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Ted

Oakland, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

19
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By T. R. Fehrenbach
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (122)

    This Kind of War is a monumental study of the conflict that began in June 1950. Successive generations of U.S. military officers have considered this book an indispensable part of their education. T. R. Fehrenbach's narrative brings to life the harrowing and bloody battles that were fought up and down the Korean Peninsula.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "Korean War Classic - The Good, the Bad, the Ugly"
    "Great narrative, frustrating redundancy"
    Overall

    To be sure, Fehrenbach has written a novel that chronicles the Korean war in all of its tragedy, savagery and unlikely heroism. His narrative of each stage of the conflict, drawing on a multitude of resources, gives us an excellent view of the war's experience from private to general. The anecdotal accounts of individual soldiers highlight the helpless situations they often found themselves in, and convey a 'kicked-in-the-gut' kind of empathy for their plight. The historical background of Chinese and then Japanese occupation, and the latter's influence on culture at the time, give a much clearer understanding of the origins of savagery seen throughout the war.

    What makes this book so difficult however, especially in audio format, is the dogmatic and redundant manner in which he states his polemic--the U.S. was not prepared militarily or psychologically for the war, and this was a result of the post WWII dismantling of the military. At least once, if not more, each chapter recapitulates said point, ad naseum. His frequent comparisons of Roman Legions and the army of the British Empire don't really fit, and fail to account for the cultural and historical context of each era. Had he not explicitly posited this main idea, the message would come through well enough from his accounts of the war. Around chapter 10 or 11, having to listen for the umpteenth time that American cultural attitudes and the Defense Department's poor planning and foresight left the military several weakened, I was driven back. I quit listening to it, checked out the book from the library, and finished, skipping over the aforementioned drivel.

    It's worth listening too, however I would wear a helmet, as getting beaten over the head with the same point becomes pretty painful

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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