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Birth of the Skyscraper
Louis Sullivan explores the cultural ideas as well as the engineering and architectural realities that led ...
The Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of Americans
Tocqueville’s classic analysis of how democracy influences Americans’ feelings toward equality, freedom, individualism, and religion.
The CIA's Secret Research on Torture
How the CIA coopted professional psychologists in finding ways to break prisoners through psychological torture.
Inaugural Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt’s four inaugural addresses constitute a barometer of his presidency and the challenges it faced.
Bruce Springsteen sings of the struggles of common folk and the American Dream. June Sawyers traces ...
On the Plains with General Custer
An intimate portrait of George Armstrong Custer by his adoring wife, and a vivid record of ...
Bonnie Parker Writes a Poem
Steven Biel plots the strange path by which this pair ...
Firing the General
Harry Truman Tells How He'd Had Enough of MacArthur
by Merle Miller
No episode during the administration of President Harry Truman caused a greater uproar than his firing of General Douglas MacArthur. World War II hero, a dominant figure in the remaking of Japanese society after the war, and never a man to shirk in cultivating his own personality, MacArthur had been named to command United Nations (and U.S.) troops in Korea at the onset of that war in 1950. But there was continuing friction between his military aims and the administration’s policy of avoiding a larger war. MacArthur sought to go beyond the restoration of South Korea’s borders by moving across the Yalu River to invade the People’s Republic of China and punish the Chinese Communists who were aiding the North with significant troop strength. There was much talk of the general being handcuffed by the politicians and of unleashing Chiang-kai Shek’s Nationalist Chinese armies. When MacArthur began to state publicly his complaints and tactical preferences, Truman’s patience wore thin and finally ran out. In this excerpt from Merle Miller’s Plain Speaking, in which he conducted extensive interviews with the always candid former president, Truman explains what happened.
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