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Hidden History of the Korean War Paperback – September 1, 1969


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (September 1, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853451613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853451617
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,596,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Higgins on November 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book, written in 1952, is still worth reading, especially as a companion to more recent histories including Halbertam's The Coldest Winter. Journalist I.F. Stone enjoyed a long career covering foreign and domestic policy, in particular exposing government half truths and propaganda. Stone wrote this book in the early years of the Korean War, and his research stands up well to the test of time and subsequent publications such as Halberstam's book.

Hoping to gain legitimacy for his Korean war analysis, Stone relied on major newspaper accounts, published interviews, and government documents -- no off the record or deep background interviews. He continued this reportorial style throughout his career.

Stone situates the Korean War in the larger context of the emerging cold war and of McCarthyism, and of the resulting constraints faced by the Truman administration in maintaining its credibility with growing anti-Communist political opinion for its containment and rearmament policy toward the Soviet Union. Thus the early chapters of Stone's book are some of the best. Stone views Truman somewhat sympathetically, but overall Truman does not come off well in Stone's account in large part because of his dithering over how to handle MacArthur.

In Stone's account, MacArthur is depicted -- I think correctly -- as playing a conscious role in minimizing the pre-war threat posed by North Korea. Stone convincingly describes how intelligence readily available to MacArthur painted a picture of a likely North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, and how MacArthur likely downplayed this intelligence in order to permit a foreign policy crisis in Korea that would serve his larger motives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr Patrick Wilkinson on September 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Hidden history, purloined present
The Hidden History of the Korean War
I.F. Stone, originally published in 1952 and re-published in 1988
Forbidden Bookshelf e-book release 2014
Dr T P Wilkinson

Pablo Picasso Massacre in Korea, 1951

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali (born Cassius M. Clay) is probably the most famous draft resister in US history. When refusing to accept the draft in 1967, during the American war against Vietnam he told the Press:
“No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people the world over. This is the day and age when such evil injustice must come to an end… Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam, while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights.”
The only war in the official history of the United State that was lost, was also the first war in which Jim Crow, the apartheid regime created in the US after the Civil War and Reconstruction, was not the policy of the US military. How African-Americans came again to challenge the imperialist war machine in the 1960s cannot be understood without uncovering the decades of silence and deception that have covered the first war the US regime truly lost—although it has never officially ended.

Bruce Cumings, certainly the most authoritative if not the sole US expert on this mysterious conflict, wrote, “Americans know the Korean War as a “forgotten war”, which is another way of saying that generally they do not know it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TLR on September 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Written while the war was still ongoing, Stone examined contemporary news accounts, official statements and other sources to unravel all the propaganda. He makes a strong case that South Korea provoked the war with cross-border attacks, and that Truman was misled by various hawks eager to start a major Asian war (John Foster Dulles, General Douglas MacArthur, and South Korean dictator Syngman Rhee).

Author John Gunther, General Douglas MacArthur's personal biographer, just happened to be in the General's personal railroad car when a high-level occupation official returned from being called to a phone, saying, "A big story has just broken. The South Koreans have attacked North Korea."

Stone: "I believe I have succeeded in throwing new light on its origins, on the operations of MacArthur and Dulles, on the weaknesses of Truman and Acheson, on the way the Chinese were provoked to intervene, and on the way the truce talks have been dragged out and the issues muddied by American military men hostile from the first to negotiations. I have tried to bring as much of the hidden story to light as I could in order to put the people of the United States and the United Nations on guard."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BLUE FISH on September 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The Korean war is the forgotten war but the longest lasing american conflict which saw 25,000 combat troops in korea in sept 1945. The book shows how easy it is to get into a war but even harder to get out of. Over 4 million people were killed, 35,000 americans. The book exposes the truth and cold hard facts not some fictitious story which other writers would have us believe which is full of gaps and distortions.
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