Naval War College Review


Robert S. Wood


When we look back on great historical events, we often ascribe an inevitability to things that were, in fact, anything but. In this lucid and comprehensive study of the formulation and enactment of the Marshall Plan, John Bonds recounts how this great pillar of American post–World War II policy was anything but inevita- ble. Bonds, a retired captain of the U.S. Navy and professor of history at the Citadel in Charlestown, South Carolina, concludes his penultimate chapter on the final legislative approval of what was to be Public Law 793 with the words: “So it was finally done. The country had made a significant commitment to Europe and to internationalism in general, consciously and with conviction, despite some difficult holdouts like Mr. John Taber, Chairman, House Appropriations Committee.