American Caesar

  • by William Manchester
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 31 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Great American

As a former Marine, I always considered Douglas MacArthur a failure because I perceived he was disrespectful of his leadership, specifically the American Presidency.

However, after reading this book and getting a much more nuanced understanding of the chaotic politics of the time, and watching the movie, the Trial of Billy Mitchell, I wonder if even I would have been able to follow such ludicrous orders as they endured.

In the end, I came to deeply admire Gen. MacArthur and I'm grateful in the modern era for the Japan we have now. I also had no idea that Gen. MacArthur's initial failure to understand the movement of technology developments and the significance of airpower resulted in the Bataan Death March, the largest surrender of American troops. While he was a great man, when he made a mistake, it was a colossal failure.

This book is written by a great Marine, William Manchester, and he highlights the fascinating and the painful realities of the world of MacArthur. The story transported me during my daily commutes as I listened to it from an audible download through my car stereo each morning and afternoon. Some elements were so painful that my eyes became teary.

Douglas was truly a great American and we're lucky he commanded the helms he did during those critical moments in history.
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- Charlotte A. Hu "Former Marine 4321, former State Department public diplomacy officer. Current USAF Public Affairs Specialist"


This seems to be a well balanced picture of one of the greatest Americans. Manchester makes effort to point out the flaws in MacArthur's character as well as his genious as a military leader and statesmen.

If one reads one book on the life of this extrodinary man, this should be it.

Although, I did find I needed a dictionary at times to understand the author. And some may find some of the details a bit too much for thier liking.

Parker does an excellent job as narrator.

Despite the extranious details and PhD vocabulary, I found it gripping and truley enlighting to learn about one MacArthur's that spanned over 50 years as a military leader through both World Wars, Occupied Japan and the Korean War.

Moreover, I am saddened to realize that so many people of today are literally clueless as to what this one man has done for the world in terms of winning the war in the Pacific (along with
Fleet Admiral Nimitz), reconstruction of Japan, and shaping cold war policy in the wake of World
War II and the Korean War

Read or listen to the book to learn for yourself.
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- Andrew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-11-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.