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American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 | [William Manchester]

American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

Virtually all Americans above a certain age hold strong opinions about Douglas MacArthur. They either worship him or despise him. Now, in this superb book, one of our most outstanding writers, after a meticulous three-year examination of the record, presents his startling insights about the man. The narrative is gripping, because the general's life was fascinating. It is moving, because he was a man of vision. It ends, finally, in tragedy, because his character, though majestic, was tragically flawed.
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Publisher's Summary

Virtually all Americans above a certain age hold strong opinions about Douglas MacArthur. They either worship him or despise him. Now, in this superb book, one of our most outstanding writers, after a meticulous three-year examination of the record, presents his startling insights about the man. The narrative is gripping, because the general's life was fascinating. It is moving, because he was a man of vision. It ends, finally, in tragedy, because his character, though majestic, was tragically flawed.

©1978 William Manchester; (P)1991 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Listening to Parker, one imagines a jovial uncle delivering a slap on the back and sitting down to describe war experiences in a rich voice filled with humor and pathos. The 'you-are-there' quality grabs and holds. This is a carefully done, seamless audio presentation." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (315 )
5 star
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4.6 (187 )
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4.4 (187 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bill 06-09-15
    Bill 06-09-15

    A professional with a life-long love of reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Manchester and Gardner delight us once again"

    Those of you who know Grover Gardner's work will enjoy this well written story about a uniquely flawed genius. Manchester is honest though somewhat sympathetic to the General. The book's title is fits the narrative.

    Manchester's research is exhaustive and the book shows it. We become fairly intimate with The General, his Jeanie and young Aurthur as well as their circle of intimates. Manchester is honest as he works to answer the questions about why certain controversial actions are taken. All in all I truly enjoyed this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nicolo 02-17-15
    nicolo 02-17-15
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    "Great read"

    Really artful telling of the great general's story, especially at the beginning of the Manila retreat to Bataan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great American to many have forgotten"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Douglas MacArthur comes from a time when Americans thought mush differently than we do today. We need more of it!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me wonder could Americans today overcome what we suffered through in the past? The MacArthur's of America's past were visionaries that also had the ability to carry out their visions. They thought differently than what we see today. We may need more of them now!


    Any additional comments?

    I belief that every American school needs to teach more about men such as Douglas MacArthur, they could learn much from his successes and failures. If nothing else, the way he handled Japan after WWII is a lesson we all should learn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Dickinson 10-08-14 Member Since 2014

    pcjohnd

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Came to Admire Him"
    If you could sum up American Caesar in three words, what would they be?

    Heroic Epic Adventuresome


    What does Tom Parker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent reading


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Bright Side of an American Hero


    Any additional comments?

    I thought I knew about Douglass MacArthur . . . I didn't know Jack S**t.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich 08-05-14
    Rich 08-05-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Manchester...true to form - Excellent"

    I didn't think i would like this book, but was mistaken. Wm. Manchester can bring life to history. And MacArthur's life was fascinating great virtue...great folly

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C.B.E. Colorado, United States Minor Outlying Islands 02-19-14
    C.B.E. Colorado, United States Minor Outlying Islands 02-19-14 Member Since 2014

    Claywise

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    "Deep and fascinating"

    William Manchester's biography of Douglas MacArthur is engaging, well reported and insightful. It's also for the most part a balanced view, though readers/listeners familiar with Manchester know that he has an occasional propensity to offer up tasty, if almost certainly apocryphal, details and snarky editorializing.

    While listening to the book, I asked a number of college-age people if they knew who MacArthur was, and not one did. I suppose that's inevitable. But it's still sad and remarkable that such a towering figure of American history could be forgotten so soon.

    Tom Parker's narration is very good, though it takes awhile to get used to his somewhat tinny, "1940s radio" voice.

    An excellent book, well worth the 40+ hours it takes to listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 10-05-13
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 10-05-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best biography"

    I've listened to many biographies, and this one is the best. I'd never thought much about MacArthur before I listened to this book. I'd just thought he was an egotistical old general. Now I know that he was one of the towering figures of the last century. If you are interested in WWII, the Korean War, or a history of Japan, you need to listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EVERETT PORTLAND, OR, United States 07-11-13
    EVERETT PORTLAND, OR, United States 07-11-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MANCHESTER AT HIS BEST"

    As the best historian of my lifetime William Manchester again delivers a detailed yet focused account of a most complex man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vernon ROYSE CITY, TX, United States 04-17-13
    Vernon ROYSE CITY, TX, United States 04-17-13 Member Since 2014
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    "A surprising interest"
    Where does American Caesar rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 5


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Caesar?

    The stories regarding the Korean War. I never studied that conflict very deeply


    Have you listened to any of Tom Parker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I chose this book because I knew nothing about MacArthur (beyond the superficial) and I had a project which was going to be tedious and long. I wanted a long audio book. This book pleasantly surprised me, and I enjoyed it. Caveat: I enjoy military history and psychological breakdowns, and this book delves deep into these. It may not be for everyone. Good history, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 12-03-12
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 12-03-12 Member Since 2014

    54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GREAT ESSENTIAL LISTEN"

    Manchester didn't write a lot of books, but what he did write is stunning. This book was a revelation in the quality of the writing which made for a very enjoyable read!
    If you ever wondered how japan recovered to take on the world after ww2 Like I did read this. Your preconceived notions of MacArthur will take a big hit and a facinating rarely visited story will fill in an overlooked hole in the usual telling of the ww2 story.
    Beyond the WW2 aspect- this biography is a fascinating well told tale of a giant of the times. If you liked this- read the last lion trilogy, which is Manchesters masterpiece bio on Churchill.
    When JFK died Jackie asked HIM to write the story of his last days!!( wish audible had that one). and his other book for that matter called- the arms of krupp . AUDIBLE please put out his missing 2 books thanks

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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