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Assessment of presidential performance across time has become a major interest of students of the office. This article examines the reassessments of Dwight D. Eisenhower as a function of contested appraisals of the 1950s. The author shows that disagreements about the normative character of the decade are so starkly drawn that the fifties mimic the basic features of Utopian discourse. As such, assessments of Eisenhower's presidency parallel, admittedly in a secluded fashion, assessments of King Utopus, the founder of Utopia, as well as other founding figures in Utopian fiction. Of course, Eisenhower was not a Utopian founder; nor was his career identical to that of King Utopus. Nevertheless, we can profitably understand the differences and fluctuations in assessments of the Eisenhower presidency by utilizing this Utopian format. Not all decades are cast in this particular framework, but the case of Eisenhower illustrates the cultural complexity of assessments of presidential leadership.