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Commandants of the Marine Corps

Recorded on November 8, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

From personal papers and official documents, prominent historians of the U.S. Marine Corps present essays on the twenty-seven commandants who served the Corps between 1775 and 1983. Collectively, their essays trace the history of the Marine Corps through the experiences of the Commandants and their support staff. Each essay describes a Commandant's personality and outlines his entire career with a focus on his term as Commandant. Frank assessments are offered of each Commandant's performance and historical significance. In addition to the editors, authors include Victor H. Krulak, Edwin Howard Simmons, Joseph H. Alexander, Merrill Bartlett.

Introductory essays by Allan R. Millett provide a general interpretation of the history of the Marine Corps through the leadership of the Commandants and the organizational changes at Headquarters Marine Corps. Millett also outlines the contributions made by the Commandants serving since 1983. From the appointment of Samuel Nicholas in 1776 to John A. Lejeune in 1920 and Robert H. Barrow in 1979, this anthology of original essays is the first in terms of focus, research, and analysis to tell the story of the Marine Corps through the performances of its Commandants.