TO THE YALU: From the Chinese Invasion of Korea to MacArthur's Dismissal by James McGovern

TO THE YALU: From the Chinese Invasion of Korea to MacArthur's Dismissal

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A dramatized account of the Korean War centering around the great Truman-MacArthur clash. The General's hubris foreshadows his fall: he is too daring, his gambles bring victory at Inchon but defeat at the Yalu; he is a victim of historic fate, unaware that wars are no longer to be won but only contained -- a sacrifice on the altar of politics. The narration highlights the plight of U.S. armies ""unexpectedly"" surrounded by Chinese legions in subzero temperatures, but the reasons behind American intervention are never sought nor are the machinations in the United Nations aimed at giving the intervention a facade of ""free world"" support described. Truman is portrayed as soft and overawed by the military elan of MacArthur and the Joint Chiefs suffer from collective indecision, as if it were a characteristic trait of the upper Pentagon echelons. It is intimated that MacArthur was the only one with aggressive designs against China. Given McGovern's belief that great men either make history or are broken by it, the war becomes an illustration of ""human frailty."" For consumers of battle scenes and military idiosyncrasies, not political history.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1972
Publisher: Morrow