Ghost Flames: Life and Death in a Hidden War, Korea 1950–1953

Charles J. Hanley. PublicAffairs, $32 (528p) ISBN 978-1-5417-6817-8
In this sweeping and well-sourced history, Associated Press reporter Hanley (coauthor, The Bridge at No Gun Ri), who won a Pulitzer Prize for helping to unearth the 1950 massacre of South Korean civilians by panicked U.S. troops, captures the devastating human toll of the Korean War. The epic scale of the war’s disruption comes into focus through the stories of a survivor of the 1950 slaughter, who lost both her children to American bullets; a Maryknoll nun and physician who tended to refugees in the beleaguered southern port of Pusan, where Allied troops were nearly forced into the sea in the first weeks of the war; and a North Korean pilot who survived dogfights in “MiG Alley.” Hanley also profiles the U.S., Chinese, and North Korean military leaders who directed wild swings of momentum in the war’s early months, and, later, the grinding trench warfare that cost tens of thousands of lives as truce talks dragged on. Drawing on memoirs, personal letters, declassified documents, and interviews with veterans and civilian survivors, as well as newspaper accounts from AP reporter Bill Shinn and his counterpart on the communist side, Daily Worker journalist Alan Winnington, Hanley paints an extraordinary portrait of the war’s complexity and devastation. This is an essential account of America’s “forgotten war.” (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/15/2020
Release date: 05/05/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-3271-1
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-1-5417-6816-1
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