"In three days the number of so-called 'volunteers' reached over three hundred men. Very quickly they organized us into military units. Just like that I became a North Korean soldier and was on the way to some unknown place." from the book
South Korean Lee Young Ho was seventeen years old when he was forced to serve in the North Korean People's Army during the first year of the Korean War. After a few months, he deserted the NKPA and returned to Seoul where he joined the South Korean Marine Corps. Ho's experience is only one of the many compelling accounts found in Voices from the Korean War.
Unique in gathering war stories from veterans from all sides of the Korean War American, South Korean, North Korean, and Chinese this volume creates a vivid and multidimensional portrait of the three-year-long conflict told by those who experienced the ground war firsthand. Richard Peters and Xiaobing Li include a significant introduction that provides a concise history of the Korean conflict, as well as a geographical and a political backdrop for the soldiers' personal stories.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is looking at the human condition of war from both angles. The stories were more enlightening than most history books, because the people who wrote them were involved. It is said the Korean War is forgotten due to predecessing victory in World War II and the emotional divisions during Vietnam. Its a beautiful compilation of stories from all angle, the Chinese Communists, The South Koreans, even a story by a North Korean. Well balanced and fair, especially impressed by story of Private Lee.
By far of all the Korean literature, this book is quite neutral in its politics-giving each side its deserved voice. The only thing that somewhat discouraged me was that they only had one North Korean soldier's story, but due to Kim Jong Il's iron grip, nobody would talk. I wish these compilations like these will be read. I always had sympathy for those that fought in the Korean War, because my grandpa was in it. Unlike the World War II vets who were honored, the American public was vastly indifferent to the consequences of the war. Unlike the Vietnam vet who came back with humiliation and mental abuse by the Left and the patriotic Right entailing Reagan. The Korean war vet was just dismissed as not important. Hopefully, one day, we will recognize the heroes of men and women on both sides of this incredibly brutal 'police action.'