From Publishers Weekly
Straight-ahead prose tempered with wry humor distinguishes this latest war chronicle by Brady (The Marines of Autumn, etc.). Tracking Col. James "Oliver" Cromwell from college to retirement, the novel sometimes reads more like memoir than fiction, but marches smartly up to its dramatic high points. At Notre Dame, Cromwell learns to box well enough to go to the Berlin Olympics in 1936. In World War II, he joins Evans Carlson's famous Raiders and participates in the bold Makin Island Raid, vividly depicted as a near disaster. By 1950 he is a decorated lieutenant colonel, assigned as aide to Ambassador John Muccio in Seoul, South Korea, only days before the North Koreans storm south. Here the novel kicks into high gear, portraying one of the roughest patches in U.S. military history. Through the first summer of hostilities-"the gritty stand at Pusan, the tides at Inchon, the arrogance of demanding Seoul by a date definite"-Cromwell sticks by Muccio as his boss attempts to keep track of a South Korean government that is running away as fast as it can. MacArthur is shown as both a genius and a madman, backed by an army that must relearn the art of war. Through it all, Cromwell's steps are dogged by a former college classmate, Ben Sweet, a conceited war correspondent and novelist who becomes a kind of nagging alter ego. Brady weakens the novel's climax by letting Cromwell take a serious wound offstage, but this soldier's tale of key conflicts in two mid-century wars is a solid achievement.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It has been 50 years since the end of the Korean War, and Brady sets his latest novel during the first 100 days of the conflict--beginning on June 25, 1950, when the North Koreans launched their surprise attack on South Korea. Our hero is marine colonel James Cromwell, a military attache to the U.S. ambassador in Seoul. Cromwell, we are informed, had served at Guadalcanal during World War II. Cromwell joins General Douglas McArthur in the invasion at Inchon and in his fiercely fought drive to reach the capital city of Seoul. Brady paints Cromwell as a true patriot who--when not fighting--reads Caesar's Gallic War
in Latin. Author of Warning of War
(2002), The Marines of Autumn
(2000), and 12 other novels, Brady served in the Korean War. Here he mixes fact and fiction to offer readers a gripping adventure story. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved