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Abstract

The Korean war included the rapid deterioration of the military career of one of America's most decorated generals. During the cold Korean November of 1950, General Douglas MacArthur’s 8th Army and X Corps army units were in a race along the Korean coasts toward the border with China. Unlike previous endeavors, MacArthur’s “Home by Christmas” offensive ended in defeat, with the United Nation’s forces retreating back over the 38th Parallel after a Chinese counter attack. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir took place during this offensive and lasted from 27 November to 13 December, 1950. Most scholars agree that in retrospect MacArthur’s advance was overzealous, while some maintain that it was the only move, which would have brought the war to a swift and decisive conclusion. The goal of this paper was to investigate how the major press in the United States was writing about General MacArthur during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. The press coverage during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir helped to ensure that MacArthur’s legacy included debate and polarization rather than his unanimous admiration as a war hero.

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