The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War
Collaborative Programs
Non-Fiction at the Bryant Park Reading Room
H. W. Brands
Wed, August 16th, 2017 | 7:00 pm


In collaboration with the New-York Historical Society, the Bryant Park Reading Room presents a series of free lectures on popular topics including the Supreme Court, the Cold War, presidential biography, and more.

In the tense years following the Second World War, President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur put forward two competing visions for America’s role in a world reeling from the Korean War and from increasing tensions with the Soviet Union. As Truman grappled with a struggling economy, a ruined Europe, and McCarthyism, the willful and fearless MacArthur was intent on asserting American dominance in East Asia by any means necessary. Historian H. W. Brands revisits a precarious moment in history when the specter of a Third World War loomed large.

H. W. Brands is Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War.


This program will be held at the Reading Room in Bryant Park. The Reading Room is located on the 42nd Street side of the park between 5th and 6th Avenues. Look for the burgundy and white umbrellas.

Rain Venue: In case of summer showers, there will be an on-site tent. In case of severe weather, please check for the indoor location or contact the New-York Historical’s Department of Public Programs at 212-485-9205.


Free Admission. No advance reservation is required. First come, first served.


This program is produced in partnership with the Bryant Park Corporation

Creative: Tronvig Group