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Truman and MacArthur: Adversaries for a Common Cause

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Truman and MacArthur: Adversaries for a Common Cause
  • by Donald J. Farinacci
    • Merriam Press Korean War Series
      • Second Edition 2017
      • 268 6 × 9 inch pages
      • 80 photos
      • 1 illustration
      • 6 documents
      • 6 maps
The author's purpose in writing this book was to tell a story of events which occurred during a brief but momentous period in American history, involving two extraordinary men, President Harry S. Truman and General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur. The story tells of their interaction during a time of grave national crisis, how they veered badly off course and ultimately collided head-on. It was a collision which both altered the course of history and irreparably changed their personal destinies.
      What is related here is first and foremost a human story, but one that plays out against the panorama of the Korean War—a nasty, brutish and fearsome slice of hell where what was at stake was nothing less than the determination of whether the Communist Sino-Soviet alliance would gain dominion by force over large regions of the continent of Asia or be contained and held in check by a coalition of United Nations Forces led by the United States.
     As the drama unfolded during a critical period of approximately ten months in 1950 and 1951, the all-pervasive tension holding the principal players in its grip was the ever-present threat of nuclear war looming over all of humankind.
     Other larger-than-life personalities also emerge in this epic tale and are interspersed with the two main characters. They include Eighth Army Commander Matthew B. Ridgway, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall, South Korean President Syngman Rhee, NATO Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ambassador Averell Harriman, Army General Walton W. Walker, Marine General O.P. Smith, Army Chief of Staff J. Lawton Collins, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Omar Bradley, and Marine Colonel “Chesty” Puller. Every one of them played an integral role in the drama and some of them such as Ridgway, Acheson, Marshall and Eisenhower actually changed the course of history. But, the overarching giants of this tale are Truman and MacArthur. Their saga of 1950-1951 underscores the fact that no matter what the magnitude of events, history is still primarily a collection of stories about people.
     This is one of those stories—one that is part of the larger framework of the forty-five year-long Cold War, but one that is surpassed in importance by none other in that singularly perilous epoch of world history.

  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1: The Invasion
  • Chapter 2: The General
  • Chapter 3: The President
  • Chapter 4: The Inchon Landing
  • Chapter 5: The Wake Island Summit
  • Chapter 6: The Advance to The Yalu
  • Chapter 7: The Chinese Intervention
  • Chapter 8: The Fall-out From Defeat
  • Chapter 9: The Ridgway Resurgence
  • Chapter 10: The Crisis of Command
  • Chapter 11: The Aftermath
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments

One of the Best Books on Truman and MacArthur

     The younger American generation has little clue as to what actually happened in the Korean War—it is truly a lost history. Author Donald Farinacci puts together a largely unknown and misunderstood part of that era with his revealing book about the relationship between two of the giants of that period of our history—President Truman and General MacArthur.
      There are still many historians that feel General MacArthur was right. The debate still rages on because of the present day world problems with both China and North Korea. Farinacci chronicles past events and brings them alive. He skillfully documents events while weaving a brilliant narrative.
     Truman and MacArthur: Adversaries for a Common Cause
is one of the best books I have ever read on this subject matter. If you were only going to read one book about the Korean War and the politics of this time period, then this would be the book that you must read first to gain a better understanding of what happened and why.
     I highly recommend this book for those interested in history, politics and war. It is informative and actually entertaining.  I would rank this book right up there as one of the top 25 books ever written on that time of our history.
—Review by Bill McDonald, Military Writers Society of America Founder and Reviewer (May 2010)


Truman and MacArthur: Adversaries for a Common Cause by Donald J. Farinacci (Merriam Press, 2010) was awarded the first place Gold Medal Award for the best book on the Korean War in the national competition co-sponsored by THE MILITARY WRITERS SOCIETY OF AMERICA and the Korean War Institute of GRACELAND UNIVERSITY, with campuses in Missouri and Iowa. The Korean War Book Award, open to all authors who have written a book about the Korean War, whether fiction or non-fiction, was designed to raise awareness of the conflict known as the "Forgotten War." The award presentation was held in Pittsburgh at the Airport Marriot Hotel on October 1, 2011.
     This book also received the 2010 MWSA Silver Medal Award in the category History, Non-fiction, by the Military Writers Society of America.

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