Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Significance of Presidential Leadership

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Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Significance of Presidential Leadership When the World War II finally ended, the United States was the most powerful country the history has ever witnessed. Politically, economically, and militarily, the United States possessed an unmatched power. The Soviet Union soon built a comparable nuclear force but was far behind economically. The enormous power the United States possessed forced it to assume the responsibility of leading the Western world in the struggle against Communism around the world. To understand and properly evaluate the leadership of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, it is necessary to keep in mind this historical development, as it provides a context for understanding specific leadership styles and policies these presidents adopted. Both international affairs and domestic concerns influenced the actions and leadership styles of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. George Moss's Vietnam: an American Ordeal makes it clear that Eisenhower was a strong and decisive leader but domestic politics continuously inhibited his liberty to act. Kennedy, in contrast, seems to have been a weak decision-maker, despite the fact that international affairs and domestic concerns continuously pressured him to make prompt and crucial decisions. Eisenhower was one of the heroes of World War II. He helped America defeat Nazi Germany and fascist Imperial Japan. He was committed to democracy but also believed in the power of the
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