S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Theses (Master's Degree_국제학과)
한국에서 맥아더 평가에 대한 연구
A Review of the Evaluation of MacArthur in South Korea
- 로빈 보나
- 국제대학원 국제학과(한국학전공)
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 국제학과(한국학전공), 2017. 2. 박태균.
- General Douglas MacArthur has left an enduring legacy on both South Korean society and Korean War historiography. In this way, he has become a repository of collective memories about the war, and, as such, his legacy has been rewritten countless times. Each time his story has been rewritten, it has been reinterpreted. This has resulted in MacArthur becoming a repository not only of collective memories, but also of ideologically-driven narratives. In this paper, I explore both the historiography and popular conceptualization concerning MacArthurs role in the Korean War and compare that to the original source documents in order to separate fact from fiction. It is my assertion that the perception of MacArthurs impact in the war does not represent his actual role.
The continuing controversy surrounding MacArthurs legacy is part of a larger rewriting of Korean history that has occurred since democratization. The ongoing textbook controversy is perhaps the most well-known example of this conflict, but the generational clash in front of the Statue of MacArthur in Inchons Freedom Park in 2005 is representative as well. As such, this paper also explores the depiction of MacArthur in particular, and the Korean War in general, in secondary school textbooks and popular discourse in Korea.
Finally, I argue that the focus on MacArthur in both historiography as well as in popular culture is a determent to our deeper understanding of the Korean War. By concentrating on the Inchon Landing, MacArthur-Truman controversy, and MacArthurs dismissal, we are ignoring more important aspects of the war including the perpetuation of the armistice system, the American strategic bombing campaign in a limited war, and the atrocities committed against civilians.