ARMED PROGRESSIVE: General Leonard Wood by Jack C. Lane

ARMED PROGRESSIVE: General Leonard Wood

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A fairly straightforward biography, the first in more than 30 years, of the once-prominent Leonard Wood--surgeon, Indian fighter, co-organizer of the Rough Riders, Military Governor of Cuba, Army Chief of Staff, Governor-General of the Philippines, unsuccessful candidate for the 1920 Republication presidential nomination. As Governor of Santiago de Cuba, he cleaned up the ""wretched"" conditions and fed the starving people; but Lane notes that his ""autocratic methods were callously indifferent to human rights""--people were publicly horsewhipped for defecating in the streets. Later, in the Philippines, he would compile a record notorious for its harshness toward the natives. Wood also wrote three books (all on the military), and Lane cites as his major achievements reforming the Army's General Staff system and getting the American people to accept universal military training--chiefly a matter of setting up civilian training camps. One of his great disappointments was not receiving a European command during World War I because his political foe, Wilson, felt he drew ""controversy and conflict of judgment"" wherever he went. Lane seems to agree, noting that Wood's career ""should serve as an example of what American officers ought to avoid,"" and pointing to Douglas MacArthur as one who did emulate Wood. A detailed study, best when describing what Progressive-Era colonialism really meant.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1978
ISBN: 0803226586
Publisher: Presidio Press