Avatar photo

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

6 Responses

  1. Steven Lakoff says:

    I couldn’t disgree more about MacArthur. If he were a German general in WWII he would have been shot at least twice for incompetence. He wasted thousands of Marines in a senseless invasion of Peleliu and later was responsible for the near annhilation of the American forces in Korea, leading to the fabled retreat at Chosin.

  2. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Mr. Lakoff may be right. My first awareness of MacArthur was his appearance in Congress in 1952, which at the age of 7 I saw in a newsreel. Over the decades, I have encountered both historians and men who served in the Pacific, who held opposing view of him. Truman’s characterization of him as “a dumb son of a bitch” says more about Truman, unfortunately, thpan it does about MacArthur. William Manchester, who served in the Pacific, came close to idolizing him in his biography. perhaps Col. McGrath would favor us with a judgment.

  3. Ken Rosenberger says:

    One small correction: the Fields/Bergen/McCarthy film was You Can’t an Honest Man. “My father gave me three pieces of advice: You can’t cheat an honest man, never give a sucker an even break, nor smarten up a chump.” I am forever grateful to my parents for banning Disney in our house and forcing us to watch WC Fields. My mother, I suppose, was the rare woman who loved the Great Man’s comedy. Rescue me, Princess Lescaboura.

    In my scattered readings of the volumes of Freeman’s Life of RE Lee, I found it interesting that Marse Robert didn’t start out with any great inclination to become a soldier. But because Lighthorse Harry had put the family in rather dire financial straits, getting a free education at West Point was his best option. There he studied engineering and he became a rather good one. When the Mexican War came along, he became a great soldier. He would have just said he was only doing his duty. So sad to see Americans brainwashed into believing he was essentially a Nazi. Worse yet, most Southerners now believe this thin tissue of lies (I apologize for the cliche). The odious scribe of The Benedict Option (a worse-than scalawag Louisianan) once had the gall to refer to Lee as deeply flawed. Oh well, I guess we should trust him, since he is the most popular blogger for a prominent conservative (online only now) magazine. He appears to have his reward.

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Ken, no matter how many times I watch the movie, I get the title wrong.

  5. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, Fields’ last film (I think), is also memorable. It’s uneven and essentially plotless, but it’s best moments are sublime (Stinkeroos, 3 for a nickel; nanny goats milk; jumping out of the open air observation (!!) deck of an in-flight aircraft to retrieve a lost flask). Were I pressed to pick the greatest film comedy ever, I’d be hard-pressed not to name The Bank Dick (though Harvey deserves a special mention). Egbert Souse (Soo-say), accent grave over the “e.” It’s a Gift, The Man on the Flying Trapeze, You Can’t Cheat and Honest Man, and You’re Telling Me also rate highly. In fact, anytime Fields is on-screen, you can’t take your eyes off him. And like all great things, Fields’ particular brand of humor is nowadays “unacceptable” to our cultural gatekeepers.

  6. Harry Colin says:

    Would that we still had men like RE Lee and men like D S Freeman to write biographies of them; sadly, we have virtually none of either.

    As for that “odious scribe” (a wonderful description, Mr. Rosenberger) – he’s a legend in his own mind, but would be unfit to clean Traveller’s hooves.