MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero

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9780743505352: MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero

Douglas MacArthur towers over 20th-century American history, chiefly for his WWII service in the Philippines. However, Korea was far more "MacArthur's War." In just three years, 35,000 Americans lost their lives. Korea, like Vietnam, was a breeding ground for the crimes of war. To this day, 6,000 Americans remain MIA. In Korea, American troops faced for the first time a Communist foe, as China and the Soviet Union contributed troops to the North Korean cause. The war that nearly triggered the use of nuclear weapons, reveals MacArthur at his most flamboyant -- flawed yet brilliant.

Acclaimed historian Stanley Weintraub offers a thrilling account of the months of MacArthur's command. MacArthur was imperious, vain, blind to criticism, and insubordinate to the point that Truman chose to fire him. Yet years later, the war ended where MacArthur had left it, at the border that still stands as one of history's last frontiers between communism and freedom.

MacArthur's War is the gripping story of the Korean War and its soldiers -- and of the one soldier who dominated the rest.

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Review:

Douglas MacArthur, in William Manchester's memorable phrase, was an American Caesar, a general accustomed to having his own way on or off the battlefield. He surrounded himself with fawning aides, commanded imperiously and sometimes impetuously, and did not kindly accept criticism.

Stanley Weintraub, who served as an Army lieutenant during the Korean War, makes the persuasive case that MacArthur's character and methods as commander of the Allied forces in Korea led him to commit disastrous errors of judgment--among them his failure to anticipate the Chinese entry into the war when MacArthur's troops approached the Yalu River, and his odd plan to seed South Korea's defensive perimeter with nuclear explosions and thus make the border impassable for generations.

Weintraub praises MacArthur's brilliance as a tactician and student of military history, pointing out that MacArthur's audacious landing at Inchon was straight out of Xenophon. He also notes that MacArthur correctly predicted that the Allied conduct of the Korean conflict would lead to stalemate. Still, Weintraub quietly insists that President Harry Truman was right in removing MacArthur from command on the grounds of insubordination, an act with enormous political repercussions at the time. An outstanding contribution to the literature of the Korean War--a conflict that is again in the news--Weintraub's book spares no detail in examining the end of Douglas MacArthur's checkered career. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Stanley Weintraub is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. He has written acclaimed works of military history on World Wars I and II, including A Stillness Heard Round the World and Long Day's Journey into War. He lives in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.

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Stanley Weintraub
Published by Audioworks (2000)
ISBN 10: 0743505352 ISBN 13: 9780743505352
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Irish Booksellers
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Book Description Audioworks, 2000. Audio Cassette. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0743505352

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