Magazine article Army

The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, Volume 6: 'The Whole World Hangs in the Balance,' January 8, 1947-September 30, 1949

Magazine article Army

The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, Volume 6: 'The Whole World Hangs in the Balance,' January 8, 1947-September 30, 1949

Article excerpt

The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, Volume 6: 'The Whole World Hangs in the Balance/ January 8, 1947-September 30, 1949. Edited by Larry I. Bland, Mark A. Stoler, Sharon Ritenour Stevens and Daniel D. Holt. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 880 pages; photographs; maps; notes; index; appendix; glossary; $90. Publisher's website: vjww.press.jhu.edu.

"The more I see and talk to him," President Harry S. Truman wrote in early January 1947 upon his nomination of George C Marshall as Secretary of State, "the more certain I am that he's the great one of the age." The sixth volume of The Papers of George Catlett Marshall quickly reveals why and validates Truman's assessment that Marshall was the extraordinary soldierstatesman of his generation and quite possibly of the entire 20th century. Marshall's two years as Secretary of State, from January 1947-January 1949, mark one of the most pivotal periods in the foreign policy of the United States. In Marshall's words, "There is no doubt in my mind that the whole world hangs in the balance."

Unlike the previous volumes in this series, which examined Marshall's military career culminating as Army Chief of Staff during World War ?, this volume focuses exclusively on Marshall's tenure as Secretary of State, followed by his retirement and recovery after surgery from January to the end of September 1949.

Under the able editorial supervision of Mark A. Stoler, emeritus professor of history at the University of Vermont in Burlington, this volume reproduces 435 documents from the archives of Secretary Marshall. Stoler, who replaced the late Larry I. Bland, project director and editor of the Marshall Papers, in 2007, assembled a brilliant team of historians and archivists to continue working on the project. Daniel D. Holt served as project director/managing editor, and Sharon Ritenour Stevens continued in her capacity as associate editor.

In addition to the editorial comments that embellish the individual documents, Stoler and his team have included a detailed chronology that covers Marshall's tenure as Secretary as well as his period of convalescence. What is most evident from this chronology is the close association Marshall enjoyed with President Truman. A separate appendix also lists the published proceedings of hearings at which Marshall testified before various congressional committees from February 1947 to August 1949. …

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