Andrew Marble’s biography “Boy on the Bridge” presents Gen. John Shalikashvili first and foremost as a human being reacting to, and being shaped by, the environment and events around him: As a small boy witnessing brutal war; as a European teenager suddenly having to adapt to high school in the American mid-west; as an officer candidate thrown into the crucible of Officer Candidate School; as a young husband and father forced to deal with the deaths of both his wife and child; and, later, as a senior officer and nominee for his last and most prestigious posting, having to face the very public revelations of his father’s service in Hitler’s infamous Waffen SS as well as serious questions about his own knowledge of that part of the story.

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