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The Papers of George Catlett Marshall

, 880 pages

46 b&w photos, 4 maps

December 2012



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The Papers of George Catlett Marshall

"The Whole World Hangs in the Balance," January 8, 1947–September 30, 1949

Volume 6

Winner, Arthur S. Link-Warren F. Kuehl Prize for Documentary Editing, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

George Catlett Marshall’s two years as secretary of state, from January 1947 to January 1949, remain among the most eventful in the history of both the State Department and American foreign policy in general. The period covered in volume 6 of The Papers of George Catlett Marshall saw the formal break between the United States and its Soviet wartime ally and the beginning of the cold war; civil wars in Greece and China; decolonization and independence for India, Pakistan, and Israel; the Truman Doctrine; the Marshall Plan; the Berlin blockade and airlift; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and the Organization of American States.

Secretary of State Marshall played a pivotal role in the transformation of American relations with the rest of the world during these years. Not only was he President Harry S Truman’s key adviser in foreign affairs, he also proposed the European Recovery Program that bears his name. Implementing this and other U.S. foreign policies required attendance at a large number of international conferences in 1947 and 1948 and an even larger number of Senate and House committee hearings. His testimony at these hearings—and his close relations with legislative leaders—proved crucial to establishing the extraordinary bipartisan congressional approval of his proposals, and so, too, did his numerous public appearances to cultivate broad public support for his programs. Marshall retired at the beginning of 1949, but his respite from public service would be short-lived.

The Marshall Papers are published under the auspices of the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia. Larry I. Bland was editor until his death in 2007. Mark A. Stoler has been editor since 2008. Sharon Ritenour Stevens is associate editor. Daniel D. Holt has been managing editor since 2008.

"It is hard for people today to appreciate the unique stature Marshall achieved in his own time. If they wish to try, they could not do better than to begin with these papers."

"Almost every document the editors include is fascinating in itself, largely because of the vigor of Marshall's mind and his eye for detail."

"The edited volumes of Marshall's papers have always enjoyed the reputation for superb editorship and clarity. Stoler and his team deserve credit for maintaining the high quality of the previous five volumes. Readers anxiously await the seventh—and final—volume in the series."

"This book, like others in the series, will be of great value to scholars of twentieth-century U.S. history. The editor’s masterly work in selecting, organizing, and annotating the documents provides valuable context and helpful references to other resources."

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