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Publisher's Summary

It is 1997. Jay Marsh, Wall Street millionaire and grand old man of the diplomatic corps, takes a sentimental journey to the scene of his first triumphs and agonies, Manila, where as a brash young captain during World War II he served as aide-de-camp and confidant to General Douglas MacArthur. Marsh sees beyond the glittery capital of today to the horrifying days of 1945. The retreating Japanese army had devastated everything in its wake. The city was set ablaze and one hundred thousand innocents were slaughtered. Marsh was forced to leave behind his Filipino fiancée;and accompany MacArthur to Japan. Now, as the senior statesman stands in the serene garden of the ambassador's residence, his mind reels back in time...  

In the final days of the war in the Pacific, the Philippines are retaken by the Allies under the command of General MacArthur, paving the way for Japan's surrender. But for MacArthur, victory over Japan is only a stepping stone to greater glory: supreme rule over the conquered country. MacArthur enlists Captain Marsh to be his emissary to the imperial government, a mission that takes the junior officer into the shadow world of postwar Tokyo, and into a web of deceit as he discovers shocking truths about MacArthur the world was never meant to know.

©1999 James Webb (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring and pathetic

James Webb wrote a great book - "Fields of Fire" - about the Vietnam war. The Emperor's General is pathetic. The author must have become bored with his subject halfway through the book, and then decided to try to end it gracefully. There were no engaging twists or dramatic turns, interesting dilemmas or real personal conflicts. Everything sounded contrived, as if this was the first manuscript by an aspiring writer. The narrator was horrible! He tries to impersonate a young Japanese girl by lisping softly and an aged Japanese general by simply lisping. I regret wasting my time listening to this.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Virginia Beach, VA, USA
  • 08-08-06

Too short for deep development

I liked the book. If you are looking for deep analysis of WW II or McArthur you are reading the wrong book. I checked the history and it is very accurate and I liked the frame story of a young officer. I didn't like the narrators Japanese accent but that is a minor disagreement. As I said in the title, I thought the characters, historical and fictional, could have used more developing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Glen
  • Beaverton, OR, USA
  • 02-17-04

Gave up after about 1.5 hours

This is a love story from the author's personal life mixed with a biography of MacArthur. It did not work for me at all. At the 4th mention of his girlfriend's breasts (not necessarily a bad thing in some literary contexts), I shut it off.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful