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February 12, 2019
7:00 PM
Visitors Center Auditorium
200 SE Fourth Street
Abilene, KS 67410
Ike's Mystery Man book by Peter Shinkle showing photo of President Eisenhower and Robert Cutler
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Evenings at Ease: "Ike's Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler" with author Peter Shinkle

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

President Eisenhower’s National Security Advisor Robert “Bobby” Cutler shaped US Cold War strategy in far more consequential ways than previously understood. Cutler shunned the limelight, leading him to be dubbed "the Mystery Man of the White House." While Cutler’s contributions to the public may not have received, until now, the consideration they deserve, the story of his private life has never before been told. Cutler worked with secrets in both his professional and private lives. He was influential in the passage of legislation that restricted the rights of homosexual Americans to hold civil service positions, an act of painful self-repression: Cutler was secretly gay. Shinkle depicts a man torn between his private life as a gay man and an overwhelming sense of civic duty during the “lavender scare,” an anti-gay offshoot of the Cold War persecution of suspected communists in American government. The author, investigative journalist Peter Shinkle, is Cutler's great-nephew.