|Abilene, Kan. - The first Evenings at Ease program of the year begins Tuesday, February 12, at 7 p.m. in the Visitors Center Auditorium of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, 200 SE 4th Street, Abilene. This program is free and open to the public.
Author Peter Shinkle will present Ike's Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler. President Eisenhower's National Security Advisor Robert "Bobby" Cutler helped shape U.S. Cold War strategy. Cutler worked with secrets in both his professional and private lives as he grappled with his own sexuality as a gay man in an age of discrimination against homosexuals. He left behind a revealing six-volume diary detailing his struggles.
In addition to the diary, Ike's Mystery Man relies on thousands of personal letters, interviews, and previously classified archives to tell a gripping story. This book brings a new understanding of the inner-workings of the Eisenhower White House. It also shines a light on the indispensable contributions and sacrifices made by patriotic gay Americans in an era when Executive Order 10450 banned anyone suspected of homosexuality from federal employment.
Peter Shinkle worked for 19 years as a reporter at various news organizations, including most recently the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He covered the federal court system and also wrote investigative stories on subjects ranging from improper disposal of radioactive waste to the political influence of the payday loan industry. Shinkle is the great-nephew of Robert Cutler. It was during a family vacation in 2006 that his mother and aunt told him that their "Uncle Bobby" was gay. That sparked a 12-year endeavor to explore the story of the man who was one of President Eisenhower's closest advisors.