent with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content withthat, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don't resentattacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. Youknow, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that theRepublican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I hadleft him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to findhim - at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars.Fala’s Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I amaccustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself - such as that old,worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But Ithink I have a right to resent—to object to—libelous statements about my dog


I don't think Mr. Harriman ever liked me after that; but Istubbornly continue to admire his devotion to the service of his country.

Election night was a time of triumph. We needed no computersto forecast the trend. I walked into a private election night party at eighto'clock and immediately asked why the television was not on.

"It's too early to hear anything," my host said."The polls haven't even closed in New York.”

"Too early!” I brayed. “Why Ike's already elected."

Then told him that the polls had closed at seven o'clock inConnecticut, and by 7:45 the radio said that Eisenhower had carried Bridgeport.

"If he carried labor-dominated, socialist, Bridgeport,it's in the bag," I said. We went on from there.

Another time of triumphwas Ike's inaugural. Never before or since have I beheld such a scene of pure,high-hearted gaiety. Washington was like a country fair that day. Everyone worea smile, and the delays caused by the great, jostling crowds were accepted in aspirit of good-natured courtesy. There was little or no crowing over thevanquished. Rather it was a genuine consensus that after the long bitter yearsof war and uncertain peace, America was once more on the road to the Arcadia ofall our dreams. Even the Democrats looked happy.

Ike began his inaugural address with the beautiful littleprayer that he had written that morning on a piece of hotel stationery.


My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughtsthat I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege ofuttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow yourheads: 


Almighty God, as we standhere at this moment my future associates in the Executive branch of Governmentjoin me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication tothe service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizenseverywhere. 

Give us, we pray, the powerto discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to begoverned thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that ourconcern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race or calling. 

May cooperation bepermitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution,hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of ourbeloved country and Thy glory. Amen.


Nothing could have expressed more perfectly the mood of thatenchanted hour. That it all turned out to be an illusion detracted nothing fromour genuine exaltation.

From Washington Squeaky and I drove on to Florida for a muchneeded vacation. While we were there Bill Buckley, the head of Henry Holt andCompany (no relation to Bill Buckley the smart aleck columnist) telephoned me."We want a book about Mamie," he said.

"You're out of your cotton-picking mind," I toldhim. "Mamie's never done anything but be a good wife to the General. Whatcan I write about that?"

“You can fake it," Bill said. "We think it wouldsell and we want it. Stop at the White House on your way north and see if Mamiewill cooperate.”

Theirs but to do and not die of hunger. I arranged an appointmentwith Mamie and we tore northward, only to find when we reached Washington that sheand Ike had unexpectedly left town for a brief vacation.

It took me some time to arrange another appointment—the WhiteHouse protocol had already closed in. However I finally got one for eleveno'clock on a certain morning in April. Mamie received Squeaky, Denny and mesitting up in bed in the big southwest bed- room where Abraham Lincoln had slept.Not the fabled Lincoln room where the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.)It had been done over for Mamie in her favorite colors—pink and green. She waswearing a furbelowed, pink bed jacket with a blue ribbon in her hair thatreflected the color of her eyes. She looked very pretty.

We chatted of old times and her new situation. It was evidentthat Mamie did not like being First Lady but was going to set her teeth and gothrough with it. At one point she' said, "What's it like outside? I'mgoing out to lunch and I never can tell what to wear in this air-conditioned tomb."

I had broached the subject of the book without anything morethan a vague discussion. As we were leaving, I said, "Mamie, I've got toknow. Will you cooperate with me on the book about you?"

Mamie said, "Sure, sure."

Because Denny was with us, she told her secretary, Mary JaneMcCaffree, to give us the private tour of the White House. We started on thesecond floor poking into all the bedrooms and the bathrooms, each of which hadthe seal of some state except Ike's, which had the Presidential seal. Mrs.McCaffree was fascinated; she kept saying, "Let's see which state this onebelongs to." She explained, "I haven't had time to see this house myself.I don't know much about it."

That was the truth; though I had never been all through theWhite House before, I knew more about it then than she did.

When we got to the main floor, we picked up a young usher; hewas just learning the spiel but was helpful. In the East Room, he pointed outthe white and gold piano and said, "President Truman used to have twopianos here. I don't know what happened to the other one."

In the basement, he opened a door saying, "This is thelibrary." But no one could have reached the bookshelves. The entire roomwas filled by Harry Truman's huge black piano. Some years later it was finallyshipped to Independence, Missouri.

That afternoon we went to tea with our old friend AliceRoosevelt Longworth, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt. After greetingus she asked, "How are things down at the White House?"

"They seemed a bit confused," I answered.

"Poor dears," said Mrs. Longworth. "They don'tknow what's hit them yet."

Once more we traveled to Denver. This time we had a fine roomon an upper floor of the Park Lane Hotel, from which we had a superb view ofthe entire frontal range of the Rockies from Pike's Peak, fifty miles or more tothe south and to its northern mountains. It rose abruptly from the slopingplain like a jagged, white-capped breaker, petrified as it crested.

At nine o'clock the next morning Governor Dan Thornton'ssecretary telephoned to say he was unexpectedly called out of town but could seeus if we came to his office immediately. We made it by ten o'clock from a zerostart. The Governor of Colorado was an extremely handsome, delightfully genialwesterner with just a touch of eastern polish. He had been one of Ike's staunchestbackers in the convention and was devoted to him and Mamie.

As I sat down, I explained that we had a date with Mrs. Doudat eleven o'clock. The governor said he would see to it that we made it. Thenhe gave us a brisk interview with many amusing anecdotes about the campaign.But all the time he kept his eye on the clock. "You mustn't be late forMrs. Doud," he said.

"She's not busy," I answered. "A few minuteswouldn't matter."

"Yes, it would," he said. It was plain that Mrs. D. had him buffaloed.

The governor finished his final story at 10:55. "Nowrun," he said. "I'll have a car waiting to take you to theDouds."

So we arrived at Lafayette Street in, gubernatorial splendor.Mrs. Doud was waiting for us at the top of the short flight of concrete stepsthat led up from the sidewalk to the terrace on which the house was perched. AsI shook hands, she pointed at the departing limousine and asked," How didyou rate that, Alden?"

"We've just been interviewing Governor Thornton," Ianswered.

"Humph," said Mrs. Doud. "What does he knowabout us? He's a Johnny-come-lately."

It seemed to me a rather cavalier way to refer to a man whohad played a vital part in her son-in-law's election; but then Mrs. Doud wasnot noted for her tact. In fact she and a small coterie of friends consideredthemselves the only socially acceptable people in Denver.         

Long, long ago when Mamie had become engaged to SecondLieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower, they had all been horrified at Mamie "throwingherself away" on a young man with "such a queer name"—and an armyofficer, at that! Only the Douds, who had come to love Ike, as everyone did whoknew him well, had stood up for him. However, they had not convinced theirfriends. At the wedding, as Mamie and Ike drove off in the Douds’ PackardTwin-six, one dowager said sadly, "There goes Mamie, and she could havemarried anybody in Denver!"

The Douds were originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. John Doudhad made his pile in meatpacking and retired at the early age of thirty-six. Theyhad come to Denver in 1906 and bought the house at 150 Lafayette Street whereMrs. Doud still lived.

Solid and substantial are the adjectives for it—certainly notbeautiful. Add comfortable and there it was—dark wainscoting and heavy oakfurniture in the hall, a front parlor with a little tiled fireplace around whichwere grouped mahogany and rosewood chairs, each with its small, petit-pointfootstool; family photographs and miniatures crowded the mantel and littletables were in cabinets and on shelves; there were lace curtains at all thewindows. There was also a dining room with a round mahogany table and a buffet,bearing the massive Doud silver, and cabinets full of sparkling cut glass.Downstairs in the basement was what Mrs. Doud called "The WreckRoom." Its central feature was a ponderous pool table—all four of the Doudgirls played good pool as did Mr. Doud, who was affectionately known to thefamily as Pooh-Bah, because he ran everything like the character in Gilbert andSullivan’s The Mikado. The Wreck Roomalso had a fireplace, a green baize poker table, the little upright piano withwhich the Douds had started housekeeping, and an early wax-cylinder phonographwith a flower-shaped horn.

When I saw the house, it was exactly the same as it had beenwhen Mamie and her three sisters were little girls. Once the furniture wasplaced Mr. Doud would not allow a single piece to be moved. "When I comehome some dark night," he said, "I want to know exactly whereeverything is and not go stumbling around."

 After his death in1951, Mrs. Doud kept it that way. When she was showing us around, she suddenlysaid, rather crossly, "That table does not belong here!" And moved itback to the place it had occupied for nearly fifty years.

We got a lot more material than I had hoped for in Denver,wonderful period stuff like the Douds’ furniture. Through her old-time friendswe got to understand Mamie very well. She had been truly beautiful by anystandard with her vivid blue eyes, high coloring and delicate skin; dainty,too, as girls of her era were supposed to be. Yet she managed to adjust to thevicissitudes of army life—government barracks-like houses or palm-thatchedinsect-ridden shanties in the tropics; constant uprootings with abruptchanges of friends, food and water; never knowing how long she would be anywhere.Until they bought the farm in Gettysburg the Eisenhowers always lived in otherpeople's houses—those usually belonging to the United States Government.

It was rather rugged for a girl brought up like Mamie, theacknowledged belle and spoiled beauty of a small western city as Denver wasthen. That she adjusted triumphantly showed the quality of her love for Ike aswell as a hardy constitution.

Yet Mamie always considered herself delicate; was in fact hypochondriac.By the time I knew her, if she sneezed twice, she thought she had flu and ifshe coughed, it was developing into pneumonia. She took to her bed at the dropof a thermometer.

After talking with people in Denver we were much more sympatheticto Mamie's harmless little foibles. Two of her sisters had died in their teensof quite different causes (heart trouble and kidney infection). The Douds werea very close family and these two tragedies were a great sorrow to Mamie; andthey convinced her that she, too, was destined to die young. It was quite understandable.

We returned to Cedarhurst to write the book for which Squeakydid charming little line drawings. I was quite right about the book requiring alot of padding, but this consisted of brief excursions into the pleasant past manypeople like to read about.

I was totally wrong about the sale of the book. I deliveredthe manuscript to my agent, Margot Johnson, in January 1954, and started todrive to Florida. As Squeaky and I walked into the house where we were to spendthe night in Washington, the maid said, "Mr. Hatch, the White House hasbeen trying to reach you. The message is please calling Mrs. McCaffree." Igrabbed a telephone and was put through quickly. Mrs. McCaffree said, "AMr. Gould, who seems to represent one of the women's magazines—McCall’s or Women's Home Companion or something like that—has been callingus."

"It's the Ladies'Home Journal," I corrected her, thinking in horror of Bruce Gould'sreaction if he had heard her mixing up his sacred magazine with those others. "Well,anyway, he seems to be going to serialize the book and we would like to talkabout it with you tomorrow at eleven," said Mrs. McCaffree.

"I'll be there," I said.

That's how I heard that I had broken into the rich lode ofthe Journal. Even as visions of dollarsdanced in my head, I was distressed that Mamie did not have better publicrelations advice. Jim Hagerty had things well in hand in the West Wing but theEast Wing was clearly still an amateur show.

The Journal bought RedCarpet For Mamie. The title was a reference to the red carpet Mrs. Doudalways stretched down the terrace steps.

The book had an excellent sale both in hard cover andpaperback. All of which shows that my publisher was smarter than I, a pleasantbut seldom thing.

After doing Mamie I did not see the Eisenhowers again whilethey were in the White House. There was no further opportunity to help Ike, andI have always made a point of not asking to see busy men unless there was avery good reason. In addition, the ranks of official protectors had closedaround him, and Ike, the good soldier still, made no such efforts to break outof the prison of protocol, as did Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

While they were in the White House most of the entertainingthe Eisenhowers did was strictly business, and Mamie hated every minute of it.Thus my view of Ike's Presidency was not privileged and personal, as had been myexperience of his life between his return from the war and his election. I hadno more inside information than any television viewer, and less than some.

What I did have, however, was knowledge of his mentalprocesses, his ideals and prejudices and his personal quirks gained duringthose years of intimacy. Once having been involved and deeply committed to him,I remained so and therefore followed his every move with intense interest andwaning hope.

Though Eisenhower's domestic policies were much moreconservative than many people wished, under his guidance African Americans mademore progress than they had in all the generations since Reconstruction (thoughthey have made a great deal more since). Though Senator Joseph R. McCarthy andhis ultraconservative cohorts ran wild for a couple of years, Ike loyally supportedhis people in their middle-road course and in the end, McCarthyism wasabolished with the assistance of the United States Senate. And, thoughEisenhower is reported to have said that appointing Earl Warren as ChiefJustice o£ the Supreme Court was "the stupidest thing I ever did," heloyally implemented the decisions of that Court, when necessary, with troops asin Arkansas.

When viewed from the chaotic sixties the Eisenhower yearsseem downright halcyon, though they did not look that way then.

Ike kept things on a fairly even keel, and most of thedisappointments we suffered were due to the very qualities that made him thebeloved figure he was.

Great Presidents have always used the powers of thePresidency to the full, and even overstepped them. Thomas Jefferson, the greatproponent of States Rights and opponent of a strong executive, concluded theLouisiana Purchase with no legal right to do so, but the moral imperative ofthe clear advantage to his country.

Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FranklinRoosevelt all went beyond a strict construction of the Constitution.

Eisenhower was so completely dedicated to the principles ofdemocracy and so conscious of being a military man in the White House that heidealistically refused to employ some of the powers that were legitimately his.Thus he missed many opportunities to implement his own views and bowed toofrequently to the wishes of Congress, the advice of his Cabinet and personal staff.This gave an appearance of drift to a nation that was crying out for leadership.

At the same time that Eisenhower was limiting thepresidential powers because of his self-conscious concern over his militarybackground, he reorganized his personal advisory group like an army staff. Itwas divided into sections each under a chief or head man and each responsible fora different area of activity such as legal, foreign affairs, minority races,economics, liaison with Congress, etc. etc. Sherman Adams was Chief of Staffresponsible for coordination, which was not too well carried out. Almosteverything that Ike read was predigested for him so he generally saw what hisstaff wished and got very few outside opinions except from the columnists heliked, such as Arthur Krock (NewYork Times) and David Lawrence (NewYork Herald Tribune and New York Sun). The lines of command ran straightand clear; and going outside of channels was frowned upon. This set- upinsulated Eisenhower from contact with grass roots opinion.

In addition, he followed his theory of command, which was toassign specific tasks to his field commanders (Cabinet.) As long as theirperformance appeared to be satisfactory, he was loth to interfere with theirtactics, reserving to himself major policy or strategic decisions. This wasparticularly true of his relationship with Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles,to whom he gave an almost completely free hand in the conduct of foreignaffairs. All the great Presidents have been their own secretaries of state, aresponsibility with which they are specifically charged by the Constitution.

In the field of foreign affairs Eisenhower's worst blooperwas due to one of his finest qualities, his integrity. When our U2 spy planewas shot down in Russia just before the President was to hold a summit meetingwith Nikita Khrushchev in Paris there was an unholy row. Allen Dulles, head ofthe CIA, went to the President offering to take full responsibility andsuggesting that Ike fire him. There is also reason to suppose that Khrushchev,who seemed to want to negotiate our differences seriously, would have been willingto accept this rather flimsy explanation.

But Ike would not have it. He insisted, according to the codeof military honor, that he, the Commander-in-Chief, would take full responsibility.As a result, Khrushchev was forced by enraged Russian public opinion and thehard-liners in the Politburo to turn the Paris meeting into a shambles.

In this case Eisenhower carried integrity too far. When thepeace of the world is at stake a diplomatic lie is the duty of a statesman.

After General Eisenhower left the Presidency, our friendlyrelations were resumed. I talked with him several times in Gettysburgconcerning books I was writing such as PrinceBernhard of the Netherlands, Pope JohnXXIII and The Mountbattens. Heremained as warm, humane and inspiring as he had always been. His conduct as anelder statesman was irreproachable.

Oddly enough Ike's finest speech was the last one he evermade. Only hours before his final fatal series of heart attacks, from the room inWalter Reed Hospital that he never left, he addressed the Republican NationalConvention in Miami.

Through the dust and disorder, the fake enthusiasm,self-serving politics and the boring banalities of that gathering, his clearhonest speech that showed all his shining beliefs still intact, came like thesoutheast trade wind off the gulf stream blowing the smog away.


News media tell us dailyof the scourge of inflation, crippling interest rates, rising production coststhat damage our world trade, a recently deteriorating currency, successive Federalbudgets of increasing and stupendous size, and a rapidly mounting national debt.These are only part of the scene.

         I suggest we should be more concerned with the evil spirit manifestedin so many corners of the land. Violence is desolating our cities with causeseither inadequately understood or ineffectively combated, major crimes are at ashocking level and the nation is suffering because of embittered race relations.Millions of poor are dispirited or resentful due to promises unkept and miseryuneased. Many of our youth are rebellious, somehow disillusioned, but without remediesclose to their hearts or acceptable to their minds. With all this our peopleare out of patience.

         Let us not waste time this year searching out someone toblame, even though some seem more disposed to concede rather than to stand firmlyfor America’s good, seeking short range political advantage instead of lesspopular, more lasting solutions. They are the ones more willing to extol thePromised Land than to knuckle down and work for it.

         To these and other problems this Republican convention must findadequate answers. They must be generous in meeting the nation’s need withcommon sense plans couched in terms that provide hope to all and assureeffectiveness, real progress, national solvency and a universal respect for lawand order. Moreover, all Republicans must accept your plans and programs as apersonal pledge of honor, and not merely as flytrap to catch an unwary voter.

         So—whatever the judgment of this convention as to nominees,let us stand behind our standard bearers and enthusiastically seek out themillions of independents and discerning Democrats who can feel our sincerity,and the good sense of our proposals, and when the chips are down will againvote with us.

         Thus we shall carry our story across the land until every citizenof every city, village and farmstead recognizes that the entire Republicaneffort is dedicated to his good. Thus America, newly inspired spiritually andmaterially, will again begin climbing the mountain of true progress.

         And one thing more—I am not a candidate.

         Thank you and Godspeed in your great work.


In those last public words of General Eisenhower we heard theauthentic voice of America. He was dead seven months later

       Copyright ? 2024 Denison (Denny) Hatch. All rights reserved.





Was Ike Really the FifthGreatest U.S. President?


Since 2000, C-SPAN cable network, hasassembled a team of 142 “academic  advisors— historians, advisors and other professional observers of the presidency — 1 (“noteffective”) to 10 (“very effective”) scale to rate each president on 10qualities of presidential leadership: Public Persuasion, Crisis Leadership,Economic Management, Moral Authority, International Relations, Administrativeskills, Relations with Congress, Vision/Setting an Agenda, Pursued EqualJustice of all and Performance following each change in administrations.

     As you can see Ike Eisenhower looks betterand better — starting with 9th place in 2000 and moving up the lineto the lofty 5th place where he resides currently.




About Alden Hatch



AldenHatch’s grandfather was Alfrederic Smith Hatch, a Wall Street financier andtwice president of the New York Stock Exchange. By raising millions of dollarsfor the Union cause in the Civil War, A.S. Hatch invented what became themodern war bond. Alden’s father was Frederick H. Hatch, also a Wall Streetfinancier.

         At age four, Hatch’s parents rented asummer house on Long Island with a resident cow. “Fresh milk for the boys!” hismother cried with delight. Alas, it was a tubercular cow and young Aldencontracted tuberculosis of the bone. The result: 23 operations and apermanently shriveled left leg. He used crutches all his life.

         Because of his ill health, he wasmostly home schooled.  He was a graduateof the Horace Mann School in New York and the University of Chicago Extensionand Blackstone Institute.

         A voracious reader all his life, earlyon he developed a love of history—particularly politics and military action.His greatest regret was never going to the U.S. Naval Academy and becoming anadmiral. He was the author numerous magazine articles and more than forty booksincluding:


General Ike

Red Carpet for Mamie (MamieEisenhower)

Young Ike

General in Spurs (GeneralGeorge S. Patton)

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The History of American Express

Remington Arms in American History

Ambassador Extraordinary (Claire BootheLuce)

The Circus Kings (withHenry Ringling North)

The De Gaulle Nobody Knows (Charlesde Gaulle)

Crown of Glory (PopePius XII)

A Man Called John (PopeJohn XXIII)

Apostle on the Move (Pope PaulVI)

At Home in the UniverseBuckminster Fuller)

The Wadsworths of the Genesee

Glenn Curtiss: Pioneer of Naval Aviation

The Mountbattens

The Byrds of Virginia

The Lodges of Massachusetts

Gaming Lady (fiction)



FINAL NOTE: If you are a book publisher — or know a book publisher — I have long believed this unique memoir as an intro or afterword paired the original 1952 biography (Republican National Committee’s official presidential campaignbiography) would be a fascinating behind-the-scenes reading experience. If interested, contact Denny Hatch, dennyhatch@yahoo.com, 215-644-9526.


At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletterand archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 yearshe has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.

Note to Readers:  
May I send you an alert when each new blog is posted? Ifso, kindly give me the okay by send
ing your First Name, Last Name and email to dennyhatch@yahoo.com. I guarantee your personal information will not be shared with anyone at any time for any reason. The blog is afree service. No cost. No risk. No obligation. Cancel any time. I look forward to being in touch!

Googleowns Blogspot.com and this Comment Section. If you do not have a Googleaccount — or if you find it too damn complicated — contact me directly and Iwill happily post your comment with a note that this is per your permission. Thank you and do keep in touch. dennyhatch@yahoo.com

Invitation to Marketers and Direct Marketers: 
Guest Blog Posts Are Welcome. 
If you have a marketing story to tell, case history, concept to propose or a memoir, give a shout. I’ll get right back to you. I am: dennyhatch@yahoo.com
215-644-9526 (rings on my desk). 

You Are Invited to Join the Discussion. 





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