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The Korean War was a major event in American history. It marked an abrupt end to the euphoria Americans felt in the wake of victory in World War II and turned out to be the harbinger of disaster in Vietnam a decade later. Yet the Korean War has been neglected by historians and mostly overlooked by American popular culture. Though three years of brutal fighting resulted in millions of casualties, those who fought returned to a country whose citizens had little interest in or appreciation for what the veterans had endured. Consequently, literary responses to the Korean War did not find an eager readership. Few people, it seemed, wanted to read about what they perceived as a backwater war that possessed neither grand scale not apparent nobility, a war that ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. Yet a body of work has come out of the Korean War that is worth retaining, reading and considering, especially as the 50th anniversary of the war's outbreak rapidly approaches. Many of the 12 stories and 50 poems included in "Retrieving Bones" are long out of print. Also included are an annotated list of novels, non-fiction and films; a chronology of the Korean War; and a comprehensive introduction that discusses the major milestones of the conflict and places each author and poet in an historical and literary context.
Rutgers University Press
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