In a dramatic chronicle of an almost forgotten war, Stanley Weintraub reveals why the most famous American general of the twentieth century failed to grasp the realities of the Korean conflict and its political repercussions. Focusing on MacArthur's leadership of the U.N. forces during the bloody summer of 1950 and beyond, Weintraub portrays an ...
In a dramatic chronicle of an almost forgotten war, Stanley Weintraub reveals why the most famous American general of the twentieth century failed to grasp the realities of the Korean conflict and its political repercussions. Focusing on MacArthur's leadership of the U.N. forces during the bloody summer of 1950 and beyond, Weintraub portrays an arrogant and failing autocrat more concerned with his own image than with military strategies.Weintraub's descriptions of fellow officers, ordinary soldiers, and civilian reporters at the mercy of MacArthur's rule add a moving dimension to a seminal study of a highly flawed American legend. His original research makes it clear that MacArthur's gross insubordination and persistent attempts to extend the conflict into mainland China, not his call for the use of nuclear weapons, made his downfall inevitable.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-06-05 In this engrossing work, Weintraub (The Stillness Heard Round the World) portrays Douglas MacArthur as a man who distinguishes himself far more in political rhetoric and strategies than the military plans he lays for his troops in Korea. Though celebrated for his contributions to the American effort in WWII, MacArthur here comes across as arrogant, headstrong and, often, wrong. The smart, challenging voice of actor Herrmann aptly matches a text that attempts a fair and frank assessment of an outstanding American general whose shortcomings are too often glossed over. Weintraub deftly brings the story alive with sources that range from the testimonies of soldiers on the ground, to conversations from Truman's inner sanctum and among joint chiefs of staff. And listeners will find that the inclusion of a map of the area is an invaluable addition to an already excellent production. Based on the Free Press hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 17). (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-04-17 Weintraub's popular military histories string together firsthand reportage and testimony to create compulsively readable, blow-by-blow accounts of key events. His latest covers the early Korean War, from June 1950 to April 1951, when Truman removed Douglas MacArthur from command. Journalistic accounts, memoirs, papers and previous histories let Weintraub cover the backroom, high-level maneuvering, the evolving public relations of the conflict and the dismaying and bloody facts on the ground. He narrates the first year-and-a-half of the peninsular "police action" along with all the related Cold War issues without which Korea would make no sense--among them debates about Formosa (Taiwan); slippery dealings between Stalin and Mao; and disputes over when, where and whether to use the Bomb. The superbly paced and detailed volume differs from Weintraub's previous works (like his account of Pearl Harbor, Long Day's Journey into War) in its clear focus and partisan stance: Weintraub's story line follows, and blames, MacArthur as the general tries both to escalate the war and to take responsibility for its conduct. Using dispatches and books by war reporters from Murrow to Keyes Beach and Marguerite Higgins, Weintraub creates a finely wrought sense of how the war looked as it was being fought: some readers will cherish this volume for that reason, while others will want more academic analysis--more views of institutions, theories and budgets. Analytically inclined readers may also quarrel with Weintraub's decision to cast MacArthur as bullheaded antihero. But even Weintraub's fiercest detractors (that is to say, MacArthur's defenders) will admit that he writes a densely gripping narrative, taking and defending with power and verve one position about the early Korean War. The volume also differs from Weintraub's other war books--as the foreword acknowledges--because it describes a war in which Weintraub fought: this one difference perhaps produced the rest. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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