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The Resource The general vs. the president : MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war, H.W. Brands

The general vs. the president : MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war, H.W. Brands

Label
The general vs. the president : MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war
Title
The general vs. the president
Title remainder
MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war
Statement of responsibility
H.W. Brands
Title variation
General versus the president
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"From master storyteller and historian H.W. Brands, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II."--
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Brands (Reagan), professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, expounds on President Truman’s decision, in April 1951, to fire Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then the UN commander in Korea, after months of listening to him threaten to expand the war. The issues behind this decision might take up as much as a long magazine article, so Brands adds workmanlike dual biographies and an account of the Korean War before getting down to his main business, which will refresh readers’ memories without adding any special insights. Despite MacArthur’s assurance that they wouldn’t, Chinese forces entered the war in November 1950. During the headlong retreat that followed, MacArthur uttered increasingly shrill warnings about Armageddon unless he was permitted to attack China proper. The general’s superiors never shared the public’s adoration of him, and all supported Truman’s action in relieving him. This produced widespread but short-lived outrage, and historians now agree it was the right decision. Brands does not rock any boats. His Truman is a plainspoken leader whose reputation has risen steadily since bottoming out in 1951. His MacArthur, a military genius with an inflated ego, follows a timeworn tradition. Readers may weary of long quotations from correspondence and committee hearings, but they will encounter the definitive history of a half-forgotten yet bitter controversy. (Oct.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 08/08/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 32, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Pulitzer Prize finalist Brands (history, Univ. of Texas at Austin; Reagan: The Life) has perfected the art of popular biographies and is well qualified to recount the well-known conflict between Gen. Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) and Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) on whether or not to attack China during the Korean War. MacArthur, an ambitious five-star general who sought glory during World War II and the Korean War, was once considered by Franklin D. Roosevelt to be the greatest threat to American democracy. Truman unexpectedly assumed the presidency upon Roosevelt's death and would have preferred remaining in the Senate. Though MacArthur sometimes sneered at politicians, he hungered for the presidency in 1940, 1944, and 1952. In short, pointed chapters, Brands captures the dilemmas of foreign policy during the Cold War, pitting a self-effacing democratic personality against a cagey authoritarian. The author demonstrates that both Truman and the democratic process ultimately triumphed from the president's willingness to forego short-run success. VERDICT Readers interested in the Cold War, civilian-military relations, and the Korean War will appreciate this readable and balanced view of MacArthur and Truman, especially Brand's contention that MacArthur was willing to risk his firing to promote his deep-seated presidential aspirations. [See Prepub Alert, 4/10/16.] --William D. Pederson (Reviewed 08/01/2016) (Library Journal, vol 141, issue 13, p106)
  • /* Starred Review */ Two American heroes tested and tried at their most inspired hours.Brands (History/Univ. of Texas; Reagan: The Life, 2015, etc.) finds in President Harry Truman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur two perfect counterweights to the unfurling crisis over the aggressive incursions of communism in East Asia. The author works his way backward from the tipping point in December 1950, when the Chinese had joined the Korean War against the United States and its Allies despite the assurances by MacArthur that the Chinese would never dare. The president, "livid" at the general for his recklessness and lack of foresight, assured the press that the U.S. "will take whatever steps are necessary" to repel the Chinese, including the use of "every weapon we have." This was no reassurance for the rest of the world, terrified of the opening salvos of an atomic war, which the president, immersed in domestic woes involving a Republican-controlled Congress, wanted to avoid at all costs, while the general, rejecting appeasement as the method of cowards (had the world learned nothing from Hitler?), seemed to invite World War III with his brazen attitude. In an elegant narrative, eminent historian Brands fleshes out the two characters and their paths to this moment's "knife-edge…above an abyss." Truman, somewhat appalled to be handed the job of president, warmed to the tasks of rebuilding Europe and containing communism from a sense of humanitarian duty and decency. He emerged from the bruising election, fights with Republicans, Joseph McCarthy allegations, the Berlin airlift, and alarming declarations by his rogue general with a "refusal to be discouraged." MacArthur, on the other hand, inculcated by his ingrained sense of entitlement and public accolades over the Philippines, Japan, and elsewhere, needed at this golden point in his waning career a crowning achievement: an amphibious invasion at Inchon that was so crazily brilliant that it just might work. An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis.(Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2016)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10530281
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Brands, H. W
Dewey number
973.918092
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
  • plates
Index
index present
LC call number
E814
LC item number
.B73 2016
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Truman, Harry S
  • MacArthur, Douglas
  • Nuclear warfare
  • United States
  • Presidents
  • Generals
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Cold War
  • Korean War, 1950-1953
  • Korean War, 1950-1953
  • HISTORY
  • HISTORY
  • BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war
Label
The general vs. the president : MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war, H.W. Brands
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 404-420) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue -- Part One. Two Roads up the Mountain -- Part Two. Test of Nerve -- Part Three. An Entirely New War -- Part Four. The General and the President -- Part Five. Fade Away
Control code
ocn935983409
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
437 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780385540575
Lccn
2016021412
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
(OCoLC)935983409
Label
The general vs. the president : MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war, H.W. Brands
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 404-420) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue -- Part One. Two Roads up the Mountain -- Part Two. Test of Nerve -- Part Three. An Entirely New War -- Part Four. The General and the President -- Part Five. Fade Away
Control code
ocn935983409
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
437 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780385540575
Lccn
2016021412
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
(OCoLC)935983409

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