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Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest has been judged to be one of the best books on Vietnam ever written, and he comes close to that standard with his Korean War book. Alternating between gripping battle scenes (based on interviews with particpants done by Halberstam) and analysis of the politics of the White House, of Congress, and of the military figures, the book races along like a fiction thriller. Here is Gen. Macarthur in all his billiance and in all his egotistical mania....the combination of which led to his downfall. Here is practical, common sense, stalwart Harry Truman....threading his way among generals who were out of touch with the ground forces, a Congress suddenly beguiled by Joe McCarthy's witch hunt, Joe Stalin, who wanted to cause the US some discomfort in Asia and who did not mind if the US caused his Chinese Communist allies some discomfort too, Mao Tse Tung, ready to show the imperialist West that its time in Asia was finished, Kim Il Sung, an over-confident war monger determined to unite Korea under his power, and an American public who saw this sad war as being the wrong war, at the wrong time and in the wrong place.
The quality of the audio production is excellent. The narrator's voice is clear, his pacing is varied to suit the needs of the text, and his emphasis is well-placed.
Thanks to Halberstam, Korea may no longer be "the forgotten war."
50 of 52 people found this review helpful
The Coldest Winter is one of the better war history books I've read or heard. The author, David Halberstam, certainly did his homework, and he tells a compelling story about the incredible bravery of the soldiers fighting the cold and the enemy, and dying because the stupidity of the senior command.
Edward Herrmann is a great reader and makes the listen all the more enjoyable.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful