72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
Dangerous to America's Enemies,
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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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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 3, 2014 7:46:36 PM PDT
Marc W. Schneider says:
Thank you for a very solid review. Most reviews on Amazon seem to have an agenda (or are complaining about the price of the book). Thanks for writing a helpful review.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2014 11:34:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2014 11:34:43 AM PDT
Lynn R. Fairbanks says:
I agree with both points. CL has written a brief, yet conscientious and concise review and I found it very helpful. I've only read Manchester's book on MacArthur but this one looks promising so I need to check it out. And I thoroughly agree with Marc--he's spot on with the tone of several "reviews" (quotation marks are mine, of course) on Amazon. Thanks to both of you.
Lynn Robert Fairbanks
Posted on Apr 16, 2014 8:06:48 PM PDT
R. DelParto says:
If only this book was assigned reading in history classes.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2014 1:35:01 AM PDT
Joel Menachim Shearer says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2014 12:33:29 PM PDT
Rot in hell? No. MacArthur was a military genius. He had a lot of faults. He did not get lucky at Inchon. It was a stroke of military genius which all rational military observers now concede. (MacArthur had to talk the joint chiefs of staff into the attack. They did not have the nerve for it.) Your evaluation of MacArthur seems to be based on intense dislike. Read this book. It is very good. It might change your opinion a little bit.
Posted on Jul 14, 2014 6:12:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 14, 2014 6:24:27 PM PDT
Who cares says:
I have yet to read the book and I don't plan on it. However, I am going to have to disagree with you on "...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..." MacArthur's failure to act and prepare for a possible attack in the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbor is inexcusable. History records that the Japanese launched devastating attacks on MacArthur's airbases at about 12.20 p.m. on 8 December 1941. Instead of acting decisively to prepare for likely Japanese attack on the Philippines; MacArthur took no significant action between 3.00 a.m. and 12.20 p.m. to bring his command to a proper state of readiness to resist an attack and to preserve his air force. As a direct result of MacArthur's inexcusable failure to bring his command to a proper state of readiness to resist a likely Japanese attack, most of the US Army's aircraft were sitting on their airstrips when Japanese bombers and fighters arrived overhead at about 12.20 p.m. on 8 December and took them by surprise. The result of MacArthur's lack of "brilliance" as a commander was just as devastating probably more so than the results of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Also MacArthur left Corregidor which left General Jonathan M. Wainwright in charge who was later taken prisoner. Dubbed by his men a "fighting" general who was willing to get down in the foxholes, Wainwright won the respect of all who were imprisoned with him. That speaks volumes to me. He agonized over his decision to surrender Corregidor throughout his captivity, feeling that he had let his country down. Upon release, the first question he asked was how people back in the U.S. thought of him, and he was amazed when told he was considered a hero. He later received the Medal of Honor an honor which had first been proposed early in his captivity, in 1942, but was rejected due to the vehement opposition of General MacArthur, who felt that Corregidor should not have been surrendered. A true cowardly and craven position if you ask me.
A majority of American soldiers on Bataan believed that the situation they found themselves in was a direct result of the military decisions of General Douglas MacArthur. Soldiers stated that during the withdrawal into Bataan, they passed warehouses full of food, ammunition, and medical supplies. Many held deep resentment toward General Douglas MacArthur and referred to him by the nickname "Dugout Doug". While they lived with daily strafing from Japanese planes and shelling from Japanese artillery, they believed General MacArthur was safe in Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor.
In fact I found a "little ditty" on the internet in respect to "Dugout Doug".
"Sung to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
Dugout Doug MacArthur lies a shaking on the Rock
Safe from all the bombers and from any sudden shock
Dugout Doug is eating of the best food on Bataan
And his troops go starving on.
Dugout Doug's not timid, he's just cautious, not afraid
He's protecting carefully the stars that Franklin made
Four-star generals are rare as good food on Bataan
And his troops go starving on.
Dugout Doug is ready in his Kris Craft for the flee
Over bounding billows and the wildly raging sea
For the Japs are pounding on the gates of Old Bataan
And his troops go starving on...
Authors and historians can write about MacArthur's failings and feats. As for me, I'll take the opinions of the men who had to actually serve under him and suffered from his "brilliant" decisions.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2014 7:06:33 PM PDT
Well, the purpose of my review is to appraise the book, not hold a debate concerning MacArthur. But, you are correct in that we disagree. I have read several accounts of MacArthur's activities, some of them praising him and some full of scorn. I reject the scorn. Brererton, (unsure of spelling right now) the Air Commander on the Philippines, holds some responsibility for the destruction of the air force on the islands and his later statement that he wanted to attack Formosa, which held Japanese bases, is not in touch with reality. The airplanes would, with the pilots, have all been destroyed in the air by Japanese fighters or run out of fuel and crashed into the ocean.
In any event, much of the information that historians use comes from the men on the ground and I would like to point out that millions of very brave men went into battle in WWII without even knowing the names of their commanding generals. They can testify to their particular actions, but cannot be accepted as experts on everything. Most ground pounders who write their memoirs attest to this. They, like everyone else, rely on many sources to understand the overall picture. The men on Bataan were incredibly brave. Let's leave it at that for now. We will simply disagree on MacArthur's brilliance.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2014 2:13:41 PM PDT
OK, you have good points but without "daring" to read this book which might make you change your mind a bit (don't know if it would or not but you're censoring yourself from reading it as if to prevent that) you're points are not HONEST ones.
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