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Selling the Korean WarPropaganda, Politics, and Public Opinion in the United States, 1950-1953$
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Steven Casey

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306927.001.0001

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The Advent of Eisenhower

The Advent of Eisenhower

(p.325) 12 The Advent of Eisenhower
Selling the Korean War

Steven Casey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Initially, Eisenhower's emergence as the Republican nominee for president also helped to sustain a basic consensus behind the war, for Ike was a moderate who was prepared to defend Truman's decision to intervene in Korea. As the campaign progressed, Eisenhower's comments became more critical. But even his decisive promise to voters to “go to Korea” was ambiguous. It was intended to signal that something new had to be done to end the fighting, while leaving Ike free to decide precisely what—and, crucially, while also ensuring that he kept his distance from MacArthur and the Republican right. On becoming president, Eisenhower therefore retained a good deal of freedom. But in terms of public relations, he swiftly made many of the same mistakes that had plagued Truman's early efforts. And only Stalin's death, which in turn led to a thawing of the communist position, revived the armistice negotiations and resulted in an end to this long and costly war.

Keywords:   Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, 1952 election campaign, Prisoners of War, South Korea, Korean armistice, Republican right, Stalin

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