Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam
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Feb 05, 09


Publicized as a bookend to The Best and the Brightest, The Coldest Winter is a fitting, if premature, conclusion to David Halberstam's illustrious career. (He died in a car accident last spring, shortly after completing the book.) Magisterial in scope, eminently readable, well researched, and even gripping at times, Coldest Winter is hailed as a book destined to become the subject's most popular history. Much of this success rests with the immediacy of Halberstam's storytelling, his gemlike portraits of the major players (particularly General MacArthur), and his close-up descriptions of the trenches. The Miami Herald accuses Halberstam of inappropriately lifting his framework from Best and Brightest to fit Coldest Winter; other reviewers note factual errors and an overly epic (and sometimes numbingly detailed) story. But in the end, Coldest Winter is not only a compelling history but a story that resounds loudly today.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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