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A Short History of the Korean War

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As pungent and concise as his short histories of both world wars, Stokesbury's survey of "the half war" takes a broad view and seems to leave nothing out but the details. The first third covers the North Korean invasion of June 1950, the Pusan perimeter crisis, MacArthur's master stroke at Inchon and the intervention by Chinese forces that November. At this point, other popular histories of the war reach the three-quarter mark, ending often with a cursory summary of the comparatively undramatic three-and-a-half ...

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Book is New, Excellent condition. Collectible. Multiple copies available this title. Quantity Available: 4. ISBN: 0688095135. ISBN/EAN: 9780688095130. Inventory No: 1560783908.

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New York, NY 1990 Softcover New Book Book is New, Excellent condition. Collectible. Multiple copies available this title. Quantity Available: 4. ISBN: 0688095135. ISBN/EAN: ... 9780688095130. Inventory No: 1560783908. Read more Show Less

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A Short History of the Korean War

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Overview

As pungent and concise as his short histories of both world wars, Stokesbury's survey of "the half war" takes a broad view and seems to leave nothing out but the details. The first third covers the North Korean invasion of June 1950, the Pusan perimeter crisis, MacArthur's master stroke at Inchon and the intervention by Chinese forces that November. At this point, other popular histories of the war reach the three-quarter mark, ending often with a cursory summary of the comparatively undramatic three-and-a-half years required to bring the war to its ambiguous conclusion on July 27, 1953. Stokesbury renders the latter period as interesting as the operational fireworks of the first six months: the Truman-MacArthur controversy; the political limitations on U.S. air power; the need for the Americans to fight the war as cheaply as possible, due to NATO commitments; the prolonged negotiations at Panmunjom over the prisoner-exchange issue; and the effect of the war on the home front. Whether the United States could have/should have stayed out of the war in the first place comes under discussion: "no" on both counts, according to the author.

An engrossing book on an extremely complex subject, covering the highlights while including many interesting details.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In another of his popular series including A Short History of World War I and A Short History of World War II, Stokesbury here sets the context for the Korean War and chronicles it all the way through to the periodic fighting during the two years of peace negotiations at its end. This clear, engrossing introduction provides an overview of the entire conflict without neglecting the details that keep the humanity in history.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As pungent and concise as his short histories of both world wars, Stokesbury's survey of ``the half war'' takes a broad view and seems to leave nothing out but the details. The first third covers the North Korean invasion of June 1950, the Pusan perimeter crisis, MacArthur's master stroke at Inchon and the intervention by Chinese forces that November. At this point, other popular histories of the war reach the three-quarter mark, ending often with a cursory summary of the comparatively undramatic three-and-a-half years required to bring the war to its ambiguous conclusion on July 27, 1953. Stokesbury renders the latter period as interesting as the operational fireworks of the first six months: the Truman-MacArthur controversy; the political limitations on U.S. air power; the need for the Americans to fight the war as cheaply as possible, due to NATO commitments; the prolonged negotiations at Panmunjom over the prisoner-exchange issue; and the effect of the war on the home front. Whether the United States could have/should have stayed out of the war in the first place comes under discussion: ``no'' on both counts, according to the author. (August)
Library Journal
Reducing an entire war to manageable length is a high literary art form, and Professor Stokesbury has mastered it. In the case of this Korean War history, short does not mean banal condensation or a dismal list of statistics and facts. Rather, Stokesbury begins from scratch and describes and interprets each phase of the war, as he did in his readable and well-known short histories of World Wars I and II. The narrative makes good sense of the infantry's complicated battlefield movements; and his interpretation of the air war is exemplary. The result is a concise but totally independent history that can stand alongside any of the recent crop of new Korean War titles. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688095130
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/1989
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

James L. Stokesbury is the author of A Short History of World War I, A Short History of World War II, A Short History of the Korean War, and A Short History of the American Revolution. Before his death in 1995 he was a professor of history at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Customer Reviews

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