"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Douglas MacArthur

This c. 1952 portrait of Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964 )  hangs in the  National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Commander of American land forces in the Pacific at the outbreak of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur suffered the worst defeat of his career in the spring of 1942, when he was forced to flee the Philippines in the wake of Japanese invasion. Uttering on his arrival in Australia his famous words,  'I shall return,' MacArthur now faced the task of repelling Japan's drive for dominion in the southwest Pacific. His success in that effort, combined with his own genius for self-promotion in the press, made him one of the most popular heroes of the war back in civilian America. By the time he made good his promise to retake the Philippines in spring 1945, his reputation had reached legendary proportions, and the following September, he was chosen to preside over Japan's final surrender." -- National Portrait Gallery
In a label for an exhibition about George Marshall the NPG expands MacArthur's story.
"Notwithstanding his accomplishments and immense popularity in the United States, MacArthur had been at odds with American foreign policy since before the start of World War II, when he was the commander in the Philippines. Specifically, he believed that America's frontiers were in Asia and that Communism should be stopped in that hemisphere at all costs. When his views became public in the spring of 1951, contrary to the administration's decision not to escalate the war in Korea north of the Thirty-eighth Parallel, President Truman was forced to relieve MacArthur of his command once and for all. As secretary of defense, Marshall accepted the decision, but cautioned the President about the inevitable political fallout. Within weeks, Marshall was to feel the repercussions in a slanderous attack from Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. Although McCarthy's allegations of duplicity were superfluous, they were bristling to Marshall on the eve of his final retirement from public service." -- NPG

No comments:

Post a Comment