Although there have been many men who have left their mark on the United States Marine Corps, few have created such a lasting impression as John Archer Lejeune.
There is no doubt that the modern Marine Corps can trace its roots to Major General Lejeune. He was a skilled soldier, a visionary, and a leader of uncommon talent whose decisions, guidance and foresight are still being felt by today’s Marines.
The Reminiscences of a Marine is an autobiography by this unusual man. Written in a more flowery language, popular when the book was first published (1930), MajGen Lejeune’s book offers a fascinating glimpse into the private world of this turn-of-the-century Marine.
From his early childhood days in Louisiana, shortly after the Civil War, all the way to the Commandant’s house at 8th and “I” Streets in Washington, D.C., Reminiscences delves not only into the life of the man, but more interestingly, into the places and events in which he found himself.
With each step upward in his 39-year career, General Lejeune tells of the Country and the Corps from the viewpoint of a man privileged to observe from a unique advantage. Even as a young lieutenant, Lejeune was often in the middle of, or on the periphery, of the great happenings of his time. More often than not, in his later career, he was the focal point of these happenings as his leadership of the Second U.S. Army Division of the American Expeditionary Force during World War 1 demonstrates.
The preface of the book is new and was written by General Lemuel C. Shepherd, himself a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, who, as a captain, served as Lejeune’s aide. When asked in a November 1982 Leatherneck Magazine interview what the “real” General Lejeune was like, General Shepherd said, “He was more like a father to us all; he was truly a great leader.”
Reminiscences provides the reader with a close and often personal look at this great Marine and the book is more than worth the price invested.