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The Korean War: An Encyclopedia (Military History of the United States)

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0824044459
ISBN-10: 0824044452
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Called the "forgotten war" by pundits and others who were not there, the Korean War (June 1950-July 1953) was the West's first armed clash against post-World War II communism. The United States and its allies in the United Nations fought the North Koreans and the mainland Chinese to a "limited war" stalemate, which even today has not been concluded by the signing of a peace treaty. Korea has come to be known as the "hot spot" of the Cold War. Edited by a historian with the U.S Army, this Korean War encyclopedia is the collective journeyman effort of 63 contributors writing about 142 subjects, from Aircraft to X Corps. The subject essays are concise and well written. Expected topics include people; places; battles; logistics; naval, air, and ground forces; weapons; and strategy. Most interesting is the coverage of little-known subjects like brainwashing, decision-making, airborne operations, and the peculiar armistice negotiations. This volume is a solid effort for libraries, students, and the general reader.?William D. Bushnell, USMC (ret.), Brunswick, Me.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Military historian Sandler and a corps of 62 experts, mostly from U.S. academic and military institutions, have compiled an encyclopedia of more than 140 signed, objective articles, each of which concludes with a brief bibliography. The volume opens with a chronology extending from about 2,000 B.C. to April 1954, a considerably longer time span than the actual dates of conflict (June 25, 1950^-July 27, 1953), followed by 13 maps of varying legibility. Thirty-five black-and-white photographs appear together before the letter M. Articles in the main body of the work--with numerous cross-references--vary in length from one to several pages. Topics include origins of the conflict; ground, air, and naval operations; the prisoner of war issue; napalm; psychological warfare; the Truman-MacArthur confrontation; helicopter evacuation of the wounded; press and radio coverage of the war; and armistice negotiations. More than 40 of the articles are biographical, concentrating on civilian and military leaders (e.g., Dean Acheson, Eisenhower, Matthew Ridgway, Syngman Rhee, Kim Il Sung, Chou En Lai).

Statistical information is included within the text and/or tables of the appropriate articles. The extensive English-language bibliography is topically arranged (e.g., U.S. military forces, UN forces, communist military forces). In many instances monographic material is in one list followed by another of periodical articles on the same subject. This bibliography--and those appended to articles--include many items from the 1980s and 1990s. The detailed subject index, with numerous cross-references, is useful for bringing together information scattered among a number of entries. For example, the main entry Aircraft is followed by 79 subentries for specific planes.

Reference librarians, historians, and others have used Summers' Korean War Almanac [RBB Ap 1 90] and Matray's Historical Dictionary of the Korean War [RBB N 15 91] to advantage. The Almanac's coverage of military technology and the quality of its illustrations and maps were considered more useful than those in the Historical Dictionary. The latter, however, was more scholarly and more objective in its treatment. Sandler's The Korean War, with its neutral treatment and up-to-date bibliographies, will complement both Summers and Matray. Recommended for public and academic libraries.

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Product Details

  • Series: Military History of the United States (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 470 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824044452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824044459
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,874,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary J. Jakacky on November 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wow! Exactly what the name implies. An encyclopaedia about the korean war, chock full of useful essays and lengthy exposes. A good place to start research, or even better, to supplement your knowledge about Korean War events with timely, crisp additions. All of them are concise, informative and well referenced, if not necessarily well cross referenced (see below).
There are many chronologies but the most useful are the articles about weapons (armor, artillery air support, etc...) regiments, aircraft, and the diverse countries (Greece, Turkey, Ethiopia...) that lent a hand to the effort. Also informative are the discussions of isses (biological warfare, POWs, conscientious objectors, etc). The numerous articles placing the war into a larger world context (home front, press coverage, United Nations, etc...) also are helpful. Biographies of US, South Korean, and a smattering of NKPA, Russian and Chinese figures add a personal dimension to the conflict. Conflicts between national interest and cold war politics wove a complex net of intrigue between the UN forces (America, France, Britain, Canada..etc) as well as amidst the nonaligned states (such as India) and the belligerents (China, Russia, North Korea). In fact, the best way to enjoy this encyclopedia is to read just as you would a book...from beginning to end. Don't be surprised if you end up reading it several times.
This reference text is a collection of essays by individual authors. A risk of doing an encyclopedia this way is, without proper overall editing, the articles will be somewhat disjoint at one moment and repetitive at others. Sanders' text does suffer this flaw.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wade on December 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is good, if uneven, something which the earlier review summarizes rather well. The point of my review is to offer something of a warning (hopefully unnecessary) to potential buyers. To begin with, I saw this book (paperback edition) at a bookstore and was instantly very interested in it. I went home and found a copy much cheaper on Amazon and ordered it. After it had arrived I thumbed through it and noticed that pages 235-266 were completely missing. Adding, perhaps, insult to injury, I also found that pages 267-298 were repeated as if to bring the volume up to the "correct" number of pages (not to sound to conspiratorial) with no gaps in the binding. Needless to say (though I'm saying it anyway), I was disappointed, but also curious. I then went back to the book store where I first found the book, and inspected that copy of the book and found the same problem. Feeling oddly better (or, at least, less paranoid) myself, I thought I should let other people know of the issue. I hope that this review is not warranted, I hope that only two copies were so afflicted, but I kinda doubt it. Maybe the hardback is okay. In any event, if you want an affordable encyclopedic treatment of the Korean War, but aren't interested in most of the letter "N", all of letter "O", and almost all of letter "P", then this is the book for you.
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By Wayne E. Warner on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am writing history of military chaplains, and this book is a good reference work for the project. More photos throughout would have been a great improvement--rather than bunch them.
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By John Hussey on November 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a very interesting history of the Korean war, well done but could have had more on the Naval aspects of the conflict
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