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Kentucky Marine: Major General Logan Feland and the Making of the Modern USMC

by David J. Bettez

Availablepaperback$28.00s 978-0-8131-6845-6
Availablecloth$70.00x 978-0-8131-4457-3
378 pages  Pubdate: 10/07/2016  6 x 9  40 b&w photos

Publicity Inquiries: Mack McCormick

A native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Major General Logan Feland (1869–1936) played a major role in the development of the modern Marine Corps. Highly decorated for his heroic actions during the battle of Belleau Wood in World War I, Feland led the hunt for rebel leader Augusto César Sandino during the Nicaraguan revolution from 1927 to 1929—an operation that helped to establish the Marines’ reputation in guerrilla warfare and search-and-capture missions. Yet, despite rising to become one of the USMC’s most highly ranked and regarded officers, Feland has been largely ignored in the historical record.

In Kentucky Marine, David J. Bettez uncovers the forgotten story of this influential soldier of the sea. During Feland’s tenure as an officer, the Corps expanded exponentially in power and prestige. Not only did his command in Nicaragua set the stage for similar twenty-first-century operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Feland was one of the first instructors in the USMC’s Advanced Base Force, which served as the forerunner of the amphibious assault force mission the Marines adopted in World War II.

Kentucky Marine also illuminates Feland’s private life, including his marriage to successful soprano singer and socialite Katherine Cordner Feland, and details his disappointment at being twice passed over for the position of commandant. Drawing from personal letters, contemporary news articles, official communications, and confidential correspondence, this long-overdue biography fills a significant gap in twentieth-century American military history.

David J. Bettez served as director of the Office of International Affairs at the University of Kentucky.

In this well-written biography, Bettez not only gets across Feland's achievements but also points out his ambition and competitiveness in dealing with the internal politics of the corps. -- Edward M. Coffman, author of The Regulars: The American Army, 1898–1941

Logan Feland is a virtually unknown Kentuckian whose story needs to be told. Kentucky Marine offers a wealth of research from a variety of sources to piece together the life of an important individual. -- William Ellis, author of A History of Education in Kentucky

Major General Logan Feland is not a household name; Dr Bettez's work is a significant step in rectifying that problem. Bettez has given new life to General Feland and his many accomplishments, most of which are still felt in today's modern Marine Corps. Bettez's research and writing pull together the scattered pieces of Feland's life and career at a crucial time in the Corps' history; the 100th anniversary of the First World War and downsizing of the Corps after a major war; these events still resonate today and Feland's efforts are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago. Kentucky Marine is a must read for any Marine Corps historian or enthusiast. -- Annette Amerman, Senior Reference Historian, Marine Corps History Division

"In Kentucky Marine, David Bettez opens a window on a crucial period in U.S. Marine Corps history – the first three decades of the 20th century. Holding an architecture degree from MIT, Logan Feland was better educated than most Marine officers of his day, but he proved he possessed a warrior’s heart at Belleau Wood and other bloody battlefields of World War I. Bettez also shows how Feland oversaw the development of the small wars techniques in Nicaragua that became the Marines’ trademark during the interwar period and also encouraged the budding amphibious warfare doctrine that permitted his corps to come into its own during World War II."- Gregory J. W. Urwin, Professor of History, Temple University

Kentucky Marine follows the changes in the Marine Corps from its role as colonial infantry to amphibious assault force. David Bettez uses the career of Maj. Gen. Logan Feland to chart this institutional change, which took Feland and the Marines to the battlefields of France. This book takes its objective. -- Allan R. Millett, Author of Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps

Kentucky Marine is an excellent study of the leadership, tenacity and gumption of one of the unsung heroes of the United States Marine Corps. Dr. Bettez weaves an extremely interesting tale of the General Logan Leland's life based on historical facts and anecdotes that bring the General's adventures to life. The is a 'must read' for anyone that studies the storied history of the USMC and the men that made the Corps one of the most respected fighting forces on the globe. -- Major General Dennis C. Moran, USA (Ret.).

At long last, this biography of Logan Feland has emerged to acknowledge one of the greatest Marines of all time. Often sitting at the right hand of John A. Lejeune, Feland disappeared with passage of years primarily due to the astonishing lack of material available beyond the obvious headlines. Bettez mined an incredible number of obscure sources to bring Feland to life, leaving no stone unturned to craft this portrait of an elusive Marine Corps icon. -- J. Michael Miller, Marine Corps History Division

Bettez has provided students of the Marine Corps and U.S. interwar military history with a magnificent, well-written, and well-researched book. -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Young US Marines will find this an interesting history of both their service and one of their early twentieth century combat leaders. -- West Virginia History

Winner of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Colonel Joseph Alexander Award

With this book, David J. Bettez has given us a well-deserved biography of an important figure in Marine Corps history. -- Roads to the Great War