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Korean War

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  1. 12.5 hrs • 11/17/2015 • Unabridged

    The legendary historian and author of A Savage War of Peace and The Price of Glory distills a lifetime’s study to reflect on six critical battles that changed the course of the twentieth century. Sir Alistair Horne has been a close observer of war and history for more than fifty years. In this wise and masterly work that he calls his “summa,” he revisits six battles of the past century and examines the strategies, leadership, preparation, and geopolitical goals of aggressors and defenders, to reveal the one trait that links them all: hubris. In Greek tragedy, hubris is excessive human pride that challenges the gods and ultimately leads to downfall. From the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War to Hitler’s 1940 invasion of Moscow to MacArthur’s disastrous advance in Korea, Horne shows how each of these battles was won or lost due to excessive hubris on one side or the other. In a sweeping narrative written with his trademark erudition and wit, Horne provides a meticulously detailed analysis of the ground maneuvers employed by the opposing armies in each battle. He also explores the strategic and psychological mindset of the military leaders involved to demonstrate how a devastating combination of human ambition and arrogance led to overreach. Making clear the danger of hubris in warfare, his insights are deeply relevant and hold important lessons for civilian and military leaders navigating today’s complex global landscape. A dramatic, colorful, stylishly written history, Hubris is a brilliant and much-needed reflection on war from a master of his field.

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    Hubris

    12.5 hrs • 11/17/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 14.7 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    Devotion tells the inspirational story of the United States Navy’s most famous aviator duo: Lieutenant Tom Hudner, a white, blue-blooded New Englander, and Ensign Jesse Brown, an African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi. The heir to a Massachusetts grocery store empire, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighter planes for his country. Jesse, fascinated by aircraft since childhood, defied the odds—and the prejudices of his time—to become the Navy’s first black carrier pilot. Barely a year after President Truman ordered the desegregation of the military, the unlikely pair joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. While much of America remained in the grip of the odious Jim Crow segregation laws, Jesse and Tom flew above the fray as brothers in arms. Adam Makos takes us over the sea and around the globe with these two bold young aviators as they cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing Corsair fighters on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Deployed to the Mediterranean, the two men revel in the perks of their newfound status, partying on the Riviera with millionaires and Hollywood starlets—including a young Elizabeth Taylor. While Jesse delights in a world he thought he’d never see, Tom meets the girl of his dreams. Then comes the war no one expected in far-off Korea. Devotion brings us along on white-knuckle dive-bombing runs over North Korean territory, as the pilots of Fighter Squadron 32 man the front lines of what many of them believe is the opening battle of World War III. As the fury of the fighting escalates, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, into waves of Communist troops to defend a group of Marines cornered in a hellish winter landscape. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and is pinned in the burning wreckage of his fighter, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die, or attempt one of history’s most audacious one-man rescue missions. A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of heroism and sacrifice, Devotion asks, “How far would you go to save a friend?”

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    Devotion

    14.7 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    10.4 hrs • 7/15/2015 • Unabridged

    An authoritative and frightening investigation into the dark side of North Korean society North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation in the world, and big brother is always watching. It is Orwell’s 1984 made reality. Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea. Having entered the country undercover, Sweeny posed as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics. Huge factories with no staff or electricity, hospitals with no patients, uniformed child soldiers, and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ—the Demilitarized Zone, where North Korea ends and South Korea begins—are all framed by a relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent loudspeakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line, and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty at the slightest sign of discontent. Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, Sweeney’s North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today while examining the country’s troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.

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    North Korea Undercover by John Sweeney

    North Korea Undercover

    10.4 hrs • 7/15/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
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  4. 9.4 hrs • 3/17/2015 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14, the murderous rise of North Korea’s founding dictator and the fighter pilot who faked him out In The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, New York Times bestselling author Blaine Harden tells the riveting story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception—and escape. As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok noisily pretended to love his great leader. That is, until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly one million dollars today). The thief—just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953—electrified the world and incited Kim’s bloody vengeance. During the Korean War the United States brutally carpet-bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans. Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the role of Mao and Stalin in Kim’s shadowy rise, as well as from never-before-released US intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding escape adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world’s longest-lasting totalitarian state.

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    The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot

    9.4 hrs • 3/17/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.9 hrs • 10/28/2014 • Unabridged

    From an acclaimed historian comes the dramatic story of the Christmas escape of thousands of American troops overwhelmingly surrounded by the enemy in Korea’s harsh terrain. Just before Thanksgiving in 1950, five months into the Korean War, General MacArthur flew to American positions in the north and grandly announced an “end-the-war-by-Christmas” offensive despite recent intervention by Mao’s Chinese, who would soon trap tens of thousands of US troops poised toward the Yalu River border. Led by marines, an overwhelmed Tenth Corps evacuated the frigid, mountainous Chosin Reservoir fastness and fought a swarming enemy and treacherous snow and ice to reach the coast. Weather, terrain, Chinese firepower, and a four-thousand-foot chasm made escape seem impossible in the face of a vanishing Christmas. But endurance and sacrifice prevailed, and the last troopships weighed anchor on Christmas Eve. In the tradition of his Silent Night and Pearl Harbor Christmas, Stanley Weintraub presents another gripping narrative of a wartime Christmas season.

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    A Christmas Far from Home by Stanley Weintraub

    A Christmas Far from Home

    6.9 hrs • 10/28/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.9 hrs • 8/5/2014 • Unabridged

    From the racetracks of Seoul to the battlegrounds of the Korean War, Reckless was a horse whose strength, tenacity, and relentless spirit made her a hero among a regiment of US Marines fighting for their lives on the front lines. Her Korean name was Ah-Chim-Hai, meaning Flame-of-the-Morning. A four-year-old chestnut-colored Mongolian racehorse with a white blaze down her face and three white stockings, she once amazed the crowds in Seoul with her remarkable speed. But the star racer was soon sold to an American marine and trained to carry heavy loads of artillery shells up and down steep hills under a barrage of bullets and bombs. The marines renamed her Reckless. Reckless soon proved fearless under fire, boldly trekking alone through the fiery gauntlet, exposed to explosions and shrapnel. For months, her drive and determination kept the marines’ guns blazing, while inspiring them with her singular charm. During one day of battle alone, she made fifty-one trips up and down a crucial hill, covering at least twenty-five miles in the heat of combat. On some of her uphill treks, Reckless shielded human reinforcements. The Chinese, soon discovering the unique bravery of this magnificent animal, made a special effort to kill her. But Reckless never slowed. As months passed and the enemy grew bolder, the men came to appreciate her not just as a horse but as a weapon and, eventually, as a fellow marine. In Reckless, Tom Clavin, national bestselling coauthor of Halsey’s Typhoon, tells the unlikely story of a racehorse who truly became a war hero, beloved by the US Marine Corps and decorated for bravery. A moving reminder of the unbreakable bond between people and animals, Reckless is a powerful tale of courage, survival, and even love in the face of overwhelming odds.

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    Reckless by Tom Clavin

    Reckless

    9.9 hrs • 8/5/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.6 hrs • 7/28/2014 • Unabridged

    This is the complete and captivating account of how a would-be Korean racehorse became one of the greatest Marine Corps wartime heroes. Amid an inferno of explosives on a deadly minefield in the Korean War, a four-legged marine proved to be a heroic force of nature. She moved headstrong up and down steep, smoky terrain that no man could travail confidently. In a single day, this small Mongolian mare made fifty-one round-trips carrying nearly five tons of explosives to various gun sites. Sergeant Reckless was her name, and she was the horse renowned for carrying wounded soldiers off the battlefield and making solo trips across combat zones to deliver supplies. A widely celebrated national hero, Reckless was first featured in 1954 in the Saturday Evening Post and in 1997 when Life magazine published an edition lauding history’s one hundred all-time heroes. Equine enthusiast Robin Hutton learned about Sergeant Reckless and spearheaded the effort to commission a monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, near the Marine Corps Base Quantico. In July of 2013, the statue was unveiled. A second monument is planned for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, where Reckless lived out her days and is buried. Hutton has now written a fascinating full biography of Sergeant Reckless, who earned two Purple Hearts for her heroic efforts, among other military decorations. Hutton has spoken with the marines who fought alongside Reckless and tells the complete and captivating tale of how a would-be Korean racehorse became one of the greatest Marine Corps wartime heroes. Sgt. Reckless brings the legend back to life more than half a century later.

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    Sgt. Reckless by Robin Hutton

    Sgt. Reckless

    7.6 hrs • 7/28/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.2 hrs • 5/6/2014 • Unabridged

    They came from one street, but death found them in many places: in a distant jungle, a frozen forest, and trapped in the flaming wreckage of a bomber blown from the sky. One died going over a fence during the greatest paratrooper assault in history. Another fell in the biggest battle of World War II. Yet another was riddled with bullets in an audacious act of heroism during a decisive onslaught a world away. All came from a single street in a railroad town called Silvis, Illinois—a tiny stretch of dirt barely a block-and-a-half long with an unparalleled history. The twenty-two Mexican-American families who lived on that one street sent fifty-seven of their children to fight in World War II and Korea—more than any other place that size anywhere in the country. Eight of those children died. It’s a distinction recognized by the Department of Defense, and it earned that rutted, unpaved strip a distinguished name. Today it’s known as Hero Street. This is the story of those brave men and their families, how they fought both in battle and to be accepted in an American society that remained biased against them even after they returned home as heroes. Based on interviews with relatives, friends, and soldiers who served alongside the men, as well as personal letters and photographs, The Ghosts of Hero Street is the compelling and inspiring account of a street of soldiers—and men—who would not be denied their dignity or their honor.

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    The Ghosts of Hero Street

    9.2 hrs • 5/6/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 6.9 hrs • 5/7/2013 • Unabridged

    Douglas MacArthur famously said there is no substitute for victory … As a United States general, he had an unparalleled genius for military strategy, and it was under his leadership that Japan was rebuilt into a democratic ally after World War II. But MacArthur carried out his zero-sum philosophy both on and off the battlefield. During the Korean War, in defiance of President Harry S. Truman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he pushed for an aggressive confrontation with Communist China—a position intended to provoke a wider war, regardless of the cost or consequences. MacArthur’s ambition to stamp out Communism across the globe was in direct opposition to President Truman, who was much more concerned with containing the Soviet Union than confronting Red China. The infamous clash between the two leaders was not only an epic turning point in history, but the ultimate struggle between civil and military power in the United States. While other US generals have challenged presidential authority—from Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War and George B. McClellan in the Civil War to General Stanley A. McChrystal in Afghanistan—no other military leader has ever so brazenly attempted to dictate national policy. In MacArthur’s War, Bevin Alexander details MacArthur’s military and political battles, from the alliances he made with Republican leaders to the threatening ultimatum he delivered to China against orders—the action that directly led to his dismissal on April 11, 1951.

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    MacArthur’s War

    6.9 hrs • 5/7/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 18.0 hrs • 12/2/2010 • Unabridged

    After its successful landing at Inchon and capture of Seoul in September 1950, the United States X Corps was joined by Eighth Army, and many people expected the two commands to be combined into one. Instead, General MacArthur ordered the X Corps to load onto ships and travel around the peninsula to northeastern Korea and the port city of Wonsan, which the South Korean I Corps had captured. Major elements of X Corps were to move west from their positions in northeast Korea and cut the supply lines of Chinese troops expected to cross the Yalu and confront Eighth Army. Other parts of X Corps would push north toward the border and thus control all of Korea. Neither goal was met. Escaping the Trap tells what happened when X Corps discovered that the Chinese had crossed the Yalu unseen and marched rapidly to Chosin Reservoir, where they landed a surprise attack against the 1st Marine Division and the army’s 31st Regimental Combat Team of the 7th Infantry Division. The Chinese attack in late November 1950 virtually annihilated the 31st RCT east of Chosin, while the 1st Marine Division made an escape through treacherous terrain and a forty-mile roadblock, pushing on to the coast and the monumental evacuation of X Corps from North Korea. Roy E. Appleman’s study of the day-to-day records of X Corps and of published material and his interviews and correspondence with survivors make the whole story of this portion of the Korean War available for the first time.

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    Escaping the Trap

    18.0 hrs • 12/2/10 • Unabridged
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  11. 6.2 hrs • 11/2/2010 • Unabridged

    “If I were God, what would you want for Christmas?” With a thousand-yard stare, a haggard and bloodied marine looked incredulously at the war correspondent who asked him this question. In an answer that took “almost forever,” the marine responded, “Give me tomorrow.” After nearly four months of continuous and bloody combat in Korea, such a wish seemed impossible. For many of the men of George Company, or “Bloody George”—one of the Forgotten War’s most decorated yet unrecognized companies—this would be their last day. This is the epic story of George Company, Spartans for the modern age. After storming ashore at Inchon and fighting house-to-house in Seoul, America’s last reserve unit found itself on the frozen tundra of the Chosin Reservoir facing an entire division of Chinese troops. Little did this small band of men—green troops who had been rushed through training to bring fresh forces to the war—know they would soon be saviors. This is their story, and it will never again be forgotten.

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    Give Me Tomorrow by Patrick K. O’Donnell

    Give Me Tomorrow

    6.2 hrs • 11/2/10 • Unabridged
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  12. 13.4 hrs • 9/30/2010 • Unabridged

    Roy Appleman’s East of Chosin, first published in 1987, won acclaim from reviewers, readers, and veterans and their families. For the first time, there was one complete and accessible record of what happened to the army troops trapped east of the Chosin Reservoir during the first wintry blast of the Korean War. Based heavily on the author’s interviews and correspondence with the survivors, East of Chosin provided some of those men with their first clue to the fate of fellow soldiers. In November 1950, United States forces had pushed deep into North Korea. Unknown to them, Chinese troops well equipped for below-zero temperatures and blizzard conditions were pushing south. With the 1st Marine Division on the west side of the frozen Chosin Reservoir, the army’s hastily assembled 31st Regimental Combat Team, 3,000 strong, advanced up the east side of the reservoir. Task Force Faith in the extreme northern position caught the surprise Chinese attack. With rifles and vehicles often immobilized in the cold and snow, the task force struggled to retreat through a tortuous mountain gauntlet of enemy fire. With truckloads of dead and wounded trapped along the road, a few of the 385 survivors trudged across the frozen reservoir to alert the marines to their plight.

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    East of Chosin

    13.4 hrs • 9/30/10 • Unabridged
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  13. 24.4 hrs • 7/26/2010 • Unabridged

    The fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War makes this an appropriate time to revisit This Kind of War, the monumental study of the conflict that began in June 1950. Successive generations of United States military officers have considered this book an indispensable part of their education. T. R. Fehrenbach’s narrative brings to life the harrowing and bloody battles that were fought up and down the Korean Peninsula. Partly drawn from official records, operations journals, and histories, it is based largely on the compelling personal narratives of the small-unit commanders and their troops. Unlike any other work on the Korean War, it provides a clear panoramic view, sharp insight into the successes and failures of US forces, and a riveting account of fierce clashes between UN troops and the North Korean and Chinese communist invaders. The lessons that Colonel Fehrenbach identifies still resonate. Severe peacetime budget cuts after World War II left the US military a shadow of its former self. The terrible lesson of Korea was that to send into action troops trained for nothing but “serving a hitch” in some quiet billet was an almost criminal act. Throwing these ill-trained and poorly equipped troops into the heat of battle resulted in the war’s early routs. The United States was simply unprepared for war. As we enter a new century with Americans and North Koreans continuing to face each other across the 38th parallel, we would do well to remember the price we paid during the Korean War.

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    This Kind of War

    24.4 hrs • 7/26/10 • Unabridged
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  14. 14.2 hrs • 1/2/2009 • Unabridged

    Writing in a Band of Brothers style, award-winning journalist Bill Sloan recounts the dramatic story of the first three months of the Korean War, when one of the great reversals of military fortune of all time not only saved South Korea from communist conquest but also rescued the US Marine Corps from extinction. The outcome of the Korean War was decided in the first three months. The Darkest Summer is the hour-by-hour, casualty-by-casualty story of those months—a period that saw American and UN forces almost driven into the sea by the North Korean invaders before staging an incredible turn-around that reversed the entire course of the war. Drawing on exclusive author interviews, unpublished memoirs, and oral histories, the book recounts the most dramatic and historically important portion of the war from the perspective of the soldiers and Marines on the ground. Bill Sloan takes the listener into muddy foxholes, across endless rice paddies, and up hotly contested ridges with the men who fought and fell there.

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    The Darkest Summer

    14.2 hrs • 1/2/10 • Unabridged
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  15. 11.7 hrs • 3/30/2009 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling authors of Halsey’s Typhoon comes the true story of a Marine company’s heroic last stand during America’s “Forgotten War.” November 1950, the Korean Peninsula. After General MacArthur ignores Mao’s warnings and pushes his UN forces deep into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100, 000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge in the Nangnim Mountains. It will need to be held open at all costs. The mission is handed to Captain William Barber and the 246 Marines of Fox Company, a courageous but undermanned unit of the First Marines. Barber and his men are ordered to climb seven miles of frozen terrain to a rocky promontory overlooking the pass. The Marines have no way of knowing that the ground they occupy—it is soon dubbed “Fox Hill”—is surrounded by 10,000 Chinese soldiers. As the sun sets on the hill, and the temperature plunges to thirty degrees below zero, Barber’s men dig in for the night. At two in the morning they are awakened by the sound—bugles, whistles, cymbals, and drumbeats—of a massive assault by thousands of enemy infantry. The attack is just the first wave of four days and five nights of nearly continuous Chinese attempts to take Fox Hill, during which Barber’s beleaguered company clings to the high ground and allows the First Marine Division to battle south. Amid the relentless violence, three-quarters of Fox Company’s Marines are killed, wounded, or captured. Just when it looks like the outfit will be overrun, Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Davis, a fearless Marine officer who is fighting south from Chosin, volunteers to lead a force of five hundred men on a daring mission that cuts a hole in the Chinese lines and relieves the men of Fox Company. The Last Stand of Fox Company is a fast-paced and gripping account of heroism and self-sacrifice in the face of impossible odds. The authors have conducted dozens of firsthand interviews with the battle’s survivors, and they narrate the story with the immediacy of such classic accounts of single battles as Guadalcanal Diary, Pork Chop Hill, and Black Hawk Down.

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    The Last Stand of Fox Company

    11.7 hrs • 3/30/09 • Unabridged
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  16. 17.6 hrs • 8/1/2007 • Unabridged

    It was the first war we could not win. At no other time since World War II have two superpowers met in battle. In this extensive history, preeminent military historian Max Hastings takes us back to the bloody, bitter struggle to restore South Korean independence after the Communist invasion of June 1950. Using personal accounts from interviews with more than two hundred vets—including the Chinese—Hastings follows real officers and soldiers through the battles. He brilliantly captures the Cold War crisis at home—the strategies and politics of Truman, Acheson, Marshall, MacArthur, Ridgway, and Bradley—and shows what we should have learned in the war that was the prelude to Vietnam.

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    The Korean War by Sir Max Hastings

    The Korean War

    17.6 hrs • 8/1/07 • Unabridged
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