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American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964 Hardcover – September 30, 1978
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''Gracefully written, impeccably researched and scrupulous in every way - a thrilling and profoundly ponderable piece of work.'' --Newsweek
''A through and spellbinding book...a dramatic chronicle of one of America's last epic heroes.'' --Saturday Review
''A blockbuster of a book...It reads like a novel, but all of it is based firmly on the complex but fascinating record.'' --New York Magazine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
William Manchester writes with wit and candor as he chronicles MacArthur's life from his earliest days to his death in 1964, at age 84. Manchester's portrait of his subject is balanced and objective. We see MacArthur at his finest: capable and courageous on the battlefield during World War I, rising quickly to general officer rank as a result of his abilities; between the world wars, a progressive, reform-minded superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, and later U.S. Army Chief of Staff; during World War II, a Medal of Honor winner, and the gifted but overly vainglorious commander of all Allied forces in the South Pacific, who achieved brilliant military successes with his "island-hopping" strategy; and later, as Military Governor of Japan, displaying a surprising magnanimity toward the conquered Japanese by introducing American-style democracy and liberal reforms. We also see him at his worst: pompous and vain, always seeking personal glory, often at his subordinates' expense; vindictive toward his subordinates when they disagreed with him; and finally, during the Korean War, the Supreme Commander whose hubris led him to openly defy his commander-in-chief, resulting in his relief by President Harry Truman.Read more ›
Douglas MacArthur was a colossus. He did not merely play an important role in the war in the Pacific, he dominated it and went on to play a crucial role in the West's early response to Communism in the Far East. William Manchester's exhaustive biography paints a warts and all portrait of the General. Manchester expresses rightful admiration for MacArthur's strategic brilliance and his amazing role in the recontstruction of post-war Japan. Yet, he does not shy away from criticism of MacArthur's extraordinary vanity which, in many cases, almost led (and during the Korean War did lead) to the General's downfall. I finished the book far more enlightened on the character of this individual and yet was left to draw my own conclusions as to his place in history.
Manchester's book is not just an immensely readable, throughly documented portrait of Douglas MacArthur. It also serves as a valuable work on the prosecution of the war in the Pacific and the early years of the Cold War and draws some very valuable and raises some interesting questions on the origin of America's entry into the war in Vietnam.
Individuals such as Douglas MacArthur should not be forgotten. Love them or hate them, they played a critical role in the history of the 20th Century and to the lives which each and every one of us live today. "American Casear" does justice to all aspects of Douglas MacArthur's life and character and I have no doubts that it will fascinate anyone who picks it up.
5 stars without any hesitation whatsoever.
Here's my problem. I'm sorry I'm putting this complaint here but I don't know where else to put it. The Kindle edition is chock-full of OCR errors that often result in gibberish-for example, "the" is printed as "die" dozens of times throughout the book. It's infuriating that the publisher/amazon sells this Kindle edition for $9 when it's clear that there's been no attempt at any kind of proofreading or quality control.
There are three-year old reviews that mention this problem and nothing has been done about it so obviously the publisher doesn't care. I like the Kindle format but I feel completely ripped off. It's an old book that is readily available at the local library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent writing and enjoyable reading if you like military history.Published 7 days ago by Ralph A Kimball
Hi I liked the history and mention of pacific victory's. I recommend the book to everyone who wants a hero. I disliked owing of his disputes with Truman . Read morePublished 28 days ago by JIMMY STEWART
Great read, It certainly points out how ill prepared we were for WW11Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A well written, thoughtful chronology of one of America's true heroes. I always admired MacArthur not only for his valor, but also for his restoration of Japan after the war. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carol Davids
A biography worthy of its subject, American Caesar is must reading for those interested in the evolution of limited war. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer