When Bob Carroll started getting inquiries about possible “quantity discounts” for his book, he knew that either a college professor, veteran’s group, or book club was interested. How exciting!
“Ike’s Go-To Guy” is the life story of Paul T. Carroll, told in loving memory by his son, Bob Carroll. The text is brought to life by scores of family photographs, personal stories, letters, telegrams, newspaper and magazine articles, and historic papers and diaries dating from the early 1900s through the WWII era and beyond. This is a popular way to learn important history—reading the true stories of those who lived it.
As his publisher, it was easy to figure out the appropriate discounts and make sure the first book club received their seven books in plenty of time before their monthly club discussion. This club meets in person, but more and more, I see virtual book clubs popping up.
(I recently joined one that has been amazing—look for one to join or start one yourself!)
Bob’s book appeals to a wide audience because it is full of history, yet written with such a personal touch. We learn about his dad, Paul Carroll, from West Point to Army assignments across the United States, to Iceland, and through France. He fought in Patton’s Third Army, earning the Combat Infantryman Badge, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, and the Legion of Merit. He was truly an outstanding combat commander, highly respected by his commanders, fellow officers, and troops.
Later in the Pentagon, Bob’s dad worked for three successive Army Chiefs of Staff: Marshall, Eisenhower, and Bradley. It was while he was working for General of the Army Eisenhower for over two years that Paul developed a unique relationship of mutual respect and trust. This bond led Eisenhower, after he left the Pentagon, to call on Bob’s dad for assistance.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Carroll became Ike’s “Go-to Guy” to put together the core team in Paris for NATO’s military headquarters; to plan, organize, and run President-elect Eisenhower’s trip to Korea; to organize the White House staff; and to serve as the first Secretary of the White House Staff.
Not long after Carroll was promoted to Brigadier General, he tragically died of a heart attack at age 44, leaving behind his beloved wife, Ruth, and sons Peter, 16, Bobby, 14, and David, 8.
This book is a well-documented account of Carroll as Eisenhower’s “Go-To Guy” and also is the story of his family, a life story that is both historical and poignant.
I have given this book as a gift to several veterans who, while they did not fight in WWII, enjoy hearing a true soldier’s story about the events and the era.