Douglas MacArthur: The Far Eastern General

Michael Schaller, Author Oxford University Press, USA $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0-19-503886-6
In this revisionist study, Schaller, history professor at the Univ. of Arizona, argues that MacArthur's commands in the Philippines, the Southwest Pacific, Japan and Korea made drastic demands on him as a statesman and military leader but that he fell grievously short in both respects. The American public, according to the author, was duped by MacArthur's talent for publicity into believing he beat the Japanese virtually alone although his actual role was a supporting one. Schaller contends that MacArthur's occupation administration in Japan implemented reform programs already laid out in Washington, but he obscures the general's vital role in the success of the implementation. He suggests that MacArthur's concern with social justice for the Japanese was less important to him than building political support in the States (he hoped to win the Republican presidential nomination in 1948). Schaller reveals his bias early in the study by the attention he devotes to MacArthur's romantic setbacks between world wars, quoting scurrilous remarks made by the general's former wife at cocktail parties. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-19-506332-5
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