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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely the single most impressive volume on Marine Corps history! After teaching History of the U.S. Marine Corps for over two years at the U.S. Naval Academy, I can honestly say that nothing else in print even comes close to Allan Millett's Semper Fidelis. To all Marines... this is what we SHOULD know about our history -- not just the propaganda and minutia. To everyone else... read this book to understand us and our institution -- you will not be disappointed.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 1999
As a former student of Dr. Millett's I've come to expect first-rate research with tremendous story-telling skills to complement his works. This book will not disappoint. From the amature to the serious historian, this work is a text-book example of how to tell a story without bogging the reader down in irrelevent detail. Every serious military professional should read this text to gain an appreciation for the missions, traditions, and legacy that the Corps has given this nation. If you don't know why the Marines are regarded as the foremost shock troops in the world, you'll understand after reading this fine work. There's a reason why the Marines are always "first in, last out"! LtCol. R. McQuiston, OHANG
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2001
A must read by all Marines, future Marines, or just Marine fans. An easy read that is stacked full of the stuff that made the Marine Corps legend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2006
This book is one of the best history books I have read. I'm not a Marine, nor have I served in any of the armed forces, so I began reading the retired colonel's book with a skeptical eye, wary of Corps propaganda. However, Millett's objectivism and professionalism are evident throughout this rhetoric-free, diligently-researched, amazingly-thorough, and entertaining volume. I particularly enjoyed his characterizations of the various commandants. I only hope that Dr. Millett sees fit to revise and expand the book in a few more years.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2004
This is the ideal gift for a USMC cadet or young officer. It'll make him or her feel good and confident about the traditions, successes, tests, accomplishments, and feats of an outstanding fighting force. What this book reveals so well is the excellent administration of this organization. Business leaders should be envious. Yep, this is well worth reading.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 1999
Any Marine, or anyone who is interested in the history of our beloved United States Marines, will treasure every page of Allan Millett's book. He has taken great care to share with the reader both the upsides and downsides which shaped our Marine Corps into the finest fighting force the world has ever known.
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This is a review of SEMPER FIDELIS: THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS published by Macmillan in New York in 1980. Written by Professor of History at Ohio State University, Allan R. Millett, this imposing 782 page book is part of the Macmillan Wars of the United States edited by Louis Morton. Professor Millett writes well and is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve and his insider's knowledge of the Corps animates his scholarly approach to its history.

The author includes three useful appendices. The first lists the Commandants of the Corps. The second shows the strength of the Corps in terms of its personnel and the third shows its casualties. Millett includes informative end notes, a wonderful essay on sources and a good index.

Millett's careful research and personal experience combine to make this an especially interesting book for military history buffs like me. He explains on pages 408-409, for example, that the Corps first developed its Marine close-air support, over Navy objections, and used it successfully in the desperate battle for Iwo Jima. That's the kind of insight a lot of authors overlook and it was a new piece of information to me.

Although it's dated, Millett's history of the Marine Corps is scholarly, reliable and a treat to read. Copies of it are still available at competitive prices and it's worth having if you're interested in military history, the Marine Corps or the evolution of small-unit tactics for which the Marines are justifiably famous.

I liked SEMPER FIDELIS and am happy to give it five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
I am a marine interested in history of the corps and this book covers areas that I was not aware of. I recommend the book for anyone interested in our history from beginning to Vietnam.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
This book is a paragon of good scholarship. I would not recommend it to the general reader, though: a bit too dense.
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on February 18, 2014
It is the most comprehensive book on the History of the Marine Corps that I have ever found.
It is very interesting to read and it identifies many areas around the world that truly needed the Marine's intervention that I did not know about.
It is without a doubt a great historical document
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