A history of the Korean War with soldier’s-eye views from both sides, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Rising Sun and Infamy.
Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Toland reports on the Korean War in a revolutionary way in this thoroughly researched and riveting book. Toland pored over military archives and was the first person to gain access to previously undisclosed Chinese records, which allowed him to investigate Chairman Mao’s direct involvement in the conflict. Toland supplements his captivating history with in-depth interviews with more than two hundred American soldiers, as well as North Korean, South Korean, and Chinese combatants, plus dozens of poignant photographs, bringing those who fought to vivid life and honoring the memory of those lost.
In Mortal Combat is comprehensive in it discussion of events deemed controversial, such as American brutality against Korean civilians and allegations of American use of biological warfare. Toland tells the dramatic account of the Korean War from start to finish, from the appalling experience of its POWs to Mao’s prediction of MacArthur’s Inchon invasion.
Toland’s account of the “forgotten war” is a must-read for any history aficionado.
In this Korean War history, Toland ( Infamy ) makes skillful use of material gathered in Chinese and North Korean archives and through interviews with Chinese and North Korean veterans of the 1950-1953 war. In crisp, lucid prose he relates the familiar chronology from Pusan to Panmunjom, personalizing the course of events through well-chosen anecdotes and quotes, examining from a fresh perspective the controversial aspects of the conflict, including Chinese allegations that the Americans used germ warfare, the Truman-MacArthur confrontation and American brutality against Korean civilians. The relatively static last half of the war, usually given short shrift, is here fully developed, with Toland explaining how critical the POW issue was for both sides during the truce talks. In a book full of impressive features, the most noteworthy is this: Toland has gathered previously inaccessible material enabling him to describe Mao Zedong's direct role in the war as well as that of his field commander Peng Teh-huai. The ``forgotten war,'' in which four million people perished, has never been described more interestingly. Photos.