Book Reviews 129 Chapter 5 raises the non-trivial question of why the Korean War remained confined, instead of spilling into Chinese territory or (worse) provoking a direct confrontation with the USSR. Chapter 6 winds up the chronological portion of the volume by asking why armistice negotiations dragged on so long after the fighting had devolved into a bloody stalemate. Readers of this journal might pay particular attention to Stueck’s conclud- ing essays. Chapter 7, “The Korean War and the American Relationship with Korea,” focuses primarily on political and economic affairs involving the South, asking what impact the conflict had on them. As he points out, the continuing U.S. commitment to peninsular defense is one outcome; other areas of note include both open and behind-the-scenes involvement in the Republic of Korea’s democratization and economic development. Finally, Chapter 8 winds up on a fascinating note, positing the Korean War as a challenge to American democ- racy. Stueck’s position is that individuals, institutions, and practices on “our” side performed rather better during the crisis than did their Stalinist counter- parts. The upshot, he says, was that the attempt to overrun Korea ultimately worked to the disadvantage of the Communist side in
Journal of American-East Asian Relations – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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