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

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]