American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur: 1880-1964

Manchester, William

Little, Brown, 1964

pp. 81-82

People like MacArthur would “[slog] in the mud, enduring filth, living in stinking clothing and crawling over jagged soil under criss-crosses of barbed wire to have a bloody dash with a bestial enemy.” Why? “The explanation was that men like MacArthur, raised to believe in Victorian heroism, invested even the nightmare of trench warfare with extravagant chimeras of fantastic glory.”

p. 85

Mac Arthur exulted in war. At a reunion 17 years after fighting with his World War I Rainbow Division in France, he remarked on those who succumbed: “My thoughts go back to those men who went with us to their last charge. In memory’s eye I can see them now–forming grimly for the attack, blue lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain of the foxhole, driving home to their objective, and to the judgment seat of God. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death.”