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American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964

American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 - William Raymond Manchester This is one of the best-written biographies I have ever read. It is nonfiction which flows so smoothly, it is practically a novel. In a way, it makes sense that MacArthur's bio would be so easily digested- he was very theatric in nature, so even the truth seems like entertainment. Comically, he staged multiple re-takes of his famous photo wading up onto the beach returning to the Phillipines! The novel is commendably balanced; Manchester gives the great General his due, showing the many times he risked his life on the front lines even when his Flag rank would have allowed him to remain in safety. On the other hand, many embarrassing facts are also on display here- for example, how the "Supreme Commander (SCAP)" owes a key promotion to his doting mother's intervention, and how his ego caused him to lose his job at the height of the Korean War. The one question I wish this book addressed is the rumor that MacArthur's death of pneumonia in 1964 was in part attributable to a medication error... a startling cautionary tale if it is true, and it has a ring of believability, given that he was sure to get "VIP treatment"...medication errors most typically occur when medical staff are forced to vary from standard procedures. If anybody has additional information to confirm or refute the story, I'd be interested to hear it.