Douglas MacArthur is best remembered for his ability to adapt, a quality that catalyzed his greatest accomplishments. Adaptability has become an indispensable trait for military leadership in an era of technological leaps that guarantee the nature of war will radically change during the span of an ordinary career. One of the first proponents of a new dimension in warfare--the Air Force--MacArthur was also unmatched historically for his management of peace during the U.S. occupation of Japan. For generations to ...
Douglas MacArthur is best remembered for his ability to adapt, a quality that catalyzed his greatest accomplishments. Adaptability has become an indispensable trait for military leadership in an era of technological leaps that guarantee the nature of war will radically change during the span of an ordinary career. One of the first proponents of a new dimension in warfare--the Air Force--MacArthur was also unmatched historically for his management of peace during the U.S. occupation of Japan. For generations to come, MacArthur's legacy will yield profitable--and entertaining--examples to Americans in and out of uniform.
In-depth analysis of the enduring paradox of America's most revered five-star insubordinate-an installment of the Great Generals biographical series for which retired General Wesley K. Clark is nominal editor and provides a foreword. Frank (Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, 1999, etc.), who has written commendably on World War II in the Pacific, here offers an intensive dissection of Douglas MacArthur's decisions, good and bad, both as a field general and administrator of the U.S. occupation of Japan. A review of MacArthur's role as the latter is particularly timely given the current failures in Iraq of pacification, democratization and reconstruction-not to force a direct parallel-over which he then successfully presided (although Frank stresses that the overall plan was wholly the Truman administration's). That this is specifically a military biography is illustrated by the relatively sparse treatment-a mere page-given to one of the biggest risks MacArthur ever took: Summoned in 1930 as the Army's new Chief of Staff, he brought from the Philippines a 16-year-old girl named Isabel (he was then 50) and stashed her in Washington for some months until she grew restless and, discovered by a MacArthur media nemesis, columnist Drew Pearson, was paid off to disappear. Frank is, however, candid at length in recounting some of the general's consistent failings, such as blatant self-promotion in communiques (most Americans believed he was outnumbered by Japanese forces in major actions, which was not the case), plus deflecting blame on subordinates while taking credit for their achievements. His operational brilliance, including the "leapfrogging" strategy in the Western Pacific,which undoubtedly shortened the war, is also well covered. Frank also enumerates cases where MacArthur's insubordinations were, in retrospect, essentially the right move. Admirably punctures the mythology and goes to the wall with an irresolvably complex personality. Agent: Robert Gottlieb/Trident Media Group
Chapter One: Beginnings (MacArthur's family background and career to 1930.) * Chapter Two: Chief of Staff (MacArthur's tour as Chief of Staff, the Bonus March and the New Deal.) * Chapter Three: From the Center to the Fringe (MacArthur's role in developing Philippine armed forces and his recall to active duty in July 1941.) * Chapter Four: Catastrophe (MacArthur's defeat in the first Philippine campaign and his escape to Australia.) * Chapter Five: An Expensive Education (MacArthur's appointment as one of two Pacific commanders and his ill managed first campaign on New Guinea.) * Chapter Six: Parameters (MacArthur's challenges as a theater commander, his achievement in logistics and allied relations, his subordinate commanders and Pacific strategy.) * Chapter Seven: Apprenticeship (MacArthur's campaigns on New Guinea from February 1943 to January 1944 and his gradual mastery of air power, amphibious operations and the bypass strategy.) * Chapter Eight: Breakthrough (The stroke of luck that permitted a dramatic advance in code breaking leading to MacArthur's most impressive campaign in World War II; meanwhile his misadventure in presidential politics.) * Chapter Nine: Return and Redemption (MacArthur's campaigns in the Philippines from October 1944 to March 1945.) * Chapter Ten: Regression, Invasion and Surrender (MacArthur's wholesale abandonment of the bypass strategy, his role in the planned invasion of Japan, his brilliant conduct of the surrender ceremony and an examination of his Pacific campaign casualty record.) * Chapter Eleven: Shogun in Khakai (MacArthur as ruler of Japan, his key contribution in staving off a famine and public health disaster; his key roles in political reform.) * Chapter Twelve: Triumphs and Challenges (MacArthur's role in economic and cultural reform and a review of the less successful aspects of the occupation.) * Chapter Thirteen: Korea Triumph (MacArthur's ill advised appointment as UN commander and his brilliant landing at Inchon.) * Chapter Fourteen: Korea Disaster (The shared responsibility for the disaster at the beginning of Chinese intervention and MacArthur's well deserved dismissal by Truman.) * Chapter Fifteen: The Sum of the Man (The lessons of MacArthur's life as a military commander, educator and administrator; the failure of his superiors to enforce subordination.)