Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission

For the final three days of Dwight Eisenhower’s administration, he hosted president-elect John Kennedy at what was to be called Camp David (at the time, Shangri-La). The president was trying to prepare the president-elect for the road ahead.

Kennedy didn’t really listen.

What followed was a rash of Cold War mistakes including an unsuccessful meeting with Khrushchev and the standoff that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Kennedy, fresh off a razor-thin victory over Eisenhower’s VP, Nixon, felt he could handle whatever came his way, and was brash and young enough to believe it. He would fill his administration with pointy heads from Ivy League schools, and many were unprepared to meet the Soviets across the table.

This book also touches on the reality that had Eisenhower backed Nixon only a little, Nixon would have won, and the Cold War (and probably the Cuban Missile Crisis) would have gone differently.

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