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Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History Paperback – January 25, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0691118475 ISBN-10: 0691118477
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Editorial Reviews


"An impressive contribution to the literature on the 'Forgotten War.'. . . Stueck effectively draws together previously disconnected strands into a single volume on the origins, conduct, and effects of that war. . . . This is an important work and will likely appeal to the specialists and general readers alike."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"A lively and balanced reassessment of the origins, character and impact of the Korean War. . . . This book may be recommended to anyone wishing to obtain an up-to-date synthesis of the major disputes and controversies involved in the Korean war."--Peter Lowe, Journal of Military History

"Korea, especially North Korea, has been the subject of many recent headlines. Hence, this work arrives at a most propitious

"It enables readers to understand the war from a variety of different perspectives and . . . helps shed light on the international dimensions of the conflict."--Gregg Brazinsky, Journal of Asian Studies

"Stueck provides a cogent summary of the current scholarship, a clear explanation of his own views, and thought-provoking arguments that will stimulate further debate and research. In the process, Stueck sets forth a systematic and coherent overview of the background to the war, the major military operations, the long process pf the Truce Talks, and the consequences of the war. Thus, his book can also be read with profit as an introductory text and a basis for further reading."--Colonel Donald W. Boose, Jr., Parameters: Us Army War College Quaterly

"William Stueck established himself as one of the leading historians of the early Cold War with the publication of The Korean War: An International History. . . . The relevance of Rethinking the Korean War for current affairs arises from Stueck's persuasive account of both the importance of U.S. leadership in the world and the limits on its options. All Americans, not just scholars, could benefit from the lessons that this book offers. It points the way toward a new international history."--Lloyd E. Ambrosius, Reviews in American History

From the Inside Flap

"This is a fresh, comprehensive, and balanced study that anyone interested in the Korean War--and, more broadly, in the development of the global Cold War--will find the need to read. Supported by insights gained from new sources and demonstrating a high sensitivity toward the international nature of the conflict in Korea, it is of great scholarly significance."--Chen Jian, University of Virginia --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (January 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691118477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691118475
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Al on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
This was an extremely insightful look at the strategic and diplomatic calculus that led to the US involvement in Korea. The US sent the Soviets and Chicoms signals that they were not including Korea in the Pacific defensive perimeter. This included a withdrawal of US troops from the peninsula in 1949, as well as a speech made by Dean Acheson on US security concerns in the Pacific rim, in which he failed to even mention Korea or Taiwan. Kim Il Sung received the green light for an invasion from Stalin, and the Chicoms were reluctant allies. The author packs a tremendous amount of detail and analysis in this work, which is divided into three parts. Stueck ties the origins of the Cold War with events in Korea and examines why we see this as the Korean War, and not the Korean Civil War, through the lens of the Truman Doctrine and Syngman Rhee's relationship with Congress and the president. In the second part, Stueck examines the reasons for Chinese intervention, which seem obvious in hindsight. US success after Inchon changed the military and political goals, leading UN forces to reach beyond the culminating point of attack. He also does a good job in analyzing how and, more importantly, why the US worked so hard to keep this a limited war, in the context of increasing military committments to Europe. Stueck describes how the Chinese, after pushing the UN south of the 38th parallel, went beyond the culminating point of victory, and how this led to the armistice talks. Finally, Stueck describes the relationship between Korea and the US from 1945 to the present. This work stays at the 20,000 ft level and does not descend into operational narrative. It clearly lays out the diplomatic and strategic considerations of both sides, and provides a clear view of the birth of the Cold War and future nuclear policy.
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By RJL on January 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who has more than 3 books about the Korean War should have this one.
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