WESTMORELAND: The Inevitable General by Ernest B. Furgurson

WESTMORELAND: The Inevitable General

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We said he would become Chief of Staff of the Army if he didn't stub his toe,"" said one of his officers in World War II. Obviously Westy has made it, even though he has stubbed it. A serious little boy, the sort ""for whom his parents liked to buy soldier suits, and who clearly liked to wear them,"" it seems Westmoreland was destined from the start for a military career. His leadership qualities revealed themselves early: he was class president in high school, number one rat at the Citadel (where he was known as Rip), First Captain at West Point (where he became Westy). The Boy Scout grand tour at fifteen was ""a turning point."" His unit won the Presidential Unit Citation for action at the Kasserine Pass; he moved rapidly on and up the hierarchy in his career--the 101st Airborne, the head of the U.S. Military Academy, XVIII Corps at Fort Bragg, COMUSMACV. L.B.J. felt at home with his lingering Southern (South Carolina) drawl, thought he had the breadth of view of Marshall. The biography is all spit and polished, but the audience seems less ""inevitable"" than earlier this season.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1968
Publisher: Little, Brown