Supreme Commander: MacArthur's Triumph in Japan
About the Book
He is the most decorated general in American history --- the only five-star general to receive the Medal of Honor. Yet Douglas MacArthur's greatest victory was not in war, but in peace.
As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in postwar Japan, General Douglas MacArthur was charged with transforming the defeated militarist empire into a beacon of peace and democracy, a task he called "the greatest gamble ever attempted." A career military man, MacArthur had no experience in politics, diplomacy, or economics. Vain, reclusive and self-centered, he had many enemies in Washington who considered him a flaming peacock. Few thought he could succeed, not even President Harry Truman's closest advisors. But MacArthur did succeed --- brilliantly --- defying timetables and expectations. He announced 11 objectives and achieved them all, establishing a bond between two countries that survives to this day.
SUPREME COMMANDER combines political history and military biography, to tell for the first time how MacArthur achieved a nation-building feat never before attempted, nor replicated since. Seymour Morris Jr. reveals this flawed man at his best --- as one who treated a defeated enemy with respect; made informed, thoughtful decisions; yet could also be brash and stubborn when necessary, leading the occupation with intelligence, class and compassion.
Reviewing MacArthur's key tactical choices and accomplishments, Morris presents a detailed, intimate portrait of a great American --- a patriot and a man of strong conviction --- who proved to be an outstanding and effective leader under extraordinary circumstances.