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Partners in Command: George Marshall & Dwight Eisenhower in War & Peace

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Profiles the fateful military partnership between the U.S. Army chief-of-staff and future president during World War II and into the Cold War years, citing their collaboration on major battles, Marshall's influence on Eisenhower's subsequent military and political career, and the reversal in their positions toward the end of the war.
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Penguin Press
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Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My father had been recommending this book for some time, but I had been hesitant to dive-into it, afraid that the content would be too heavy on military jargon & statistics. My hesitation was unwarranted, as what I discovered within the pages of Mark Perry's PARTNERS IN COMMAND: GEORGE MARSHALL & DWIGHT WISENHOWER IN WAR & PEACE was a well-rounded, thoughtful read. With the expert delving of a seasoned researcher, Perry takes the reader into the world in which Marshall & Eisenhower inhabited. We ...more
One of the best stories of WWII is how Generals Marshall and Eisenhower developed a strategic partnership to guide the Allies to victory. Both were superb military leaders as well as statesmen. The British strategy to hit the Germans in the Med was without doubt the correct path. North Africa, Sicily, and Italy were all campaigns that drained the German Army. Overlord destroyed the hollow remainder in France. The Ardennes and the attempted relief of Budapest was the last gasp of the Panzers.

Apr 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: an editor for re-writing
Shelves: world-war-ii
I would have given this book 2 or maybe three stars, but the editing was ATROCIOUS! There were many, many easily avoidable errors of fact riddling this book, which I found without really reading it closely.

Let's look at p.257, for one example. An LCT is larger than an LST? (line 1)

Corps and divisions change identities within the same page, and names are misspelled repeatedly.

So many errors, that I don't think I could trust the main story, which is otherwise well put together, covering the plann
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book from a different perspective than most readers of biographies - biography junkies, and WW II history buffs - it was assigned by my CEO to us (all his management) because it is one of the best books on leadership ever written. There are incredible lessons to be learned from the internal conflicts within the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the allies' combined chiefs. My CEO made a great comment the other day, "Marshall was the most powerful man in the world, and he couldn't get thin ...more
Mike Kershaw
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Partners in Command by Mark Perry is an interesting examination of the relationship between Generals Marshall and Eisenhower during World War II. Focusing on their personal correspondence, it is most insightful in the period commencing with Eisenhower's assignment to the Army Staff the week after Pearl Harbor to the victory in Europe. Their prewar experiences as well as their experiences post war are also covered in some detail to provide valuable background and context. The author traces a numb ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ten years ago I read David McCullough's big ol' doorstop of a Truman biography and I had since wondered why at Eisenhower's inauguration the incoming president had not been cordial to his predecessor. Was it Korea? Was he mad at him for firing MacArthur? He was too big a personality for it to be a Republican/Democrat issue. Perry says the two men got along well until Potsdam, when the new president invited his 5-star European theater commander to the conference on how the victors would handle Eu ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Last Saturday (26 June ’10), I finished “Partners In Command” by Mark Perry (2007). The book is a dual biography of Generals George C. Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower. I purchased the book because I have had a long term interest in Marshall. Aside from Patton, Marshall has been one of my favorite World War II generals. The book speaks very favourably of Marshall; almost as highly of Eisenhower; and, rather poorly of everyone else. In particular, Bradley, Montgomery and Patton suffer by comparison ...more
George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower worked step by step in concert to defeat the Axis powers. This is a detailed account of the European campaign with glimpses into what Marshall was also doing for the Pacific.

Why I started this book: It's the beginning of the year, and I am feeling virtuous and determined to cross more titles off my professional reading list.

Why I finished it: This book really went to great lengths to show how the personalities of top generals and politicians shaped the outco
Allie Weiskopf
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: presidents
More a book about all the key leasers in WWII than a book solely focusing on Marshall and Eisenhower. Additionally, the book described events in which they both were generals, and less on their specific relationship.
Wesley Pratt
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best book I have read about General Marshall & General Eisenhower. Their professional friendship throughout WW2 and the years after the war are a excellent example of how working jointly as a team any obstacle can be overcome. ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mark Perry provided a wonderful insight into the relationship of two Army generals during the planning for and the implementation of battle strategy that ended World War II in Europe. "Partners in Command" provided a unique look at how General George Marshall and General Dwight D. Eisenhower battled with American and British politics, the battlefield egos of the senior Allied staff, and their personal struggles to successfully attack three fronts (North Africa, Italy and France), and bring an en ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
Partners in Command fits into the somewhat recent trend in history books of focusing in on an historical specific - a battle, a speech, a pivotal month or as in this case, the relationship between two men, George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower, during a pivotal time in history - and filling in a narrative - with anecdotes, flashbacks, etc - around it. (I don't view this as an inherently bad thing - different readers have different interests). First the good news, in this reader's humble opinion ...more
Aug 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: WWII Fans
I had to give this book three stars even though I would have preferred to give it two and a half. Clearly "GoodReads" is run by facists who want to limit our personal choices.
I have to admit that I started Mark Perry's "Partners in Command" with a favorable attitude after reading positive reviews. However, I came away feeling that Perry had failed to transmit to the reader any sense of the core of his narrative.The word superficial rears its indifferent head throughout most of the book.
We get ha
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have a growing library of biographies of WWII high profile people (mainly US generals). This book was a decent compilation of the relationship between Marshall and Ike. Many of the factual details of their relationship and personal time lines are already well known. No big surprises. The differences in stances and viewpoints over the Italian campaign, Operation Anvil and delays in the Normandy invasion are better explained here than in other biographies.

I enjoyed the review of the personalitie
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Biographies and histories of the Second World War usually either relate a broad stroke of events or narrow the focus into boring details of very specific campaigns. The actions of Marshall and Eisenhower, however, were here nicely inserted between the overall World Political structure and the nitty gritty of fire and maneuver combat. I found the colloquy of Marshall and Eisenhower absolutely fascinating as it provided the very human side of these two men not often disclosed. The superhuman effor ...more
This was an engaging and thought-provoking history of two of the central personalities that provided the driving force for Allied victory in World War II. I thought one of the strongest points of the book was not the analysis of the relationship between Marshall and Eisenhower, but the often taut and strained relationships between the British and American military command structures during the war. It's easy to take for granted that the US and the UK have been tried and true military allies for ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting look at Marshall and Eisenhower from the outbreak of WWII until Marshall's death. There was some background on each so you get a glimpse of the making of each man, and some detail on Eisenhower's life after Marshall. But 90% of the book is devoted to the two working together in war and keeping the peace after. Eisenhower was much more of a political general, keeping the Allies working together under a single unified commander while Marshall had the ultimate insight in organizing for ...more
Andy Bittner
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an interesting perspective from which to read about World War 2. I enjoyed it. As something of an amateur WW2 historian, I am at least familiar with the major battles of that war. In the case of Partners in Command, the perspective on these familiar events was from a much higher and unfamiliar vantage point, as it would have to be in a book about the relationship between two of the war's top commanders. The breadth of perspective on the war was comfortably mitigated by the ultimate narrowne ...more
Mary Brodd
American battle doctrine - win by defeating armed forces, not by occupying territory.
Direct attack favored by US, vs. "nibbling at the edges" favored by Churchill.
UK, US commanders despised each other.
even US commanders despised each other! (e.g. Bradley, Clark)
DE and GM got along so well professionally because both understood Fox Connor - "never fight unless you have to, never fight for long, and never fight alone." The politics of the Alliance were as important during the war as after - Marsha
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it
This is an informative and eye-opening book. I can't believe that the world survived WWII, and the pressure that men like Marshall and Eisenhower endured. The fate of the world was on their shoulders. There is a lot of detail about military battles and strategy. Though this is fascinating, I was hoping for more information about the heart and soul of these men. What I've concluded from this book is that these men really didn't have time for anything personal. They were all business, very serious ...more
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tells part of the story of World War II through the lens of the relationship between Gen Marshall and Gen Eisenhower. It was an entertaining read. My greatest surprises are the continual infighting between the US and Britain on the command structure, which required a lot of Marshall's time, and the fact that much of the American public did not have faith in Eisenhower just a few months prior to Victory in Europe.
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
In trying to figure out how we got into this (our current) mess, I sometimes turn to history. Didn't know much about Ike before hand. Apparently, he was quite a brilliant administrator and planner. Also, learned a lot about his boss, George Marshall (of the Marshall Plan). Worth a quick skim to appreciate some of the details of WWII.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
For anyone looking to better understand the relationship between two truly great generals, I recommend this book. There are a few typographical errors, and Perry's copy editor missed a couple of extremely bad errors in timeline, but the overall biographical look at the relationship between Ike and Marshall was well put. This book was an extremely easy read, and held my interest throughout.
Kirk Bower
Deals with the complexities of the military, politics, and international relations very well. Appreciated the writing style and the comparisons made of the major generals of WWII. Showed the difficulties in which both had to deal with in terms of appeasing the British command, the press, the military, and politicians.
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Chris by: Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List
Pretty good book on the Air Force Chief of Staff's reading list. Gives the reader an in-depth look at the jobs of Eisenhower and Marshall during WWII. I recommend to anyone who is interested in WWII history, otherwise it might be a little dry for the casual reader.
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Perry did a good job of sticking to his focus. I lost some respect for Pres Eisenhower and gained some for Secretary Marshall. I also appreciated another perspective on the senior leadership of the US force in WWII.
Jeff Vankooten
This was a great book on the interface of two fantastic leaders as they worked together to win World War II. There were tensions but always respect for the skills of each other as well as their weaknesses.
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Masterful book in which Fox Connor receives the due he deserves. Also the value of a little black book. Insightful, particularly in an age where we expect perfect leaders. The leadership principles of playing the hand one's dealt is carefully reviewed.
Mike Pouraryan
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A great insight into the partnership and friendship two giants of American History had....
John Elliott
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you like real-life stories and war-era material you'll like to read this. The author so far has done a great job of bringing together details and a story line. Keeps me to the pages.
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