In Mortal Combat: Korea, 1950-1953

John Toland, Author William Morrow & Company $25 (624p) ISBN 978-0-688-10079-7
In this Korean War history, Toland ( Infamy ) makes skillful use of material gathered in Chinese and North Korean archives and through interviews with Chinese and North Korean veterans of the 1950-1953 war. In crisp, lucid prose he relates the familiar chronology from Pusan to Panmunjom, personalizing the course of events through well-chosen anecdotes and quotes, examining from a fresh perspective the controversial aspects of the conflict, including Chinese allegations that the Americans used germ warfare, the Truman-MacArthur confrontation and American brutality against Korean civilians. The relatively static last half of the war, usually given short shrift, is here fully developed, with Toland explaining how critical the POW issue was for both sides during the truce talks. In a book full of impressive features, the most noteworthy is this: Toland has gathered previously inaccessible material enabling him to describe Mao Zedong's direct role in the war as well as that of his field commander Peng Teh-huai. The ``forgotten war,'' in which four million people perished, has never been described more interestingly. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-688-12579-0
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