Jeffrey Frank

With the disgraced Tea Party squaring off against the GOP's establishment wing, the Republican Party is again at war with itself. But it was ever thus, as Jeffrey Frank relates in his his Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage (Simon and Schuster, $30). Dwight D. Eisenhower, a war hero and moderate, represented the old guard during the 1950s, while California Senator Richard M. Nixon was an insurgent—warning against Commies and criticizing the Democrats on defense. Eisenhower didn't want Nixon as his running mate in '52, and relations between the two men were always chilly. Ike basked in the public's adulation, while Nixon gained the reputation as sweaty, scheming hatchet man. Following Nixon's loss to Kennedy in 1960, Eisenhower was famously asked if his old Veep had contributed any policies to his administration. His reply: "If you give me a week, I might be able to think of one." Oooh—snap! But in one of those strange political ironies, Eisenhower's grandson would later marry one of Nixon's daughters. By then, 1968, Ike had no choice but to smile on his former underling and bless the engagement, which helped generate favorable publicity for Nixon during that fall's winning campaign. In a sense, Nixon had his boss' approval at last. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Feb. 14, 7 p.m., 2013

 
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