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The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  255 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
America's "forgotten war" lasted just thirty-seven months, yet 54,246 Americans died in that time -- nearly as many as died in ten years in Vietnam. On the fiftieth anniversary of this devastating conflict, James Brady tells the story of his life as a young marine lieutenant in Korea.

In 1947, seeking to avoid the draft, nineteen-year-old Jim Brady volunteered for a Marine
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 8th 2000 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 483)
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Fredrick Danysh
Feb 23, 2016 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it
James Brady gives an excellent view of what life was like for a Marine infantry officer during the Korean War. No punches were pulled, even when he described his own actions. This is a good, gritty read. Once I started I had to finish.
Nov 02, 2015 Tom rated it it was amazing
A nicely written account of the author's one year tour of duty as a Marine platoon leader during the Korean "conflict". Very nicely written with emotion and excellent descriptions of an officer's view of and relationship with enlisted personnel and with fellow officers. Gives special insight on the Marine's living and fighting conditions and the respect earned by the tough and resourceful Chinese and North Korean soldiers who opposed them.
Haven't read very many books on the Korean war. In fact, there just aren't that many to begin with. I sure picked a winner on this one. James Brady tells the story about his time in the Korean war with clarity and honesty. He describes the little things that usually is missing in a memoir.
An excellent read.
Michael Burnam-fink
Jun 05, 2011 Michael Burnam-fink rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, war, 2011
"Marine platoon leader memoir" is one of my favorite micro-genres of literature, and among stories of leadership, heroism, maturation, and fear, The Coldest War stands a cut above for its clarity, candor, and writing. More Americans died in 3 years in Korea than in 10 years in Vietnam, and the war is still not officially over, yet most civilians are entirely ignorant of the conflict, let alone what it was like to serve in the coldest war.

Sent to Korea in November of 1952, Lt Brady faced a bloody
Dec 08, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
The Battle of the Bulge is not forgotten after one reads this story of tragedy and defeat, incompetence, and loss. I have often wondered where the 'best' place to fight a war would be. I have concluded that the winter, any winter, is NOT the place I choose. Of course, reading every book I can find about Stalingrad made me look for other place to fight many years ago.
Jun 02, 2008 James rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in military or Asian history, the Korean conflict especially
A strongly written and very personal memoir of the author's service as a Marine officer in the Korean War. For those who haven't heard much about that conflict compared to World War II, Vietnam, and others, this is an enlightening read which does as much as any book could to help the reader see the war through the eyes of the young men who served there, to feel their terror, physical misery, occasional humiliation, and tedium. This sets the stage for Brady's newly published book looking at Korea ...more
Nov 27, 2013 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Wayne by: Goodrreads
This book written by James Brady was a first hand description of his experience in the Korean war. A friend of mine, Don Kelly, was a Marine in Korea and he said Chapter 34 was a good description of what Marines experienced in this war. It was pretty intense. This memoir of Korea was well written although my Kindle version had many misspelled words. I suspect it resulted from conversion to digital from hard print but it is surprising that spell checking didn't catch this. This book is an importa ...more
Lillian EVHS Huynh
Feb 11, 2015 Lillian EVHS Huynh rated it really liked it
I like how James Brady shows an in depth view on the Korean War. He focus his points on how it feels like to be in the war especially when the environment in Korea is completely different to America.
Douglas Graham
Jan 26, 2016 Douglas Graham rated it really liked it
A solid and well written memoir of the Korean War.
May 11, 2008 Eddie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: American War History Buff
I enjoyed this book. Brady did a great job of trying to capture the essence of warfare, including the boring, mundane details. It was also good to see a book written about the Korean War. We have had the tendency to let this pre-Vietnam conflict become all but forgotten since it was sandwiched between the WWII and Vietnam. Kudos to Brady on a good book. He needs to get a better editor though because there were many words not spelled correctly, and sometimes the grammar took on the tone of an ema ...more
Jun 07, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
One of the finest combat memoirs I've ever read; Brady paid his Marine dues as an infantry platoon leader in Korea and this book covers his tour of duty there.

It was called a "police action" and "The Forgotten War" but it was a real conflict and claimed too many lives in just three short years.
It was interesting to read about former U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Navy John Chaffee, who was Brady's company commander and an admirable figure even then.
Philip Porter
May 11, 2012 Philip Porter rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2011 Sara rated it it was ok
This may be a great memoir, but a bit too grimy for me. Engaging, yes. Had to read for school. I was also hoping to better understand my papa's adventures during the Korean War, but the experience of a Marine in action in Korea is a far cry from working on a supply ship in sunshiny New Caledonia....
Matt Howard
There aren't many books on the Korean War, so its always nice to find something on the subject. I really enjoyed this book, and thought that the author did a good job at relaying his experiences in the second half of this conflict. The book was easy to read and follow, and enjoyable.
Bob Willis
Sep 20, 2012 Bob Willis rated it really liked it
An excellent personal memoir of the Korean War. A war that most Americans have forgotten. Jim Brady was there and tells his story with modesty and without the bragging found in other war memoirs. This book tells it like it was and is in Marine Infantry.
Dec 06, 2013 Marybull rated it it was amazing
a great memoir, focuses on the nitty gritty details of being on the line in Korean for 5 months, without a change of underwear, and being in command as a brand new young-20s second lieutenant.
Aug 25, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
This is an excellent memoir about the Korean war. Frankly Brady is probably the most underrated non-fiction writer in America. Anything by him is going to be insightful and well written.
Jul 11, 2015 Naomi rated it really liked it
Read this in preparation for a trip to Korea, where my Grandad served during the Korean War. Helped me get a realistic perspective on what he dealt with.
Roger Rohweder
Apr 15, 2013 Roger Rohweder rated it really liked it
A great description of how all of the soldiers who weren't part of those big famous battles in all those other war books spent the war.
Madelaine Landry
Another novel-in-progress research book, but Brady's style is too engaging and the book was hard to put down once i got started.
Oct 27, 2009 Steffi marked it as to-read
This was for a class, of course I didn't finish it for that--but I do want to finish this; I'm a sucker for a good memoir.
Jan 21, 2008 Seth rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-history
Great memoir of a grunt in Korea.
Joy marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
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Aug 08, 2016
Laura marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2016
Kourtney Watkiss
Kourtney Watkiss rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2016
Anya rated it liked it
Aug 05, 2016
SWard marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2016
J.S. Farland
J.S. Farland rated it liked it
Jul 29, 2016
Kevin rated it liked it
Jul 12, 2016
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James Winston Brady was an American celebrity columnist who created the Page Six gossip column in the New York Post and authored the In Step With column in Parade for nearly 25 years until his death. He also authored numerous books about his time serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.
More about James Brady...

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