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But his self-confidence, the breadth and depth of his thinking and his eloquence and commanding presence ensured that he filled with distinction the senior appointments into which he was swiftly elevated between the wars.When Douglas MacArthur returned to the U.S. after being relieved of command in Korea in 1951, he was setting foot on American soil for the first time since 1935. During his long sojourn in the Pacific he had fought against America's enemies in concert with a wide array of often contentious European allies and emerging Asian forces. In MacArthur Gavin Long examined one of the most complex personalities, thrust into some of the most complex situations, to be found in the "Military Commanders" series. It is scarcely surprising that he sometimes gave his subject mixed reviews. Long was editor of the Australian Official History of World War II and offers an interesting account of MacArthur's relationship with his Australian allies. Examples of MacArthur's initiative and leadership ability in Mexico and World War I, ignored in some studies, are given due attention here.
Of particular interest, due to rapid changes of government throughout the world in recent years, is Long's insightful account of MacArthur's administration of post-war Japan. MacArthur himself later recalled that "Japan had become the world's greatest laboratory for an experiment in the liberation of a people from totalitarian rule and for the liberalization of government from within ..."
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