The Greatest Generation Revisited New Histories Take a Mostly Critical Look at Macarthur and an Admiring One at FDR

By Coohill, Joseph | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), June 8, 2014 | Go to article overview

The Greatest Generation Revisited New Histories Take a Mostly Critical Look at Macarthur and an Admiring One at FDR


Coohill, Joseph, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


"The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur"

By Mark Perry

Basic Books ($29.99)

"NO END SAVE VICTORY: HOW FDR LED THE NATION INTO WAR

By David Kaiser

Basic Books ($27.99)

In late July 1932, presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt was having lunch with his wife, a couple of secretaries and a close adviser. He was interrupted by a phone call from Huey Long, the bombastic and influential populist governor of Louisiana.

Long complained loudly about the treatment of the D.C. Bonus March protesters, suggested how the Democrats should react to forestall a populist uprising, and threatened to withhold his support for FDR if more Democratic campaign money didn't flow south.

After he hung up, Roosevelt sighed that Long was the second most dangerous man in the country. The first, he said, was the army commander who had cleared out the Bonus Marchers so brutally and effectively - Douglas MacArthur.

Roosevelt admired MacArthur's military acumen, so strongly displayed during World War, yet he feared the general's zealotry and relentless politicking over the military budget.

MacArthur worried that New Deal spending would weaken the army, yet acknowledged FDR's political genius and growing popularity. This dance took place during the double crises of depression and war, which only intensified the seriousness of their relationship.

Two new releases from Basic Books show, in different ways and with varying success, how these two men recognized each other's strengths and tried to exploit each other's weaknesses. Most important, the authors expose the byzantine complications of politics, money and international affairs in the run up to the United States' involvement in World War II.

Mr. Perry's "Most Dangerous Man in America" is a highly detailed and compelling examination of MacArthur's career from the 1932 Bonus March savagery to the Japanese surrender on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in 1945.

MacArthur spent the early 1930s shuttling between the White House and his congressional friends, trying to boost the military budget (specifically the Army's over the Navy's) and building a web of support among politicians and administrators in an attempt to secure his future and the Army's domination of military influence in government policy and funding.

Some congressmen grumbled about the constitutionality of MacArthur meddling in civilian affairs. Mr. Perry expertly shows how immensely difficult and dicey MacArthur's politicking was, both for him and for the military.

Mr. Perry is also careful to discuss MacArthur's subordinates, allies and enemies in great detail. This pleases the professional historian who recognizes the importance of examining complexity, but it might leave the non-specialist wondering why MacArthur himself seems to disappear for pages at a time and why these tangential figures get so much attention.

Mr. Perry's approach, however, is crucial to understanding MacArthur's major role in the Philippines and New Guinea and gives the early years of the Pacific war the analytic texture it deserves. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Greatest Generation Revisited New Histories Take a Mostly Critical Look at Macarthur and an Admiring One at FDR
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.