10 books like The Coldest Winter

By David Halberstam,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Coldest Winter. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Korean War

By Max Hastings,

Book cover of The Korean War

Max Hasting’s book described the early days of the war, for example the actions of Task Force Smith. He provides a valuable perspective on the Korean War that includes an interesting balanced account of a war that is still considered by many to be controversial. Hastings considers the perspectives of all sides of the Korean conflict and examines the various motivations of their respective actions, such as the U.S. decision to send troops to Korea in September 1945, and to send them back in June 1950, to the Chinese decision to send their own troops into Korea in the fall of 1950.  He also provides a perspective on the important decision to participate in the signing of the armistice in July 1953.

The Korean War

By Max Hastings,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Korean War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Korean War is journalist and military historian Sir Max Hastings' compelling account of the forgotten war.

'The best narrative history of the Korean conflict' - Guardian

On 25 June 1950 the invasion of South Korea by the Communist North launched one of the bloodiest conflicts of the last century. The seemingly limitless power of the Chinese-backed North was thrown against the ferocious firepower of the UN-backed South in a war that can be seen today as the stark prelude to Vietnam.

Max Hastings draws on first-hand accounts of those who fought on both sides to produce this vivid and…


The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1950-1951

By I.F. Stone,

Book cover of The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1950-1951: A Nonconformist History of Our Times

The Hidden History of the Korean War by I. F. Stone was originally published in 1952 during the Korean War and republished in 1970 at a time in which the US was engaging in the Vietnam War. This controversial book provides viewpoints that are not widely accepted historically. The author raises questions about the origin of the Korean War and makes the case that the United States government manipulated the United Nations and was critical that the U.S. military and South Korean governments extended the war by undermining the efforts to complete the peace talks.

The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1950-1951

By I.F. Stone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1950-1951 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reexamines the causes and course of the Korean War, discusses U.S. war propaganda, and analyzes U.S. foreign policy


The Last Stand of Fox Company

By Tom Clavin, Bob Drury,

Book cover of The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat

Shortly after the beginning of the Korean War in 1950, the First Marine Division was fighting the North Korean army in the north of the Korean Peninsula. In the fall of 1950, the Chinese suddenly entered the war and the First Division Marines became surrounded and vastly outnumbered by Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. The only way they could survive was to fight their way south through a narrow valley. Fox Company led by Captain William Barber fought a long cold struggle against the surrounding Chinese. During the relentless violence, three-quarters of Fox’s Marines were killed, wounded, or captured. Just when it looked like they would be overrun, Lt. Colonel Raymond Davis, who is fighting south from Chosin, volunteers to lead a daring mission that will seek to cut a hole in the Chinese lines and relieve the men of Fox.

The Last Stand of Fox Company

By Tom Clavin, Bob Drury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Stand of Fox Company as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A "gut-clenching and meticulously detailed" (USA Today) account from the Korean War and how Captain William Barber led 246 courageous Marines of the Seventh Marine Regiment in the perilous defense of Fox Hill.

November 1950, the Korean Peninsula: After General MacArthur ignores Mao’s warnings and pushes his UN forces deep into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100,000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge that will need to be held open at all costs.…


American Caesar

By William Manchester,

Book cover of American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964

Manchester’s biography of Douglas MacArthur provides a sympathetic but generally evenhanded characterization of MacArthur’s personality and life contributions.  He provides a detailed background of MacArthur’s military history and his capability of managing complex administrative duties in a complex world.  He acknowledged MacArthur’s skill and bravery in challenging circumstances.  In balance of his descriptions of MacArthur, he also noted complex circumstances in which he was difficult to deal with and sometimes suspicious and mistrustful of others. In his characterization of MacArthur as “Julius Caesar” he characterized MacArthur as having great intellect, brilliant strategic generalship, and political ambition as well as compassion. 

American Caesar

By William Manchester,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Caesar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspiring, outrageous...A thundering paradox of a man. Douglas MacArthur, one of only five men in history to have achieved the rank of General of the United States Army. He served in World Wars I, II, and the Korean War, and is famous for stating that "in war, there is no substitute for victory." AMERICAN CAESAR exaines the exemplary army career, the stunning successes (and lapses) on the battlefield, and the turbulent private life of the soldier-hero whose mystery and appeal created a uniquely American legend.


White Badge

By Junghyo Ahn,

Book cover of White Badge

White Badge was originally written in Korean and the title was Baegma (White Horse). The author, Ahn Junghyo, translated it into English himself and submitted it to an American publisher who changed the title to White Badge. White Horse referred to the White Horse Division, a unit of the South Korean army that was deployed to Vietnam during the 1960s. A force of 50,000 South Korean troops engaged in that war and saw some of the toughest fighting seen.

Ahn, an intellectual and a journalist, fictionalized his experiences brilliantly. Drafted at the age of 20, he was assigned to the White Horse Division and soon found himself in a military vehicle being chased by starving Vietnamese children. It was during a particularly brutal battle in the middle of dense jungle foliage that he says he thought of himself as an observer of the war rather than a participant. However,…

White Badge

By Junghyo Ahn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked White Badge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Han Kiju is an executive in modern Seoul, a Korean intellectual who has never adjusted to his postwar existence. When an old comrade-in-arms, a coward who crumpled in battle, begins to follow him, Han Kiju must finally deal with the ghosts of the past haunting his present.


Stories of Faith and Courage from World War II

By Larkin Spivey, Jocelyn Green,

Book cover of Stories of Faith and Courage from World War II

Larkin has written several historical nonfiction books, especially in the Battlefield and Blessing series. His accuracy to history that shares the faith of the individuals and their stories makes reading about the war captivating. More than a researcher and author, Larkin is a decorated hero of the Vietnam War. He knows the struggles of war firsthand. My husband also served during Vietnam and my uncle served during the Korean war, so I find authors who lived what they write about have a special connection and depth in their writing.

Stories of Faith and Courage from World War II

By Larkin Spivey, Jocelyn Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stories of Faith and Courage from World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The primary goal of Stories of Faith & Courage from World War II is to strengthen the faith of its readers by showing the power of others’ faith under the most extreme circumstances imaginable. This is accomplished through 365 one-page stories from America’s greatest conflict presented in a daily devotional format with relevant scripture readings for each day of the year. Additionally, the book presents a unique and concise history of World War II with summaries, maps, and photographs of the major campaigns of the war. On this level, the individual stories provide insights into the war and combat not…


The Nuclear Taboo

By Nina Tannenwald,

Book cover of The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons Since 1945

The United States launched two nuclear strikes immediately after inventing the weapons. Since then, no country has used nuclear weapons in a conflict. The Nuclear Taboo is the most important book we have on the role that norms surrounding nuclear weapons play in constraining nuclear use. Tannenwald traces the subtle shifts from a norm of use to one in which the thought of nuclear strikes is seen as appalling. The story moves across governments, non-governmental experts and activists, and the public as each grappled with nuclear weapons and one another. I go back to it again and again to learn more about norms, U.S. decision-making from World War II to the Gulf War, and grassroots and elite efforts to delegitimize nuclear weapons.

The Nuclear Taboo

By Nina Tannenwald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nuclear Taboo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why have nuclear weapons not been used since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945? Nina Tannenwald disputes the conventional answer of 'deterrence' in favour of what she calls a nuclear taboo - a widespread inhibition on using nuclear weapons - which has arisen in global politics. Drawing on newly released archival sources, Tannenwald traces the rise of the nuclear taboo, the forces that produced it, and its influence, particularly on US leaders. She analyzes four critical instances where US leaders considered using nuclear weapons (Japan 1945, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War 1991) and examines how the…


On Desperate Ground

By Hampton Sides,

Book cover of On Desperate Ground: The Epic Story of Chosin Reservoir--The Greatest Battle of the Korean War

Another terrific job of research and forensic investigation by Hampton Sides brings to life the worst defeat suffered by the Allies during the Korean War. I was drawn to this on two fronts: First because of the way Hampton can bring together all of the threads that constitute a "moment in time" type of story. And secondly, because once again, my fiance's father was a key figure in the story. (He passed September 10, 2020, at the age of 96). He shared many of his first-hand remembrances of this and the "Great Raid" (the subject of Ghost Soldiers) that he'd participated in. Truly our greatest generation!)

On Desperate Ground

By Hampton Sides,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Desperate Ground as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Superb...A masterpiece of thorough research, deft pacing and arresting detail...This war story — the fight to break out of a frozen hell near the Chosin Reservoir — has been told many times before. But Sides tells it exceedingly well, with fresh research, gritty scenes and cinematic sweep."—Washington Post

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War

On October 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops…


The Origins of the Korean War, Volume I

By Bruce Cumings,

Book cover of The Origins of the Korean War, Volume I: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947

Professor Cumings provides the most detailed, honest analysis of this country’s involvement in Korea from the end of World War II through the catastrophic war that virtually destroyed the entire Korean peninsula, left several million dead, and led this country directly into Vietnam. 

The Origins of the Korean War, Volume I

By Bruce Cumings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Origins of the Korean War, Volume I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Description for this book, The Origins of the Korean War, Volume I: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947, will be forthcoming.


Samurai Invasion

By Stephen Turnbull, Peter Dennis (illustrator),

Book cover of Samurai Invasion: Japan's Korean War 1592 -1598

This is a lavishly illustrated popular account by a prolific author of books about the samurai. It is written from the Japanese perspective in a very accessible style. The author tends to be somewhat uncritical about Japanese accounts and the book is not nearly as academic as some others on this list, but he presents a clear narrative that is easy to follow and could serve as a useful introduction for readers before moving on to more academic studies.

Samurai Invasion

By Stephen Turnbull, Peter Dennis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Samurai Invasion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the end of the sixteenth century the Samurai, Japanese warrior-nobles, had taken total control of their domestic territory. Their unforgiving militarism needed a new foe to conquer: the target was China, the route to victory through Korea. But the Koreans were no pushover. It was a hard fought and, in the end, an unsuccessful campaign, the only time in their 1,500 year history that the Samurai had attacked another country. The Koreans drove them off. Retribution was inevitable. The Samurai returned in 1597 to wreak vengeance and terrible, wanton havoc on the Koreans in a war of unbelievable savagery.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Douglas MacArthur?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Douglas MacArthur.

The Korean War Explore 40 books about the Korean War
The Vietnam War Explore 162 books about the Vietnam War
Douglas MacArthur Explore 16 books about Douglas MacArthur