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A Matter of Conscience
Still an unannounced candidate, Lincoln viewed this address before Eastern leadership as a crucial moment for ...
The Plight of the Working Class
A vitally important document and the best account of the working class under the new industrialism.
A Streetcar Named Pleiku
The 1965 attack on the U.S. base at Pleiku in South Vietnam was a turning point: ...
Trauma for Everyone
How PTSD became a popular psychological disorder--a story of a questionable diagnosis and of medicine gone ...
Dress British, Think Yiddish
How the Ivy League style at Yale—purveyed by Jewish clothiers—faded while the university changed its ideas ...
And We Shall Overcome
The important background and text of President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Voting Rights speech to Congress.
Selections From: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
This story of a slave and his yearning to be free is one of the great ...
Shaping the American Character
Turner’s key “frontier thesis” argues that frontier life shaped the ...
Firing the General - Preview
Harry Truman Tells How He'd Had Enough of MacArthur
by Merle Miller
Firing the General
Mr. President, I know why you fired General MacArthur, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to hear it in your own words.
“I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. That’s the answer to that. 1 didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail. That’s why when a good one comes along like General Marshall . . . why, you’ve got to hang onto them, and I did.
“But MacArthur . . . well, to understand what happened and what I think most people don’t understand is that the so-called China Lobby was very strong in this country when I was in the White House. They had a great many Congressmen and Senators lined up to do pretty much what they were told, and they had billions or dollars to spend, and they spent it. They even had some newspapers lined up, some big ones at that.* I’m not saying that they bought anybody out, but there was a lot of money floating around, and a lot of people in Washington were following what I call the China Lobby Line.
“You used to hear a lot about the Communist Party Line, but the China Lobby Line was a lot . . . had a lot more people going along, powerful people, too. And what they wanted, they wanted to put old Chiang back in power. And the first step in that direction was getting . . . was trying to get Chiang’s army into the war in Korea, which I was not about to let happen in any way.
“It wasn’t only that I didn’t want . . . had no intention whatsoever of starting a third world war. I knew Chiang’s forces wouldn’t be any damn good.