The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea (Paperback)
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 Corps program that made him a lieutenant in the reserves on the day he graduated college. He didn't plan to find himself in command of a rifle platoon three years later facing a real enemy, but that is exactly what happened after the Chinese turned a so-called police action into a war.
The Coldest War vividly describes Brady's rapid education in the realities of war and the pressures of command. Opportunities for bold offensives sink in the miasma of trench warfare; death comes in fits and starts as too-accurate artillery on both sides seeks out men in their bunkers; constant alertness is crucial for survival, while brutal cold and a seductive silence conspire to lull soldiers into an often fatal stupor.
The Korean War affected the lives of all Americans, yet is little known beyond the antics of "M*A*S*H." Here is the inside story that deserves to be told, and James Brady is a powerful witness to a vital chapter of our history.
About the Author
James Brady, a leading figure in the New York journalism world and a virtuoso storyteller who made the Korean War his canvas, died in 2009. He was 80.
Praise for The Coldest War:
"War reporting at its best - a graphic depiction, in all its horror, of the war we've almost forgotten... Jim Brady has used his finely honed reportorial skills to record his own front-line experiences in the Korean War. His story reads like a novel." --Walter Cronkite
"A marvelous memoir. A sensitive and superbly written narrative that eventually explodes off the pages like a grenade in the gut... Taut, tight, and telling. Jim Brady proves again that he is one of the most underrated writers in American books." -- Dan Rather
"It is about time somebody wrote about the personal side of the Korean War - the forgotten war. It is a gripping and honest book. Everyone prone to think simply about war should read it." -- Jim Lehrer