DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: Something of a Hero by John Devaney

DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: Something of a Hero

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Something of a hero, something of a pompous fool, but not much of a historic personage: the current turn toward deglorifying the great has led Devaney to balance every positive attribute of MacArthur's with a negative one, and to offset virtually every achievement with an ignominious act, as if this were the way to arrive at the truth. But instead of rounding out MacArthur, he squashes him--an effect enhanced by his awkward prose and chronic, clumsy foreshadowing (""Before these faraway events, as he prepared for the West Point test, Douglas felt his stomach chum""). And while his treatment of most events is at least unexceptionable, he grossly and ridiculously oversimplifies the Occupation of Japan: ""A ruffian dictatorship led by generals and admirals had become a busy and peaceful industrial democracy with the Emperor as its figurehead. And its people had changed from fierce warriors to contented workers."" While the Manchester biography is a behemoth and not without its flaws, it's far more to the point than the other adult titles Devaney recommends, self-importantly, as adjuncts to his.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1979
Publisher: Putnam