Book Review: Generals in the Making: How Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Their Peers Became the Commanders Who Won World War II

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Stackpole Books

Generals in the Making: How Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Their Peers Became the Commanders Who Won World War II.  Benjamin Runkle, Stackpole books August 2019, ISBN: 978-0811718936, Cloth, $34.95, 464 pages.

Editor’s Note:

Generals in the Making: How Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Their Peers Became the Commanders Who Won World War II is a great read of both biographies and military histories of generals of the likes of Patton, Marshall, Eisenhower and others who have been all important in the course of American military roles. These generals embraced a profession that was viewed with distrust after World War I. They rode out the great Depression. They could see value in maintaining a fighting force and we willing to change the ways of the military in order to have a more comprehensive fighting machine for the next war.

All of the generals written of in this book had studied or worked together in Army schools and did their part to try to save a strategic area that was fraught with outdated equipment, decreased numbers of forces, and budgets that would cut military spending out altogether.  This book is an informative look at these generals between wars and how their personas changed the way the militaries of other countries viewed the American military as it had evolved since the Great War.

You will learn not only of the military exploits of these generals, but also about the difficulties they faced in their personal lives. You will see how their careers were shaped in the years post World War I, to make them the leaders they were for the next great war. Rivalries and friendships developed between these generals as they moved through the military ranks and conflicts that later defined their involvement in WW II.  You will witness how they prepared the military to enter World War II.

About the author:  Benjamin Runkle is a former paratrooper and presidential speech writer with a Harvard PhD and a Bronze Star from Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He served in the Department of Defense as a director at the National Security Council and as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee.  Currently he is a senior policy fellow with Artis International and an adjunct lecturer in Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security Program.  He has also written Wanted Dead or Alive: Manhunts from Geronimo to Bin Laden. His writings have been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, Military History Quarterly, and Joint Forces Quarterly and other publications.


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