In the Shadow of the Greatest Generation traces the shared experiences of Korean War veterans from their childhoods in the Great Depression and World War II through military induction and training, the war, and efforts in more recent decades to organize and gain wider recognition of their service. Largely overshadowed by World War II's "greatest generation" and the more vocal veterans of the Vietnam era, Korean War veterans remain relatively invisible in the narratives of both war and its aftermath. Yet, just as the beaches of Normandy and the jungles of Vietnam worked profound changes on conflict participants, the Korean Peninsula chipped away at the beliefs, physical and mental well-being, and fortitude of Americans completing wartime tours of duty there. Upon returning home, Korean War veterans struggled with home front attitudes toward the war, faced employment and family dilemmas, and wrestled with readjustment. Not unlike other wars, Korea proved a formative and defining influence on the men and women stationed in theater, on their loved ones, and in some measure on American culture. In the Shadow of the Greatest Generation not only gives voice to those Americans who served in the "forgotten war" but chronicles the larger personal and collective consequences of waging war the American way.
"No one ever referred to our Korean War soldiers as part of the Greatest Generation; yet, their war began just five years after V-J Day, and more than 36,000 of them died in service to their country. These were truly forgotten combatants of a forgotten war, but Melinda Pash has done a brilliant job of recounting the experiences of these ordinary men and women who spent three years fighting and dying on a peninsula that most Americans could not locate on a world map and soon forgot."-Lewis H. Carlson, author of Remembered Prisoners of a Forgotten War "Through prodigious research in archives and oral histories, Melinda Pash has given voice to the American veterans of the Korean War, men and women she calls the 'silent generation' of the 'forgotten war.' Her absorbing narrative and analytical account is filled with fascinating details about their growing up in the shadow of the World War Two Generation, their hasty mobilization and training, and tortuous combat against North Korean and Chinese forces, as well as the disappointing neglect most of them confronted upon their return home. In highly readable, flowing prose, Pash provides the authentic voices of the veterans as they recall and apprize their experiences, and with masterly skill, she imbeds their stories within historical scholarship on the Korean War and current understanding of the physical and emotional impact of war upon those who fight it."-John Whiteclay Chambers II, editor-in-chief, The Oxford Companion to American Military History "Through obviously superb scholarship and imaginative analysis Melinda Pash has managed to capture the essential essence of that largely unheralded generation that fought the Korean War."-Paul M. Edwards,Executive Director, The Center for the Study of the Korean War"[P]rovides a wealth of source material for future historians."-Kirkus Reviews "Pash's focus on the individuals on the ground is illuminating; she is particularly effective at highlighting the important role of women in the war, as well as the successful battlefield-driven process of racial integration." -Publishers Weekly
Number Of Pages: 349
Published: 22nd May 2014
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24 x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.59