History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Volume 1. The Formative Years, 1947-1950
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WASHINGTON DC HISTORICAL OFFICE
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To provide a permanent and comprehensive historical record, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has undertaken to publish a thorough, objective, critical, and analytical history. The overall plan for the OSD history provides for an open-ended series of volumes in chronological sequence, each covering several years, with time periods determined by a number of common characteristics, principally a high degree of internal unity and beginnings and endings that are distinct and significant. Within this chronological framework, the major themes are treated topically. It is hoped that these volumes will stimulate additional research that will further amplify the history of OSD. The first volume of the series, The Formative Years, 1947-1950, is especially important because it provides a foundation on which succeeding volumes may build. Since an exhaustive history of OSD is impossible, the volume aims rather to illuminate the main events, policies, and personages of these early years and to point up to the tensions and tribulations, successes and failures, that attended the reordering of the nations defense structure. The treatment of the Formative Years is more narrative than analytical, but interpretations and conclusions are not wanting. The authority of the volume derives chiefly from the rigorous study and extensive use of OSD primary source materials, to which the author had full access. Secondary accounts were used selectively. Living sources, in the form of interviews, were especially valuable, contributing much to the originality and flavor of the book.
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