Author and lecturer Rachel Yarnell Thompson will discuss her book, Marshall: A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War, on December 11 at the George C. Marshall Foundation beginning at 5:30 pm. A reception and book signing will follow. The public is invited to attend.
Her talk, “George C. Marshall: the Man behind the Uniform and the Three-Piece Suit,” will share stories of a kind, thoughtful, and caring man, who during the toughest years of his service to country—two world wars and their aftermath, maintained a remarkably close connection with family and friends.
“Having scoured the beautifully edited Papers of George C. Marshall—all six volumes—I found plenty of instances revealing the man behind the one who appears inscrutably in so many photographs. Whether gently chiding his sister, who in a letter during the war complained of her rigorous schedule in the Adirondacks; sharing with an old friend the exploits of the Marshalls’ incorrigible Dalmatian, Fleet; penning a deeply moving letter to a friend’s wife, widowed by the war; worrying that Katherine Marshall was overly burdened by the social obligations of his duties, writing to get relief for a veteran with a sad post-war story, or getting a bit overly relaxed at a university graduation event, all these stories illuminate in some way the fully actualized man that Marshall became,” she wrote.
Thompson, who conducted much of her research in the Marshall Library, is no stranger to the Foundation or to George C. Marshall. She has led teacher summer workshops on Marshall at the Foundation for several years.
Published by the George C. Marshall International Center in Leesburg, Va., where Thompson works as director of special projects, the biography covers the breadth of Marshall’s life and career. ”One purpose for writing this new biography is to help the reader appreciate the energy, commitment, and dogged determination that it took for him to accomplish all that he did during 50 years of service to this country,” she wrote in her author’s notes.
“The continuing popularity of Marshall among a large field of authors, researchers and biographers is remarkable and just proves how relevant Marshall and his extraordinary legacy are today” commented Dr. Rob Havers, president of the Marshall Foundation. “We are delighted to host Rachel Thompson for the evening and look forward to her revealing yet another dimension to Marshall’s complexity,” he said.