Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman” as Want to Read:
General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  212 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
As the U.S. Army's Chief of staff through World War II, George Catlett marshall (1880-1959) organized the military mobilization of unprecedented number of Americans and shaped the Allied strategy that defeated first Nazi Germany, then Imperial Japan. As President Truman's Secretary of State, and later as his Secretary of Defence during the Korean War, Marshall the ...more
Hardcover, 864 pages
Published June 6th 2000 by Cooper Square Press (first published 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about General of the Army, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about General of the Army

John Adams by David McCullough1776 by David McCulloughTeam of Rivals by Doris Kearns GoodwinA People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnBattle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson
Best Non-fiction American History Books
479th out of 1,257 books — 1,758 voters
Always a River by Todd Allen HendersonThe Battle of New Market by William C. DavisThe Killer Angels by Michael ShaaraThe Lords of Discipline by Pat ConroyVirginia Military Institute Alumni in the Civil War by Richard M. McMurry
Best Books About VMI
34th out of 65 books — 5 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mikey B.
Mar 03, 2013 Mikey B. rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mikey B. by: found it in good reads
This book is a magnificent achievement by the author in delineating the life and career of George Marshall. He is quite possibly the third most important individual, after Churchill and Roosevelt, who are responsible for Allied victory (I deliberately omit anyone from the Soviet Union).

Marshall took an army of less than 250,000 in 1940 and expanded it, so that by war’s end, it had grown to over 8 million men. Marshall understood more than anyone the overall logistics of a modern mechanized army
Oct 09, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing
As the back cover of my edition says, "George Marshall the soldier oversaw the vast mobilization of troops and shaped the strategies that defeated Nazi Germany and then Imperial Japan ... as Truman's Secretary of State he created the European Recovery Plan that saved Europe from ruins (and that he steadfastly refused to call the Marshall Plan), and became the only military man ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize."

A few details - the author shines the light on the challenges of building a coalition
Feb 13, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, history
At an intimidating 800 pages, this book read much easier than I expected. Mr. Cray needed every page to reflect on the life of quite posibly the greatest American. Marshall's life was so facinating, and his legacy so influential to the way the world is shaped today, it's a travesty that he is only briefly mentioned in school text books. I got a glimpse of the man Marshall was while touring the Pentagon, where there is a hallway dedicated to him. I decided right then that I needed to know more ...more
Greg Bell
May 21, 2013 Greg Bell rated it really liked it
Superior biography of THE man of our WW II armed forces. He was the genius behind the scenes doing the politics, the industrial ramp up, the drafting, training and forming new armed forces groups. He could have had command of the invasion of Europe, but was so scrupulous of civilian control that he refused to lobby Pres. Roosevelt. Finally, the pressure on the president to appoint a supreme commander grew so intense he could not procrastinate any longer. He must have been aware how much Gen. ...more
Greg Brozeit
Harry Truman admired George Marshall more than any other person. Cray's magnificent biography clearly explains why. His devotion to country and duty set a standard unfulfilled since George Washington and no one has come close to achieving it since.

It was because of Marshall's character that an isolationist Congress decided to build up the military in anticipation of World War II. Truman intentionally changed the name of his post-WWII plan to rebuild Europe to the Marshall Plan because he unders
Mar 15, 2014 Xon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
While reading about Roosevelt, Ike, Truman, MacArthur and others, General George Marshall's name constantly comes up. Unlike the others, his name is not as recognized today and doesn't come with as much prestige today. It turns out he might've been the most important figure in the success of WWII and the global landscape that followed. To list all of the major accomplishments in his life from WWI to the beginning of the Cold War would take much longer than I'm prepared for. General Marshall ...more
Jul 07, 2011 Bob rated it it was amazing
I knew little about George Marshall until I read this book, though I knew the surrounding history. Marshall deserves a greater spotlight in American history and culture. He represented all that is best in public service, and not just in a contemporary American context. His values and character would shine forth in any epoch and context. He was highly regarded, perhaps even with a little awe, by characters as diverse as Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. Congress certainly sat in awe of him. Unlike ...more
Yulin Zhuang
A fascinating look at one of the great statesmen of our time. Very admiring, with little criticism of the subject. However, the subject really was one of those truly selfless Americans.

There's some interesting things to be gleaned from the book on leadership. Two quotes in particular that stood out at me were:

"Gentlemen, it is my experience an enlisted man may have a morale problem. An officer is expected to take care of his own morale."

"I don't want you fellows sitting around asking me what to
A very workmanlike biography of General Marshall. I was woefully ignorant and looking for a basic biography rather than an in-depth look from some particular angle. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time for Forrest Pogue's multivolume opus, so I settled on this. The details on every single wartime summit can get a little tedious, but overall it did a thorough job of covering Marshall's life. It's not hagiography, but it's hard to write about Marshall without becoming somewhat smitten. Cray ...more
Sathya Vijayakumar
Dec 05, 2014 Sathya Vijayakumar rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and the level of detail it goes into to describe General Marshall's varied life. The only reason I can't give it 5 stars is because I think it was a bit too hagiographic and perhaps too lengthy. Some 20 page descriptions of events that took 20 minutes were really a struggle.
Michael Whitehead
May 30, 2015 Michael Whitehead rated it it was amazing
A well written and outstanding account of the life of a great man. I've read hundreds of books about WW II but this book provided numerous insights into the high level machinations involved in organizing a democracy to fight Total War. Throughout the account my admiration for the man grew.
Jul 22, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Fewer men have served this nation more in so many critical junctures in history than General George C. Marshall. US Army Chief of Staff during WWII, Secretary of State during the post war era, and Secretary of Defense at the start of the Cold War. He literally gave his life for his country.
Aug 16, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I always thought Marshall was one of the great Americans - but I truly respected him on a new level after reading this book. He was the definition of sacrificing individual fame and glory for the betterment of America.
Stephen Mccullough
A great look at Marshall's military career but rather disappointing on his tenure as secretaries of state and defense. Incredibly, this is the only single volume biography of Marshall, perhaps the most important general since the Civil War, in the last 30 years.
kenneth c barr
Dec 19, 2015 kenneth c barr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest Americans!

I started reading this book to learn about General Marshall:in addition I got a wonderful history of the Twentieth Century. I highly recommend this book!
Jan 29, 2014 Kaddude rated it it was amazing
Didn't know much about Marshall before reading this. Terrific book. And what a tower of a man and inspiration Marshall was.
Melanie A Litoski
Excellent read.

Important lessons from history. The book reviews many important historical events from the perspective of a selfless and dedicated man.
Ivan rated it did not like it
Mar 01, 2016
Al Jones
Al Jones rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2013
JD rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2015
Joyce H Glasscock
Joyce H Glasscock rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2016
Frank Thun
Apr 01, 2013 Frank Thun rated it it was amazing
A book on management and character
Steve Schinke
Steve Schinke rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2015
Marshall St. Clair
Marshall St. Clair rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2015
Owen rated it it was ok
Jan 30, 2015
Jack Schatz
Jack Schatz rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2016
Nick rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2011
Steve rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2015
Burnsie63 rated it really liked it
May 15, 2015
Chris rated it liked it
Dec 28, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nimitz
  • Patton: A Genius for War
  • Patton
  • Wild Bill Donovan
  • Crusade in Europe
  • The Patton Papers: 1940-1945
  • War in the Air
  • Patton: Ordeal and Triumph
  • Ernie Pyle's War: America's Eyewitness to World War II
  • Gray Fox: Robert E. Lee and the Civil War
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom
  • A Soldier's Story
  • It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
  • World War I
  • Partners in Command: George Marshall & Dwight Eisenhower in War & Peace
  • The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot
  • George B. McClellan: The Young Napoleon
  • Rommel: The Desert Fox
Cray is a longtime freelance writer who has been published in many of the country's leading newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Cray is the author of 18 published books, including General of the Army, a biography of George C. Marshall; Chief Justice, a biography of Earl Warren; and most recently Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie. ...more
More about Ed Cray...

Share This Book