Magazine article Foreign Affairs

The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War

Article excerpt

The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War BY H. W. BRANDS. Doubleday, 2016, 448 pp.

U.S. President Harry Truman's dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur in April 1951 is a classic moment in civil-military relations. MacArthur, as supreme commander of un forces in Korea, had added to his already awesome reputation with the boldest move of the campaign: the amphibious landing at Inchon. But he had also squandered the advantage he'd earned with that maneuver by pushing his luck. Driving forward to the Yalu River, he provoked China into intervening, a possibility that he had previously dismissed. As his forces were pushed back, he raised the stakes, urging that the United States and its allies should take the war to the Chinese. …

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