RaveThe Wall Street JournalPulling away from the crowd of academics and journalists who dominate the field of Marshallography, Washington lawyer David L. Roll takes a fresh pen to the general’s life ... Despite its Jedi-like subtitle, Mr. Roll’s book is nicely balanced, lauding Marshall’s priestly devotion to the nation’s interests while not giving him a pass for failing to adequately warn the commanders at Pearl Harbor of a likely Japanese attack. Mr. Roll also notes Marshall’s fumbling over whether to support an independent state of Israel, and describes wrenching race-relations issues that Marshall, like most leaders of his day, shrugged off ... Mr. Roll wisely skips much of the Marshall back story that weighs down other biographies ... Occasionally Mr. Roll offers a bit more context than World War II fans might require ... But these are short detours, and Defender of the Republic quickly gets back to its strengths: replacing a marble statue with a splendid color portrait. Mr. Roll is especially good at bringing Marshall’s carefully guarded personality into the light ... he evocation of Marshall’s easygoing devotion to Katherine and his fondness for his stepchildren sets Mr. Roll’s work apart from biographies that have gone before ... For a life that has been subjected to so much spilled ink, Mr. Roll has managed to encapsulate George C. Marshall’s inner voice better than any previous work. Mr. Roll’s literary monument to one of America’s most devoted soldiers is a powerful antidote to a Twitter-glutted era when political cynicism has reached its nadir and civic virtue has become a punch line.