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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 (332 )
5 star
 (197)
4 star
 (104)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
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Overall
4.6 (203 )
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3 star
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Story
4.5 (203 )
5 star
 (116)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Adam IRVING, TX, United States 03-07-12
    Adam IRVING, TX, United States 03-07-12 Listener Since 2005

    Adam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book"

    Overall this was a very good book and I highly recommend it. The discussion of MacArthur's father provides the core of a side discussion on the generation of military leaders that preceded MacArthur, and I thought that this was especially valuable. I also thought this book did a good job of de-mythologizing MacArthur and showing how he was truly perceived in his own day, which was different than how we perceive him today. In addition, the book does a good job of explaining an important sub-theater of WW2 and the Korean War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Vernon, CT, USA 09-09-08
    Neil Vernon, CT, USA 09-09-08 Member Since 2006
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    "A must read"

    This masterpiece endures and allows a glimpse back in time at heroic and seriously flawed personalities. It is of special significance given the fighting of another war. Who to trust; the generals or the politicians. History teaches strange lessons.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 09-29-13
    William SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 09-29-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Collection of facts"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. Yes, it's good to know the facts. No, the narrator's voice really gave me a headache.


    Would you recommend American Caesar to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. There must be a better biography of Douglas MacArthur.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Not much. Much.


    Did American Caesar inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Look for an alternative biography of Douglas MacArthur.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scott independence, KS, United States 09-14-10
    scott independence, KS, United States 09-14-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Fabulous read!"

    As a young man I had no knowledge of MacArthur what so ever. I read this because I'm interested in military history and my grandfather served under him in The Pacific. This was a fabulous read; entertaining all the way through. I found myself laughing aloud at his antics and bravado. If I ever had "The Dinner" where I could invite people dead or alive, Mac would be seated at my immediate left

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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