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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Great War- Hero of Many Countries

My mother worked for the U.S. Air Force in Australia during the Second World War, so I was very interested in reading Macarthur by Mitchell Yockelson.  She used to see the General in the lift (elevator) and she told me how nice and pretty his wife was.  She's also told me hair-raising stories about typing letters begging for more planes.  Macarthur is certainly a hero to my mother and should be a hero to all Australians as well as Americans.

Yockelson's book is an excellent introduction to the life and legacy of the great general.  It outlines the importance of Macarthur's noble family background, the facts of the wars and the general's struggles with Presidents and other war-leaders.  Unfortunately, there is only a small chapter on Macarthur's time in Australia.  This was, of course, the part that interested me the most.  However, I couldn't really expect more because the book is written to appeal to American readers.

 The writing is, unfortunately, a bit dull and the book could be used as a textbook.  The extracts of Macarthur's own writings are much more lively!  However, it did make me want to read more.

The author does include many anecdotes and details about Macarthur's personal life which makes Macarthur more accessible and the book more interesting.  For example, Macarthur had a mistress at one stage.  He was also a natty dresser - during the First World War he often wore bright turtleneck sweaters, riding crops and shining puttees! He was nicknamed 'the Beau Brummell of the AEF'!

I hope to read some more biographies of the general now, and I'll certainly visit the Macarthur Museum again soon!

NB: This book was a free book provided by the Book Sneeze blogging program.  My opinion of this book is entirely my own.

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