Lessons in Leadership
My Life in the US Army from World War II to Vietnam
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
John R. Deane Jr. (1919–2013) was born with all the advantages a man needs to succeed in a career in the US Army, and he capitalized on his many opportunities in spectacular fashion. The son of one of George C. Marshall's closest assistants, Deane graduated from West Point with the first class of World War II and served in combat under the dynamic General Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr. After the war, he led a German espionage unit in operations against the Soviets, personally led the first foot patrol following the course of the Berlin Wall as it was being constructed, participated in the 1965 Dominican Republic intervention, and saw combat in Vietnam. In 1975, he received his fourth star and became commander of the US Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command.
In Lessons in Leadership, this exceptional soldier not only discusses working with some of the army's most influential and colorful leaders—including James M. Gavin, William E. DePuy, William Westmoreland, and Creighton Abrams Jr.—but also the many junior officers who helped him develop the leadership skills for which he became well known. Throughout, he offers eyewitness accounts of key Cold War–era events as well as wise observations concerning the leadership and management challenges facing the Department of Defense. Ably edited and annotated by Jack C. Mason, Deane's illuminating memoir also features interviews with several of Deane's contemporaries, whose comments and recollections are interspersed to provide depth and context to the narrative.
"Jack Deane's entire life revolved around his dedication to the United States Army—as a child of an Army family serving in places such as Georgia, Kansas, and China; as a proud cadet at West Point; and as a brave soldier serving in World War II, Korea, Berlin, and Vietnam. Throughout his retirement, he remained a constant advocate for a wide range of Army issues. His story is an unvarnished account of his life, observances, and leadership in battle and garrison over an almost forty-year career during the most compelling campaigns the Army ever fought in. Every leader in today's Army can draw lessons from his words."~General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)
"This work not only contributes to our understanding of the army in which General John R. Deane Jr. served, but it also helps us better understand the Cold War Department of Defense, military leadership, and leadership and management in general. It is engrossing reading and offers useful ideas to anyone—military or civilian—involved in motivating and directing large organizations."~James Scott Wheeler, author of Jacob L. Devers: A General's Life
"Deane worked for some of the most interesting American leaders—including Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen and General William E. DePuy—and his insights into their methods are enlightening. Lessons in Leadership documents one soldier's considerable service to our nation."~Jonathan M. House, author of A Military History of the Cold War, 1944–1962
"Jack Deane's remarkable, almost forty-year career as a leader in the United States Army during its most compelling days is a fascinating read. His strong background as a combat leader and his many research and development assignments made him a natural selection to lead The Army Materiel Command (AMC) through a needed transformation following the Vietnam War. His understanding and appreciation for the needs of the tactical soldier is one of his legacies. His insights on leadership throughout the book are timeless. A wonderful read for every leader."~General Ann Dunwoody, USA (Ret.)
In Lessons in Leadership, this exceptional soldier not only discusses working with some of the army's most influential and colorful leaders, but also the many junior officers who helped him develop the leadership skills for which he became well known. [An] illuminating memoir.~McCormick Messenger
This book is a fascinating study on two levels. On one level, it is the story of a highly decorated combat leader who also made a significant impact on the development of the Army in the wake of World War II. On the other, Deane's career represents a microcosm of the Army's history from the pre-World War II years to those following the Vietnam War. This result is an engaging story of a remarkable officer who flourished in war and peace. It is an excellent study in leadership and contributes much to understanding the history of the Army in which the author served.~Army Magazine
The book is partly military history, partly a syllabus on management and leadership, and partly philosophical mutterings. These three interlocking discussions blend together to produce a fascinating look at Army life from the 1940s through the 1970s.~Journal of America's Military Past
- Arthur Goodzeit Book Award
- Society for Military History Awards
- Distinguished Book Award