The Encyclopedia of the Korean War [3 volumes]: A Political, Social, and Military History / Edition 2

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The Encyclopedia of the Korean War is the most comprehensive reference work on the war to date and will set a new standard for military history. Following on the heels of the triumphant Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, this work offers both Korean and U.S. perspectives in an unbiased format. Volume 3 is devoted entirely to primary source documents never before gathered in one reference work.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Although not the first book with an alphabetical compendium about this brutal but short-lived "police action" (James I. Matray was responsible for Greenwood's Historical Dictionary of the Korean War in 1991, for example), Tucker's first edition of this work published a decade ago was a major achievement in the historiography of some hot action during a supposedly cold war. Widely praised, it was an LJ Best Reference Source for the year 2000. This revised edition features 120-plus new entries and additional material or updated references. Written by a team of 130 academic and independent contributors (many from the Virginia Military Institute), Volumes 1 and 2 contain a total of about 750 entries spread out over 1000 pages. As before, Volume 3 is a collection of primary sources. The set is well illustrated with crisp black-and-white photographs and maps. In addition, a good deal of ancillary material is presented: orders of battle, awards/decorations, chronology of the nation of Korea, glossary of abbreviations and military lingo, and a supplemental bibliography (each entry concludes with its own individual list of references). Though excellent, some entries assume a bit much. For example, the article titled "Isolationist Sentiment in the United States" never defines the term isolationism and does not address how this concept relates to American-Korean foreign policy. BOTTOM LINE While there are a number of inexpensive one-volume titles available, such as Korean War: An Encyclopedia (Routledge, 1999) and Historical Dictionary of the Korean War (Scarecrow, 2010. 2d ed.), they present neither the scope nor the scholarship of Tucker's massive tomes. Buy this set or buy nothing at all. Strongly recommended for all public and academic libraries; should be a core collection item for all military and history libraries.—Michael F. Bemis, Washington Cty. Lib., Woodbury, MN
From the Publisher
"This book will be a core source for information on what is still called the 'Forgotten War.' Highly recommended."


Library Journal

"…for the most complete treatment on a single source, Encyclopedia of the Korean War would be an excellent choice for high school, public, and academic libraries."


Booklist, Starred Review

"This magnificent set does, for the first time, provide a definitive reference source. It will undoubtedly be an essential tool for both military historians and Korean studies specialists."


Times Literary Supplement

"…this is a well-organized source that students on all levels should find very useful. Recommended for all academic libraries."



"Editor's Pick"


The Bookwatch

"Teachers and librarians will welcome this comprehensive encyclopedia of the Korean War, one of the least understood of America's conflicts … The very readable articles make this reference an excellent choice for high school libraries. Highly recommended."


The Book Report

"…this exceptional reference tool should be on the shelves of every library that can afford it."


American Reference Books Annual

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781851098491
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/9/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 2997
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 6.90 (d)

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