Magazine article Army

The Quiet One: General Roscoe Robinson Jr

Magazine article Army

The Quiet One: General Roscoe Robinson Jr

Article excerpt

Varied Fare The Quiet One: General Roscoe Robinson Jr. Leon L. Haley. Fortis Publishing. 273 pages; black-and-zuhite photographs; $28.95.

The subject of The Quiet One, GEN Roscoe Robinson Jr., the Army's first African- American four-star general, is a man of great historical importance. To review this book is a challenge for me since I not only knew Robinson well, I also followed him as U.S. Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Fortunately, author Leon Haley has met the biographer's challenge well. His style is far from lyrical, but his sturdy, straightforward expository prose carries the story quite adeptly. He does make some errors regarding aspects of the military, however, and attributes far too much to certain aspects of routine career progression. For example, Ln referring to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., he writes: "Graduates of the college are expected to at some point in their career assume command of no less than a division." More accurately, graduates at the time were hopeful for battalion command, and only a portion would get that opportunity.

Further, in his enthusiasm for the importance of Robinson's assignments, Haley badly confuses the role of U.S. Army Europe and the more senior U.S.

European Command. All this being said, however, Haley does an overall splendid job in capturing the life of Roscoe Robinson.

Of great value is Haley's assessment of the impact of 20th-century AfricanAmerican progress in America. Haley relates the Harlem Renaissance and the influence of St. …

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