Eisenhower, A Life, by Paul Johnson
Eisenhower’s America was my father’s America. Paul Johnson’s essay is a quick authoritative trip through those Eisenhower years. Small towns and the family farms around them were flush and vibrant.
Eisenhower had given America a decade of unexampled prosperity and calm. The country had emerged form the Korean War and the excesses of McCarthyism. Inflation was low. Budgets were in balance…the military-industrial complex was kept under control. The Eisenhower years, 1953-1961, were the climax of “‘The American Century.” The GNP rose…By 1960 the average family income was $5,620, 30 percent higher than in 1950. 62 percent of houses were owner occupied, compared with 43 percent in 1940 and 55 percent in 1950. Thanks to Ike’s fiscal restraint, prices remained stable and unemployment a little more than 4 percent. This glorious decade reflected much longer-term and worldwide expansion of international trade and industrial production…p. 122.