At the turn of the twentieth century, the forty-five states that constituted the United States of America were on the brink of change. No longer a second-rate nation behind the old European countries, America was emerging from its Wild West frontier days, becoming a major commercial power and military force. For the majority of the century, the United States would be the world�s dominant nation.
In many respects, what defined the American Century was the work of George C. Marshall. Though he shunned publicity and self-promotion, seeking instead to do his job quietly and well, he was twice selected as Time magazine�s Man of the Year, stood at the top of the U.S. Army, and won a Nobel Peace Prize for the Marshall Plan. Marshall prided himself on his lack of emotion and, unlike his prot�g�, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Marshall never had any desire to be president--though others lobbied him to be a candidate. His careful command in World War II made Marshall a leading force in transforming the United States into the reigning world power. Later, Marshall served as Secretary of State during the Berlin Airlift and then served as Secretary of Defense during the Korean War.
It was all quite a lot for a boy who was a mediocre student, and whose brother feared he would disgrace the family name when he went away to military school. Fighting Wars, Planning for Peace: The Story of George C. Marshall showcases the incredible accomplishments of the modest man who shaped a world at war�and at peace.