Peter Shinkle, Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler

Date(s) - 02/11/19
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Pritzker Military Library

Hosted by
Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Peter Shinkle, Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Monday, February 11, 2019 6:00pm

Author Peter Shinkle visits the Museum & Library to reveal Bobby Cutler’s full story for the first time, showing how valued he was by Eisenhower, as a trusted friend and advisor on security and Cold War policy.

This exhilarating Cold War narrative takes listeners from top-secret Cabinet Room meetings to exclusive social clubs, and into the pages of a powerful man’s intimate diary. Ike’s Mystery Man brings a new dimension to our understanding of the inner-workings of the Eisenhower White House. It also shines a bright light on the indispensable contributions and sacrifices made by patriotic gay Americans in an era when Executive Order 10450 banned anyone suspected of “sexual perversion” from any government job, and gays in the government were persecuted by the likes of Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn in the Senate, and J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson at the FBI.

Ike’s Mystery Man shows that Eisenhower’s National Security Advisor Robert “Bobby” Cutler–working alongside Ike and also the Dulles brothers at the CIA and State Department–shaped US Cold War strategy in far more consequential ways than has been previously understood. Bobby also left behind a six-volume diary which reveals that he was in love with a man half his age, NSC staffer Skip Koons. Their friend Steve Benedict, who also is gay, became Ike’s White House Security Officer. In addition to Bobby’s diary, Ike’s Mystery Man relies on thousands of personal letters, interviews, and previously classified archives to tell a gripping story that has never before been told.

PETER SHINKLE worked for nineteen 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 contamination spread by a lead mining company. Shinkle is the great-nephew of Robert Cutler.