A powerful, character-driven narrative of the Korean War from the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who helped uncover some of its longest-held and darkest secrets.
The war that broke out in Korea on a Sunday morning seventy years ago has come to be recognized as a critical turning point in modern history -- as the first great clash of arms of the Cold War, the last conflict between superpowers, the root of a nuclear crisis that grips the world to this day.
In this vivid, emotionally compelling, and highly original account, Charles J. Hanley tells the story of the Korean War through the eyes of twenty individuals who lived through it--from a North Korean refugee girl to an American nun, a Chinese general to a black American prisoner of war, a British journalist to a U.S. Marine hero.
This is an intimate, deeper kind of history, whose meticulous research and rich detail, drawing on recently unearthed materials and eyewitness accounts, bring the true face of the Korean War, and the vastness of its human tragedy, into a sharper focus than ever before. The "forgotten war" becomes unforgettable.
In this sweeping and well-sourced history, Associated Press reporter Hanley (coauthor, The Bridge at No Gun Ri), who won a Pulitzer Prize for helping to unearth the 1950 massacre of South Korean civilians by panicked U.S. troops, captures the devastating human toll of the Korean War. The epic scale of the war's disruption comes into focus through the stories of a survivor of the 1950 slaughter, who lost both her children to American bullets; a Maryknoll nun and physician who tended to refugees in the beleaguered southern port of Pusan, where Allied troops were nearly forced into the sea in the first weeks of the war; and a North Korean pilot who survived dogfights in "MiG Alley." Hanley also profiles the U.S., Chinese, and North Korean military leaders who directed wild swings of momentum in the war's early months, and, later, the grinding trench warfare that cost tens of thousands of lives as truce talks dragged on. Drawing on memoirs, personal letters, declassified documents, and interviews with veterans and civilian survivors, as well as newspaper accounts from AP reporter Bill Shinn and his counterpart on the communist side, Daily Worker journalist Alan Winnington, Hanley paints an extraordinary portrait of the war's complexity and devastation. This is an essential account of America's "forgotten war."