HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

January 7, 2008
Halberstam And History

Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com


It is often remarked that Korea is a war about which most of us know little or nothing. It is called a black hole by the late David Halberstam in his recent book about it, The Coldest Winter. I personally knew very little about it before reading Halberstam’s book: I was not yet eleven when it started, so, unlike Viet Nam, which was a focus because it took place in my 20s, Korea did not stick in my mind. Halberstam himself knew little about Korea, he says, before he set out to research and write his book about a war which began when he was 16, but which came to interest him because of talks he had about it in Viet Nam in the early 1960s with a colonel who had fought in Korea.

Halberstam has provided us a remedy for our ignorance. His book, which some reviewers have called the best general history of the war, extensively informs about the background to Korea, the main players, the style of war fought there, and, perhaps above all, the long list of mistakes by both sides. Near the end of the work, on pages 631-632, he summarizes major mistakes on each side. It is quite appalling, especially because the previous 600 plus pages have given one an appreciation for what this summary really means…


Click Here to Read the Full Article on Dean Velvel's Website


This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel.  If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at velvel@mslaw.edu.  Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.


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