Results by Title
27 books about Ferrell, Robert H.
Results by Title
27 books about Ferrell, Robert H.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press
This poignant memoir recalls the great battle of the Meuse-Argonne, an epic conflict waged by well over a million men that saw casualties of 26,277 killed and 95,786 wounded. Many books have been written about General Pershing’s planning of the offensive; this one tells what happened to the soldiers who had to carry out his orders.
The Thirty-second was a shock division made up largely of National Guard units—farm boys from the Upper Midwest. But as casualties mounted, replacements were rushed into battle with little training—and devastating results. Baker knew friends and tent mates who were alive one day, dead the next, and he kept track of the battle in diary entries tucked into his Bible—and made evasively short in case of capture.
He shares his and his comrades’ thoughts about fighting in a harsh climate and terrain, relates their ongoing problems with short supplies, and tells how they managed to overcome their fears. It is a straightforward narrative that doesn’t glorify battle or appeal to patriotism yet conveys the horrors of warfare with striking accuracy. Historian Robert Ferrell’s new introduction puts Baker’s recollections in the context of the larger theater of war.
Baker fleshed out his diary in a book that saw limited publication in 1927 but has remained essentially unknown. Argonne Days in World War I is a masterpiece brimming with insight about the ordinary doughboys who fought in the European trenches. It conveys the spirit of a man who did his duty in a time of trouble—and is a testament to the spirit shared by thousands like him.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt's health deteriorated in the months leading up to the Democratic National Convention of 1944, Democratic leaders confronted a dire situation. Given the inevitability of the president's death during a fourth term, the choice of a running mate for FDR was of profound importance. The Democrats needed a man they could trust. They needed Harry S. Truman.
Robert Ferrell tells an engrossing tale of ruthless ambition, secret meetings, and party politics. Roosevelt emerges as a manipulative leader whose desire to retain power led to a blatant disregard for the loyalty of his subordinates and the aspirations of his vice presidential hopefuls. Startling in its conclusions, impeccable in its research, Choosing Truman is an engrossing, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the nation's thirty-third president.
In this fascinating memoir William S. Triplet continues the saga begun in his earlier book, A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne: A Memoir, 1917-1918. After serving in World War I, Triplet chose to become a career military man and entered West Point. Upon graduation in 1924, his assignments were routine—to regiments in the Southwest and in Panama or as an officer in charge of Reserve Officers' Training Corps units or of men sent to a tank school. All this changed, however, when a new war opened in Europe.
From 1940 to1942, Triplet was assigned to the Infantry Board at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he engaged in testing new weapons and machines for the expanding army. He became a full colonel in December 1942. After leaving Benning he received posts with four armored forces: the Thirteenth Armored Division forming in the United States, an amphibious tank and troop carrier group training at Fort Ord, California, and the Second and Seventh Armored Divisions in Europe. His extraordinary abilities as a tank commander became evident in the Seventh Armored, where he took over a four-thousand-man unit known as Combat Command A. He was soon moving from triumph to triumph as he led his unit into Germany. Here was much room for professional judgment and decision, and the colonel was in his element. In the war's last days Triplet and his men fought their way to the Baltic, preventing many German troops from joining in the defense of Berlin against the advancing Soviet army.
Although Triplet was recommended for brigadier general, Dwight D. Eisenhower believed the U.S. Army had enough generals to finish the war; thus, the indomitable Triplet served out the few remaining years of his career as a colonel. After retiring in 1954, Triplet moved to Leesburg, Virginia, where he soon began to mull over his military experiences. Fascinated by the history he had witnessed, engaged by the attraction of writing about it, he recorded his memories with a combination of verve, thoughtfulness, and harsh judgments concerning ranking officers he considered incompetent— generals not excluded.
Through his annotations, Robert H. Ferrell provides the historical context for Triplet's experiences. Well written and completely absorbing, A Colonel in the Armored Divisions provides readers the rare opportunity to see firsthand what a real professional in the U.S. Army thought about America's preparation for and participation in the war against Germany and Japan.
Once again available is the critically acclaimed Dear Bess, a collection of more than 600 letters that Harry S. Truman wrote to his beloved wife, Bess, from 1910 to 1959. Selected from 1,268 letters discovered in Bess's house after her death in 1982, this extraordinary collection provides an inside look at Truman's life, his thoughts, and his dreams.
In this authoritative account, Robert H. Ferrell shows how the treatment of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's illness in 1944- 1945 was managed by none other than the president himself. Although this powerful American president knew that he suffered from cardiovascular disease, he went to great lengths to hide that fact—both from his physician and from the public. Why Roosevelt disguised the nature of his illness may be impossible to discern fully. He was a secretive man who liked to assign only parts of tasks to his assistants so that he, the president, would be the only one who knew the whole story. The presidency was his life, and he did not wish to give it up.
The president's duplicity, though not easily measurable, had a critical effect on his performance. Placed on a four-hour-a-day schedule by his physicians, Roosevelt could apply very little time to his presidential duties. He took long vacations in South Carolina, Warm Springs, the Catoctin Mountains, and Hyde Park, as well as lengthy journeys to Hawaii, Canada, and Yalta. Important decisions were delayed or poorly made. America's policy toward Germany was temporarily abandoned in favor of the so-called Morgenthau Plan, which proposed the "pastoralization" of Germany, turning the industrial heart of Europe into farmland. Roosevelt nearly ruined the choice of Senator Harry S. Truman as his running mate in 1944 by wavering in the days prior to the party's national convention. He negotiated an agreement with Winston Churchill on sharing postwar development of nuclear weapons but failed to let the State Department know. And, in perhaps the most profoundly unwise decision, Roosevelt accepted a fourth term when he could not possibly survive it.
In his final year, a year in which he faced crucial responsibility regarding World War II and American foreign policy, Franklin D. Roosevelt failed to serve the nation as a healthy president would have. Reading like a mystery story, The Dying President clears up many of the myths and misunderstandings that have surrounded Roosevelt's last year, finally revealing the truth about this missing chapter in FDR's life.
An exploration of the nuclear arms race and the dangers arising with the advent of “limited warfare”
After the development of the atomic bomb in 1945, Americans became engaged in a "new kind of war" against totalitarianism. Enemies and objectives slipped out of focus, causing political and military aims to mesh as a struggle to contain communism both at home and abroad encompassed civilians as well as soldiers. In matters relating to Vietnam, Central America, and the nuclear arms race, the domestic and foreign dimensions of each issue became inseparable. Policymakers in Washington had to formulate strategies dictated by "limited war" in their search for peace.
Contributors to this volume demonstrate the multifaceted nature of modern warfare. Robert H. Ferrell establishes the importance of studying military history in understanding the post-World War II era. On Vietnam, Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., gives an intriguing argument regarding the U. S. Army; George C. Herring examines how America's decisions in 1954 assured deepened involvement; and Captain Mark Clodfelter uncovers new evidence concerning "Linebacker I." On the home front, Robert F. Burk analyzes the impact of the Cold War on the battle for racial justice; Charles DeBenedetti puts forth a challenging interpretation of the antiwar movement; and James C. Schneider provides perspective on the relationship between the Vietnam War and the Great Society. On Central America, two writers downplay communism in explaining the region's troubles. Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., fits the Nicaraguan revolution in the long span of history, and Thomas M. Leonard shows how the Reagan administration forced Costa Rica to side with the United States's anti-Sandinista policy. Finally, on nuclear strategy, Donald M. Snow offers a thought-provoking assessment of the "star wars" program, and Daniel S. Papp recommends measures to promote understanding among the superpowers.
These essays demonstrate that the making of foreign policy is immensely complicated, not subject to easy solution or to simple explanation. Despite these complexities, the central objective of policymakers remained clear: to safeguard what was perceived as the national interest.
Few U.S. presidents have captured the imagination of the American people as has Harry S. Truman, “the man from Missouri.”
In this major new biography, Robert H. Ferrell, widely regarded as an authority on the thirty-third president, challenges the popular characterization of Truman as a man who rarely sought the offices he received, revealing instead a man who—with modesty, commitment to service, and basic honesty—moved with method and system toward the presidency.
Truman was ambitious in the best sense of the word. His powerful commitment to service was accompanied by a remarkable shrewdness and an exceptional ability to judge people. He regarded himself as a consummate politician, a designation of which he was proud. While in Washington, he never succumbed to the “Potomac fever” that swelled the heads of so many officials in that city. A scrupulously honest man, Truman exhibited only one lapse when, at the beginning of 1941, he padded his Senate payroll by adding his wife and later his sister.
From his early years on the family farm through his pivotal decision to use the atomic bomb in World War II, Truman’s life was filled with fascinating events. Ferrell’s exhaustive research offers new perspectives on many key episodes in Truman’s career, including his first Senate term and the circumstances surrounding the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. In addition, Ferrell taps many little-known sources to relate the intriguing story of the machinations by which Truman gained the vice presidential nomination in 1944, a position which put him a heartbeat away from the presidency.
No other historian has ever demonstrated such command over the vast amounts of material that Robert Ferrell brings to bear on the unforgettable story of Truman’s life. Based upon years of research in the Truman Library and the study of many never-before-used primary sources, Harry S. Truman is destined to become the authoritative account of the nation’s favorite president.
In Ill-Advised: Presidential Health and Public Trust, now available in paperback, noted historian Robert H. Ferrell presents powerful evidence of frightening medical scandals in the White House. Malpractice, missing public records, and politically motivated cover-ups have hidden sometimes severe presidential illnesses from the American people. Ferrell traces these often shocking incidents--from Grover Cleveland's secret surgery for cancer to the questionable reporting on the health of both Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
Pierpont Stackpole was a Boston lawyer who in January 1918 became aide to Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, soon to be commander of the first American corps in France. Stackpole’s diary, published here for the first time, is a major eyewitness account of the American Expeditionary Forces’ experience on the Western Front, offering an insider’s view into the workings of Liggett’s commands, his day-to-day business, and how he orchestrated his commands in trying and confusing situations.
Hunter Liggett did not fit John J. Pershing’s concept of the trim and energetic officer, but Pershing entrusted to him a corps and then an army command. Liggett assumed leadership of the U.S. First Army in mid-October of 1918, and after reorganizing, reinforcing, and resting, the battle-weary troops broke through the German lines in a fourth attack at the Meuse-Argonne—accomplishing what Pershing had failed to do in three previous attempts. The victory paved the way to armistice on November 11.
Liggett has long been a shadowy figure in the development of the American high command. He was “Old Army,” a veteran of Indian wars who nevertheless kept abreast of changes in warfare and more than other American officers was ready for the novelties of 1914–1918. Because few of his papers have survived, the diary of his aide—who rode in the general’s staff car as Liggett unburdened himself about fellow generals and their sometimes abysmal tactical notions—provides especially valuable insights into command within the AEF.
Stackpole’s diary also sheds light on other figures of the war, presenting a different view of the controversial Major General Clarence Edwards than has recently been recorded and relating the general staff’s attitudes about the flamboyant aviation figure Billy Mitchell. General Liggett built the American army in France, and the best measure of his achievement is this diary of his aide. That record stands here as a fascinating and authentic look at the Great War.
In the Philippines and Okinawa, the third volume of Colonel William S. Triplet's memoirs, tells of Triplet's experiences during the American occupations in the early years after World War II. Continuing the story from the preceding books of his memoirs, A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne and A Colonel in the Armored Divisions, Triplet takes us to the Philippines, where his duties included rounding up isolated groups of Japanese holdouts, men who refused to believe or admit that their nation had lost the war, and holding them until the time came to transport them back to Japan.
Triplet also had to reorganize his battalions and companies to raise morale, which had plummeted with the end of the war and the seemingly dull tasks of occupation. When he took over his assignment of commanding a regiment in a division, he was dismayed to discover the unmilitary habits of almost everyone, regardless of rank. A strict disciplinarian himself, Colonel Triplet, who had served in both world wars, at one time commanding a four-thousand-man combat group, brought his regiment of garrison troops back into shape in a short time.
Okinawa presented the new challenge of bringing order to an island that had seen the deaths of one hundred thousand civilians. Virtually every building on the island had been leveled, and tens of thousands of Japanese defenders had been killed. Triplet was also obliged to oversee the temporary burial of thirteen thousand U.S. servicemen, both soldiers and sailors.
In the Philippines and Okinawa portrays the ever-changing, very human, and frequently dangerous occupation of two East Asian regions that are still important to American foreign policy. Any reader interested in military history or American history will find this memoir engaging.
The long reign of Kansas City political boss Thomas J. Pendergast came to an end in 1939, after an investigation led by Special Agent Rudolph Hartmann of the U.S. Department of the Treasury resulted in Pendergast's conviction for income tax evasion. In 1942, Hartmann's account was submitted to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., in whose papers it remained for the past fifty-six years unbeknownst to historians. While researching the relations between Pendergast and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert H. Ferrell came across Hartmann's landmark report—the only firsthand account of the investigation that brought down the greatest political machine of its time, possibly one of the greatest in all of American history.
Reading like a "whodunit," The Kansas City Investigation traces Pendergast's political career from its beginnings to its end. As one of America's major city bosses, Pendergast was at the height of his influence in 1935-1936 when his power reached not merely to every ward and precinct in Kansas City but also to the statehouse in Jefferson City and Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. It was during this time that the boss took a massive bribe—$315,000—from 137 national fire insurance companies operating within Missouri, opening him to attack by his enemies.
Early in 1938, an official in the Washington headquarters of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, a former Missourian, quit his job to accept private employment, but not without first tipping off a reporter from the Kansas City Star about Pendergast's bribe. The reporter immediately phoned Lloyd C. Stark, the governor of Missouri and a known enemy of Pendergast. Stark then went to Washington to inform President Roosevelt. Although the president had been a supporter of Pendergast, he now considered Stark a more important political ally. Roosevelt asked the Treasury Department to investigate Pendergast's income taxes. The intelligence unit of the Treasury Department put Hartmann, its best operative, on the case. Within a year, after the most minute of inquiries into checkbooks, serial numbers on currency, a safe-deposit box, and a telegraphed transfer of $10,000, Hartmann and his agents found enough evidence to convict Boss Tom.
More than a simple account of what the Roosevelt administration did to cause the collapse of the Pendergast machine, The Kansas City Investigation takes the reader through the ups and downs, twists and turns, of this intriguing investigation, all from an insider's perspective. More important, Hartmann's report provides historians and readers alike the opportunity to evaluate the machine era in American political history—an era that, according to the investigation, "proved the old axiom that `truth is stranger than fiction.'"
September 13, 1918
Got no sleep at all last night.
About two o'clock in the morning Col. Heintzelman, chief of staff of the corps, came out and he was much pleased with what the division had accomplished and with the way they had gone through. It was the division's first battle and it played a very important and creditable part. Certain things fell down. . . . The truth of the matter is the troops got away from the wire and it was impossible to keep the wire up through the tangle of barbed wire and woods. We captured 3,000 prisoners on our front alone and have lost 521.November 1, 1918 Considerable heavy artillery fire all night. The preparation fire went down promptly at 3:30, it was very heavy. . . . The barrage went down promptly at 5:30. Troops jumped off. At 7:30 thirty prisoners reported from Le Dhuy Fme., taken by the 353rd and 354th infantries. I don't understand what the 353rd Infantry is doing in there, as it is out of the sector. At 7:00 a.m. there was a distinct lull in the artillery fire. . . . I told Hanson at 8:05 to move his troops forward to parallel 86 immediately. He stated that he would get them going about 8:30, but actually did not get them started until about eleven o'clock. I sent for him on arrival and told him to hurry his men up. Before Lee left I had ordered the divisional reserve to move forward with its advance element on the first objective to maintain their echelonment in depth. Smyser came in at one o'clock and I ordered the divisional machine guns to the front to take position about one-half kilometer east of Dhuy Fme. At the time the reserves were ordered forward. I ordered Hanson to take his P.C. to Dhuy Fme. . . . Hanson has just arrived. I do not understand why he is always so slow. He seems to be inordinately stupid.
Gathered for the first time, Truman's private papers--diaries, letters, and memoranda--cover the period from his occupancy of the White House in 1945 to shortly before his death in 1972. Students and scholars will find valuable material on major events of the Truman years, from the Potsdam Conference to the Korean War.
Available for the first time in paperback, The Strange Deaths of President Harding challenges readers to reexamine Warren G. Harding's rightful place in American history.
For nearly half a century, the twenty-ninth president of the United States has consistently finished last in polls ranking the presidents. After Harding's untimely death in 1923, a variety of attacks and unsubstantiated claims left the public with a tainted impression of him. In this meticulously researched scrutiny of the mystery surrounding Harding's death, Robert H. Ferrell, distinguished presidential historian, examines the claims against this unpopular president and uses new material to counter those accusations.
At the time of Harding's death there was talk of his similarity, personally if not politically, to Abraham Lincoln. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes described Harding as one of nature's noblemen, truehearted and generous. But soon after Harding's death, his reputation began to spiral downward. Rumors circulated of the president's death by poison, either by his own hand or by that of his wife; allegations of an illegitimate daughter were made; and question were raised concerning the extent of Harding's knowledge of the Teapot Dome scandal and of irregularities in the Veterans' Bureau, as well as his tolerance of a corrupt attorney general who was an Ohio political fixer. Journalists and historians of the time added to his tarnished reputation by using sources that were easily available but not factually accurate.
In The Strange Deaths of President Harding, Ferrell lays out the facts behind these allegations for the reader to ponder. Making the most of the recently opened papers of assistant White House physician Dr. Joel T. Boone, Ferrell shows that for years Harding suffered from high blood pressure, was under a great deal of stress, and overexerted himself; it was a heart attack that caused his death, not poison. There was no proof of an illegitimate child. And Harding did not know much about the scandals intensifying in the White House at the time of his death. In fact, these events were not as scandalous as they have since been made to seem.
In this meticulously researched and eminently readable scrutiny of the mystery surrounding Harding's death, as well as the deathblows dealt his reputation by journalists, Ferrell asks for a reexamination of Harding's place in American history.
No portion of the political career of Harry S. Truman was more fraught with drama than his relationship with Thomas J. Pendergast. In one of their earliest meetings, the two men were momentarily at odds after Truman, who was then presiding judge of Jackson County, gave a $400,000 road contract to a construction company in South Dakota, and Pendergast, the boss of Kansas City, wasn't very happy about it. He had someone else in mind for the contract. Their association thus had its disagreements, but their common interest in politics was enough to establish a long-lasting relationship.
In 1934, after considering fourteen other men, Pendergast sponsored Truman for the Senate. Although Truman had often cooperated with Pendergast on patronage issues, he had never involved himself in the illegalities that would eventually destroy the Pendergast machine. In fact, Truman had no idea how deeply the Boss had engaged in corruption in his personal affairs, as well as in managing the government of Kansas City. When the Boss was sent to Leavenworth for tax evasion in 1939, Truman was astonished.
Despite Truman's honesty, his relationship with Pendergast almost caused his defeat during the Missouri senatorial primary in August 1940. The main challenger for Truman's Senate seat was the ambitious governor of Missouri, Lloyd C. Stark, who after destroying Truman's sponsor, the Pendergast machine, denounced Truman as "the Pendergast senator." Behind the governor was President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom Stark turned against Truman. Roosevelt wanted Missouri's electoral votes in his forthcoming bid for a third term, and he believed that Stark could give them to him.
Because of the stigma of Truman's Pendergast connection, the 1940 Democratic primary was the tightest election in his entire political career. He won by fewer than eight thousand votes. In Truman and Pendergast, Robert H. Ferrell masterfully presents Truman's struggle to keep his Senate seat without the aid of Pendergast and despite Stark's enlistment of Roosevelt against him. Ferrell shows that Truman won the election in his typical fashion—going directly to the people, speaking honestly and like one of them.
As assistant press secretary to President Harry S. Truman, Eben A. Ayers brought with him twenty-six years of experience as a newspaperman. He knew when he had a good story and knew how to record it. His private diary, which he kept unbeknownst to his associates, tells the inside story of the Truman White House clearly, colorfully, and with an acute sense of history.
A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne is a firsthand account of World War I through the eyes of an enlisted soldier. William S. Triplet was a seventeen-year-old junior in high school when, on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked for a declaration of war. Passed by Congress and signed by the nation's chief executive four days later, this declaration stirred the superintendent of schools in Triplet's hometown of Sedalia, Missouri, to make an emotional plea to all eligible students to join the armed forces. "Any student who felt called upon to fight, bleed, and die for his country could receive his graduation diploma upon his return from the war." Triplet was eighteen months short of being of legal enlistment age, but the army didn't check birth certificates. The appeal of military benefits—room and board, travel, adventure, and fifteen dollars a month, plus knowing he would receive his high school diploma—was too much for the young Triplet to pass up. Thus began William S. Triplet's remarkable career in the U.S. Army, in which he served until his retirement as a full colonel in 1954.
In A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne, Triplet covers the early years of his service in Company D, 140th Infantry Regiment, 35th Division, from shortly after the time of his enlistment in 1917 to his honorable discharge in 1919. During those months he participated in several actions, most notably the battle of the Meuse-Argonne. With both elegance and a touch of humor, he masterfully portrays the everyday life of the soldier, humanizing the men with whom he served. His vivid depictions of how soldiers fought give the reader a much clearer view of the terrifying experiences of combat. He also touches on the special problems he encountered as a sergeant with an infantry platoon composed of soldiers from many different walks of life.
In writing this memoir, Triplet relied heavily on a detailed diary that he kept while he was in France in 1918. Through his annotations, Robert H. Ferrell provides the historical context for Triplet's firsthand experiences. The result is a compelling memoir that offers insight into the lives of the soldiers who served during World War I. Anyone with an interest in World War I or military history in general will find A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne of great interest.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press