Pat Murphy: If Eisenhower Had Married Kay Summersby

Roundup: Talking About History

Troy Media columnist Pat Murphy worked in the Canadian financial services industry for over 30 years. Originally from Ireland, he has a degree in history and economics.

TORONTO, ON, May. 9, 2012/ Troy Media/ – There was a time when it was fashionable to think of history in terms of the influence of great men. The 19th century Scottish essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle was clear on this, noting that “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”

It’s a view that no longer prevails. Still, individuals can make a significant impact in specific situations. So let’s ask a question: What, if anything, would have been different had Dwight Eisenhower gone ahead with his plan to divorce his wife and marry Kay Summersby?...

Given the prevailing values, Eisenhower’s image as the All-American war hero would certainly have been tarnished. And absent that special status, it’s difficult to see how he could have been elected president. In fact, he wouldn’t even have been the 1952 Republican candidate....

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