"History is about winners." How accurate is this statement in relation to General Douglas MacArthur?
This is my last assignment for modern history and it is to be presented as a speech. I'm quite confused about how to proceed.
In my eyes MacArthur is not a 'gloriously' victorious general per se. He did win some spectacular victories in New Guinea in 1944, the Philippines in 1945 and Korea (Inchon springs to mind) in 1950, where he fought outnumbered, and relied on maneuver and firepower for success. ...
I think that you raise some interesting points in your subtext. Those are excellent points to continue to develop. I would probably suggest that you spend some time in the speech assessing how MacArthur's image and manner as a military leader represents how he embodies "History is about winners." Consider the letter read aloud on the Congress floor that included this line. In the letter, he critiques the President's policy in the war in Korea, suggesting that diplomatic and political cowtowing is not acceptable in a military situation where "There is no substitute for victory." Outside of his military record, consider the persona of the solider who writes this in criticism of the President of the United States. MacArthur was so confident of his own persona as a "winner" that he could openly challenge the philosophical tenets of his sitting Commander- in- Chief. I think that this represents how MacArthur both believed and represented the historical notion of a winner. Even when he was relieved and dismissed of his duties, he carried himself with a prestige and stature of a winner, one who could walk onto the floor of Congress and deliver a speech with over fifty pauses for applause and ovations. There is little in how he carried himself with victimization, being hostage to circumstances, or even doubt. In this, he was able to capture public imagination about how an "American" should be, something that few others have been able to embody with so much vigor related to victory. I think that you might be in good stead in your speech if you place some focus on how MacArthur represents the idea of history being dictated by winners in how he presented himself and cultivated his image, one that embodies being a "winner."