Detailing the life and legacy of one of America's highest profile military commanders, this biography looks at how Ridgway maintained his corporatist ideals through the critical days of World War II and the Cold War. The qualities that Ridgway honed on the battlefields of Europe and Korea were the same that he would draw upon in more politicized jobs as NATO commander and US Army Chief of Staff, and in retirement as the leading military critic of American intervention in Vietnam. The global scope of Ridgway's involvement, in wartime and peacetime, from Europe to Latin American to the Far East, provides a unique opportunity to examine the policy and ideological issues of the day. Early chapters chronicle Ridgway's younger life and early postings from West Point to China to Sandi's Nicaragua, and his participation in various campaigns during World War II, from Sicily to Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge and on into Germany. Later chapters cover his work as a military diplomat under President Truman, including his work on arms control and the Inter-American Cooperation Act. Soffer then examines Ridgway's key role in the Korean War and his ability as a theater commander, and then considers his actions under President Eisenhower and beyond, as well as Ridgway's active support for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. This work will prove valuable to students of military history and the Cold War.
JONATHAN M. SOFFER is Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, New York. /e