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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous to America's Enemies
I have read several books concerning General Douglas MacArthur. A few have been scathing, giving him hell for just about everything he did (the author Stanley Weintraub does not think much of him) some are admiring (William Manchester comes to mind). Mark Perry, in this excellent book, does not fall under either category. He looks at the record and the relationship...
Published 4 months ago by C L

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you somewhat in the middle
I've read a lot about the history of World War II and almost every book leaves you with a VERY low opinion of Mac. This book leaves you with a low opinion of Roosevelt, Truman and Marshall, especially Marshall. The title of this book would leave uou with a different anticipation. It only reflects a quote from Roosevelt.
Published 1 month ago by Jo-Anne Barnard


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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous to America's Enemies, March 24, 2014
By 
C L (Illinois) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur (Hardcover)
I have read several books concerning General Douglas MacArthur. A few have been scathing, giving him hell for just about everything he did (the author Stanley Weintraub does not think much of him) some are admiring (William Manchester comes to mind). Mark Perry, in this excellent book, does not fall under either category. He looks at the record and the relationship between MacArthur and President Franklin Roosevelt and Army Chief of Staff George Marshal and calls the shots as he sees them. He obviously believes that all three of these men were good men and talented men. They needed each other during hard times. They helped form each others' characters and ideas. In the end, MacArthur was brilliant as a military commander, perhaps even a genius, all the while earning the anger of other people with his arrogance and near paranoia that others were against him. Perry has done a great job of separating the faults of the man from his sometimes astonishing successes. We are lucky that he took the time to do so and then write this book.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars General Douglas MacArthur -- An American Caesar!, April 7, 2014
This review is from: The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur (Hardcover)
The author was one of only three historians who interviewed General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), and he was fortunate to do so, for this was only three years before MacArthur's death at the age of 84 in Washington, D.C. This authoritative biography relates exceedingly well the life and times of perhaps the greatest and most fascinating and enigmatic of all American generals of the 20th century.

MacArthur was raised in an old military family of the old West, fought the Mexicans during the occupation of Veracruz in 1914, served in the two World Wars, and had a prominent role in the Korean Conflict (1950-1951) -- serving officially in the U.S Army from 1904-1964. His accomplishments were outstanding and copious, but Mark Perry, the author of this book describes them well, succeeding remarkably well in relating why the General continues to fascinate us.

MacArthur was the only American to rise to become Field Marshall of the Philippine Army, earning also the Medal of Honor for his military service in the Philippine Campaigns, a decoration and badge of honor also awarded to his father, whom MacArthur revered. General MacArthur strove to emulate his father whose early achievements MacArthur feared he could never attain. In fact, he surpassed his admired and accomplished father, MacArthur being only one of 5 Americans to rise to the rank of General of the Army (5 star general).

The Big Chief (one of MacArthur's nicknames) was to become a legendary figure for his military strategies, tactics, and prominent role in the wars in the Pacific theater, fighting not only the Japanese during World War II, but also the North Koreans and Red Chinese in the ensuing cold war, a drawn out conflict that was not so cold for MacArthur.

The conflict against the communist Chinese was to be the downfall for MacArthur, not for being decisively defeated by the enemy in the field, but for inciting the wrath of his Commander-in-Chief, the American President Harry Truman, who feared Mac Arthur's actions could precipitate World War III. The sharp conflict between General and President brought not only the downfall of MacArthur but also of Truman, whose approval rating dropped to 22% after relieving MacArthur of his command, consequently refusing to run for re-election. In the election that followed in 1952, General Dwight D. Eisenhower won the Presidency serving two terms.

The book, though, is not a hagiography of MacArthur. In fact the author tries hard to point out flaws in the old general, who is shown "proud and egotistical," deemed "his own worst enemy," etc. Ironically, as events played out, MacArthur proved the truism that even paranoids have enemies, and after his recall by Truman, like the old soldier of his ballad, his military career ended; he did not enter politics; he just faded away into the pages of history -- and the mist of legend. Nevertheless, this is enthralling history and biography, which I recommend to all who enjoy American history, as well as to those who enjoy reading about great American heroes.

The reviewer, Dr. Miguel Faria, is a medical historian and the author of Cuba in Revolution -- Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). He has written numerous articles on political history and communism, including "Stalin's Mysterious Death" (2011); "Stalin, Communists and Fatal Statistics" (2011); "the Political Spectrum -- From the Extreme Right and Anarchism to the Extreme Left and Communism" (2011); etc. His articles are posted at his website drmiguelfariadotcom & haciendapublishingdotcom
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Man at the Right Time, April 9, 2014
By 
Joe D. Marlow (Overland Park, KS) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur (Hardcover)
Of the numerous books about Douglas MacArthur this book is unique in that it examines his life and career through the lens of being Army chief of staff in 1932 through the surrender of Japan in 1945 with a focus on his complex and challenging relationship with Franklin Roosevelt. MacArthur was vain and egoistical but also a brilliant strategist who, according to the author, led the most successful combined arms operations military history while in the Southwest Pacific in World War II. His rivalry with the Navy, his relationship with Australia, and how he was used by FDR to advance the New Deal make for fascinating reading as was the fact MacArthur could select a "royal court" for his staff yet chose excellent combat commanders for his land, air, and sea operations. An unanswered question for me was how MacArthur's experience with the Civilian Conservation Corps set the stage for his extraordinary leadership in remaking Japan following World War II.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you somewhat in the middle, June 1, 2014
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I've read a lot about the history of World War II and almost every book leaves you with a VERY low opinion of Mac. This book leaves you with a low opinion of Roosevelt, Truman and Marshall, especially Marshall. The title of this book would leave uou with a different anticipation. It only reflects a quote from Roosevelt.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur, June 2, 2014
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Interesting but not overwhelming - I felt that the assessment of MacArthur lacked the depth of other books (American Caeser for example) but the discussion of Franklin Roosevelt and how he handled MacArthur is very good.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight through words, May 26, 2014
This review is from: The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur (Hardcover)
Mark Perry is able to lead one to understanding of the character of a man, famous for his conquests and at times infamous for his own failing. I found it most educational as a book that describes the thinking of men who are destined to lead others to war and during war.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book, May 1, 2014
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This book covers almost exclusively MacArthur's experiences in the Southwest Pacific during WWII. His egotism is on almost every page, but the book covers inter-service rivalies to an extent that I never knew before. I suggest this as required reading for thos interested in the Pacific theater during WWII.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Mark Perry . . . a solid reporter, superb historian, and dazzling writer, April 27, 2014
By 
Dan E. Moldea (Washington, D.C.) - See all my reviews
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This is Mark Perry's ninth book, and they just keep getting better. While billed as a revisionist history by some reviewers, Perry has proven his excellence as a solid reporter, superb historian and dazzling writer. I have rarely seen such a broad selection of fine reviews -- from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post and Boston Globe. Better yet, The Most Dangerous Man In America is a page turner. I couldn't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pacific War history, not MacArthur bio, May 30, 2014
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Great blow-by-blow account of the Pacific war as related to Gen MacArthur's leadership, but not what I expected. Was looking more for a study of his character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Duty, Honor, Country", July 19, 2014
This review is from: The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur (Hardcover)
There is a dynamic beginning to Mark Perry's book, "The Most Dangerous Man in America." The author describes how that phrase was coined by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to denote the erratic and highly ambitious nature of Douglas MacArthur at the time of FDR's election as president in 1932. At that moment, MacArthur's reputation as a brilliant soldier had been tarnished by the forcefulness with which he had repressed the Bonus Marchers at Anacostia Flats outside Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1932. FDR confessed to an aide that he believed that MacArthur was even more dangerous than Huey Long. But by the end of the book, it is clear that President Roosevelt had changed his views on MacArthur after the unparalleled contributions of the general during the war. Mr. Perry's conclusion is that history has not treated MacArthur kindly and that he should be recognized as one of the greatest minds in American military history.

Unfortunately, the book loses focus of MacArthur in the detailed descriptions of the battles in the South Pacific. MacArthur often drops out of the lengthy discourse that covers so many generals and battle plans. Especially prominent is George S. Marshall. It was Marshall who kept the enormous egos of the commanders in check and helped to steer a unified strategy among the different branches of the armed forces. FDR refused to allow Marshall to assume a command in Europe because Marshall was too valuable in coordinating strategies in the two theaters of war from his Washington, D.C. home base. From Mr. Perry's narrative, Marshall was a steadying influence who was uniquely qualified to deal with the unprecedented challenges of concurrent wars in the European and Pacific theaters. The midsection of this book is actually the story of George Marshall as much as it is the biography of Douglas MacArthur. Some readers may be disappointed by the lack of attention paid to MacArthur himself.

But for the careful reader, the book pays rewards in telling the stories of many of the courageous leaders of the so-called Cartwheel operation--MacArthur's plan for the conquest of Japanese-held islands in the South Pacific. Gen. Robert Eichelberger was one of the many unsung heroes of the Pacific theater. In his leadership and tenacity, Eichelberger was unmatched in paving the way for MacArthur's grand return to the Philippines. Mr. Perry's careful research with primary sources, drawing heavily on the surviving correspondence and communiqués among the generals, helps to set the record straight about many of the leaders who have not received as much credit as they deserve.

In a revealing moment, Douglas MacArthur once stated that Gen. George Patton "will be remembered for 100 years as the man who struck a soldier." MacArthur himself has unfortunately been linked to those aspects of his own career and character that evoked controversy: the suppression of the Bonus Marchers, his abrupt exodus from the Philippines, and his confrontation with Truman over Korea. This fine book goes a long way to demonstrating how those impressions do not tell the complete story of a powerful and brilliant military leader with vaulting ambition, who truly lived by his creed of "duty, honor, country."
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The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur
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