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Politics Course: Eisenhower - The Underestimated Man

Politics Course: Eisenhower - The Underestimated Man

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Politics courses in Sydney. Open to the general public.

Learn Politics with Politics courses in Sydney at NEWCourse – created for you by the University of Newcastle.

When President Dwight Eisenhower left office in January 1961, historians rated him 22nd out of 34 Presidents – hardly a glowing endorsement of eight years in office. Now historians rate him as Number 5, just behind the Roosevelts, Lincoln and Washington.

What happened over the last 50 years to boost Eisenhower’s popularity? How did Eisenhower who left the White House ranked among the least important Presidents manage to rank higher than every President who followed him? What has caused this change? This politics course will answer these questions and more as it examines President Eisenhower’s life before and during his presidency.

Course Content

Eisenhower the Soldier

Outlines Eisenhower as the man who would go on to achieve more high ranking positions than any one else in his era. How did this obscure officer who had never seen combat leap-frog over everyone else to become the General who faced-down Hitler in Europe? What do his leadership and strategy tell us about him?

From Columbia to the White House

Focuses on the transition of Eisenhower from President of Columbia University to Republican nominee in 1952. His nomination was far from certain and resulted in alienating much of the conservative wing of the party. To soothe hard feelings, a young red-baiting senator from California by the name of Nixon was chosen as running mate.

The Presidency Part I

Traces Eisenhower’s landslide victory to his Presidency including several major crises: the Korean War and Senator Joseph McCarthy. A hint as to his philosophy (quite at odds with the GOP) was expressed in one of his first speeches. It outlines his early achievements as President.

The Presidency Part II

Part II focuses on the Vietnam era, his missteps, civil rights and his rival, Lyndon B. Johnson. It looks at his decline and controversies and the beginning of Kennedy and Nixon era.

The Farewell

Outlines Eisenhower’s quest for peace with the Russians and his missteps in trying to deliver this. The Farewell Address delivered shortly before he left office in January 1961 was far more ominous and foreboding about the future than the Chance for Peace speech in 1953.

Eisenhower in History

Pulling the threads of his leadership together, we will look at the historical record and the path taken by those who followed him from Kennedy to Trump.

Instructor Profile

Harry Melkonian is a freelance writer, educator, commentator and lawyer with a focus on US politics. He has conducted short courses on US politics in Sydney on topics ranging from current elections to historical issues including well-known events such as the Kennedy Assassination and Nixon and Watergate to less well-known American history such as When No One Was Elected ' the Presidency and Vice Presidency 1974-1976. He has periodically appeared on the ABC and SBS as a commentator for Australian elections. Harry was previously a partner at the law firm White & Case in the US, and is licensed to practice law in the jurisdictions of New York, California, England and New South Wales. He is now an Honorary Associate at Macquarie Law School, specialising in US constitutional issues as well as media and defamation law.

Intended Audience

This Politics course is open to anyone with an interest in US and Global politics and history. This Politics course has been developed to provide all members of our community with a unique insight into the world of US politics.

Delivery Style

This Politics course will be delivered as an interactive workshop led followed by a Q&A with our US Politics' expert, Harry Melkonian, where you take control of the direction of the discussion.

Recommended Reading

  1. Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower’s Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy, by Bret Baier, March 21, 2017
  2. Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission, by David A. Nichols, January 10, 2017
  3. Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage, by Jeffrey Frank, February 5, 2013
  4. Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World, by Evan Thomas, September 10, 2013
  5. Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex, by James Ledbetter, September 20, 2011
  6. Going Home To Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969, by David Eisenhower, October 26, 2010

  • The tutor is always insightful and entertaining and their lectures on US politics is unmatched.

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

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