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Discussion Guide – Douglas MacArthur and Hubris

Directions: Discuss the following questions with your partner(s).

  1. To what extent, if at all, is some degree of ambition and arrogance necessary in order for a person to carry out significant leadership roles? At what point does ambition and arrogance affect military leadership in a republic?
  2. What were MacArthur’s accomplishments and adversities in the Philippines?
  3. List examples from the narrative of MacArthur’s arrogance and/or disrespect toward others during World War II and the Korean War.
  4. Using a map of Korea and different colors of pencils, trace significant movements of the U.N. troops commanded by MacArthur, as well as the enemies he faced there. A very useful interactive map is found at Australia’s Involvement in the Korean War: Korean War Strategic map.
  5. To what extent did MacArthur’s arrogance contribute to his adversities?