History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Vol. I: The Formative Years, 1947-1950

In This Review

History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Vol. I: The Formative Years, 1947-1950

By Steven L. Rearden
Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1984
667 pp.
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This hefty, deeply researched, and well-written official history treats the 30 months between the establishment of the Department of Defense in September 1947 and the drafting of NSC-68 in the Spring of 1950-James Forrestal's secretaryship and the first part of Louis Johnson's. Although the author is restrained in his comments on individuals, the book is rich with material on China policy, NATO, military aid, atomic weapons, interservice rivalry, and other subjects.