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Book Reviews

America's School for War: Fort Leavenworth, Officer Education, and Victory in World War II (Modern War Studies)
by Peter J. Schifferle
A scholarly work on the Fort Leavenworth school system, where a a generation of US Army officers was trained for higher command and staff duties between the two world wars. This book examines in detail the courses taught there, and the students who were taught. It corrects a number of myths about the way training was conducted. It is weakest in the final part of the book, as it rushes through the wartime courses at Fort Leavenworth, while acknowledging their importance. The book argues that American military success in World War II was more than a matter of material and resources, and owed much to the way in which they were utilised, a position becoming more orthodox all the time.


From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration 1900-1963
by James E. Hewes Jr.
This book chronicles the story of the US Army's organization and administration over the course of a half century. Originally published in 1974, it is too old to cover changes during and since the war in Vietnam. Similarly, it takes up circa 1900, so a reader interested in the 19th century would have to find another book. It therefore forms part of a (yet unwritten) series. However, it is quite fascinating in the story it tells, which is basically a long struggle for reform against reactionary forces. The story of how the US Army discarded the organization that it needed for victory, and then gradually reinstated parts of it is well told.

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