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The Korean War


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A bracing account of a war that lingers in our collective memory as both ambiguous and unjustly ignored

About the Author

Bruce Cumings is the Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Chicago, and specializes in modern Korean history and East Asian-American relations.


In contrast to the many battlefield histories of what we refer to as "America's Forgotten War," Cumings (Korea's Place in the Sun), an expert on the topic, portrays the three-year struggle as one chapter in a long fight against conquerors and colonialists. In this cultural, not solely military, history, Cumings lambastes nearly everyone involved, noting the atrocities by three armies. North Korean intransigence, indiscriminate strategic bombing, McCarthyism, the execution of inconvenient civilians and refugees, the CIA's disinformation operations, liberal cowardice in the United States, and nuclear threats-all come into the picture here to round out a highly personal view of the war and its milieu. A probably contentious addition to Korean War collections that supplements more tactically focused works. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"A powerful revisionist history . . . a sobering corrective."--The New York Times

"Worth reading . . . This work raises the question of what Korea can tell us about the outlook for Iraq and Afghanistan."--Financial Times

"Well-sourced [and] elegantly presented."--The Wall Street Journal

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