Up until now, the Korean War has been the black hole of modern American history. THE COLDEST WINTER changes that. David Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu River, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures, including Truman and Eisenhower; Kim Il Sung and Mao Zedong; and General MacArthur. At the same time, Halberstam provides us with his trademark highly evocative narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial battles with reportage of the highest order.
At the heart of the book are the individual stories of the soldiers on the front lines who were left to deal with the consequences of the dangerous misjudgments and competing agendas of powerful men. We meet them, follow them, and see some of the most dreadful battles in history through their eyes. THE COLDEST WINTER is contemporary history in its most literary and luminescent form, and it provides crucial perspective on the Vietnam War and the events of today. It stands as a lasting testament to one of the greatest journalists and historians of our time, and to the fighting men whose heroism it chronicles.