He called it one of the hardest things he ever did – as difficult as leading the D-Day invasion. When Dwight Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock, Ark., to integrate Central High School in September 1957, he couldn’t know that he was fighting the last great battle of his career – one that would change forever both him and his country.

“Ike’s Final Battle: The Road to Little Rock and the Challenge of Equality” by Kasey S. Pipes, is the story of how one of America’s greatest leaders confronted America’s greatest sin. This is the unlikely tale of how Ike became a civil rights president.

“Ike’s Final Battle” represents a revolution in scholarship on Eisenhower and civil rights. Though not uncritical, the book credits Ike’s steady personal advance on the issue as well as his accomplishments in the military and as president.

Drawing on thousands of newly released primary documents – many never before made public – “Ike’s Final Battle” builds to its climax at Little Rock – one of the most pivotal events of the Civil Rights movement. Little Rock is at the epicenter, but the book will also look at the cause, and the aftermath. Its author, Kasey S. Pipes, is a former speechwriter for Arnold Schwarzenegger and co-author of the 2004 Republican platform.

With the 50th anniversary of Little Rock approaching in 2007, the timing is perfect. This is the last priceless nugget of civil rights history. Indeed, the first book on the subject in 25 years, this landmark volume disproves the claim that Ike didn’t care about civil rights.

Parallels with 2008 presidential race

Pipes, drawing on his political experience and insider knowledge about the Republican Party and its history, Kasey notes some fascinating similarities between Rudi Giuliani, the hero of 9-11, and Dwight Eisenhower, the hero of D-Day. He wonders, will the GOP again turn to a national icon?

He also notes that Eisenhower the last GOP president to do well among African-American voters. As Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton battle it out for blacks’ loyalty, Eisenhower’s example underscores the real issues at stake in the next presidential campaign, says Pipes.

“Ike’s Final Battle: The Road to Little Rock and the Challenge of Equality” by Kasey S. Pipes is available now from WND’s online store!

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