Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Emperor's General” as Want to Read:
The Emperor's General
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Emperor's General

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  328 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Writing from the perspective of a government insider with a firm grasp of World War II's ferocious, behind-the-scenes battles, James Webb delivers a boldly imagined historical novel and a captivating tale of egotism and betrayal. He casts General Douglas MacArthur and an idealistic young officer in key roles in a Japanese conspiracy to maintain power after the fighting is ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 681 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Thorndike Press (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Bjorn Vang
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who has studied the complex and fascinating story of General Douglas MacArthur, the genius of his campaigns and the deep flaws in his character is sure to enjoy this masterfully written book. Moving, insightful, balanced, and profund, it captivates and inspires refection on a level few historical novels do. Read it!
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few months ago, I read the nonfiction book "Flyboys" which did a GREAT job of describing the conflict in the Pacific and the mindset of the Japanese people. Now, I jump into this work of fiction and finds that author James Webb, in this novel about General MacArthur, delves into the politics that prevented certain high-ranking Japanese officials from being prosecuted for war crimes after the so-called "rape of Nanking" (Manchuria) and the "rape of Manilla." The actual officers in charge of the ...more
Carlito Virina
Written by US senator James Webb, The Emperor's General tells a more entertaining, engaging and thought-provoking story than the Tommy Lee Jones/Matthew Fox movie about 1945 Japan "The Emperor." Makes you wish it happened the way James Webb wrote it.
abi gaskins
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My most favorite book ever! I discover something new every time I read it. It's not a quick read but I love the challenge.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww-ii-history
MacArthur in Japan
Lee Barckmann
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Emperor's General, published in 1999, by Sen. Jim Webb is a great novel. More on that, but first a few words about the Senator.

Jim Webb was on the podium, debating for the Democratic nomination for President a couple month's ago with Hillary, Bernie and the other guy. I was hoping that all of the aspects of his amazing biography would override his obvious reluctance to submit himself to the US presidential process. He grew up in a military family, went to the Navel Academy and lost a dispute
Charlie Canning
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly readable, immensely entertaining work of historical fiction

While Author James Webb doesn't attempt to tell the whole story of the "War in the Pacific" in The Emperor's General, he does cover a considerable part of it. After a short prologue, the novel begins with General Douglas MacArthur and the Allied landing at Leyte in 1944. The first part of the book is set in the Philippines and chronicles the history of the war there from Corregidor and Bataan in 1942 to the re-taking of Manila i
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main character of this story is Captain Jay Marsh. He is a low-level aide to General Douglas MacArthur at the end of World War II. The story picks up with MacArthur's re-invasion of the Philippines, moves through the end of the war and into the occupation of Japan. While in the Philippines, Marsh falls in love with a Filipino woman. He is required to leave her when MacArthur moves to Tokyo to oversee the occupation of Japan.While in Tokyo, Marsh befriends one of the Emperor's top aides, Lord ...more
Harold Kasselman
I was floored by how fascinating this book was. It provided me with great insight into the Japanese culture: especially how it related to the efforts to end the war and build a peaceful Japan. The author's knowledge of the back scene negotiations with the Emperor via the Privy Seal and MacArthur were captivating and enthralling. I felt as if I were in the innermost circle of MacArthur's profound decision making about how to end the war without mortally wounding Japanese pride. The book confirmed ...more
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb novel about a very unique place and time. This book relives the Post VJ period from 1945 onward, as the United States, led by General Douglas MacArthur, leads the post WWII recovery of Imperial Japan. The story is told through the eyes of a young military officer, who serves as General MacArthur's aide/executive officer. The young officer, who also speaks Japanese, influences the policy and events of this period because of his language skills, position of responsibility and extraordinary ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. I found the Japanese cultural stuff really interesting. I thought the stuff about General MacArthur was intriguing and wondered how much of it was true. In short, the book made me want to go learn about history--always a good thing.

However, (spoiler alert) I stopped liking the main character when he cheated on his fiance. From there, the book seemed to be about how one guy ruined two women's lives with his selfish desires. If that was the author's intent, h
Tim Corke
What can I say? This has to be up there as one of the best books I've read. It transports you back to the era towards the end of the Pacific war to the point where you're almost there touching and feeling it.

Webb's accuracy and originality in combining historical facts with fiction could well change history as readers could very easily read this as all fact. This couldn't be any higher compliment.

It's full to the brim so expect a long read but it's worth soaking up every word.

Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought I wasn't going to even finish the book, but about a third of the way in, I found myself thinking about the book during the day. The main character, Jay Marsh, ended up getting under my skin and the book turned out to be a poignant historical fiction that make me think! I was not happy at first that the book wasn't catching me, because James Webb is one of my favorite authors. Anyhow, I learned something about MacArthur in the end, also!
Michael E.  Anderson
WOW A great book

Been a World War II bluff I think this is one of my best stories and I ever read about the South Pacific and the occupation of Japan after the war . This is historical fiction but it is a great book.
Freeman Johnson
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Webb is an outstanding writer and The Emperor's General reaffirms that fact.

I really enjoyed this fictional look into Douglas MacArthur and the end of the war in the Pacific. Webb's story is insightful and entertaining. Well worth the read.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not read much fiction but this is a fun read about the entanglements that a young officer gets into when he works directly for Douglas MacArthur as he becomes the supreme commander in Japan's recovery. There are a couple of intriguing plot twists.
Don Paske
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it starts out very slowly (I almost gave up reading it!), the book finally picks up speed and is a very enjoyable read. I've never been a great fan of the extremely narcissistic MacArthur and this book reinforces some of the reasons for my disenchantment.
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I stopped reading more than half way through and just skipped around to the end. I didn't care for the love stories at all but the historical portrayals of MacArthur and Yamashita were very compelling. Webb writes an excellent scene around MacArthur's entry into Tokyo.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MacArthur is huge in this story!

This is a love story and also a war story. It tells of General Douglas MacArthur trip back to the Philippines and the young Capt. who came with him.

Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned more about General MacArthur, the filipinos, and the japanese during World War II. I would recommend this book for others to read or listen to.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia-oceana, shogun
Very good read. Interesting the entire way. Solid 4 star book!
J Allen
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jim G
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone in USA shoud read this. An excellent example of the power of the military -- and the influence of the Japaneese.
Jane Peterson
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful reading

It helped me better understand the occupation period in Japan and the impact of war on the people's of the pacific area and on the life of DOUGLAS mcarthur
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting boook. Who was in charge.....MacArthur....the emperor of Japan? I recommend it.
John M Rogers
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterfully crafted

A wonderfully told story, bringing such life to this period of history. The development of the central characters truly brought them to life.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, war
Douglas MacArthur - warts and all.

A fictionalized book beginning with DM's return to the Philippines and then his actions in Japan.

Webb's writing is entertaining, informative and mesmerizing.
Steve Woods
A great read. Mac Arthur as I have always imagined him!
Pablo Toledo
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining novel with good historic content about the end of WWII and MacArthur in Japan.
rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Japanese Inn
  • Dr Zhivago
  • King of the Jews
  • The Real Heroes Of Telemark
  • The Search
  • Fort Pillow
  • Until the End (U.S. Civil War, #2)
  • The War of the Worlds Murder (Disaster Series, #6)
  • Bomber Boys: Fighting Back, 1940-1945
  • A Son of War
  • The Shark Mutiny (Admiral Arnold Morgan, #5)
  • Land of Marvels
  • Color of the Sea
  • Vulcan 607
  • Jade Lady Burning (Sergeants Sueño and Bascom #1)
  • The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Trenches
  • The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World
  • Red Inferno: 1945
James Henry "Jim" Webb, Jr. (born February 9, 1946) is the junior Senator from Virginia. He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Webb served as a Marine Corps infantry officer until 1972, and is a highly decorated Vietnam War combat veteran. During his four years with th
More about James Webb...