example, Smith has MacArthur “praying”nfor the Chinese to enter the war,nthough MacArthur’s real fault was hisnwishful thinking that they would not.nMacArthur did say that he hoped thenChinese would attack Formosa—whichnhe correctly believed would lead to ancrushing defeat for the communists.nSmith’s picture of developments innKorea between 1943 and 1950 is decidedlynmisleading, and it exaggeratesnMacArthur’s influence on policy. Whilenthe American occupation of South Koreanwas not one of the more impressivenepisodes of postwar American history,nneither was it quite the horror Smithnclaims. The military government didnlean rightward in Korean politics, but itnwas not as violently biased as he suggests.nNor was the ROK government a “dictatorship”n; Rhee became a dictator afternthe Korean War, not before it. Smith’sncockeyed view is exemplified by his commentnon the origins of the war: “ThenTmman administration was just as bentnas MacArthur on building an anti-nCommunist stronghold in Korea. Givennthe Soviet desire to establish a friendlynnation on its borders and the UnitednStates’ urge to plant an unfriendly onenthere, it may well have been too late tonapply the brakes to the wheels of history.”nTo Smith, the communization ofnNorth Korea is comparable to, if notnmore defensible than, the Americans’nbumbling efforts to establish a democracynin the South. But the record showsnthat the United States did not build an”stronghold”; it removed its troops asnsoon as possible, leaving South Koreanwithout proper defenses.nIn attempting to demolish what isngenerally regarded as MacArthur’s greatestnachievement—the occupation ofnJapan—Smith outdoes himself. His argumentsnappear to be derived from ansingle book published in the late 1940’s,nand they range from wildly exaggeratednto simply fantastic. We are told, for example,nthat Japanese literacy was “partlynimaginary,” while Japan has long beennone of the world’s most literate coun­nChronicles of Cttlturentries. Perhaps Smith confused Chinesenwriting, which is ideographic, withnJapanese, which is not. He twists thenrecord and depicts MacArthur’s reformsnas reactionary or flawed. Smith has a giftnfor the literary equivalent of shootingnhimself in the foot; at one point, whilenstressing MacArthur’s opposition to socialismn(which no one has ever doubted),nhe assures the reader that MacArthurncould not have permitted “industrialnplants, or transportation or communications”nto have been nationalized.nAn American Hero RevisitednCharles Bracelen Flood: Lee: The LastnYears; Houghton MiflOiin Co.; Boston.nby Otto J. ScottnJnLagiography—the literature of thenlives of the saints—marks one of thengreatest errors of the Roman CatholicnChurch, which is in so many respects sonawesome an achievement. The basicnnature of that error is in exaggeration,nalthough that quality does not cover itsnentire scope. One of its subsidiary featuresnis an underestimation of thenshrewdness of humanity, coupled with anrespect for the need of every human beingnto admire virtue and the virtuous.nThe Church, therefore, fell into the errornof gilding the lives of the saints. The exercisenitself appears redundantly foolish.nNo series of lives contains as much fascinatingnmaterial as the stmggle of saints tonbe worthy of their own ideals, to persistnin faith when the average man wouldnhave long been lost. Instead of creating anliterature that could serve as both an examplenand a goal for all people, then’ Church made the mistake of producingnsaccharine tracts, incredible legends,nsugary myths, impossible stories. Onenresult was that the incredulity of Europenbroke forth in the Renaissance, and sane-nMr. Scott is a frequent contributor tonthese pages.nnnJapan’s railroads and communicationsnwere nationalized—they always havenbeen.nThis absurd book finishes with the accusationnthat MacArthur was anti-nSemitic and racist. The sole basis for thisncharge seems to be that some of MacArthur’snsubordinates had such prejudicesn—and Smith’s evidence even on thisnisn’t particularly clear or reliable. JoenMcCarthy might well have been pleasednwith this ringing reaffirmation of “guiltnby association.” Dntity gave way to fame: the nearest to immortalitynthat pagan minds can accept.nFor several generations writers werencontent to elevate illustrious figures tonthe high levels once reserved for saints.nBut once again literature became infestednwith writers who consistentlynassumed that all the rest of the world,nunlike themselves, was unable to separatenthe trivial from the noble in the personaliuesnof others. Such writers devotednthemselves to ensuring that their readersnwould accept the famous not only asnsuperior but also as perfect. In time thisnstyle of writing about the illustrious collapsed,nas had the earlier hagiography.nLytton Strachey was not the first, but henwas certainly one of the most aspericndebunkers: his error was to assume thatnsince virtue had been grossly exaggeratednin the literature of the Victorians, it didnnot exist at all. Thus the pendulumnswung to the opposite extreme.nThere is a small army of writers in thenUnited States today whose major preoccupationnappears to be robbing thenillustrious dead of the honors theynachieved in life. The moral caliber ofnthese hacks is equal to that of the gravenrobbers of the Valley of the Kings innEgypt. They steal in upon a cadaver andnstrip it of its gold ornaments and jewels,nwhich they then hawk in the marketplace.nFigures both high and low, andntheir families, have suffered suchn