In This Review

Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy
Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy
By Robert R. Bowie and Richard H. Immerman
Oxford University Press, 1998, 317 pp

This book is a portrait of a genuine analysis of the national interest. Bowie was a key planner in the Eisenhower administration; Immerman is a respected historian. With superb scholarship, they tell how Eisenhower tamed the Korean War military buildup and developed enduring policies of nuclear deterrence and limited containment (while not solving the dilemmas posed by the Third World). Combined with other recent work, the evidence increasingly shows that the national security policy document nsc-162ffi2 of October 1953 was much more important as a blueprint for the Cold War than the far better known nsc-68 of 1950. More than any president this century, Eisenhower took analysis seriously, and it shows. Consider this sample from nsc-162ffi2: "Over time, changes in the outlook and policies of the leadership of the U.S.S.R. may result from such factors as the slackening of revolutionary zeal, the growth of vested managerial and bureaucratic instincts, and popular pressures for consumption goods. Such changes, combined with the growing strength of the Free World and the failure to break its cohesion, and possible aggravation of weaknesses with the Soviet bloc . . . might induce a willingness to negotiate [to end the Cold War]."