The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia

Routledge
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First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Dec 2, 2013
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Pages
850
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ISBN
9781135684532
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An examination of Holland Smith's career in the Marine Corps follows its evolution from an insular constabulary at the turn of the 20th century to a juggernaut, landing American troops island by island in vital amphibious engagements up to 1945. Serving in important assignments from the Philippines to China to Latin America, Smith became deeply involved in the development of amphibious strategy and tactics, as well as in the creation of proper landing craft by the early 1930s. After Pearl Harbor, the Marines would turn to him to plan and lead operations in the Gilberts, the Marianas, and the Volcano Islands, culminating in the epic operation at Iwo Jima. Venzon details the life of this quiet, modest man who, she contends, deliberately cultivated the persona of an irascible, unreasonable perfectionist, in an effort to do everything possible to protect the Marines under his command.

Smith braved malaria and dengue fever in the Philippines, sailed through the backwaters of post-Manchu China, and fought in the earliest banana wars in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. After World War I, he was the first Marine to attend the General Staff College at Langres, and from then on became am important member of 4th Marine Brigade Staff, and later on the staff of the army's I Corps. Here, he learned that war in the new century would be as much about planning, logistics, communications, and intelligence as it was about brute force. Upon his return to the United States, he attended both the Naval War College and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. By 1940, he commanded the First Marine Division. His deliberately explosive behavior, however, would ultimately push him out of the circle of legendary World War II leaders.

What was it that transformed the United States Marine Corps from a quasi-constabulary in 1861 to one of the world's elite fighting forces by 1918? As there was nothing terribly unusual about the Corps' organization or bureaucracy, the only conclusion left is that it must have been its extraordinary people. The Civil War attracted to the USMC a handful of young men who were natural leaders. These men then trained another cohort of talented, tenacious leaders, who, in turn, molded the men who led the Marine Corps into the twentieth century.

Many of their names have faded in the brighter lights of the campaigns in the Pacific, Korea, and Vietnam, but without men like Huntington, Cochrane, and Myers, there wouldn't have been Puller, Edson, or Pace in later years. Author Anne Cipriano Venzon selected ten men whose skills and leadership clearly contributed to the formation of the ethos, which became the modern Marine Corps. By examining each man's strengths and weaknesses, the continuum of leadership from the earliest days of the Corps becomes very clear for the reader.

Based on extensive research, most of it in little-used primary documents, the biographies of the ten men featured in Leaders of Men look both at the men and their role in various engagements and events. From Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the search for the Alabama during the Civil War to the Battle of Belleau Wood and "peacekeeping" missions in China in the 1920s, the examination of these careers will give readers a better understanding of what it means to be a Marine.
The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.

In this “enjoyable, fast-paced tale” (The Economist), master historian David McCullough “shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly” (The Washington Post) and “captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished” (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is “a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency…about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished…The Wright Brothers soars” (The New York Times Book Review).
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