Douglas MacArthur: general, statesman, narcissist?

Douglas MacArthur was involved in some of the most important military and foreign policy issues of the last century, but a Missouri S&T historian says he may be better remembered for his theatrics than his military prowess. In a new book by Russell D. Buhite, the controversial general is re-examined.


The book, titled Douglas MacArthur: Statecraft and Stagecraft in America’s East Asian Policy, follows the general’s military career from successes like overseeing the U.S. occupation of Japan after World War II and planning the United Nations invasion at Inchon during the Korean War, to his ego-driven downfall.

“It’s not enough to emphasize his ego, as many have done – there was a real pathology there. I believe psychologists would term it ‘malignant narcissism,’” says Buhite, a professor and acting chair of history and political science.

Buhite’s book also discusses the volatile relationship MacArthur had with presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. “Both presidents found MacArthur troublesome not only because of his political connections to powerful Republicans in the United States, but also because of his inclination to flout presidential authority.” Truman eventually removed the general from command for his insubordination.

Buhite says he wanted to write a concise and accessible study of MacArthur. He portrays MacArthur as a complex personality whose notoriety was primarily driven by his self-promotion and grandstanding, rather than actual feats. Buhite says that although the general was an accomplished military figure, particularly in his dealings with Japan and Korea, most of the attention he received was undeserved and overblown.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

[Read More...]

Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

[Read More...]

Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

[Read More...]

Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

[Read More...]

Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

[Read More...]