History has been kinder to the American generals of World War II - Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley - than to the generals of the wars that followed. Is it merely nostalgia? Thomas E. Ricks answers the question definitively: No, it is not, in no small part because of a widening gulf between performance and accountability. During the Second World War, scores of American generals were relieved of command simply for not being good enough. In The Generals, we meet great leaders and suspect ones, from World War II to the present, generals who rose to the occasion and those who failed themselves and their soldiers.