Books: Glorious Commander

AMERICAN CAESAR: DOUGLAS MACARTHUR, 1880-1964

by William Manchester;

Little, Brown; 793 pages; $15

Douglas MacArthur is one of the major embarrassments of American history. On one hand he was, without quibble or question, a military genius of the rank of Alexander, Hannibal and Napoleon. On the other hand, as this flawed but fascinating biography makes clear, he could be one of the pettiest and most arrogant men ever to have worn the uniform of the U.S. Army.

MacArthur's strategies helped to win three wars, but foreigners often appreciated him more than his own countrymen. Winston...

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