Book Review: The Way of Duty, Honor, Country: The Memoir of General Charles Pelot Summerall


by Charles Pelot Summerall, edited by Timothy K. Nenninger

Lexington, Ky.: The University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Pp. xiii, 298. Illus., chron., notes, biblio., index. $35.00. ISBN: 0813126185

Summerall (1867-1955) had a long career in the U.S. Army, beginning during the Indian Wars, and including service in the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars, command of divisions and corps during World War I, service on the Billy Mitchell court martial, and ending with a tour as chief-of-staff of the army in a period of severe budgetary parsimony (1926-1930). In the early 1950s he penned this often lively, sometimes contentious, memoir, an informal account of his military career, with a very personal, sometimes humorous and sometimes angry, take on events, commanders, politicians, and the military life.

In preparing this work for publication, Timothy Nenninger, of the National Archives, himself the  author or editor of several works in military  history, has provided a thoughtful introduction, clarificatory footnotes, and additional materials, which strengthens the value of Summerall’s account.

A volume in the UPK American Warriors Series, The Way of Duty, Honor, Country will prove rewarding reading for the student of the American army from the late-nineteenth into the mid-twentieth centuries.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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