Cover image for Korea : where the American century began / Michael Pembroke.
Title:
Korea : where the American century began / Michael Pembroke.
ISBN:
9781786074737
Publication Information:
London, England : Oneworld Publications, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
xxi, 346 pages : map, facsimiles ; 25 cm
Contents:
Part 1. Geography and history -- This accursed land -- Missionaries and gunboats -- Part 2. Origins of conflict -- A fateful division -- Two states emerge -- Part 3. China goes to war -- Power play -- American hubris -- China crosses the Yalu -- American calamity -- Part 4. The American response -- Indignation and attrition -- The bombing campaign -- Nuclear near miss -- Secrets and lies -- Propaganda prisoners -- Part 5. The legacy -- New world order -- Dystopia -- Afterword: the battle for Maryang San.
Abstract:
Unless you know the history, you cannot see the future. In late 1950, the US-led invasion of North Korea failed, and for the next three years, the United States relentlessly bombed the North's cities, towns and villages. Pyongyang has been determined to develop a credible nuclear deterrent ever since. The Korean War was the first of America's unsuccessful military interventions post-World War II and its first modern conflict with China. It established the pattern for the next sixty years and marked the true beginning of the American century - opening the door to ever-increasing defense expenditure and creating the dangerous and festering geopolitical sore that exists in Northeast Asia today. Michael Pembroke tells the story of the Korean peninsula with compassion for the people of the North and South, understanding for the soldiers caught between the bitter winter and an implacable enemy, and concern about the past and present role of the United States.
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Summary

Summary

Unless you know the history, you cannot see the future. In late 1950, the US-led invasion of North Korea failed, and for the next three years ,the United States relentlessly bombed the North's cities, towns and villages. Pyongyang has been determined to develop a credible nuclear deterrent ever since.

The Korean War was the first of America's unsuccessful military interventions post-World War II and its first modern conflict with China. It established the pattern for the next sixty years and marked the true beginning of the American century - opening the door to ever-increasing defense expenditure and creating the dangerous and festering geopolitical sore that exists in Northeast Asia today.

Michael Pembroke tells the story of the Korean peninsula with compassion for the people of the North and South, understanding for the soldiers caught between the bitter winter and an implacable enemy, and concern about the past and present role of the United States.


Author Notes

Michael Pembroke is a writer, historian, naturalist and author of an acclaimed historical biography Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy, which was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Since 2010 he has been a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Australian Pembroke, a member of the New South Wales Supreme Court, gives a provocative leftist account of the Korean War and its legacy. The author's assertion is that U.S. relations with China and North Korea at the time of writing (before the recent friendly interactions between president Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un) are directly connected to U.S. policy failures during the Korean War. He highlights several failures-including the decision to cross the 38th parallel without clear U.N. authorization, which turned the war from a morally justified defensive one to an ambiguous war of aggression, and the decision to wage a strategic bombing campaign against North Korea that devastated it economically and cost millions of lives-without giving much larger Cold War context or accounting for the influence of China, North Korea, and Russia. The book also operates from certain assumptions-for example, that any use of nuclear weapons is immoral-that not all readers may share. For readers with a solid understanding of the Korean War, Pembroke's work is an interesting and challenging alternative view, but it's too slanted to serve as an introduction to the topic. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Mapp. xiv
Introductionp. xv
Preludep. xix
Part 1 Geography and History
1 This Accursed Landp. 3
Siberian Coldp. 3
Foreign Invasionsp. 4
Toyotomi Hideyoship. 6
2 Missionaries and Gunboatsp. 9
Winds of Changep. 9
International Rivalryp. 10
The Coming of the Japanesep. 13
Russian Duplicityp. 17
Japanese Dominionp. 20
Part 2 Origins of Conflict
3 A Fateful Divisionp. 25
The Decisionp. 25
Operation Blacklist Fortyp. 29
Syngman Rheep. 31
Northern Koreap. 35
Kim Il-sungp. 37
4 Two States Emergep. 40
Trusteeship Abandonedp. 40
The UN Electionp. 43
Two Separate Statesp. 48
A State of Warfarep. 50
Part 3 China Goes to War
5 Power Playp. 55
Russian Enigmap. 55
American Anxietyp. 58
NSC 68p. 63
China Syndromep. 64
Motivation of Maop. 67
6 American Hubrisp. 72
Respecting the Parallelp. 72
The Inchon Effectp. 75
Trickery and Guilep. 78
Diplomatic Warningsp. 81
Enter the Dragonp. 83
7 China Crosses the Yalup. 88
The People's Volunteersp. 88
Warning at Unsanp. 93
Failure of Intelligencep. 100
8 American Calamityp. 106
Lured in Deepp. 106
Bug Outp. 109
Annihilationp. 116
Marine Escapep. 120
Part 4 The American Response
9 Indignation and Attritionp. 127
Retreat and Destroyp. 127
Hawks Ascendantp. 130
Wrong Way Ridgwayp. 133
The Pentagon Wayp. 136
Washington's Warp. 139
10 The Bombing Campaignp. 143
The Mind of the Bomberp. 143
Targeting Cities and Townsp. 145
Eisenhower's Legacyp. 150
Napalm Nightmarep. 151
A Shattered Landp. 156
11 Nuclear Near Missp. 159
Einstein's Warningp. 159
The Truman Showp. 162
Battlefield Expectationsp. 164
Eisenhower's Resolvep. 167
12 Secrets and Liesp. 170
Biological Warfare Programp. 170
Japanese Unit 731p. 171
An Offensive Capabilityp. 174
Shadows and Mischiefp. 175
Agents and Vectorsp. 177
Cover Up and Concealmentp. 179
The Needham Reportp. 182
13 Propaganda Prisonersp. 184
A Cultural Problemp. 184
Reneging on Key Issuesp. 187
The Geneva Conventionp. 190
The UN Campsp. 192
Flawed Policyp. 195
Thugs and Listsp. 198
Part 5 The Legacy
14 New World Orderp. 207
American Centuryp. 208
Regime Changep. 209
Force Projectionp. 213
Treaties and Alliesp. 216
Permanent Militarismp. 220
15 Dystopia
The Scars of Bitternessp. 227
Nuclear Never Surrenderp. 230
Lost Opportunityp. 231
Economic Reformp. 234
Sanctions, Elites and Dystopiap. 237
Endgamep. 241
Afterword: The Battle for Maryang Sanp. 246
Postscriptp. 253
Epigraphsp. 255
Notesp. 257
Notes on Sourcesp. 310
International Treatiesp. 317
Korea Timelinep. 320
Documentsp. 323
Acknowledgementsp. 334
Indexp. 337