Warren chose Iwo Jima as the starting point for his history of the U.S. Marine Corps because there and at Okinawa the marines displayed the spartan virtues of hardihood, discipline, loyalty, and ferocity more vividly than ever before. He argues that the marines have remained a subculture within the larger and more lenient American military culture and that from this situation arises much of their combat effectiveness. Certainly that effectiveness has been high during the two island campaigns, in Korea, and most recently in Iraq. On the other hand, Vietnam presents a mixed picture, and training accidents such as the Ribbon Creek drownings and the implications of the post-Vietnam reforms in training suggest that the spartan way is not wholly sufficient in and of itself. Warren makes a very useful contribution to the lively ongoing debate on the role, creation, training, and use of elite troops, which is what the marines certainly are. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"A welcome, readable, and concise history of the corps' past 60 years." -- "The Washington Post"