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MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Heroby Stanley Weintraub
Synopses & Reviews
Douglas MacArthur towers over twentieth-century American history. His fame is based chiefly on his World War II service in the Philippines. Yet Korea, America's forgotten war, was far more "MacArthur's War" — and it remains one of our most brutal and frightening. In just three years thirty-five thousand Americans lost their lives — more than three times the rate of losses in Vietnam. Korea, like Vietnam, was a breeding ground for the crimes of war. To this day, six thousand Americans remain MIA. It was Korea where American troops faced a Communist foe for the first time, as both China and the Soviet Union contributed troops to the North Korean cause. The war that nearly triggered the use of nuclear weapons reveals MacArthur at his most flamboyant, flawed, yet still, at times, brilliant.
Acclaimed historian Stanley Weintraub offers a thrilling blow-by-blow account of the key actions of the Korean War during the months of MacArthur's command. Our lack of preparedness for the invasion, our disastrous retreat to a corner of Korea, the daring landing at Inchon, the miscalculations in pursuing the enemy north, the headlong retreats from the Yalu River and Chosin Reservoir, and the clawing back to the 38th parallel, all can be blamed or credited to MacArthur. He was imperious, vain, blind to criticism, and so insubordinate that Truman was forced to fire him. Yet years later, the war would end where MacArthur had left it, at the border that still stands as one of history's last frontiers between communism and freedom.
MacArthur's War draws on extensive archival research, memoirs, and the latest findings from archives in the formerly communist world, to weave a rich tale in the voices of its participants. From MacArthur and his upper cadre, to feisty combat correspondent Maggie Higgins and her fellow journalists, to the grunts who bore the brunt of MacArthur's decisions, for good and ill, this is a harrowing account of modern warfare at its bloodiest. MacArthur's War is the gripping story of the Korean War and its soldiers — and of the one soldier who dominated the rest.
On the 50th anniversary of the Korean War comes a devastating condemnation of the once-great general whose 11 months of leadership of the conflict brought us to the brink of World War III. Not only the tale of a tragically flawed but brilliant leader, "MacArthur's War" is the gripping story of the men and conflict that history has forgotten. 16-page photo insert.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 361-374) and index.
About the Author
Stanley Weintraub is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. He has written acclaimed works of military history on World Wars I and II, including A Stillness Heard Round the World and Long Day's Journey into War. He lives in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.
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