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A dramatic history of American military structure after World War II features such actors as Harry Truman, Douglas MacArthur, and James Forrestal and tells how they rushed into unprecedented policies to meet the demands of the Korean War
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A masterful overview of how President Truman restructured the US military in the face of determined opposition from officer elites and of the grave problems attendant on the new cold war. Drawing on a wealth of sources, Boettcher (Vietnam, 1985) relates how HST pressed for greater integration of America's armed forces in the wake of WW II. As the various service branches scrambled to protect their turf (and their diminished budget allocations), a battle royal erupted over the chief executive's organizational goals. Congress nonetheless passed the National Security Act of 1947, which not only created an independent Air Force and the CIA but also put control of the military establishment firmly in civilian hands. In the meantime, Soviet belligerency precipitated the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, NATO, and allied initiatives that, while they helped contain Communism, stretched US resources to the utmost. Although theoretical objectives yielded to imperative realities during the Korean conflict as well, Truman left no doubt who was commander in chief. While Boettcher faults him on several counts (notably, partisanship and the decision to build thermonuclear bombs), he concludes that the world is a safer place for the chief executive's refusal to use atomic weapons in Korea, and for other difficult decisions. The author provides a tellingly detailed account of a turbulent era and of the larger-than-life personalities (Eisenhower, Forrestal, MacArthur, et al.) who shaped it. He also shifts his narrative back and forth in time, putting contemporary issues into clear geopolitical perspective. Cases in point range from a recap of WW I's Belleau Woods offensive (which ensured the USMC's survival) through a briefing on the court martial of Gen. Billy Mitchell, a turning point in air power's strategic development. A first-rate history with appeal for general readers as well as specialists. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
It was a drama played out mostly in Washington, D.C. as longtime interservice military rivalries developed into bitter confrontations; the very survival of the Marine Corps was at stake at one point. Boettcher ( Vietnam: The Valor and the Sorrow ) analyzes the origins of those rivalries and describes how the roles and missions of the services were finally defined and codified between the end of WW II and the beginning of the Korean War. He explains the significance of National Security Council Memorandum-68, which in 1950 set off a major rearmament program to meet the Soviet threat--at the very time that President Truman was imposing drastic cutbacks in military spending. Ironically, the outbreak of war in Korea later that year forced the president to endorse the unprecedented buildup of a huge permanent military establishment. Boettcher includes a succinct account of the Korean War and explains how one of its most important episodes, Truman's dismissal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, reaffirmed the primacy of civilian authority over the military. This is a well-researched narrative history of one of the most important periods in modern American history.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Little Brown & Co, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. HARDCOVER, BRAND NEW, Perfect Shape, No Remainder Mark,Fast Shipping With Online Tracking, International Orders shipped Global Priority Air Mail, All orders handled with care and shipped promptly in secure packaging, we ship Mon-Sat and send shipment confirmation emails. Our customer service is friendly, we answer emails fast, accept returns and work hard to deliver 100% Customer Satisfaction!. Seller Inventory # 9046970
Book Description Little Brown & Co, 1992. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0316100927
Book Description Little Brown & Co (T), 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0316100927