In June 1950 Communist forces poured across the 38th Parallel (the arbitrary, militarily indefensible line of latitude separating the Communist North from the independent Republic of Korea) to unite the country by force. Three bloody, bitter years of fighting ensued during which the seesawing fortunes of this frustrating war thwarted North Korea's ambitions while treating the ill-equipped, overconfident UN peacekeeping forces, mostly Americans, no less harshly. Conflict examines the war in all its military, political, and human dimensions: the battles at Pusan Perimeter, at Inchon, at Chosin Reservoir, at Heartbreak Ridge; significant figures like Syngman Rhee, Kim Il Sung, Ridgway, MacArthur, and Truman; controversies like MacArthur's dismissal, the difficulties of P.O.W. exchanges, and charges of brainwashing and germ warfare; as well as penetrating analyses of the performance of the American soldier, and the war's effect on the U.S. military and our national psyche. As such, Conflict stands as an unsurpassed, vivid contribution to history.
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