Dwight D. Eisenhower achieved prominence as a military leader during World War II and as a statesman following the conflict, but less is known about his ambitions and preparation between the wars that served as the foundation for his later success. The first modern analysis of Eisenhower's career before his rise to fame, this study examines Ike's intellectual ideas concerning politics, military strategy, and history in the decades between the wars. Holland details Eisenhower's quest to make himself the best officer in the U.S. Army and to prepare for the next war--which he firmly believed was coming. Based upon the voluminous collection at the Eisenhower Library, this book includes discussion of Eisenhower's intellectual development, family life, military education, the roles of mentors and friends, as well as his political and international experiences. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Ike labored thanklessly in an army marked by budget cuts and incompetence. Despite this atmosphere, he persevered to become a pioneer in mechanized and aerial warfare, the author of an official history of World War I, the creator of the first industrial mobilization plan in American history, a one man public relations section for the War Department, and the organizer of the Philippine army. Through it all, Ike remained a man with a big heart, a man equally able to work with presidents or privates without losing his common touch.