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Gary

Phoenix, AZ, USA

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  • The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War

    • ABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By David Halberstam
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (629)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (181)

    Up until now, the Korean War has been the black hole of modern American history. The Coldest Winter changes that. Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures.

    Doug says: "Almost as good as The Best and the Brightest"
    "The Coldest Winter"
    Overall

    This is an excellent account of the Forgotten War, juxtaposing the valor and sacrifice of individuals in combat against the incompetence of their civilian and military leaders. Its themes remain sadly topical more than a half-century after the events.

    I cannot recommend the audio version of the book, however. First, the abridgement is poorly done. Halberstam chose to begin the book with the first encounter between UN and Chinese troops, at Unsan in October, 1950; this important chapter is omitted in the abridgement, however. Later, when the narrative proceeds chronologically from the beginning of the War in June, 1950 but assumes the reader is familiar with Unsan, the audio listener is left at a loss.

    The second problem with the audio presentation is the lack of maps, twenty-five of which are provided in the physical book. This makes it difficult to grasp fully the audio narrative.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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