15 Stars presents the intertwined lives of three great men—Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Marshall—against the sweeping background of six unforgettable decades, from the two world wars to the Cold War. As it reveals the personalities behind the public images, it shows how much of a difference three men can make not only to a nation, but the world.
In the closing days of World War II, America looked up to three five-star generals as its greatest heroes. George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Douglas MacArthur personified victory, from the Pentagon to Normandy to the Far East. Counterparts and on occasion competitors, they had leapfrogged each other, sometimes stonewalled each other, even supported and protected each other throughout their celebrated careers. In the public mind they stood for glamour, integrity, and competence. But for dramatic twists of circumstance, all three—rather than only one—might have occupied the White House.
Stanley Weintraub is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, and the author of numerous histories and biographies, including 15 Stars, 11 Days in December, and Silent Night.
“[An] object lesson in how even the most iron-willed president must always have strong, independent-minded commanders and, no less important, be willing to listen intently to them.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[A] stormy tale.”—Washington Post Book World
“An interesting portrait of America’s most prominent modern generals.”—Desert Morning News