The Korean War

  • by Max Hastings
  • Narrated by Cameron Stewart
  • 19 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On 25 June, 1950, the invasion of South Korea by the Communist North launched one of the bloodiest conflicts of the last century. The seemingly limitless power of the Chinese-backed North was thrown against the ferocious firepower of the UN-backed South in a war that can be seen today as the stark prelude to Vietnam.
Max Hastings drew on first-hand accounts of those who fought on both sides to produce this vivid and incisive reassessment of the Korean War, bringing the military and human dimensions into sharp focus. Critically acclaimed on publication, The Korean War remains the best narrative history of this conflict.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A missing piece of history

Would you consider the audio edition of The Korean War to be better than the print version?

Print would have provided a reference book that I could see maps


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The political tensions between the various countries and the potential use of nuclear weapons


Have you listened to any of Cameron Stewart’s other performances? How does this one compare?

not listened to any


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no emotional reaction other than wishing the veterans should gain far more recognition for their action in this forgotten and neglected conflict


Any additional comments?

A really worthy book to gain an insight into a war that has been ignored and forgotten.

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- Mark P

Consistently Gripping

A wholly gripping account of a war which Hastings argues had to be fought because of what was at the time a real threat from communist totalitarian states. As with his other books he offers eye witness accounts of combatants which keeps the action urgent and exciting while detailing the strategic and political efforts of generals, presidents and foreign policy wonks. It's a very satisfying combination and in this particular book it's applied to the story of a country split between murderous communists and despotic nationalists, each backed by a superpower. The allies had good equipment but a shortage of battle hardened troops, the communists had relatively poor kit but were willing to win victory by sacrificing massive numbers of poorly trained infantry. Hastings argues that the terrain and the border with China meant that the war was always, in effect, unwinnable but the story plays out as a riveting dog-fight between two enormous armies lead by gifted but deranged generals across an extraordinarily difficult landscape. Hastings' reflections on what happens when the electorates of democratic nations become bored of intractable conflict and repelled by the foreign regimes that their governments have backed also has strong resonances with what's currently happening in the middle east.
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- Jim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios