Douglas MacArthur: Brilliant General, Controversial Leader

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Perhaps no military figure in American history is quite so controversial as Douglas MacArthur. A gifted strategist, MacArthur was the mastermind of a significant portion of the United States military triumph in the Pacific theater of WW II. MacArthur was also the creative force behind the risky and eminently successful United Nations victory at Inchon during the Korean War. However, MacArthur was a commander who was at times despised by his men. In 1941, while the Japanese forces besieged a combined American and Philipino army on Corregidor, MacArthur chose to remain locked behind closed doors in his command bunker. His departure from the Philippine Islands spawned both his immortal "I shall return!" and a great deal of scorn from his abandoned men. Eventually, during the Korean War, Macarthur's seemingly highhanded approaches led to his being fired by President Truman. Returning home, this complex and talented warrior coined the memorable phrase, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." Douglas MacArthur's life was marked by great highs and lows, and the torturous pathway is well-handled in this illustrated volume of the "Historical American Biographies" series. 2001, Enslow, $20.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-These titles profile men whose successful military careers ended in scandal or political controversy. Gaines traces Arnold's childhood, lucrative career in trade, and rise in the Revolutionary Army. She explains why he felt his contributions to the colonial cause were unappreciated, and discusses the role that his second wife, Peggy Shippen, played in his decision to change allegiances and join the British army. His career with the British and his bitter legacy of having his name synonymous with traitor are also detailed. MacArthur's childhood, education, and long military career are addressed, emphasizing how the general's strong leadership abilities were coupled with a lifelong pattern of resisting orders and failing to take responsibility for his mistakes. Gaines discusses how this pattern led to his controversial confrontation with Truman, who ultimately relieved him of his Korean War command, and concludes with an examination of his place in American military history. The author is objective about her subjects, explaining their strengths and weaknesses so readers can better understand the motivations behind their actions. Both books have average-quality, black-and-white reproductions, maps, and photos. Although John Devaney's Douglas MacArthur (Putnam, 1979; o.p.) offers more detail about the general's life, Gaines's book is better documented and more readable, making it a good choice for libraries that need current report material.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780766014459
  • Publisher: Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Series: Historical American Biographies Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: LIBRARY ED
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2005

    Noteworthy

    This was a worthwhile book, encompassing the plethora of events that occured during Mcarthurs lifetime. His life was an unending conundrum of events, serving in the Phillipines from 1903-1904, touring Asia in 1905, going on secret missions in Mexico in 1914, entering Germany in 1918 as the leader of the 84th, becoming superintendant at West Point, and going through a thousand other positions before being fired by Truman in '51.

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