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MacArthur: The Great Generals Series Audio, Cassette – July 10, 2007

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Audio, Cassette, July 10, 2007
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Product Details

  • Series: Great Generals
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio Inc.; Unabridged edition (July 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433200473
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433200472
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,624,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A classic example of good things in small packages, this addition to the Great Generals Series owes much to its author, an expert on the Pacific war and a particularly accomplished writer. Those attainments allow him to do a remarkable degree of justice to his subject, one of the most controversial leaders in American history. From early on, MacArthur, scion of a military family, exhibited great talents and a colossal ego that made it difficult for him to cooperate with either his fellow commanders or his civilian superiors, leading one of the latter, President Truman, to terminate his career during the Korean War. MacArthur's insensitivity to politics didn't, however, prevent him from practicing a high level of statesmanship as military governor of occupied Japan. Frank's portrait of him is that of a man clearly related to the little girl who had a little curl in the middle of her forehead. When he was good, he was indispensable; when he was bad, he made colleagues and superiors think of firing squads. A good addition for any and all twentieth-century American history collections. Green, Roland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Palgrave's Great Generals Series is an important and inspiring contribution to our understanding of modern-day warfare. Every book in the series will provide invaluable insight into the legacies of eminent military leaders and take the reader on a gripping tour of the most spectacular maneuvers, missions, and battles in world history." --General Wesley K. Clark

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Barrett Tillman on July 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When there are multi-volume biographies running 800 to 900 pages each, what can be said about Douglas MacArthur in 198 pages?

Read Richard Frank's excellent book and find out. He's crammed at least 12 pounds into a 10-pound bag, providing a taut, concise examination of one of the dominant military figures of the 20th century. Frank's forte' is objectivity: at the end of the book you don't know what he personally thinks of Douglas MacArthur--and that's the mark of an impartial historian.

Some reviewers have complained that other Palgrave Great Generals bios address the subject's likely attitude toward current events, as does Frank. But those critics should "read the manual" and recognize that contemporary comparisons are part of the series format.

Frank's incisive bio addresses MacArthur's origins (his father was a general with the Medal of Honor), his motivations, his strengths and failings. Arguably his greatest accomplishments were before and after WW II: his spectacular heroism and leadership in WW I, his intelligent if controversial handling of postwar Japan, and his exceptional fortitude in reversing the Korean debacle with the Inchon landings in 1950. Ironically, soon thereafter his talents failed him and he brought dismissal upon himself.

Frank stresses a telling point: MacArthur's powerful aura and presence prevented nearly all his superiors from managing his colossal ego throughout his life. That trend apparently was not seen by anyone above him in the chain of command until the massive Chinese intervention in Korea. That he continually bulldozed his way from one success to another, often "improving" the facts to suit his needs, says much about the nature of geopolitical gatekeeping.

Ultimately, MacArthur was, as Frank demonstrates, straight out of a Greek tragedy: a magnificently flawed hero. Aeschylus and Sophocles would immediately understand Douglas MacArthur, and recognize the worth of this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Winston Smith on November 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A man as controversial as Douglas MacArthur is a difficult subject for any author, and the relatively brief "Great Generals" series makes it an especially challenging one. Richard Frank does an excellent job of covering the main details of MacArthur's career, and manages to condense a fair amount of analysis into a few brief lines. In particular, he manages to clearly convey the problem of MacArthur's singular stature in the Army; by his frequent comparison of the general's seniority and experience with those of his colleagues (Marshall, Eisenhower, etc.), the enormity of the gulf between them is made very clear. For such a small book, it does a good job of giving a good feel for the man and his career.

This is however the most flawed book of the series so far. Frank's projection of MacArthur's views forward to the present times lacks context; he does not adequately 'ground' his postdictions with references or justification, and it comes off sounding more like a caricature than is the case in the other books. Furthermore, the editing work on the book is shockingly subpar; each chapter is riddled with typographical and formatting errors (which reveals either that Wesley Clark's title as series editor is purely honorific, or that he is a magnificently incompetent editor).

Overall, it is worth reading, particularly if one desires a brief introduction to MacArthur's career and his significance as a general. Seeing that this is more or less the point of the series, one might well declare that it has accomplished its mission, despite its rather glaring flaws.

Not unlike MacArthur himself, as it happens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on July 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD
In this fascinating biography, author and historian Richard B. Frank tells the story of General Douglas MacArthur, one of only nine American men to be promoted to the 5 star rank. Beginning with MacArthur’s childhood in the closing days of the American West, he follows his career as he streaked across the American sky like a meteor.

Overall, I found this to be an absolutely fascinating audiobook. The author does an excellent job of presenting the real Douglas MacArthur, showing him at his most brilliant, and at his worst – falsifying reports, making tragic blunders, and so forth. And, Tom Weiner does a great job of reading the book, his voice sounding pleasant on the ear, making the 7 hours (on 6 CDs) go by quite pleanantly.

Now, everyone seems to mention the book’s attempt to give what would have been MacArthur’s views on current events. Admittedly, this is a rather subjective exercise. But, that said, I think that the author did do a good job of suggesting what the general would have said and thought.

Yep, I think that this is an excellent audio-biography of General MacArthur, one that should be purchased by every armchair student of World War 2.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cpt matt VINE VOICE on August 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Richard Frank's third book, MacArthur is by far his shortest. But it is still great reading, very insightful review of General Douglas MacArthur's controversial career. Frank states he wants to be objective and let the reader decide who or what General MacArthur was. Along the way, he points out myths that MacArthur's supporters and detractors have gotten wrong along the way. The writing style is very matter of fact, well researched and documented.

The book is really 4 ˝ stars, or nine out of ten. Just a few comments - it's small - the print is tiny...get the large print version. I enjoyed it completely right up to the end when the author went out on a limb and began predicting how Mac would have reacted to modern history & events. That's just a way for the author to inject his personal views on current events. There's no need for that, it soils an otherwise perfectly balanced and neutral look on MacArthur.

Of interest, Richard Frank states in his conclusion that Douglas MacArthur is second only to Franklin Roosevelt in having an impact on the 20th century. All who ever met or dealt with MacArthur agree that he was intelligent, his career was longer and marked with more brilliance than his peers and his was very adaptable. He was also vain, insubordinate and completely unable to grasp his own flaws. As one of his officers remarked, "the best and the worst things you ever heard about him are both true".

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Far Eastern history, the Pacific Theater, students of military history and those interested in leadership. There is a lot to learn here, examples of what to do and not do. As with many geniuses, the only thing everyone can agree on is that this man is controversial.
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