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The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series) Hardcover – April 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


“By placing the Delafield Commission in proper contest and analyzing its significance, Matthew Moten makes a valuable contribution to the intellectual history of the state of the military art in the antebellum American Army. This is a first rate book.”--Edward M. Coffman, author, The Old Army
(Edward M. Coffman, author, The Old Army)

About the Author

Matthew Moten, a U.S. Army lieutenant, received his Ph.D. in history from Rice University. A graduate from West Point, he has served in armor and armored cavalry units in Europe and the United States, taught history at the Military Academy, been a military advisor in Kuwait, and served as a congressional strategist for the army. He is currently a speechwriter for the Chief of Staff, Army.


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Product Details

  • Series: Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series (Book 67)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890969256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890969250
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,034,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brasidas on August 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When did the "profession of arms" become a profession, and not a vulgar clash of untrained violent mobs? More importantly to Matthew Moten's seminal work, when did the US military begin the transition from militia based rabble to professional military?
The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession gives a concise, detailed account of an exceptional group of three American officers, Maj Delafield, Maj Mordecai and Capt McClellan. In the 1850's they stood at the top of their profession, and each was widely respected in his particular branch, or specialty. Although Moten does not bludgeon the reader to death with the details of each, he gives full scope to their qualifications and personalities, and how this colored the prism through which each viewed their twelve month journey through the armies of Europe. Likewise, although the Commission sought to make it to the Crimean Peninsula before the war there ended, the long term effect of their travel was not what they saw, or did not see in the Crimea. Rather, as Moten argues, it was the cumulative effect of what they saw, and central to his thesis, the manner in which they gathered, evaluated, and processed this information that sat them apart as the defining standard of military professionalism of their day. The Commission did see a great deal in the Crimea, but only the end of a drawn out siege style war.
Moten could make more of the time spent in Prussia, England, France and Russia. The reports of the three commissioners have a great deal to say about these militaries, and McClellan's report was published under the title The Armies of Europe.
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The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series)
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