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The Korean War Books

John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2005)

Gaddis, a Yale professor who is one of America's leading Cold War historians, use previously classified and newly available documents to reassess the Cold War. Useful for understanding the broader context in which the Korean War unfolded.

David Halberstam, The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (2007)

A very good history, well told and illustrated by one of America's greatest journalists and public historians. Halberstam well understood the contemporary and historical significance of Korea and was in a unique position to write this book. He died tragically in a car accident shortly after its publication.

Bruce Cumings, Origins of the Korean War ()

Bruce Cumings is perhaps America's pre-eminent academic scholar of the Korean War, and this two-volume work is the gold standard for developing a comprehensive understanding of the conflict. It is, however, both academic in tone and quite long.

John Halliday and Bruce Cumings, Korea: The Unknown War (1988)

Much more approachable than Cumings's longer and more academic Origins of the Korean War, this collaborative work pairs a brief journalistic overview of the war's events with a rich collection of photographs and images.

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