Customer Reviews for

The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War

Average Rating 3.5
( 66 )
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(27)

4 Star

(11)

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(11)

2 Star

(9)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

The Best Book I Have Read on the Korean War

I am a veteran of the Korean conflict, and I find it painful to see that almost no one who was not in it remembers it. I wince when speakers at public gatherings routinely skip from World War II to Viet Nam in their otherwise dutiful acknowledgment of those who served i...
I am a veteran of the Korean conflict, and I find it painful to see that almost no one who was not in it remembers it. I wince when speakers at public gatherings routinely skip from World War II to Viet Nam in their otherwise dutiful acknowledgment of those who served in the nation's armed forces. It was my good fortune to be assigned to a job behind the lines, so I escaped the horrors of combat, but the war was still an experience that I have always felt a need to understand better than I did when I returned home after the armistice and resumed my education on the G.I. Bill. David Halberstam's authoritative book not only describes the course of the war in a way that sounds right to me, he suppplies the political, social and economic context that makes the conflict understandable. For example, I had never before focused on the connection between the demise of Josef Stalin and the end of the shooting war. I wish the author were still living so I could thank him for this fine book, which I consider nothing less than a precious gift to people like me.

posted by Ursus on July 4, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

The Only Book I've Returned in Twenty Years.

With all due respect to my fellow reviewers, they are dead wrong. I could only stomach up to page 185 before the lies of omission, arm chair psychology, and unfocused writing style exhausted my patience. This book was published posthumously, and having not read Mr Halb...
With all due respect to my fellow reviewers, they are dead wrong. I could only stomach up to page 185 before the lies of omission, arm chair psychology, and unfocused writing style exhausted my patience. This book was published posthumously, and having not read Mr Halberstams work before, I can with confidence say that this abomination should have been left to crumble to dust. The tone of the book is one of moral relatavism, between freedom and communism and between the historical figures on each side. The author writes in a haughty, acidic tone more suited for a gossip columnist than a historian, and I have no doubt whatsoever that what he wrote about many people is absolutely libelous. This book is marketed as the best complete history of the Korean War; it is not. If a reader were to rely on this one book to relate to them the Korean war, they would be ill served. Yes, this is the only book I have returned in at least twenty years, and I do not regret returning it, I regret that it was published at all.

posted by Hugo-Z-Hackenbush on July 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    scattered

    Goes too far afield too many times. More about the personalities that shaped the war than the people who fought it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2007

    Basic history lesson

    I'm halfway through this book and frankly tired of the basic history lesson. There seems to be very little on the Korean War itself. The concept instead of the war itself, seems to be more on MacArthur and Truman. It's slow and extremely dull in its writing. Having lived in Korea, I learned more from the Koreans and Americans who lived there. Thus far, I am deeply disappointed since his book on the Vietnam War was excellent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

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    Posted December 30, 2009

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    Posted September 29, 2010

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    Posted September 16, 2010

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    Posted January 4, 2010

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    Posted January 1, 2010

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    Posted December 30, 2009

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