The Papers of George C. Marshall


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The Papers of George Catlett Marshall (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press) comprise the eminent soldier and statesman’s most noteworthy personal and official correspondence, speeches, congressional testimonies, and statements to the press. Each volume rewards readers with insight into the life and mind of a true American hero. These highly acclaimed works provide rich resources not only for scholars and students, but also for anyone interested in twentieth century American and world history, military operations, and the inner workings of politics and diplomacy.

Volume 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” 1880-1939, follows Marshall from childhood to his appointment as acting Chief of Staff of the US Army. It covers his education at the Virginia Military Institute and early service in France, China and the Philippines, as well as his experiences as aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing and as assistant commandant of the Infantry School as Fort Benning, Georgia, where he mentored future leaders such as Omar Bradley, Matthew Ridgway, Joseph Stilwell and, Walter Bedell Smith. Currently out of print and no longer available.

Volume 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941, details Marshall’s attempts to transform the United States military from obscurity into one of the greatest military forces in the world. This volume illuminates Marshall’s rise to prominence as he faced challenges from both political parties and from within the army itself.

Volume 3, “The Right Man for the Job, December 7,1941-May 31, 1943, examines Marshall’s reorganization of the War Department as the United States officially entered World War II. Among the many changes he implemented, troop training, leadership and moral remained some of Marshall’s top priorities. Currently out of print and no longer available.

Volume 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership, June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944, highlights Marshall’s unique ability to get opposing factions to work together as the war progressed and the tide began to turn towards the Allies, including the preparation and execution of Operation OVERLORD, and the invasion of Normandy on D-Day.

Volume 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1949, covers two year of tremendous change in Marshall’s life. After helping to orchestrate the Allied victory in World War II and 44 years of continuous military service, Marshall accepted President Harry Truman’s call to serve as special representative of the president to mediate the Chinese civil war. The volume ends immediately prior to Marshall’s return to the United States and his installation as Secretary of State.

Praise for Volume 5:”A rarity among collections of papers: not only a reference resource for the scholar but also a book that can be read virtually as a narrative.” -Journal of American History

Volume 6, “The Whole World Hangs in the Balance,” January 8, 1947-September 30, 1949, the penultimate volume of the Marshall Papers series, details Marshall’s involvement as secretary of state with the formal separation between the United States and its Soviet wartime ally and the ensuing beginnings of the cold war; civil wars in Greece and China; decolonization and independence of India, Pakistan, and Israel; and the emergence of major US polices such as the Truman Doctrine, containment, and the Marshall Plan.  During this time he played a pivotal role in the transformation of American foreign policy. Implementing the European Recovery Program and other US foreign policies required Marshall to attend numerous international conferences and Senate and House committee hearings and to cultivate broad public support for the initiatives. His close relations with legislative leaders proved to be essential for securing extraordinary bipartisan congressional approval. This volume ends with Marshall’s appointment as president of the American Red Cross.