Book Review: Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success

University Press of Kentucky

Boy On the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success. Andrew Marble. University Press of Kentucky.

This atypical biography, of a boy coming from a distinguished ancestry and tumultuous childhood during WWII, will give you a bird’s eye view of Poland born, John Shalikashvili’s journey through his life and career, which one could say echoed the image of the American dream.  You will find General Shali compared to other military leaders who served during this era. He served with distinction in both government and the military.  His family integrated to the U. S. in 1952 where he became an American citizen.

Shalikashvili was drafted into the army as a private in 1958. In 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed him to replace General Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff which made him the first immigrant, draftee, and first Officer Candidate School Graduate to ever serve in that position. As you move through this book you will discover how he became one of our greatest military leaders as he instinctive ability to lead while also possessing empathy, expertise, humbleness, and honesty.  General Shali led the rescue of 500,000 Kurdish refugees in the repercussions of the First Gulf War. Other accomplishments were his participation in the Partnership for Peace initiative, NATO enlargement program, and after retirement helped to end the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. General Shali would appear to be “one of a kind.”,,,,,Carol

About the Author: Andrew Marble, PhD spent almost 10 years researching to write this book and while doing so traveled to more than 30 cities, 12 states, and 3 countries on two continents to gather facts.  Marble gained access to restricted Shalikashvili archives and interviewed more than 300 people including relatives, childhood friends, America’s top policymakers from the 1990s, as well as Shalikashvili, himself.

Marble has a Ph.D in political science from Brown University, and MA in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher School, and a BA in East Asian Studies from Middlebury College. He serves as Outreach Editor for the Taiwan Journal of Democracy an is a reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. He is also the founding editor of Asia Policy, a peer-reviewed journal of the National Bureau of Asian Research, and edited NBR’s Strategic Asia Series.


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