FIRST U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
A Tragic Story.
The story of James Vincent Forrestal is a tragic one. A man of humble birth raised high by his own ambition, he was brought low by his doubts about his worthiness to possess his exalted status. He entered the upper reaches of patrician power and was accepted as one among equals, but he seems never to have accepted himself as such. As secretary of the navy during World War II, he reinvented the U.S. fleet, enabling it to conduct the sea operations and marine landings that brought victory in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Rewarded by being named the first secretary of defense, he sought vainly to bring unity and central control to competing services. One of the most anti-Communist members of the foreign policy elite, he was convinced that war with the Soviet Union was inevitable; he tried desperately to convince President Harry S Truman to increase military spending but was...
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