Ike's Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler

Steerforth. Dec. 2018. 428p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781586422431. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781586422448. BIOG
Journalist Shinkle follows the life of Robert Cutler, who was not only an influential figure in American Cold War government but also a great-uncle to the author. Shinkle traces Cutler's growing up, his education, service during World War II, and long-standing connection to Dwight D. Eisenhower, beginning with Eisenhower's presidential campaign and continuing through to the 1960s when Cutler became one of the president's most trusted national security officials. Of note is Cutler's impact on the development of the National Security Council (NSC), which he reorganized with the Eisenhower's close involvement, suggesting the new position of principal executive, which he was then appointed to. Shinkle also explores Cutler's life as a closeted gay man in an era when homosexuality was vigorously investigated and often cause for eradication from government ranks. Cutler largely avoided such pressure by remaining focused on his work and above the political fray.
VERDICT Recommended for researchers of the NSC and its major Cold War activities as well as students of LGBTQ history in American government.

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