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Their War for Korea: American, Asian, and European Combatants and Civilians, 1945-1953 Paperback – February, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"A singular and riveting work." --Lt. Gen. Bernard E. Trainor, USMC (Ret.), Council on Foreign Relations

About the Author

Allan R. Millett is the Maj. Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Professor of Military History at The Ohio State University. His previous books include the best-sellers A War to Be Won with Williamson Murray, For the Common Defense with Peter Maslowski, and Semper Fidelis. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books; New edition edition (February 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574885340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574885347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,714,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's cliche to call the Korean War "forgotten" in the United States. More accurately, it is misunderstood, and has been in the west for over fifty years. For the Koreans, the results of the war war are daily in front of them: not least in the continued division of the peninsula. English speaking readers need to understand the central fact that the Korean war was fought by Koreans for the destiny of Korea.
Millett's groundbreaking effort brings this persepective into sharp focus. He calls the Korean war a "total" war (quoting Korean vets) and his first 14 thumbnail-sketch chapters bear out this interpretation. In terms of concentrated destruction in both time and space, Korea was as brutal a war as they come. Not much "limited" about it.
The book itself is divided into three sections, entitled "the Koreans", "the Allies", and "the Americans". Chronologically, it defines the conflict as beginning shortly after Liberation, 15 August 1945 and it finishes with a chapter on the man who first signed the Armistice documents for the United Nations Command. Millett's emphasis on oral history combined with impressive documentary research makes this book required reading to understand the war beyond the limits of operations, strategy, or diplomatic policies. The human face of war is poignantly and sympathetically presented. There are heros, cowards, soldiers, civilians, men, and women in this great drama of conflict, ideology, and destiny.
Their War for Korea promises to be the first of three volumes that will redefine the western view of the Korean War.
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Format: Hardcover
Dodo in ALICE declared "everybody has won and all must have prizes." War in Korea had many victims but no objective. The country was ravaged by Americans, Chinese, Russians, and Dutch as well as Koreans. Author Millett tries to be fair; the perspective seems to be that of a missionary, not giving offense. Soldiers did their duty quietly; Russians were told to be furtive - don't get caught doing anything.

Millett admires Koreans but does not say much about them. Seoul today ranks #1 in cell phones and controls more US bonds than Washington would like, but when I was there (I was drafted) farm people didn't have shoes. China today copies Korean fasion. Korean techology arose from genius, hard work and patience. Korean captive workers died in Hiroshima and rose above a century of Japanese abuse. Koreans in America are models of thrift and enterprise.

American should study Korea, but this book is not a start. All we have here is a story of a war America had no business starting or prolonging - not our only such dishonor. In a couple of places MIllett tries to honor Americans who have waited too long for respect.

Wallace F. Smith, Walnut Creek
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