A Man of His Time Living in paradoxical times, Eisenhower was himself a bit of a paradox. He was a generally amiable man but had a violent temper. He was a general obsessed with peace. He ended the war in Korea but took the first steps toward an even more disastrous war in Vietnam. He worried about an atomic holocaust but built up the country's nuclear arsenal to gargantuan size. He was a fiscal conservative but pushed through the biggest government-funded highway construction program of all time. He surrounded himself with businessmen but warned of the influence of the military-industrial complex. Eisenhower was already 64 years old when he became president, and his roots were in a time far different than the 1950s. The last president born in the nineteenth century, Ike came into the world on 14 October 1890 in Denison, Texas, but grew up in Abilene, Kansas. His values were shaped in the Midwest during the early years of the twentieth century. His roots in the 1890s connected him to the old-fashioned values of the American heartland, but his background
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