George Marshall: Defender of the Republic

George Marshall: Defender of the Republic

The extraordinary career of George Catlett Marshall—America’s most distinguished soldier–statesman since George Washington—whose selfless leadership and moral character influenced the course of two world wars and helped define the American century. Winston Churchill called him World War II's "organizer of victory." Harry Truman said he was "the greatest military man that t...

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Title:George Marshall: Defender of the Republic
Author:David L. Roll
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George Marshall: Defender of the Republic Reviews

  • Steve

    I never read a full biography of George Marshall, until now. I have read about him in other books but this is the first full biography I read about him. This was an interesting book. George Marshall was chief of staff of the United States Army during World War II and worked behind the scenes in planning invasions with other top military leaders and the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt. Before World War II, Marshall had experience as a young Army officer in World War I planning

    I never read a full biography of George Marshall, until now. I have read about him in other books but this is the first full biography I read about him. This was an interesting book. George Marshall was chief of staff of the United States Army during World War II and worked behind the scenes in planning invasions with other top military leaders and the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt. Before World War II, Marshall had experience as a young Army officer in World War I planning night movements of troops into the battlefields which brought that experience to the table in the Second World War. After World War II, Marshall developed the Marshall Plan to rebuild war torn Germany.

  • Dizzle729

    A thorough, in-depth, and fair review of a complex man. His contributions to 20th Century American military and foreign policy response cannot be understated. This book did a very nice job of highlighting both his strengths and flaws. This was a deep, engaging look at a man more American should be aware of and admire.

  • Eric Wishman

    I’ve always thought that George C. Marshall deserved a great, one volume account of his life that would interest a broad audience. While Forrest Pogue is Marshall’s definitive biographer, his four volumes might be too much for most so I’ve been hoping for something like Truman by McCullough for Marshall.

    I was excited to pick up George Marshall: Defender of the Republic by David L. Roll when it was released earlier this month. While I haven’t read his book on Harry Hopkins, another lesser known

    I’ve always thought that George C. Marshall deserved a great, one volume account of his life that would interest a broad audience. While Forrest Pogue is Marshall’s definitive biographer, his four volumes might be too much for most so I’ve been hoping for something like Truman by McCullough for Marshall.

    I was excited to pick up George Marshall: Defender of the Republic by David L. Roll when it was released earlier this month. While I haven’t read his book on Harry Hopkins, another lesser known player in the drama of World War II, I've seen and heard positive reviews and was anxious to see if he could help shed light and recognition on one of America's underappreciated leaders.

    I was initially disappointed when I started and realized it wasn't a typical cradle-to-grave biography. Mr Roll jumps right into Marshall’s military service in World War I without much attention to his childhood or early adult years. However, I soon realized his focus on Marshall's professional career was well-written and balanced. At times, he does focus on his personal life, but the majority is focused on his Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense roles.

    Mr. Roll devotes considerable space to Marshall's years as Army Chief of Staff before and during World War II. In addition to describing his role in key decisions and his relationships with key political and military leaders, Roll also objectively calls out Marshall where he falls short like his part in the lack of warning to Pacific commanders before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the lack of effort to desegregate the Army.

    Marshall's time as Secretary of State focused on two main topics: the Marshall Plan and U.S. recognition of Israel. I appreciated the insightful and descriptive retelling of how the Marshall Plan was conceived and passed through Congress, especially the bipartisan partnership with Senator Arthur Vandenberg which makes one long for the days when pelicans could work together across the aisle.

    The books ends with quick overviews of his time as Secretary of Defense as well as his last years.

    While I'm still waiting for the great, one volume biography on Marshall, overall, David L. Roll's look at Marshall's professional career is a good read that I hope will make George Marshall better known and his contributions to our country more appreciated. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about this great American.

  • Chrissie

    ********************

    4 stars

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