Brothers at War by Sheila Miyoshi Jager
The Unending Conflict in Korea

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This gripping narrative is a superb study of how the battle fought between two nations, and the world’s three major superpowers, over the 38th parallel — on the Korean Peninsula — molded the zeitgeist for global politics in the latter half of the 20th century.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

“The most balanced and comprehensive account of the Korean War.”—The Economist


Sixty years after North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea, the Korean War has not yet ended. Sheila Miyoshi Jager presents the first comprehensive history of this misunderstood war, one that risks involving the world’s superpowers—again. Her sweeping narrative ranges from the middle of the Second World War—when Korean independence was fiercely debated between Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill—to the present day, as North Korea, with China’s aid, stockpiles nuclear weapons while starving its people. At the center of this conflict is an ongoing struggle between North and South Korea for the mantle of Korean legitimacy, a “brother’s war,” which continues to fuel tensions on the Korean peninsula and the region.

Drawing from newly available diplomatic archives in China, South Korea, and the former Soviet Union, Jager analyzes top-level military strategy. She brings to life the bitter struggles of the postwar period and shows how the conflict between the two Koreas has continued to evolve to the present, with important and tragic consequences for the region and the world. Her portraits of the many fascinating characters that populate this history—Truman, MacArthur, Kim Il Sung, Mao, Stalin, and Park Chung Hee—reveal the complexities of the Korean War and the repercussions this conflict has had on lives of many individuals, statesmen, soldiers, and ordinary people, including the millions of hungry North Koreans for whom daily existence continues to be a nightmarish struggle.


The most accessible, up-to date, and balanced account yet written, illustrated with dozens of astonishing photographs and maps, Brothers at War will become the definitive chronicle of the struggle’s origins and aftermath and its global impact for years to come.

 

About Sheila Miyoshi Jager

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Sheila Miyoshi Jager earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. She has written extensively on modern and contemporary Korean politics and history and is the author and coeditor of two previous books on Korea and East Asia. She is an associate professor and director of the East Asian program at Oberlin College in Ohio, where she lives with her husband and children.
 
Published July 1, 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company. 625 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Brothers at War
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by ELIOT A. COHEN on Aug 02 2013

Sheila Miyoshi Jager's "Brothers at War" does an exceptionally good job of bringing the conflict to life, and in ways not always comfortable for today's reader.

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Kirkus

Good
on May 07 2013

An authoritative record of the divided Korean peninsula...

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by J.P. O’Malley on Aug 28 2013

This gripping narrative is a superb study of how the battle fought between two nations, and the world’s three major superpowers, over the 38th parallel — on the Korean Peninsula — molded the zeitgeist for global politics in the latter half of the 20th century.

Read Full Review of Brothers at War: The Unending... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

The Economist

Above average
on Jul 25 2013

By recounting its neglected players and unsung heroes, its ignored atrocities (on both sides) and countless, nameless bodies, Ms Jager has written the most balanced and comprehensive account of the Korean war. Perhaps by chronicling the brutal deeds of this “forgotten war”, this book will help lay them to rest.

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