Mark Twain supposedly said that while history does not repeat itself, it sometimes rhymes. Bevin Alexander’s book on the Korean War and its wider context is a good reminder that even the wisest statesmen and soldiers may base their decisions on false assumptions and wishful thinking – and that this is not a new thing. The greatest error of decision-makers in the Korean War was failing to understand that China was an actor in its own right and not simply a puppet of Russia or “world communism,” and that it had both the will and the ability to defend its national interests when threatened.

Alexander is a well-known popular military historian with a workmanlike writing style and a good eye for the telling detail or anecdote. In this latest book he turns his attention to the historical context and course of the Korean War, with an appropriate emphasis on General. Douglas MacArthur. It is a book he was uniquely prepared to write, having been an active duty Army combat historian during that war. [Read more] – Michael’s Blog