Lucius D. Clay: An American Life

Jean Edward Smith, Author Henry Holt & Company $36.5 (835p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0999-6
Clay (1898-1978) headed the military procurement effort in WW II, served as U.S. military governor in occupied Germany until his retirement from the Army in '49, and went on to careers in business and banking. He was also active in politics, playing a pivotal role in Eisenhower's '52 presidential campaign. Pragmatic, decisive and incorruptible, he was a type of American who, as Smith notes, ``seems less in evidence as the century winds down.'' The biography is based in part on interviews Smith, editor of The Papers of General Lucius D. Clay , conducted with Clay over a six-year period. Of particular interest are the general's detailed comments on his tenure as military governor of Germany and commander of U.S. forces in Europe, when he laid the foundation for a prosperous and stable Federal Republic of Germany and stood firm against the Soviets with the 1948-1949 Berlin airlift. Short on humor, not given to self-revelation or illustrative anecdote, Clay as depicted here remains a remote and two-dimensional figure. But his mighty deeds are well chronicled in this meticulously researched biography. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 835 pages - 978-0-8050-1787-8
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-4668-6233-3
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