This puppy's big, but was an easy read. Another thing I appreciated was the thirty-nine well-drawn maps; if a place was mentioned in the text, it was on the map, something of which I missed in other books more often than not. I read this based on a friend's recommendation because I want to formulate an objective opinion of The General (as his Missus called him). This tome was better than most, but it didn't make it easy. I wish that there was a summation of what he did right at the end of each section. There is a good one at the end of "Part II: Papuan Campaign," but the reader will have to discover other positives throughout the narrative and note them. The minuses are covered and they come in two flavors: those petty misdeeds, many of them as a result of his ego and tactical errors which author James mentions. One's final evaluation may also be positively influenced by "success speaks for itself." His forces advanced over 2700 miles and inflicted enormous casualties upon the enemy. MacArthur was in charge of all this, and despite some missteps, pulled it off. A general should win the glory for a campaign in which the superior resources of air, land, and water are successfully brought to bear on the proper objective (worked, without the air, for U.S. Grant!).
So, thinking on what I read, I come away with an opinion of an excellent theater commander who succeeded, although I can't accord him the godlike status of, say, Robert E. Lee. It may be time to read someone's panegyric, but with this book not too far away!
The book covers the campaigns in some detail, and all the better for the maps.One thing puzzled me and I can't fault the author for this. Casualty figures for the Japanese tend to far exceed those of the Allies. For example, at Driniumoor, 440 U.S. deaths to 10,000 Japanese; at Leyte, 2900 U.S. to 56,000 Japanese; one action in Luzon, 175 U.S. to 3000 Japanese; on Cebu, 400 U.S., 5500 Japanese. No mention of how tactics play in this but I'm curious. All Banzai charges?
Worth the read, if you're really interested in the MacArthur's life and campaigns.