Academic journal article Military Review

George C. Marshall: Servant of the American Nation

Academic journal article Military Review

George C. Marshall: Servant of the American Nation

Article excerpt


Servant of the American Nation

Charles F. Brower, ed, Palgrave MacMillan,

New York, 2011, 214 pages $85.00

THERE ARE FEW characters in history who help shape entire eras. There are even fewer who we remember for doing so. George C. Marshall was such a man. He utilized his strategic prowess as much as his personal humility to organize the Allies for victory in World War II and to establish the Cold War world afterward. In George C. Marshall: Servant of the American Nation, Charles F. Brower has compiled key essays from a symposium held at the Virginia Military Institute, the general's alma mater, on the 50th anniversary of Marshall's death. This is a significant work because it provides a balanced assessment of the general's notable achievements, offers multi-faceted insight into his personality, and suggests that his life remains a model for public service.

The editor has gathered top authors from diverse fields to address myriad aspects of Marshall's public life. The field of experts includes historians noted for their depth of knowledge and candor. Williamson Murray and Paul Miles profile the soldier and the essence of his followership. Scholars Nicolaus Mills and Barry Machado assess Marshall's role as a statesman and peacemaker during the tumultuous early years of the Cold War. Stewart W. Husted and Gerald M. Pops bring a unique perspective from the business and public administration world when analyzing Marshall as a leader and manager. No one essay stands out over the others. The book's organization allows the reader to appreciate the broad context of this great life.

In addition, the book presents a keen insight into Marshall's personality. Brower achieves this by presenting Marshall's responses, rather than others' interpretations of them, and allows readers to determine the implications for themselves.

There are both admirable and imperfect features of this complicated persona. …

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