Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the best soldiers this country has produced,” Frank Ross McCoy was, throughout his distinguished career, much more than just a good soldier. As friend and confidant to such leaders as Theodore Roosevelt, Leonard Wood, and Henry Stimson, he disproves the standard view of the military before 1940 as having no role in American foreign policy. Instead, as A. J. Bacevich ably demonstrates, McCoy was intimately involved in the development of U.S. foreign relations from McKinley’s administration to Truman’s.
McCoy began his military career with Leonard Wood in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. After the war, he and Wood (who became military governor) worked together to establish democratic reforms in Cuba. There followed for McCoy a succession of difficult and sometimes dangerous assignments: The Philippines (during the Moro uprising), Mexico, France (as combat commander during World War I), Turkey and Armenia, the Philippines again, Nicaragua (during the Sandinos guerrilla campaign), Bolivia and Paraguay, and China (with the Lytton Commission investigating Japan’s invasion of Manchuria). Following a series of stateside appointments, McCoy served finally as chairman of the Far Eastern Commission, an international body created to determine the fate of postwar Japan.
Andrew J. Bacevich is professor emeritus of international relations and history at Boston University, a colonel in the U.S. Army (retired), and the co-founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He is the author of eleven books.
With a New Preface by the Author.
This Kansas Open Books title is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.