Korea : the first war we lost / Bevin Alexander.

By: Alexander, BevinMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Hippocrene Books, c1986, (1987 printing)Description: xv, 558 p., [60] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cmISBN: 0870521357 (jacket); 9780870521355 (jacket)Subject(s): Korean War, 1950-1953 | Korean War, 1950-1953 -- United States | Korean War, 1950-1953 | Korean War, 1950-1953 United StatesAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Korea.; Online version:: Korea.DDC classification: 951.904/2 LOC classification: DS918 | .A68 1986Summary: Alexander shows the causes and effects of the Korean War and demonstrates how the United States could have avoided the confrontation with the Red Chinese if it had correctly interpreted signals from them.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DS918 .A68 1986 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001173202
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DS916 .M465 2005 The war for Korea, 1945-1950 : DS916 .M94 2001 Korea in the cross currents : DS917 .G6 1987 Korea; DS918 .A68 1986 Korea : DS918 .B4 1965 The Korea knot : DS918 .C55 From the Danube to the Yalu. DS918 .C62 War in peacetime;

Includes bibliographical references.

Alexander shows the causes and effects of the Korean War and demonstrates how the United States could have avoided the confrontation with the Red Chinese if it had correctly interpreted signals from them.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This respectable and fast-moving study is the first to be written by a professional Army historian. Appropriately, it is as much about politics as combat, and Bevin does a superb job of placing the war in the context of domestic and international affairs. Frequently partisan and often controversial, he capably challenges many of the traditional interpretations of American policy. MacArthur comes across as a military genius and a strategic madman. The combat descriptions are lucid, with good maps; it is easy to follow the military action from grand strategy down to the squad level. The book is historically more complete than Joseph Goulden's Korea ( LJ 2/1/82) and deserves a place in most public collections. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Alexander's book has too many faults for this reviewer to encourage its purchase. The work does make a contribution, but its benefits are too few and its shortcomings too manifest. On the plus side, Alexander is a military historian who writes vividly about combat, and his political and military judgments are sound. Most positively, he indicates clearly the enormous costs of misreading one's enemy. Alexander describes the ignorance of American leaders regarding the valid concern of the People's Republic of China about the US invasion of North Korea late in 1950. The human and political cost of American vacuity was terrible. Despite these insights, however, the study fails. The first half of the book covers 10 percent of the war; 90 percent treats only one third of the conflict. Alexander has missed most of the combat, and has left out entirely the major contribution airpower made to sustaining the UN's position in Korea. Beyond this imbalance, there are stylistic lapses crying for editorial help. Finally, given the burgeoning economic success of South Korea today when contrasted with the grinding misery of North Korea, one is forced to quibble with Alexander's subtitle, The First War We Lost. Libraries with nominal holdings on the Korean War can avoid this book.-A.L. Gropman, National War College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Bevin Alexander is the author of five books on military history, & his battle studies of the Korean War, written during his decorated service as a combat historian, are stored in the National Archives. He lives in Bremo Bluff, Virginia.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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