Military correspondent Thomas E. Ricks has produced a searing indictment of the top ranks of America’s armed forces. In The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today (Penguin Press, $32.95), Ricks looks back at World War II under Gen. George Marshall as a zenith of competence for general officers. It was a time, Ricks recalls, when failure was not tolerated and scores of American generals were relieved of command for falling short. By contrast, Ricks contends, today’s system accepts mediocrity and provides little reward for daring. While some talented generals have emerged—notably, David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno—many of the rest leave much to be desired. Provocative and outspoken as always, Ricks calls for a rethinking of the way U.S. generals are managed.
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Published: Back Bay Books - November 9th, 1995