As the Allies raced to defeat Hitler, four men of the same unit earned medal after medal for battlefield heroism. Maurice “Footsie” Britt, a former professional football player, became the first American to receive every award for valor in a single war. Michael Daly was a United States Military Academy at West Point dropout who risked his neck to keep his men alive. Keith Ware would one day become the first and only draftee in history to attain the rank of general before serving in Vietnam. In World War II, Ware owed his life to the finest Soldier he ever commanded, a baby-faced Texan named Audie Murphy. In the campaign to liberate Europe, each would gain the ultimate accolade, the Medal of Honor.
Alex Kershaw is a journalist and a New York Times bestselling author of books on World War II. Born in York, England, he is a graduate of Oxford University and has lived in the United States since 1994. His forthcoming book is “Patton’s Prayer: A True Story of Courage, Faith, and Victory in World War II” (2024).
Despite the exemplary service of most American military members, a persistent minority of U.S. flag officers (Navy admirals and Army, Air Force, and Marine generals) have embroiled the profession in scandal since the Revolutionary War. In “Generals and Admirals, Criminals and Crooks,” award-winning author Jeffrey J. Matthews examines bad leadership in American military history over the past one hundred years, beginning with war crimes in the Philippine-American War and ending with the recent Fort Leonard corruption scandal.
Jeffrey J. Matthews is the George Frederick Jewett Distinguished Professor at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He teaches American history and leadership and has written or edited four previous books, including “Colin Powell: Imperfect Patriot” (2019), winner of the Foreword INDIES War and Military Book of the Year Award and finalist for the Army Historical Foundation Book Award.