The years from 1950 to 1961 were the most perilous era in world history. Two nations – the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. – armed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world – struggled for supremacy on the world stage. In the U.S., Dwight David Eisenhower, standing at the center of this struggle, made certain the two nations did not engulf the world in mutually assured destruction. This two-part series, Eisenhower’s Secret War, documents the military strategy, political decisions and foreign policy of Eisenhower from 1950, when he was named Commander of NATO, to the end of his Presidency in 1961.
Eisenhower’s Secret War examines Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unwavering commitment — both public and covert — to peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union in the tumultuous and uneasy Cold War years. Based on recent research by established scholars and writers, the two-part documentary series provides a fresh understanding of Eisenhower’s path to the presidency and, as president, how his national security policies and tactics kept a divided world at peace during the 1950s. Hosted by journalist and author Evan Thomas, Eisenhower’s Secret War features the accounts of more than 20 key witnesses, both American and Soviet, to the major events of the era.
A Production of Starbright Media Corporation
Part 1: From Warrior to President
From 1950 – 1953 Americans were unsettled by the specter of communism and the Korean War so in the Presidential election of 1952 they looked to America’s most famous war hero, General Dwight Eisenhower to secure the U.S. against communism and the Soviet menace.
The first hour chronicles Eisenhower’s fulfillment of his election promise to end the Korean War, after more than 33,000 military deaths. It also follows the grassroots movement to draft Eisenhower as the Republican candidate for president; Eisenhower’s decision to leave his powerful position at NATO; his fight for the Republican Party’s nomination against “neo-isolationist” Sen. Robert Taft; his campaign against Democrat Adlai Stevenson; and finally, his election as the 34th president.
Part 2: Building Weapons, Talking Peace
From 1953 – 1961, President Eisenhower led the U.S. in a cold war with the Soviet Union – an ideological struggle of democracy versus communism, which teetered on the brink of nuclear annihilation.
The second hour recounts President Eisenhower’s diplomatic confrontations against the Soviet Union during the early Cold War years, crises prompted by aggressive Kremlin-sponsored action around the world. It also documents his attempts to keep the peace while establishing a clear military superiority for the U.S. During this time, he also faced intense scrutiny domestically, with his political opponents criticizing him for not divulging information about the strength of the U.S. military or the weaknesses of the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal.