Talk:American Caesar

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We are proposing amending the existing article to reflect historical information at variance with the story as told by the author.

In his narrative, Author William Manchester paints the reader a picture of a man very important to the character development of young Douglas MacArthur; his grandfather, Arthur MacArthur, a hero of the Battle of Missionary Ridge, near Chattanooga, Tennessee in the Civil War.

In this scene, Manchester (p 13) places the Confederate defenders atop the ridge, “then a tangle of rock, thick kudzu vines, pine and oak,” in a terrain difficult to walk through. In fact, there was no Kudzu in Tennessee during the Civil War, nor likely anywhere else in America, at that time. Kudzu was first introduced in America in 1876, and was not widely planted throughout the south until after the turn of the 20th century.

Elsewhere, Manchester devotes a page (278) to woes befalling the Allied forces due to ignorance of maps, knowledge of geography, and pure bad luck. And he repeats an apparently favorite theme of his – that “the more beautiful the flora was, the more dangerous the landings turned out to be.” He continues, “some islands were literally uninhabitable – Army engineers sent to survey the Santa Cruz group for airstrips were virtually wiped out by cerebral malaria…” While that may exactly be true, it does not tell the entire story – that whatever the Army’s failures were there, the Navy built a float plane base at Graciosa Bay on Santa Cruz Island and operated it for some time while the forces were active in the area, a fact that apparently escaped Manchester’s research. While it is true that malaria is endemic on Santa Cruz and other islands in the area, all the larger islands are and have been inhabited for hundreds of years, and their populations cope with the malarial threat.

One of Manchester’s main themes throughout the book is the tension and competition between Army and Navy forces around MacArthur. We trust this was not an example of the author forgetting to tell us “the rest of the story.”

Hopefully, this type of errata is not reflective of the myriad of detail on the organization and execution of the American war effort, nor on Manchester's conclusions about General MacArthur.

We would appreciate the opinions of the related editors...

vincekoersVince (talk) 23:46, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

vincekoersVince (talk) 09:07, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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