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Up until now, the Korean War has been the black hole of modern American history. The Coldest Winter changes that. Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures -- Eisenhower, Truman, Acheson, Kim, and Mao, and Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Ridgway. At the same time, Halberstam provides us with his trademark highly evocative narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial battles with reportage of the highest order.
At the heart of the book are the individual stories of the soldiers on the front lines who were left to deal with the consequences of the dangerous misjudgments and competing agendas of powerful men. We meet them, follow them, and see some of the most dreadful battles in history through their eyes. As ever, Halberstam was concerned with the extraordinary courage and resolve of people asked to bear an extraordinary burden.
The Coldest Winter is contemporary history in its most literary and luminescent form, and provides crucial perspective on the Vietnam War and the events of today. It was a book that Halberstam first decided to write more than thirty years ago and that took him nearly ten years to write. It stands as a lasting testament to one of the greatest journalists and historians of our time, and to the fighting men whose heroism it chronicles.
Includes an Afterword by Russell Baker
Tributes to David Halberstam
David Halberstam died at the age of 73 in a car accident in California on April 23, 2007, just after completing The Coldest Winter. Legendary for his work ethic, his kindness to young writers, and his unbending moral spine, Halberstam had friends and admirers throughout journalism, many of whom spoke at his memorial service and at readings across the country for the release of The Coldest Winter. We have included testimonials given at his memorial service by two writers who made their reputations at the same newspaper where he won a Pulitzer Prize for his Vietnam War reporting, The New York Times:
...David occupied a lot of space on the planet. Perhaps he felt the price he must pay for that big voice, that big reach, that big reputation, was that his generosity had to be just as large. Most of us, when we take to the road and meet admiring strangers, vow afterward to answer the note pressed into our hands or to pass along the speech we promised to the person whose daughter couldn't be there to hear it. But with the best will in the world we arrive home to deadlines, bills, kids, friends, all the demands of a busy life. We mean to be our best selves, but often we forget.
David did it. He always did it. The note, the call, the book, the advice. When I mentioned this once he dug his hands deep into the pockets of his grey flannels, set his mouth at the corners, looked down and rumbled, "Well, but it's so easy." That's nonsense. It's not easy. But it is important, and why he has been remembered with enormous affection by ordinary readers all over this country, and why each of us who live some sort of public life would do well, with all due respect to Jesus, to ask ourselves about those small encounters: what would David do? ... Read her full tribute
...If I could use a sports metaphor--and I think David would have appreciated that--David was the pulling guard, as in a football game. The pulling guard who sweeps wide and clears the hole for the running back who runs through behind him. We reporters in Iraq were the running backs. David went first--a long time ago--and cleared the way.
In Iraq, when the official version didn't match what we were seeing on the streets of Baghdad, all we had to do--and we did it a lot--was ask ourselves: what would Halberstam have done? And then the way was clear.... Read his full tribute
A Timeline of the Korean War
Read this book; it will make you think about things that are happening today, in Iraq.
So, if you are interested in reading about the Korean War up through the Winter of 1950-51, then this is a good book that I would highly recommend.
This much the author convincingly proposes, and the reader's ability to digest the facts and events makes this a very worthwhile read.
Best book I've ever read re the Korean "Police Action". Piullitzer prize winning author David Halberstam known for thoroughly researching the subject matters he wrote... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Page Turner
A very hard book to swallow, since it points out mistakes that the US made, and continues to make. Brilliantly written.Published 26 days ago by Alice Watercress
A solid simple history of a too often forgotten conflict that uses frequent anecdotal recollections to create vivid images of the war. Typical Halberstam good flow. Read morePublished 1 month ago by byron w milstead
Halberstam's book moves with ease between the International geopolitical situation and the foxhole and how the beliefs of the major players collide with reality. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Guy Carlsen
Halberstam puts you right in to the action -- the cold, the muck, the confusion. And boy, does MacArthur come across as the ultimate Bad Guy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by keith mccormick
Coverage of McArthur's Blunders and errors of judgement in Korea. Comparison is made with him and Civil War's McClellan. Read morePublished 1 month ago by richard ware
The book is the most comprehensive of any Korean War book that I have read. It provides insight into the Russian, Chinese, N.Korean, and U.S. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dean Alvord
This book was extremely long. I did enjoy it, but felt that there was too much of the authors personal feelings involved in the book.Published 2 months ago by Cole David Lemon