Kendra's Reviews > This Kind of War

This Kind of War by T.R. Fehrenbach
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's review
Mar 18, 2010

really liked it
Read in March, 2010

I didn't know much about the Korean War before reading this book. Written a decade after the armistice, it offered not only details of the battles, but also the effect the end of WWII had on American public opinion toward war (particularly limited action) and the size and training of the standing military, as well as the politics of containment that directed decisions affecting action in the field. The book, written in 1963, has a definite point of view that "soft, liberal" American society got the military it deserved, but it does seem unarguable that our soldiers entered the fray unprepared to fight and the policy of rotation reinforced the problem of a lack of a storehouse of knowledge gained from action on the battlefield. Previous books I've read that dealt peripherally with the subject painted General McArthur's insubordination as a play for a political career after the military. This book portrayed his actions as a military leader attempting to win a war, rather than to uphold the administration's policy of Communist containment. I'd like to find another history, written at a later date, of the conflict and social conditions in place in the '50s to understand the effect the policy of containment had on Vietnam and other more limited actions taken to limit the expansion of Communism through 1989.
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