A Review of the Coldest War: a Memoir of Korea

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A Review of The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea
“Men joined the Marine Corps for many reasons . . . I’d joined up to dodge the draft and ended up being sent to war” (Brady 8-9). This brief yet poignant statement begins the story of how James Brady ended up serving in the Korean War. As a young adult the draft was being reinstated and Brady did not feel the desire to fight in a war. He and a few of his friends decided instead to join the Platoon Leaders Class with the Marines, which had students spend two summers at the marine Corps Schools in Quantico, Virginia. After these two summers, graduates would become Lieutenants, but they could not be drafted. Shortly after Brady graduated, the war began in Korea and his class learned they had to prepare to be sent out. The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea is a first-person narrative of Brady’s life during the war, including his time as a platoon leader, his interactions with other members of the military, and his own personal thoughts during this time.

The point of this novel was to tell the story of the Korean War and the difficult obstacles men faced each day. The Korean War only lasted a little over three years, but over 54,000 Americans died during this time. In comparison, roughly 58,000 men died during the Vietnam War which was ten years long. With other wars getting all the glory, the Korean War is seen as America’s “Forgotten War.” James Brady gives this war a more personal vibe and brings knowledge to the subject.

When I was looking for a book to read, this was one of the last ones on my list. I wanted to read about World War II – a war that seemed more interesting. However, this book and I crossed paths when all the books I wanted to read were out of stock at the bookstore. I thought I’d take a chance, and I’m glad I did. I fell into a book-induced stupor when I began reading it. After awhile I realized an hour and half had gone by and I was halfway through the book. I was engrossed by...
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