To Acknowledge a War: The Korean War in American Memory

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - History - 176 pages

Historians often refer to the Korean War as the forgotten war, but Edwards argues that in many respects it is a conflict that has been deliberately ignored for the past fifty years. This broad look at the war examines how Americans have attempted to remember and commemorate the confrontation which played such a major role in America's Cold War experience. As a United Nations effort or Police Action, the hazy identification of the war has in part contributed to a lack of public understanding of what happened in Korea. This book considers the American response to the loss in Korea, and how this response played out as a failure to remember.

After discussing the phenomenon of historical absence, the essays turn to the still considerable disagreement about who started the war and why. They provide the latest information concerning the relationship between Chairman Mao, Premier Kim Il Sung, and Chairman Joseph Stalin at the outbreak of the conflict. Edwards identifies lesser known figures and comments on operations that are not generally known or discussed. He discusses the impact that revisionist historians have had on our views of the war and why it produced a cease-fire rather than a peace treaty. The study also places this still unresolved conflict in the context of multi-national forces and peacekeeping actions as we understand them today.


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The Long Silence
Naming The War
Who Is To Blame
Some of the Controversies
Leaders and Scoundrels
The United Nations Force
Revising the Revisionists
The Fighting Just Stopped
The Wrong War
Subject Index
Military Unit Index

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About the author (2000)

PAUL M. EDWARDS is Coordinator of Assessment and Evaluation for Baker University at Overland Park, Kansas. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of the Korean War, an archival foundation located in Independence, Missouri. The author of several books on the Korean War, he teaches classes on the Korean War at Baker and Park Universities.

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