In the past twenty years, the public fascination with military history has become a minor literary phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic. It has centred overwhelmingly upon the Second World War. Indeed, at the extremities of the popular market, perceptions of the struggle between the Western Allies and the Germans long ago parted company with reality, and took on the mantle of fantasy borne a generation earlier by cowboys and indians. In the past decade, more surprisingly, Vietnam has also given birth to a major publishing industry. Some new books seek seriously to examine why the United States lost that war. Others, like the films they inspire, attempt to rewrite history, to present aspects of that sordid, doomed struggle in an heroic light.
It was the first war we could not win. At no other time since World War II have two superpowers met in battle. Now, Max Hastings, the preeminent military historian takes us back to the bloody bitter struggle to restore South Korean independence after the Communist invasion of June 1950. Using personal accounts from interviews with more than 200 vets — including the Chinese — Hastings follows real officers and soldiers through the battles. He brilliantly captures the Cold War crisis at home — the strategies and politics of Truman, Acheson, Marshall, MacArthur, Ridgway, and Bradley — and shows what we should have learned in the war that was the prelude to Vietnam.
|Title: The Korean War|
Author: Max Hastings
Length: 389 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 15, 1988)