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Smokey Joe & The General

Smokey Joe & The General is an account of the life of a young ambitious West Point graduate, Edward L. Rowny, and the remarkable life journey he embarks upon under the guidance and inspiration of an eccentric but brilliant General, John E. Wood.

The book commences just prior to America's entrance into World War II and progresses through some of the most unforgettable conflicts in modern history, both on the field and off, culminating in the young man becoming a leading figure in the 20th century's struggle against Communism. Along the way, there are as many twists, turns and fastballs as had the famous Red Sox pitcher after whom General John E. Wood was nicknamed, "Smokey Joe Wood", along with a multitude of never-before revealed incidents included among the following highlights:

  • The scene in Africa with FDR that the press didn't hear about
  • Rowny as spokesman for MacArthur and how the latter walks on water
  • What saved the Marines from extinction before Truman was about to shut them down; if not for this event, there would be no Marines today
  • The simple words of a US Secretary of State that unwittingly prompted a Soviet invasion of Korea
  • How 100,000 civilian lives were saved when they became "Christmas Cargo" for American supply ships in the Pacific
  • The style of Generals Patton, Marshall, MacArthur, Omar Bradley and more
  • How Rowny ran interference with the Manhattan Project
  • Why when the US got fed up with de Gaulle and left France, we took our golf courses with us
  • Who thought up the idea of sending a man to the moon
  • The kindred Kraemer who discovered, then kissed-off Kissinger
  • Reagan as a spiffy saluter in training films, up to President
  • The speech that Rowny helped write that helped bring down the Iron Curtain
  • Rowny's idea for a Department of Homeland Security after 9/11

What People Have To Say About Smokey Joe & The General:

"The remarkable General Edward Rowny has written the story his superior career entails. This is a wonderful account of service, intrigue, and military accomplishments of the highest degree. Page by page it takes the reader through a series of events that are in many senses spellbinding. A terrific read. Highly recommended."
- Television personality Larry King
"General Ed Rowny knows about many things; especially selfless service, integrity, and leadership. Thus his rich, nuanced and modest memoir is at the same time a valuable treatise on principled leadership as learned from General John E. Wood, Rowny's long-time mentor. It is a great story, begun in days of the Old Army but with much to teach those serving today and tomorrow."
- Lewis Sorley, author of Pulitzer Prize nominated A Better War
"Smokey Joe and the General is no ordinary military memoir. It covers the story of an astonishingly varied career that includes service in the combat engineers, commander of an infantry division, pioneering in the new techniques of armed helicopters, and finally Military Representative to the SALT Treaty with the Russians. Throughout this odyssey the General never forgets his first boss and mentor, Colonel "Smokey Joe" Wood. Written informally with plenty of humor and wisdom, Ed Rowny's book is both fascinating and informative".
- John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Brigadier General U.S. Army (ret.) & former Ambassador to Belgium
"A captivating book by a superb combat leader."
- Hal Moore,. General, USA (Ret.), author of best-selling book: "We Were Soldier Once and Young", subsequently made into a movie.
"This is a personal recollection of lessons General Rowny learned from his role model General Wood when serving in the Army. Written with passion, the book shows how inspiration leads to a better understanding of military duties, professional perfection and success. History is made by people of such a persisting vision."
- Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland