Friday, November 02, 2007

The Coldest Winter

If you enjoy history well told you must read the last book by David Halberstam. Reading The Coldest Winter reminds me why I still remember reading The Best and the Brightest and The Powers That Be many years ago. As a writer Halberstam is superb and his latest, an excursion into the early years of the cold war, is more evidence of his skill. The story unfolds with careful attention to the details of the battles as well as incisive character sketches of the main players on each side. The international political tensions of the early fifties are highlighted and become as real as those in the Mideast today. That North Korea is still a significant international political and diplomatic problem even today makes this book relevant. Halberstam himself regarded this as his best book. But more importantly, from the perspective of a literature lover, it is a very good read.

The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam. Hyperion Books, New York, 2007.

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