In times of war . . . in times of peace . . . in times of sweeping social change . . . a leader for all seasons . . .
Whether scaling the seemingly insurmountable cliffs of Pointe du Hoc with his advance assault troops during the Normandy invasion, restoring integrity to the Texas Land Office, or overseeing transitions in an academic institution with hallowed traditions during a time of contentious cultural change, James Earl Rudder (1910–1970) forged a legacy of wartime gallantry and peacetime leadership that commands continuing respect. Rudder: From Leader to Legend pays tribute to a man who exemplified leadership, vision, and courage.
In this first comprehensive biography of James Earl Rudder, Thomas M. Hatfield has gone far beyond the usual focus on Rudder’s heroism in World War II to recreate with rich detail exciting events on battlefields and in boardrooms. He has painted a full portrait that permits a wider appreciation for every phase of Rudder’s early life, from childhood, to his storied military exploits, to his remarkable postwar achievements and far-reaching public service. Utilizing access to previously unavailable family papers, memoirs, and interviews, Hatfield has crafted an insightful and unsparing view of the man that applauds his accomplishments and reveals his foibles.
Readers who know Rudder primarily through his association with Texas A&M University will be fascinated by his courageous battlefield leadership; those who previously knew only of his military reputation will enjoy learning about his distinguished record of public service. Rudder: From Leader to Legend will captivate a broad general readership, bringing to the fore a well-rounded view of this extraordinary man.
Fall 2011 Military Book Club and History Book Club Selections