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Embattled Memories

Suhi Choi

Publication Year: 2014

Choi examines the collective memory of the Korean War through five discrete memory sites in the US and South Korea, including the PBS documentary Battle for Korea, the Utah Korean War Memorial, and the statue of General Douglas MacArthur in South Korea. Choi contends that these are active sites of memory, where counter memories of the war have recently clashed with official, state-sanctioned memories. Through lively and compelling analysis of these five sites, Embattled Memories details the ways in which diverse narratives of the Korean War compete for dominance in our acts of remembering. An important work in two fields: memory studies and military history.

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xvi

This book examines the collective memory of the Korean War through five discrete memory sites in both the United States and South Korea. These include U.S. media coverage of the No Gun Ri killings, female survivors’ recollections of No Gun Ri, the PBS documentary Battle for Korea, the Utah...

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Introduction: The Korean War Memories on It’s Fiftieth Anniversary

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pp. 1-6

The Korean War began in 1950 and ended in an armistice in 1953. More than six decades have passed since then. When I began my writings for this book in 2005, the Korean War memories had just passed their half-century anniversary, a substantial marker of the war’s being subject to our...

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Chapter1: “Silencing” Memories: Why Are We Again Forgetting the No Gun Ri Story

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pp. 7-29

On September 29, 1999, with the comment “It was a story no one wanted to hear,” the Associated Press (AP) brought an uneasy flashback of the Korean War to the American public’s mind. Along with an in-depth analysis of declassified military records, the AP had interviewed dozens...

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Chapter 2: “Scripting” Memories: Female Survivors’ Witnessing the No Gun Ri Killings

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pp. 30-52

In the summer of 2005, with the hope of grasping the No Gun Ri text on a deeper level, I conducted oral history interviews in South Korea with survivors and victims’ relatives whose testimonies were the primary ones that were used in the U.S. media coverage of the No Gun Ri incident...

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Chapter 3: “Sanitizing” Memories Archival Images in the PBS Documentary “Battle for Korea

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pp. 53-71

Unlike other wars, the Korean War resides not in the collective memory but in the collective amnesia of the American public consciousness. This “collective amnesia” of the Korean War is reflected in the unpopularity of cultural products and the paucity of academic discourse, as well as the...

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Chapter 4: “Mythologizing” Memories: A Critique of the Utah Korean War Memorial

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pp. 72-94

It was serendipitous that I came upon the Utah Korean War Memorial in the summer of 2006. As a newcomer to Utah, I had been randomly exploring the historic sites of Salt Lake City. One day I found a site called Memory Grove Park in the vicinity of downtown. The park was impressively...

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Chapter 5: “Shattering” Memories: The Statue of MacArthur in South Korea

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pp. 95-114

Perhaps it was the end of the Cold War era that opened up the most intensive discussions about the iconic status that statues hold in our symbolic world. The news about the demise of communism in the former Soviet bloc often was conveyed via compelling images in which the statues of Lenin and Stalin...

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pp. 115-118

The close examination in this book of five memory sites in South Korea and the United States has revealed a somewhat kaleidoscopic image of how the Korean War has been subject to a variety of types of memory construction within the context of the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean...


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pp. 119-132


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pp. 133-142


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pp. 143-152

E-ISBN-13: 9780874179378
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874179361

Page Count: 160
Illustrations: 7 photos
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 876736218
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Embattled Memories

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Subject Headings

  • Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Monuments -- Korea (South).
  • Memorialization -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • Memorialization -- Social aspects -- Korea (South).
  • Collective memory -- Korea (South).
  • Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Monuments -- United States.
  • Collective memory -- United States.
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