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Virtue in Action – Douglas MacArthur and Hubris

Take some time to reflect on whether you have ever practiced the vice of hubris or excessive pride, and what other vices can be related to pride.

  • Have you bragged about your great accomplishments instead of being humble?
  • Have you refused to admit a mistake because you want everyone to think you’re perfect?
  • Have you become jealous or angry that people are celebrating someone else’s achievements instead of yours?
  • Have you shown poor sportsmanship either in victory or defeat?
  • Have you ever not asked for help on something because you did not want to admit that you needed help?
  • Do you always think that you are right and the other person is wrong? How does that affect your ability to listen to another point of view?
  • Do you always want to be the center of attention?

These are common human vices. Think about ways that you can be less prideful over the next month and try to practice the virtue of humility so that it becomes a habit.

Sources & Further Reading

Borneman, Walter. MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific. New York: Little, Brown, 2016.

Brands, H.W. The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War. New York: Doubleday, 2016.

Dallek, Robert. Harry S. Truman. New York: Times Books, 2008.

Hamby, Alonzo L. Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Herman, Arthur. Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior. New York: Random House, 2016.

Klein, Christopher “MacArthur vs. Truman:  The Showdown That Changed America” See for a short and very useful summary of the issues.

Manchester, William. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964. New York: Back Bay, 2008.

McCullough, David. Truman. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.

Perrett, Geoffrey. Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life and Legend of Douglas MacArthur. New York: Random House, 1996.

Perry, Mark. The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur. New York: Basic Books, 2014.