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Selling the Korean War: Propaganda, Politics, and Public Opinion in the United States, 1950-1953 Paperback – March 17, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199738998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199738991
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Steven Casey has drawn a masterly analysis of what is certain to become the standard work on its subject.... The whole study is, moreover, conveyed with real verve and at a cracking pace.... An exceptionally good book which does full justice to the complexity of the comestic politics of the Korean War and the rold of the media, official institutions, and politicians in shaping public opinion."--Matthew Jones, Journal of American Studies"Casey provides the best account to date of the relationship between domestic politics and the war in Korea.... His book is a significant contribution to the literature on the Korean conflict and the relationship between politics and diplomacy during the early years of the Cold War. Most impressive is the author's ability to place the war in a broader context."--Thomas W. Devine, H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews"As a study on the complex relationship among the executive branch, congress, the media, and the public within a constitutional democracy, Dr. Casey's Selling the Korean War is unparalleled in both detail and insight. It is a major addition to the literature--in any language--on the Korean War, and merits a careful read by all who share an interest in the subject."--Sung-Yoon Lee, H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews"This careful study not only fills a notable gap in the literature on the Korean War, it also makes a valuable addition to the short list of books dealing with the conflict's impact on domestic affairs inside the United States. Although Casey's main purpose is to explain ' the government's efforts to sell the war at home, ' he achieves much more in persuasively challenging the conventional wisdom about well-known key events and advancing perceptive new interpretations of old issues."--James I. Matray, H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews"This well-written and thoughtfully argued study...warrants reading not only by specialists on the Korean War but also by those interested in the crucial foreign policy debate

About the Author

Steven Casey is Senior Lecturer in International History at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Cautious Crusade: Franklin D. Roosevelt, American Public Opinion, and the War against Nazi Germany, 1941-1945 (OUP).

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Format: Paperback
The invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces in June 1950 posed a multitude of challenges to the United States. Among these, one of the most difficult and persistent faced by the Truman administration was that of how to present the war to the American people. What might seem to be a fairly straightforward matter was in fact a far more complex problem, riven as it was by issues of domestic politics and overshadowed by the broader context of the Cold War. Steven Casey's book provides a detailed look at the problems the Truman administration faced, how they changed over the course of the war, and how they endeavored to navigate around or surmount the difficulties before them.

These problems emerged practically from the moment the president and the American people first learned of the invasion. From the start Truman sought a restrained rhetorical response to the conflict, out of a concern that intemperate language might exacerbate the Cold War. This decision, however, gave an opening to Truman's Republican opponents in Congress. Still smarting from Truman's victory in the 1948 presidential election, they took advantage of his failure to define the conflict early on by using it to lambaste his administration's handling of foreign policy.

Their criticisms were sharpened in the short term by the course of events, as the poor showing of the first American troops thrown into combat served to underline Republican arguments about Truman's failings as president. Here Casey turns his attention to the other part of the story, the type and nature of the information flooding out from the Korean peninsula.
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