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Mark Stoler on: Differences Between MacArthur and Marshall
Mark Stoler Q: Was there a 19th to 20th century transition going on here, and more specifically, how did Marshall and MacArthur fall in that transition?

STOLER: I think there is definitely a 19th to 20th century transition going on. Both of these men are born and raised in the 19th century. Marshall's personality remains in the 19th century. He's a Victorian, he's very private with his feelings. But professionally he represents the new 20th century Army officer. Just think for a minute, where does Marshall excel? He excels in advanced schoolwork, he excels in staff work. He is considered a managerial genius and he excels in working with civilians. He doesn't go to West Point. He goes to VMI. So many of his assignments are with the National Guard or with other civilian agencies. Dean Acheson later said, Marshall did not have a military mind in the sense that he thought in terms of military force. He thought as a civilian would, which by the way enabled him to see the whole global picture.

MacArthur, on the other hand, spends his entire life in the Army. He is born into the Army and I think it important to realize the Army is a part of American society, but it is also separate from American society. It is its own culture, or it has its own culture. MacArthur is part and parcel of that culture. Some have pointed out that he is a 19th century romantic in his views of war and in his views of himself. Marshall is not. Marshall is constantly talking against romantic images of war. In fact, his appeal to Congress during World War II is we must deal with the realities of what is going on here.

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