Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory

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9780700609147: Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory

One of the most important public figures in antebellum America, Winfield Scott is known today more for his swagger than his sword. "Old Fuss-and-Feathers" was a brilliant military commander whose tactics and strategy were innovative adaptations from European military theory; yet he was often under appreciated by his contemporaries and until recently overlooked by historians.

While John Eisenhower's recent Agent of Destiny provides a solid summary of Scott's remarkable life, Timothy D. Johnson's much deeper critical exploration of this flawed genius should become the standard work. Thoroughly grounded in an essential understanding of nineteenth-century military professionalism, it draws extensively on unpublished sources in order to reveal neglected aspects of Scott's life, present a more complete view of his career, and accurately balance criticism and praise.

Johnson dramatically relates the key features of Scott's career: how he led troops to victory in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, fought against the Seminoles and Creeks, and was instrumental in professionalizing the U.S. Army, which he commanded for two decades. He also tells how Scott tried to introduce French methods into army tactical manuals, and how he applied his study of the Napoleonic Wars during the Mexico City Campaign but found European strategy of little use against Indians. Johnson further suggests that Scott's creation of an officer corps that boasted Grant, Lee, McClellan and other veterans of the Mexican War raises important questions about his influence on Civil War generalship.

More than a military history, this book tells how Scott's aristocratic pretensions placed him at odds with emerging notions of equality in Jacksonian America and made him an unappealing politician in his bid for the presidency. Johnson not only recounts the facets of Scott's personality that alienated nearly everyone who knew him but also reveals the unsavory methods he used to promote his career and the scandalous ways he attempted to relieve his lifelong financial troubles.

Although his legendary vanity has tarnished his place among American military leaders, Scott is shown to have possessed great talent and courage. Johnson's biography offers the most balanced portrait available of Scott by never losing sight of the whole man.

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About the Author:

Timothy D. Johnson is an associate professor of history at Lipscomb University in Nashville. He was a contributor to the books America at War and The Reader's Companion to Military History.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A full-dress study of a great general whose life spanned the life of his young nationfrom the Founding Fathers to the Civil Warbut who has been largely neglected by historians. Johnson (History/Lipscomb Univ.) has delved into vast but scattered primary and secondary sources to write a scholarly biography of Scott, who was one of the first US Army officers to make a formal study of European military manuals, whose regulations established a code that brought new professionalism into 19th-century American warfare. The US Army, under Scott's innovative leadership, thus became capable of withstanding the best European soldiers. Scott consulted with Lafayette and Prussian officers in Europe, and noted the fatal mistakeslooting and pillageof Napoleon's armies in the Spanish and Russian campaigns. Although he blundered early in his career in the Indian Wars in Florida and Alabama, he performed brilliantly in the Mexican War, and his strong discipline and fair dealing with the Mexican civilian population limited guerrilla attacks on his army. He was responsible for the first large-scale construction of amphibious ships in American history, and put them to good use in the successful landing at Vera Cruz. Johnson views Scott's march from Vera Cruz and his capture of Mexico City in 1847 as the crowning achievements of his career; later, as a diplomat, Scott solved dangerous border disputes with Canada. Johnson shows that Scott never wore humility well: he was an aristocratic conservative forever in conflict with the strong egalitarian forces of his day. Scott's boldness, knowledge, and ability as a soldier were mixed with conceit, arrogance, impatience, and aggressiveness. Ironically, his overweening ambition and his self-serving nature caused him to fail in politics. The definitive study: Johnson's distinguished work gives a long-deserved but neglected credit to ``Old Fuss and Feathers. (16 illustrations, not seen) (History Book Club selection) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of the most important public figures in antebellum America, Winfield Scott is known today more for his swagger than his sword. Old Fuss and Feathers was a brilliant military commander whose tactics and strategy were innovative adaptations from European military theory; yet he was often underappreciated by his contemporaries and, until recently, overlooked by historians. Johnson dramatically relates the key features of Scott s career: how he led troops to victory in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, fought against the Seminoles and Creeks, and was instrumental in professionalizing the U.S. Army, which he commanded for two decades. He also tells how Scott tried to introduce French methods into army tactical manuals, and how he applied his study of the Napoleonic Wars during the Mexico City campaign but found European strategy of little use against Indians. Johnson further suggests that Scott s creation of an officer corps that boasted Grant, Lee, McClellan, and other veterans of the Mexican War raises important questions about his influence on Civil War generalship. More than a military history, this book explains how Scott s aristocratic pretensions were out of place with emerging notions of equality in Jacksonian America and made him an unappealing political candidate in his bid for the presidency. Johnson recounts the details of Scott s personality that alienated nearly every one who knew him, as well as the unsavory methods Scott used to promote his career and the scandalous ways he attempted to alleviate his lifelong financial troubles. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780700609147

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Book Description University Press of Kansas Lawr, Lawrence. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 304 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. BIOGRAPHY. One of the most important public figures in antebellum America, Winfield Scott is known today more for his swagger than his sword. "Old Fuss and Feathers" was a brilliant military commander whose tactics and strategy were innovative adaptations from European military theory; yet he was often underappreciated by his contemporaries and until recently overlooked by historians. Although John Eisenhower's recently published Agent of Destiny provides a solid summary of Scott's remarkable life, Timothy D. Johnson's much deeper critical exploration of this flawed genius will become the standard work. Thoroughly grounded in an essential understanding of nineteenth-century military professionalism, Johnson's work draws extensively on unpublished sources to reveal neglected aspects of Scott's life, present a complete view of his career, and accurately balance criticism and praise. Johnson dramatically relates the key features of Scott's career: how he led troops to victory in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, fought against the Seminoles and Creeks, and was instrumental in professionalizing the U.S. Army, which he commanded for two decades. He also tells how Scott tried to introduce French methods into army tactical manuals, and how he applied his study of the Napoleonic Wars during the Mexico City campaign but found European strategy of little use against Indians. Johnson further suggests that Scott's creation of an officer corps that boasted Grant, Lee, McClellan, and other veterans of the Mexican War raises important questions about his influence on Civil War generalship. More than a military history, this book explains how Scott's aristocratic pretensions were out of place with emerging notions of equality in Jacksonian America and made him an unappealing political candidate in his bid for the presidency. Johnson recounts the details of Scott's personality that alienated nearly everyone who knew him, as well as the unsavory methods Scott used to promote his career and the scandalous ways he attempted to alleviate his lifelong financial troubles. Although Scott's legendary vanity has tarnished his place among American military leaders, he also possessed great talent and courage. Johnson's biography offers the most balanced portrait available of Scott by never losing sight of the whole man. (Key Words: Winfield Scott, US Army, Military, Mexican War, War of 1812). book. Bookseller Inventory # 78315X1

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of the most important public figures in antebellum America, Winfield Scott is known today more for his swagger than his sword. Old Fuss and Feathers was a brilliant military commander whose tactics and strategy were innovative adaptations from European military theory; yet he was often underappreciated by his contemporaries and, until recently, overlooked by historians. Johnson dramatically relates the key features of Scott s career: how he led troops to victory in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, fought against the Seminoles and Creeks, and was instrumental in professionalizing the U.S. Army, which he commanded for two decades. He also tells how Scott tried to introduce French methods into army tactical manuals, and how he applied his study of the Napoleonic Wars during the Mexico City campaign but found European strategy of little use against Indians. Johnson further suggests that Scott s creation of an officer corps that boasted Grant, Lee, McClellan, and other veterans of the Mexican War raises important questions about his influence on Civil War generalship. More than a military history, this book explains how Scott s aristocratic pretensions were out of place with emerging notions of equality in Jacksonian America and made him an unappealing political candidate in his bid for the presidency. Johnson recounts the details of Scott s personality that alienated nearly every one who knew him, as well as the unsavory methods Scott used to promote his career and the scandalous ways he attempted to alleviate his lifelong financial troubles. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780700609147

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