George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War
Policy, Politics, and Society
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
310 Pages | 6 x 9 | 15 b&w illus.
Though best known for his central part in the American war effort from 1939 to 1945, George C. Marshall’s critical role in the early Cold War was probably at least as important in shaping the policies and politics of the postwar western world—and in cementing his place as a pivotal figure in twentieth-century American history. This book places Marshall squarely at the center of the story of the American century by examining his tenure in key policymaking positions during this period, including army chief of staff, special presidential envoy to China, secretary of state, and secretary of defense, among others.
George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War brings together a diverse and accomplished group of scholars—including military, diplomatic, and institutional historians—to explore how Marshall, Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” in both 1943 and 1947 and the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize winner, molded debates on all the major issues of his day, such as universal military training, China’s civil war, an independent air force, the National Security Act of 1947, nuclear weapons, European Recovery Program, North Atlantic Treaty, Korean War, and racial integration of the U.S. military. With a focus on Marshall’s public service at the intersection of American policy, politics, and society, the authors provide a comprehensive historical account of his central role in shaping America during a tumultuous yet formative period in the nation’s history. Their work fills a void in the scholarship of American military history and American history generally, providing context for the consideration of broader questions about American power and the place of the military within American society.
“In an age of ten-cent generals, we need to know what pure gold looks like. Impeccable character, unimpeachable integrity, with a mind exquisitely attuned to the explosive danger of civil-military relations gone awry, George C. Marshall set an example for all time. William A. Taylor has assembled a stellar cast, himself included, to tell the story of the service of an extraordinary American.”—Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell
“General George C. Marshall represents the unquestioned gold standard of general and flag officer service in the American military. This excellent book, edited by William A. Taylor, tells us why. It should be required reading at all of our war colleges where our future general and flag officers are prepared for their positions of great responsibility.”—Major General Dennis Laich, United States Army (Retired)
“This volume’s conclusions highlight Marshall’s indispensable role in establishing the national security strategy and structure for the Cold War. George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War is an admirable ensemble of well-researched and well-written essays on an almost-forgotten era of the Cold War.”—Jonathan House, author of Military History of the Cold War, 1944–1962
“This is a timely and important book. Marshall was present and effective at the creation of all of the Cold War national security policies and institutions that established U.S. international leadership. This entire policy and institutional architecture is now in doubt. If it is to be reformed or replaced, it will need a person of Gen. Marshall’s caliber to lead such an effort. This book is an important revival and analysis of Marshall’s historic role.”—Gordon Adams, author of Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home
“George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War is an engaging collection of scholarly essays that ably demonstrates the impact of George C. Marshall on the emerging Cold War. Together they shed new light on the pervasive influence that this remarkable American had on the tumultuous times that followed the end of hostilities in Europe and the Pacific. This is an excellent book that is strongly recommended for any reader interested in the growth of the United States as a world power in the aftermath of World War II and the seminal role that George C. Marshall played in those momentous events.”—James H. Willbanks, author of A Raid Too Far: Operation Lam Son 719 and Vietnamization in Laos
“ . . . an excellent collection of essays that explore the various dimensions of Marshall’s career during the early Cold War. George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War is a must-read for anyone interested in a range of controversial issues that continue to plague America, from the politics of grand strategy and military mobilization to the difficulty of mediating international conflict and the complexity of managing alliances.”—Steven Casey, author of Selling the Korean War: Propaganda, Politics, and Public Opinion in the United States, 1950–1953
“Balanced and objective, George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War could not be more relevant. Marshall’s leadership and world view are prescient to today’s complex security environment.”—William Thomas Allison, author of American Military History: A Survey from Colonial Times to the Present
“Although George C. Marshall remains an enigmatic figure, this outstanding book presents his personal relationships, his significant contributions, and gives the reader ample evidence of his remarkable importance to the early Cold War era. Marshall is brought to the forefront of the Cold War in this new and momentous contribution to our understanding of this singularly important individual.”—Brian Laslie, author of Architect of Air Power: General Laurence S. Kuter and the Birth of the US Air Force
“George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War is a convenient, compact source of information for those whose knowledge of Marshall is limited to the proverbial highlight reel of his military career or the Marshall Plan. The book reveals the staggering breadth of policy issues with which Marshall contended throughout his lifetime of public service. Few individuals have held so many senior positions in or out of uniform; still fewer have risen to meet the challenges of their time as decisively, or with such personal integrity, as Marshall did.”—Army History