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The Coldest Winter Audiobook

The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War

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Publisher's Summary

David Halberstam's magisterial and thrilling The Best and the Brightest was the defining book for the Vietnam War. More than three decades later, Halberstam used his unrivalled research and formidable journalistic skills to shed light on another dark corner in our history: the Korean War. The Coldest Winter is a successor to The Best and the Brightest, even though, in historical terms, it precedes it. Halberstam considered The Coldest Winter the best book he ever wrote, the culmination of 45 years of writing about America's postwar foreign policy.

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: Eisenhower, Truman, Acheson, Kim, and Mao, and Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Ridgway. At the same time, Halberstam provides us with his trademark highly evocative narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial battles with reportage of the highest order.

At the heart of this audiobook are the individual stories of the soldiers on the front lines who were left to deal with the consequences of the dangerous misjudgments and competing agendas of powerful men. We meet them, follow them, and see some of the most dreadful battles in history through their eyes. As ever, Halberstam was concerned with the extraordinary courage and resolve of people asked to bear an extraordinary burden.

©2007 David Halberstam; (P)2007 Hyperion

What the Critics Say

"Stirring....In a grand gesture of reclamation and remembrance, Mr. Halberstam has brought the war back home." (The New York Times)
"Alive with the voices of the men who fought, Halberstam's telling is a virtuoso work of history." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Jim Hampton 10-22-17
    Jim Hampton 10-22-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Awesome"

    Loved this book. Very informative and extremely well narrated. I absolutely would recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 09-04-17
    09-04-17 Member Since 2015
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    "History does indeed repeat"

    China and Russia caused the mess we are dealing with today. I wanted to learn more about the area and the conflict and this book delivers. Outstanding, I will definitely get the authors book on Vietnam as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson 05-31-17
    Nelson 05-31-17 Member Since 2015
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    "This is one of the best in my collection (of 967)!"

    Alas it's Abridged. Given the current political climate, I recommend it to anyone. As good as his Best and the Brightest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott S. central idaho 05-04-17
    Scott S. central idaho 05-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Intriguing History"

    This book shed a lot of light and perspective on that war and period in our history. It provided insight as to why my father and others I've known would never talk about their experiences in that war. I merely imagined it was awful, and, now I know it was. Ed Hermann was the perfect narrator. He gave that matter-of-factness just at the right moments and infused each person's point of view with so much character and feeling. Superb. I tried reading this book, but there was so much detail, some might call menutia, that it was hard to stay focused and keep it all organized. It was the detail that really enriched the story. Listening to the book was a much more satisfying medium.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 04-04-17
    Christopher 04-04-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Largely riveting and masterful."

    Largely riveting and masterful.

    There were a couple moments when it seemed as though a common theme was becoming repetitive and the point was belabored (that the American command at the top was inept, arrogant, and out of touch with the realities on the ground) but overall, the book marvelously tells important history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CT 03-04-17
    CT 03-04-17 Member Since 2009
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    "Excellent but want the audio book unabridged!"
    What did you love best about The Coldest Winter?

    Halberstam brings the war alive through the stories of the individuals who lived it.


    Any additional comments?

    I was disappointed that it is an abridged version. I have bought the book, and it has so much more and is even more compelling than the audio version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Mikolajczyk Panama City, FL USA 09-14-16
    P. Mikolajczyk Panama City, FL USA 09-14-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Ditch the music"

    Great book to read and/or listen to, but I just don't get the "intro music" between chapters. Maybe ok for fiction, but not this subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Lamm 06-27-16
    Steven Lamm 06-27-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Hubris our greatest sin"

    I am embarrassed how little I knew about a war
    ThAt resonates today
    A war that was considered a waste
    But in reality exemplifies the best and worst in each of us
    Mr halberstam thank you and rest in peace

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 05-13-16
    05-13-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Book much better"
    Where does The Coldest Winter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top of my books read or listened to. The men who bled and died for America and their foxhole buddies is tremendous.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Coldest Winter?

    It was all memorable, but the 'retreat' of the Marines was one of the most defining moments or was it ALL of the real story. America was taught a great lesson during that war, but Vietnam showed us that those leaders who Generaled that war did not learn much from Korea.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think the book is better because it is unabridged, but I listened to the Audible version first and that motivated me to begin reading the book. The book was awesome and I had a hard time putting it down. I most enjoyed the history of the major players.


    Any additional comments?

    The Audible version with the Book follow-up helped me with the history of the most important world leaders and their stories preceding the Korean War. There were some blunders, as usual or 'Learn the battle plan thoroughly, then remake it after the first shots are fired'. It would seem to me that world and military leaders would learn that being unprepared is more expensive than our country should be asked to bear, especially in terms of the young leaders who had to put their bodies in harms way because our country's leaders were too cheap to risk some political capital before the war began. The Intelligence prior to most wars is available, but our leaders think their political mandates trump military necessities. In hindsight, every war, every engagement should make us better prepared, but history teaches us that is usually NOT the case. Listen to the Audible version, but remember that the book covers the real details.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Kindle Customer Virginia 04-11-16
    Kindle Customer Virginia 04-11-16 Member Since 2014
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    "A Bitter Winter in More Than One way"

    This is the best book on the history of the Korean War I have ever read. David Halbertstam's writing style and attention to historical detai is impecable. You have no problem imagining the bitter winter winds and 20 below temperatures, the waves of Chinese soldiers attacking with determined fanaticism, and the stupidity and hubris those in positions of authority are all too real. Edward Herrmann is the absolute best choice for narrator. If you want to know about the war, you can'r ask for a better source.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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