tv Book Discussion on The Most Dangerous Man in America CSPAN May 17, 2014 11:00pm-11:51pm EDT
i will talk about douglas macarthur. who's served twice says army chief of staff as the japanese surrender tokyo bay for the most decorated soldiers of world war xi of metal fonder was honored by winston churchill in arguably the most disliked and even reviled figure in american military history. and there is the rub. the challenge for the biographer. how do understand a man who was so disliked, believe me
how do you square the adl that this prejudiced and narrow minded man was also also, i think, one of the most brilliant military leaders in our history? it comes down to two words. chairman. -- harry truman. they dismissed him are fired him or however you put it and brought him back to the united states the great hero standing ovation in the u.s. congress then as macarthur himself would put it then put away like every old soldier with a very unofficial opinion poll
macarthur insisted he was the worst ahead of the dick arnold. [laughter] the trader. so when i began this book i tried to figure out these contradictions with the complex care of dash character. instead of casting the shadow for word as to how we understand him now i cast the shadow back. if you cast it back in see him as a humiliated commander relieved by the president did you begin to look for all the complaints from his previous history. if you look for the bad things in character you will find them.
what f. -- if we would look at him without that shadow? if he he ended his career on the uss missouri taking the japanese surrender? what if it had not happened? hand in shaping this outlook and i compared him with another president and contrasted him with another, franklin roosevelt. they were old political enemies. roosevelt loved the navy. he wanted nothing to do with the navy. roosevelt was a progressive politician.
macarthur was most comfortable in the hoover administration. he shaped the policy approach to governing america taking into account those that needed the most help. macarthur believed everybody could lift themselves up by their bootstraps. they did not serve at the same time while political enemies they became wary but good friends. in roosevelt decided when he became president despite macarthur's reputation to keep him on as army chief of staff. as he was walking up the aisle to give the talk the man stopped me and said i'd like macarthur but i really like the title.
so i thought i would explain that. where i got the title "the most dangerous man in america" has so way to explain the roosevelt macarthur relationship. remember 1932 in the midst of a terrible depression during the hoover administration and a group of world war war veterans organize themselves to lobby for their bonus this was the bonus army. they camped out to lobby congress very peaceful the profits of lazy and set up a camp for these were the families that were the poorest of the pork. remember the great depression. the army chief of staff and they decided the best thing
to do would be to reduce first s effectively as possible, the bonus army. so secretary of foresaid to get troops together and escort the bonus army out of town. it was a catastrophe. macarthur returned to a and had clashes with the boldness are mae and dismissed by many. one child died one was succeeded and macarthur was criticized for his actions as he said i told the son of a not to go down there. [laughter] and roosevelt but with the headlines with the news of
what macarthur had done. roosevelt as the nominee put together a group of debris entrusted one of the leading people was a an economist. as you want to study a great unknown american a columbia economist when roosevelt was running for the president's we have 23 percent unemployment no one knows what to do. i need to talk to somebody why we are in the great depression. in the economist at columbia.
that he was sitting in the governor's mansion in albany. was a vote really liked him. and he said why are we in the middle of the great depression? i not sure now but he knew. losel said what is the reason? he said the farmers there grow in the wheat are standing in the bread lines. that is true. said he said there overproducing. the price of wheat is to slow. that is why we are in the great depression. roosevelt said what do we do? he said price supports which is where we get price supports and roosevelt and a main he bright hit doug well in tuesday administration he
was in the governor's mansion in albany. and he said he belonged is on the line and wants to talk to you, the louisiana demagogue who helped roosevelt get nominated roosevelt rolled his eyes and said i will take the call and said stay here to. >> host: team. he said yes? how are you doing he said how my doing it? what you mean what the hell you doing? you are sitting of there is in new york with the fat cats you should be out there campaigning he said know everything will be okay. we have plenty of time. we will need money. monday? i was show you how to raise money. did down here to louisiana as a sitting with the fat cats things will be okay so
roosevelt repeated and the conversation went on then finally roosevelt said huey long the most dangerous man in america. and roosevelt said he is not the most dangerous man in america. the most dangerous man in america is douglas macarthur and tugwell thought about this a few days later it came back and say it did i hear you right? and roosevelt said yes. and tugwell said why? he said the error in the middle of the great depression with the appliance people are almost rioting with labor troubles no one knows how to get out. in times of depression and
trouble, the american people always look for the man of the white horse. he cannot bring his economic growth but political stability and douglas macarthur is that man. in tugwell said what will we do? >> we will take those men and make them useful to was. this book zero little cheeky is about how roosevelt came to macarthur in his administration by keeping him on not only as army chief of staff and giving him responsibility with his primary domestic programs the conservation corps then in world war ii macarthur used roosevelt to meet his
personal goal to liberate the philippines. which was in effect macarthur's second home. so the most dangerous man in america i say cheeky explains douglas macarthur but it doesn't but he was the strategist. q&a are always far better than here we talk. we would it to questions he was the brilliance strategist on the basis of his contact. we have to remember where
america was with the japanese attacked us. just ahead of portugal. the year before the u.s. congress cut approved by one vote. when macarthur was assigned his request for rifles was denied. and members of congress believe are being a the philippines would simply provokes the japanese. who would remain peaceful if we did not coax them? and macarthur was surprised. we were not prepared for more. you have to come to the conclusion it to its united
>> assuming i am right? >> you are right. partly. it was also to get roosevelt reelected. but the navy had always argued the correct way to defeat the japanese was through the naval through the of pacific. and that was the navy's more and macarthur campaign was an afterthought. it was not through the philippines which would be a bloody campaign but where they army air corps got want
and to determine which avenues united states would go. and admiral halsey was not the conference that he said fighters over to be plucked more quickly than they could go to for all sub. with the navy admirals you will find 1944 they actually agreed with macarthur's proposal will be attacked through the philippines much to set stricter in one dash to the chagrin who hated macarthur who would rank
through the u.s. army. and roosevelt during his campaign was always fight in the philippines. why is everyone criticizing me? at there he is. a good republican fighting the fight to. and he allowed that to be used people write about battle books it is a political book if you would like to read about battles those are in here but not the most important thing of world war ii but organizing to shape the american response to identify the commanders in that is the real story.
a good question. thank you. >> most of the time i think of macarthur i think of him being a very effective user. given he was so effective was there is anything other than that because he seems to embrace? >> you are right. it to a kimmel while. when he was chief of staff he always had to contend with the navy over the budget. and that was a very contentious fight because there was not much of a pie to be kept. so they spend a lot of time spitting and in world war ii face said the whole point of
the pacific campaign we will send the carrier's and then the army can purchase. this was real animus and macarthur carry this into world war tarot -- world war ii and also said they should get the immelt because they may be destroyed and that is what happens. so mcarthur has this animus over in 1943 a very effective officer with the command ship and you both set him as the ship opens
fire on to the island and he said from that moment on macarthur was more real than the king and he could not believe the fire power the navy brought to the pacific and he became an advocate by the end of the war was an advocate for into service rivalries and a budget fights but that was the one obstacle to the quick victory. macarthur recognized the problems. >> with your research had he read the numbers the general? it has the promise that he shows in part to impress
with dewitt to west point where he meets her to say i brought this all to your doorstep. is that true? >> blanc -- no. it makes a good novel but it is not good history. >> i n agree with that. >> palsy who advocated the innovation and sari macarthur did have mistresses prior to his marriage that were an embarrassment to him including a filipino woman he kept when he was army chief of staff and the reporters found out about her and was about to publish
the facts of this liaison and macarthur cent eisenhower to find her and got her a way. it was up lot on his personal life paid her 15,000 that is considerable amount in 1935. for her to be quiet and. he was not married at the time he shows athletic about bill is having an affair. [laughter] but he was worried about what his mother would say. and that is why. he is not without personal blemishes but no suggestion he launched the philippine
innovation to impress a woman. >> or that he chose that area. >> his original thinking with the joint chiefs of staff said they would go to the southernmost island but leahy was chosen as the from the vanilla campaign -- the manila campaign. >> you mention the u.s. was surprised by war with japan but if you go to pearl harbor a museum exhibit and in tuz said japanese exhibits on the west side then the japanese side, but the japanese were competing for resources and the u.s. was a impediment to
diplomatic relations breaking down, japanese were making war against regional areas including china where the u.s. chose not to actively intervene. it appeared everything was headed towards more so why was he was surprised? >> not everyone franken roosevelt put an attack two days before on pearl harbor so you want dash so he probably knew that they would attack probably monday december 8. he thought they would strike south indonesia indonesia, philippines, sing apore but pearl harbor was our real sharks that they could project that far that early. that was a surprise but when macarthur heard about it he
said they have attacked pearl harbor that is the strongest point. so i correct myself. not everyone was surprised but when i say surprised that they had the military capabilities that they did. if you studied the combat logs, what shocks is how fast to the pace of the war was. world war i was a brutal and bloody but world war ii was not.
and apprised maneuver. that is what shocked the united states. i say in the book it took six or seven months to get inside the temple of war. one officer approached macarthur and said the fighter planes are not flown by japanese. they're flown by the germans. why would you say that? every windows asians cannot operate complex machinery. [laughter] we just were not ready. we got our butts kicked in for one year because we were not ready and had to get up to speed.
>> debt they attacked us are just that they projected so effectively that far? >> i think it is the latter. in american history i called the progressive policy improbably to the left of anyone politically. i have been thinking about it with reaction to my book. one gentleman said the other day, macarthur bears the ultimate responsibility for all the of deaths. he was surprised. no. that is with the japanese.
after night 11 it is really not a surprise i just reject it be -- we put the embargo on japan because they invaded china. they expanded the empire late that they needed the influence of goods with a beta could offer most-favored-nation status but they had to get out of china. the response was pearl harbor that was the eternal mistake on their part. i say stalingrad the terrain point was pearl harbor
the boy colonel and led the charge of the wisconsin regiment up missionary ridge during the civil war which is where we get wisconsin. his father, that man saw him as a general in the united states army and celebrated the highly decorated general but his view with the philippine insurrection with that approach to the of the philippines. event taft was the general and he said those are my little brown brothers and he said the soldiers there may
be of the brothers of taft but not brothers of me. there was real animus and with the relationship with the civilian leaders and never promoted to army chief of staff as a result he was disliked by the secretary of of four. and you have to believe the id difficulties was passed on to his son. they queue for coming. thank you for your questions.