Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur

Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur

by Geoffrey Perret
     
 

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Always colorful, always controversial, Douglas MacArthur is one of the dominant characters in American military history. Perret's groundbreaking biography, unmatched in its candor, authority and insight, reveals for the first time a complete and accurate account of MacArthur's tumultuous career.See more details below

Overview

Always colorful, always controversial, Douglas MacArthur is one of the dominant characters in American military history. Perret's groundbreaking biography, unmatched in its candor, authority and insight, reveals for the first time a complete and accurate account of MacArthur's tumultuous career.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Perret (A Country Made by War) interprets Douglas MacArthur here as someone whose temperament was intellectual and who, like U.S. Grant, became a soldier by the constant exercise of willpower. In this context, MacArthur's vanity and authoritarianism reflected an underlying insecurity that remained uncompensated for by the ever-greater successes he achieved until his 1950 dismissal by President Truman. Perret's angst-ridden protagonist is very much a MacArthur for the '90s-neither a warrior nor a charlatan but a person who sought and overcame himself as he did his country's enemies. Perret's narrative of MacArthur's career, though comprehensively researched, is less nuanced than D. Clayton James's still standard three-volume The Years of MacArthur. Yet the present work, well written and provocative, stands as the best single volume on its complex subject. Photos. (May)
Library Journal
In telling the story of MacArthur's rise through two world wars and the Korean War to his dismissal by President Truman, Perret (There's a War To Be Won, LJ 9/15/91) describes an intellectual who became one of America's greatest soldiers only through the constant exercise of will to power. Despite a tendency to whitewash such questionable aspects of MacArthur's career as his handling of the Bonus March and his conduct of the Philippine campaign of 1941, Perret offers a more convincing characterization of MacArthur than the warrior-prince of William Manchester's American Caesar (1978) or the posturing charlatan of Michael Schaller's Douglas MacArthur: The Far Eastern General (LJ 4/15/89). While D. Clayton James's three-volume The Years of MacArthur (Houghton, 1970-85) remains the most comprehensive study of this complex man, Perret's study is now the best one-volume biography. For all libraries.-Dennis E. Showalter, Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs
Kirkus Reviews
WW II historian Perret (Winged Victory, 1993, etc.) has produced a fully comprehensive biography that does evenhanded justice to a great, if flawed, man and his considerable achievements.

Capitalizing on unrestricted access to his subject's papers, the author provides a consistently engrossing account of the general who "was the quintessential twentieth century incarnation of the tragic hero." MacArthur graduated first in his class at West Point in 1903. After earning a chestful of medals for bravery in WW I France, his meteoric career included a four-year stint as superintendent at West Point and service as the Army's chief of staff. He retired in 1937 but was recalled to active duty in mid- 1941. In 1942 MacArthur assumed command of the Allied forces battling Japan in the Southwest Pacific. In 1945, he received Japan's surrender in dramatic ceremonies aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. MacArthur subsequently served as supreme commander of the forces occupying Japan, a post he used to institute enduring economic and sociopolitical reforms. Given command of United Nations forces at the inception of the Korean war, MacArthur landed American troops at Inchon in a daring amphibious assault that led to a to routing of the invading enemy. By marching north through the partitioned country, however, MacArthur drew Communist China into the conflict. In the wake of bitter disagreements with his superiors about American strategy, the aging general was recalled. Perret makes a fine job of evoking not only the qualities that helped MacArthur become a world-class soldier but also the quixotic arrogance and vanity that eventually brought him to grief. He also offers affecting glimpses of a remote commander's surprisingly warm personal life and occasional walks on the wild side.

In brief, then, a balanced, warts-and-all portrait that could renew interest in a justly celebrated but ever elusive warrior.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441713629
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Sales rank:
1,492,840
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 2.00(d)

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