August 25, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Trauschweizer’s Book Traces Career of White House Insider, Architect of U.S. Strategy in Vietnam

Ingo Trauschweizer, portrait

Dr. Ingo Trauschweizer

Dr. Ingo Trauschweizer’s new book Maxwell Taylor’s Cold War: From Berlin to Vietnam traces the career of Gen. Taylor, a Kennedy White House insider and architect of American strategy in Vietnam.

Trauschweizer is Professor of History and Director of the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University. The book was published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Book cover for Ingo Trauschweizer, Maxwell Taylor's Cold WarThis intellectual biography of Taylor is a study of the U.S. national security establishment in the Cold War.

“General Maxwell Taylor served at the nerve centers of U.S. military policy and Cold War strategy and experienced firsthand the wars in Korea and Vietnam, as well as crises in Berlin and Cuba. Along the way he became an adversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s nuclear deterrence strategy and a champion of President John F. Kennedy’s shift toward Flexible Response. Taylor also remained a public critic of defense policy and civil-military relations into the 1980s and was one of the most influential American soldiers, strategists, and diplomats. However, many historians describe him as a politicized, dishonest manipulator whose actions deeply affected the national security establishment and had lasting effects on civil-military relations in the United States,” says the book’s website.

Working with newly accessible and rarely used primary sources, he describes and analyzes the polarizing figure. The major themes of Taylor’s career, how to prepare the armed forces for global threats and localized conflicts and how to devise sound strategy and policy for a full spectrum of threats, remain timely and the concerns he raised about the nature of the national security apparatus have not been resolved.

“The first scholarly study of one of the Cold War’s most important military strategists. Trauschweizer’s painstaking research reveals Taylor’s vital role in the post–World War II development of the US Army, national military policy, and the Vietnam War,” says Brian McAllister Linn, author of Elvis’s Army: Cold War GIs and the Atomic Battlefield.

Trauschweizer’s research focuses on strategy and policy, military institutions, civil-military relations, and the significance of war in American and European history and culture.

His first book, The Cold War US Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War, won the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Prize. With fellow OHIO history professor Dr. Steven Miner, he co-edited Failed States and Fragile Societies (2014) for Ohio University Press. Trauschweizer has published widely in professional journals and essay collections on Cold War history, militarism, and ways of war. He also edits the book series War and Society in North America with Dr. David J. Ulbrich for Ohio University Press.

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