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The Korean War in World History

William Stueck

Publication Year: 2004

" The Korean War in World History features the accomplishments of noted scholars over the last decade and lays the groundwork for the next generation of scholarship. These essays present the latest thinking on the Korean War, focusing on the relationship of one country to the war. William Stueck’s introduction and conclusion link each essay to the rich historiography of the event and suggest the war’s place within the history of the twentieth century. The Korean War had two very different faces. On one level the conflict was local, growing out of the internal conditions of Korea and fought almost entirely within the confines of a small Asian country located far from Europe. The fighting pitted Korean against Korean in a struggle to determine the balance of political power within the country. Yet the war had a huge impact on the international politics of the Cold War. Combat threatened to extend well beyond the peninsula, potentially igniting another global conflagration and leaving in its wake a much escalated arms race between the Western and Eastern blocs. The dynamics of that division remain today, threatening international peace and security in the twenty-first century. Contributors: Lloyd Gardner, Chen Jian, Allan R. Millett, Michael Schaller, and Kathryn Weathersby

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

The Korean War in World History

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Title Page

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pp. vii

The essays in this volume were initially presented as papers at a symposium on the Korean War at Texas A & M University. I wish to thank symposium organizer Bill Brands for asking me to edit them for publication. The contributors deserve special commendation for responding constructively and expeditiously to my...

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pp. 1-12

The Korean War had two faces. One grew out of the internal conditions of Korea extending back to the period of Japanese rule. The war was fought almost entirely within the confines of a small Asian country located far from Europe, the geographical focal point of great power competition. Whether in casualties suffered, property...

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1. The Korean People: Missing in Action in the Misunderstood War, 1945-1954

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pp. 13-60

In 1906 the Reverend George Trumbull Ladd, a graduate of Yale University and good citizen of New Haven, Connecticut, visited Japan for the third time. His host was Marquis Ito Hirobumi, the Resident-General of Japan for Korea, a protectorate since the Treaty of Portsmouth, which in September of the previous year...

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2. The Soviet Role in the Korean War: The State of Historical Knowledge

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pp. 61-92

The release of a substantial body of Russian archival documents on the Korean War, a gradual and halting process begun in late 1991, has brought a sea change in our knowledge of the Soviet role in that pivotal conflict. Until this evidence became available, the discussion of Moscow's part in the war focused almost exclusively on...

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3. In the Name of Revolution: China's Road to the Korean War Revisited

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pp. 93-125

When China entered the Korean War in October 1950, the newly established People's Republic of China (PRC) had just celebrated its first anniversary. Mao Zedong's revolutionary regime faced enormous challenges at home and abroad, having to deal with such problems as achieving political consolidation, rebuilding...

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4. Korean Borderlands: Imaginary Frontiers of the Cold War

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pp. 126-144

In February 1951, Secretary of State Dean Acheson responded to one of his critics, the father of a young marine serving in Korea. Acheson had many critics in those days. The marine's father complained about the pointlessness of the war. Throughout the Korean War he was reviled as the man who lost China-much later he...

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5. The Korean War: The Economic and Strategic Impact on Japan, 1950-1953

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pp. 145-176

For all the talk of a forgotten war, Korea is well remembered, at least among scholars of war and diplomacy. Understandably, most of the remembering has focused on the war's impact on North and South Korea, the United States, the People's Republic of China (PRC), and Soviet-American relations. All nations involved in the fighting...

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pp. 177-190

In an earlier essay on Japan and the Korean War, Roger Dingman placed even greater emphasis than Schaller on ambiguity, but he also expanded the analysis by comparing the Korean War's impact with that of the Pacific war it followed. Dingman's account provides a useful jumping off point for some concluding...


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pp. 191


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pp. 193-203

E-ISBN-13: 9780813126654
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813123066

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2004