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U.S. flag officers are intended to be exemplary defenders of duty, honor, and country―but what can we learn by exposing the bad leaders lurking within these venerable ranks?
There is an ugly strain of criminal and unethical leadership in the upper ranks of the American military. Despite the exemplary service of most American military members, a persistent minority of U.S. flag officers (Navy admirals and Army, Air Force, and Marine generals) have embroiled the profession in scandal since the Revolutionary War. In Generals and Admirals, Criminals and Crooks
, award-winning author Jeffrey J. Matthews examines bad leadership in American military history over the past one hundred years, beginning with war crimes in the Philippine-American War and ending with the recent Fat Leonard corruption scandal.
Scrutinizing a range of leadership failures, including moral cowardice, sex crimes, insubordination, toxic leadership, and obstruction of justice, Matthews offers a fascinating analysis of the bases and motives leading to these missteps and explores what could be done to curtail future misconduct of generals and admirals. The book also includes an up-to-date examination of President Trump’s term in office that highlights the vital role honorable military leadership plays in our democracy. Confronting the dark side of criminal and unethical conduct among U.S. flag officers, this frank and historically grounded book offers valuable lessons in leadership that will stimulate further debate and critical self-assessment within the U.S. military..