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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Military / United States
  • Language:English
  • Pages:259
  • eBook ISBN:9781931807852

A Different Time, A Different Man

The Story of John L. Sullivan

by Stephen Clarkson

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Covering an important segment of twentieth-century history, this is the first biography of John L. Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for FDR and Truman's Secretary of the Navy, portraying how this extremely capable New Hampshire Irishman played a key role in the financing of World War II and then fought after the war to preserve a strong Navy and the Marine Corps.
Sullivan helped unify the three military services under the first secretary of defense, James V. Forrestal, and made the farsighted decision to build the USS Nautilus, the country’s first nuclear-powered submarine. A man of principle, Sullivan courageously resigned in April 1949 to publicly protest the decision of the new secretary of defense, Louis Johnson, to suddenly cancel—without consultation with the Navy—the construction of the United States, a new aircraft supercarrier, calling Johnson’s act detrimental to the nation’s future defense. At the same time he protested Johnson’s imminent decision to terminate the Marine Corps and fold it into the Army. Sullivan sacrificed his future governmental career for principles he refused to abandon, and he let the public know what was going on. He epitomized politics based on good sense, patriotism, and collegiality rather than rabid partisanship. In the decades since, his manner, foresight, and judgments have been vindicated. The United States has been safer for it.
About the author
Stephen Clarkson is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., Yale College, and the University of Virginia School of Law. He practiced law in New York City and Washington, D.C. and later became vice president, general counsel and secretary of Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Now retired, he and his wife, Mary Claire, live in Rye, New Hampshire. He has published two books: Patriot's Reward, an historical novel relating the part-factual, part-fictional story of a slave owned by his ancestors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire during the American Revolution, and A Different Time, A Different Man, a biography of John L. Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for FDR and Truman's Secretary of the Navy.