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The reluctant crusade : American foreign policy in Korea, 1941-1950 /
James Irving Matray.
Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1985.
xii, 351 p. ; 24 cm.
0824809734 :
More Details
Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1985.
0824809734 :
general note
"A study from the Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawaii."
Includes indexes.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [319]-330.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-04:
The theme of this study is that President Truman's 1950 decision to use American troops in Korea represented ``the climax of a fundamental transformation in American foreign policy from restrained involvement to global interventionism.'' Matray (New Mexico State University) clearly traces the changing course of American Korean policy from FDR's advocacy of trusteeship to Truman's hope that use of the atomic bomb would quickly bring Japan's demise and exclude the Soviet Union ``from participation in Korea's reconstruction.'' That plan was foiled by Russia's timely entry into the war before Japan's surrender and the ensuing joint Soviet-American occupation of the Korean peninsula, a development Matray labels as ``among the most unfortunate legacies of World War II.'' The trusteeship option was temporarily reinstated by the Truman administration. It was then discarded in favor of a new ``get tough'' policy that eschewed compromise with the Russians and relied on a policy of ``patience with firmness,'' which according to Matray ``guaranteed that Korea would be a permanently divided nation.'' Two Koreas emerged that were dedicated to ending the artificial division of their homeland at virtually any cost. Ultimately that led to the North Korean attack, the American decision to intervene, and the abandonment of limited containment for a policy of globalism. Whether or not this was as ``reluctant'' a process as Matray believes, he seems in agreement with other scholars who stress the domestic origins of the Korean conflict. Based on solid archival research in American sources, the book is a useful complement to Bruce Cumings's The Origins of the Korean War (1981). Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.-E.P. Crapol, College of William and Mary
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1986
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