The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, Volume 7
"The Man of the Age," October 1, 1949–October 16, 1959
This seventh and final volume of The Papers of George Catlett Marshall covers the last ten years of Marshall’s life, when he served as secretary of defense from September 1950 to September 1951 following a year as American Red Cross president. Dramatic swings in fortune for US and UN forces in Korea consumed him as defense secretary, yet Europe remained Marshall’s strategic focus and with it the establishment of a NATO military command, efforts to convince the French to accept German rearmament, congressional approval for a major US military buildup, and a Mutual Security Program for America’s allies. Marshall also participated in the decision to relieve General Douglas MacArthur, sparking public uproar and a Senate investigation.
Marshall remained active and honored in retirement, particularly in 1953, when he led the US delegation to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and then became the first professional soldier to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a tribute to the Marshall Plan. Through it all, he maintained an extensive correspondence with national and international leaders. When he died on October 16, 1959, George Catlett Marshall was hailed by many as the nation’s greatest soldier-statesman since George Washington.
About the Authors
The Marshall Papers are published under the auspices of the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia. Mark A. Stoler has been the editor since 2008. Daniel D. Holt has been the managing editor since 2008.
"The final volume of George Marshall’s papers contains unique insights from his time as secretary of defense, and other national positions, including correspondence about earlier years as world leaders review their roles in shaping the twentieth century."
"This volume concludes a diligent four-decade effort by Johns Hopkins in conjunction with the George C. Marshall Research Library. The exhaustive editing results in what must be some kind of a record in the number and length of footnotes."
"The editors were able to pay greater attention to his personal life than in previous volumes, due in large part to the recent acquisition of documents from family members. Much of the valuable material from his retirement years involves his extensive correspondence with friends, former military colleagues, and national and international leaders, such as Dwight Eisenhower, George Kennan, Dean Acheson and Winston Churchill; his interviews with historians and journalists about his career (his answers typically blunt and terse); and speeches, in which he sometimes unburdened himself about his experience with the real-world difficulties of military command and civilian responsibilities."
"What makes this volume such a treasure trove and a pleasure to peruse is that the editors have done a brilliant job of integrating helpful commentary and explanatory notes throughout the collection. The reader is drawn deeply into the complexities of an era in which great figures made history under enormous stress and strain. In these pages, one comes to appreciate the dignity and sagacity of one of America’s greatest soldier-statesmen, the man Winston Churchill— borrowing from Shakespeare—described as "the Noblest Roman," George C. Marshall."
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