Macarthur's War: The Flawed Genius Who Challenged The American Political System

Overview

Douglas MacArthur famously said there is no substitute for victory . . .
 
As a United States general, he had an unparalleled genius for military strategy, and it was under his leadership that Japan was rebuilt into a democratic ally after World War II. But MacArthur carried out his zero-sum philosophy both on and off the battlefield. During the Korean War, in defiance of President Harry S. Truman and the Joint Chiefs of ...

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Macarthur's War: The Flawed Genius Who Challenged The American

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Overview

Douglas MacArthur famously said there is no substitute for victory . . .
 
As a United States general, he had an unparalleled genius for military strategy, and it was under his leadership that Japan was rebuilt into a democratic ally after World War II. But MacArthur carried out his zero-sum philosophy both on and off the battlefield. During the Korean War, in defiance of President Harry S. Truman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he pushed for an aggressive confrontation with Communist China—a position intended to provoke a wider war, regardless of the cost or consequences.
 
MacArthur’s ambition to stamp out Communism across the globe was in direct opposition to President Truman, who was much more concerned with containing the Soviet Union than confronting Red China. The infamous clash between the two leaders was not only an epic turning point in history, but the ultimate struggle between civil and military power in the United States. While other U.S. generals have challenged presidential authority—from Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War and George B. McClellan in the Civil War to General Stanley A. McChrystal in Afghanistan—no other military leader has ever so brazenly attempted to dictate national policy.
 
In MacArthur’s War, Bevin Alexander details MacArthur’s military and political battles, from the alliances he made with Republican leaders to the threatening ultimatum he delivered to China against orders—the action that directly led to his dismissal on April 11, 1951.

INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Versatile military historian Alexander (Sun Tzu at Gettysburg: Ancient Military Wisdom in the Modern World, 2011, etc.), a Korean War veteran, takes on the perilous confrontation between the U.S. military and the civilian command during that war. The author sets the stage for the buildup to the Korean conflict with an engaging clarity, drawing many good lessons from the time--e.g., the tragic loss of China as an ally, the stunningly cavalier regard for the use of nuclear weapons and the fallibility of military "professionals." First, Alexander backtracks to tell the story of the Far East pickle and how the U.S. was so fixated on its anti-communist paranoia that it failed to grasp that Mao Zedong had broken with the Kremlin and was making sincere attempts at rapprochement with Washington by 1949, rebuffed by President Harry Truman and Secretary of State Dean Acheson. Containment of communism was the official policy, as well as driving the North Koreans back to the agreed-upon 38th parallel after Kim Il-sung led an invasion of the south in June 1950. However, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. commander in the Far East, World War II hero and now "proconsul" of occupied Japan, had other ideas--namely, that the U.S. should not stop at the 38th parallel but should unite the whole country, China be damned; moreover, he made alarming, erroneous statements about China's imminent invasion of Formosa (Taiwan). MacArthur could not be ignored, especially after engineering his brilliant invasion at Inchon, which only increased his national stature. Alexander tracks MacArthur's persistent rogue statements, his visit to Chiang Kai-shek and his frank insubordination for a terrific depiction of a clash of titan egos. A well-focused cautionary tale about the checks and balances of power.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425261200
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 799,827
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bevin Alexander has published numerous works of military history, including the international bestseller How Hitler Could Have Won World War II. With honor degrees from The Citadel and Northwestern University, Alexander was awarded the Commendation Medal for his service as a combat historian in the Korean War, where he also won three battle stars for action at the front. He has appeared often on special programs on the History, Discovery, and Military channels. He has provided testimony before the House Committee on International Relations, advised the Rand Corporation on military strategy, and taken part in a war game at the Army War College. 

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