Chapter Thirty: The Age of Eisenhower, Part One
This is the first half of a two-part lecture on one of the most formative decades in American history, the Age of Eisenhower. It was a formative decade because what happened during those memorable ten years laid the foundation for modern America, and it was the Age of Eisenhower because Eisenhower's hand on the tiller of the ship of state guided the country through a sea of storms on a path to modernity, even as those storms sometimes rocked the boat so much that Americans got seasick just trying to hold on. You will discover the ten reasons why, Armageddon and the Cold War aside, the country was poised at home for a leap into prosperity that was unprecedented in our history. You will also learn about the creation of the modern consumer culture in the 1950's, plus the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, and how Eisenhower both used and tried to limit the power of big government to help spread prosperity and create social justice at the same time. In foreign policy you will discover how he created the American Space Program and re-energized American education to compete with the Soviet Union, tried to bring the mad dog MAD Doctrine to heal, and both enabled and managed proxy wars against growing communist insurgencies overseas. But Ike's foreign policy also included notable failures. You will learn how and why he had reason later to regret his attempt at “regime change” in Iran and Guatemala, why he couldn't slow down the rising tide of Arab Nationalism in the Middle East, and why he chose to help the French get back their prewar colony of Vietnam, even after the Vietnamese kicked the French out of their country in a decisive military defeat. You will also learn why Eisenhower kept sending the CIA's high-flying U-2 spy plane to snoop on the Soviet Union's military air bases and the launch sites of their growing space program even after the Soviets had developed the ability to shoot it down, and why, in spite of that rancorous stumbling block, Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev scheduled a summit meeting to talk about world peace anyway. You will learn why that potentially world-changing sit-down dissolved into an embarrassing shouting match that froze the Cold War into a river of ice that neither side could cross for another generation. Meantime, Eisenhower also had to deal with Castro's communist Cuba only ninety miles from U.S shores, and you will learn what he intended to do about that problem as well. All this, and much more, is included in this lecture and the lecture that follows it. For better and for worse, the Age of Eisenhower set the stage for the creation of modern America, both at home with unprecedented prosperity and abroad with a challenging and evolving foreign policy that future Presidents would try to refine into a formula for success. This file is Part One of Chapter Thirty and is 2 hours in length and 111 MB in size. You may download it twice. Give it plenty of time to do so. Part Two is found in the store.