Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior

By | November 15, 2019
Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior Author Arthur Herman
ISBN-10 0812985109
ISBN-13 9780812985108
Year 2017-03-28
Pages 960
Language English
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
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A new definitive life of an American icon the visionary general who led American forces through three wars and foresaw his nations great geopolitical shift toward the Pacific Rimfrom the Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author of Gandhi Churchill Douglas MacArthur was arguably the last American public figure to be worshipped unreservedly as a national hero the last military figure to conjure up the romantic stirrings once evoked by George Armstrong Custer and Robert E Lee But he was also one of Americas most divisive figures a man whose entire career was steeped in controversy Was he an avatar or an anachronism a brilliant strategist or a vainglorious mountebank Drawing on a wealth of new sources Arthur Herman delivers a powerhouse biography that peels back the layers of mythboth good and badand exposes the marrow of the man beneath MacArthurs life spans the emergence of the United States Army as a global fighting force Its history is to a great degree his story The son of a Civil War hero he led American troops in three monumental conflictsWorld War I World War II and the Korean War Born four years after Little Bighorn he died just as American forces began deploying in Vietnam Hermans magisterial book spans the full arc of MacArthurs journey from his elevation to major general at thirty eight through his tenure as superintendent of West Point field marshal of the Philippines supreme ruler of postwar Japan and beyond More than any previous biographer Herman shows how MacArthurs strategic vision helped shape several decades of U S foreign policy Alone among his peers he foresaw the shift away from Europe becoming the prophet of Americas destiny in the Pacific Rim Here too is a vivid portrait of a man whose grandiose vision of his own destiny won him enemies as well as acolytes MacArthur was one of the first military heroes to cultivate his own public personathe swashbuckling commander outfitted with Ray Ban sunglasses riding crop and corncob pipe Repeatedly spared from being killed in battlehis soldiers nicknamed him Bullet Proofhe had a strong sense of divine mission Mac was a man possessed in the words of one of his contemporaries of a supreme and almost mystical faith that he could not fail Yet when he did it was on an epic scale His willingness to defy both civilian and military authority was Herman shows a lifelong traitand it would become his undoing Tellingly MacArthur once observed Sometimes it is the order one disobeys that makes one famous To capture the life of such an outsize figure in one volume is no small achievement With DouglasMacArthur Arthur Herman has set a new standard for untangling the legacy of this American legend Praise for Douglas MacArthurThis is revisionist history at its best and hopefully will reopen a debate about the judgment of history and MacArthurs place in history New York Journal of BooksUnfailingly evocative close to an epic More than a biography it is a tale of a time in the past almost impossible to contemplate today as having taken place with MacArthur himself as a figure perhaps too remote to understand but all the more important to encounter The New CriterionWith Douglas MacArthur American Warrior the prolific and talented historian Arthur Herman has delivered an expertly rendered compulsively readable account that does full justice to MacArthurs monumental achievements without slighting his equally monumental flaws CommentaryFrom the Hardcover edition

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