American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964
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MacArthur, the public figure, the private man, the soldier-hero whose mystery and appeal created a uniquely American legend, portrayed in a brilliant biography that will challenge the cherished myths of admirers and critics alike.
fact—the General’s censors told correspondents they couldn’t expose his victory communique as a lie—the fall of the capital was a month away. And there would be no Champs Élysées march then. “I understand,” Eichelberger wrote on February 21, “the big parade has been called off.” That was a shattering understatement. A parade was in fact impossible. No streets would be clear of rubble, and the gutters would be running with blood. The devastation of Manila was one of the great tragedies of World
permitted to stay and watch. One morning Jean walked in and found him in an upholstered chair. “Oh, General!” she said disapprovingly. “Look at Blackie ruining that chair! I simply will not let the dogs sit on my chairs.” MacArthur replied firmly, “Jeannie, that is my chair and Blackie can get into it any time he wants to. ” At eight o’clock the family gathered for prayers, the General’s substitute for formal church attendance. Gibby read the service from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and
MacArthur was clearly guilty of an improper act. Whether he himself realized this is at least debatable.” Indeed, he apparently thought it an admirable act, though for dubious reasons. Upon receipt of word that Truman was seeking a ceasefire in place, Frazier Hunt writes, “It was obvious to MacArthur that a big sellout was about to take place … . It must have seemed to him that this was his last chance to help check a political move that might well be disastrous to both Korea and America.” And
One represented a poetic vision of great drama; the other, the even perspective of hard prose. So that was the end of it. Truman had directed Omar Bradley to write the Waldorf, asking for the details of the General’s peace plan. MacArthur frostily answered that he had given them to the President-elect, though he would, “of course, be glad to participate” in “a coordinated discussion of the matter with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” On December 29 Bradley thanked him in four terse sentences, wishing
clear-cut heroes and villains, perhaps because they confirmed his view of life. Occasionally he fell asleep in the loge. It didn’t matter; he always emerged refreshed and serene.14 One evening Jean gave a cocktail party at the hotel. In her invitations she made it clear that the affair would start at 7:00 P.M. and end at 8:30. The General couldn’t come, but they had their regular film date just the same. The party was a success—so much so that most of the guests were lingering when it was time