CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

John Melady.

Toronto,Macmillan, c1983.
215pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-7715-9780-0.

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by Neil Payne.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

Korea. A nasty little war on the other side of the world, whose only significance to today is as a setting for M*A*S*H shows. But it was also Canada's last war; for 25,000 Canadian veterans it was their war; for 516 of them, it was where they died. It was also the UN's first and biggest "police action" and the major event of the fifties.

Korea: Canada's Forgotten War tells the story of the Korean war from the Canadian point of view. It describes the context and the meaning of the war, and it tells the story of the Canadians who fought there, mostly in their own words, Melady uses numerous quotes from the people who were there to record the human side of the war on the ground, at sea, in the air, in POW camps, in training camps, and on leave. Twenty-four pages of well-chosen photographs support the text, and appendices list Canadians who lost their lives in Korea and who were decorated for outstanding service there. All of these things help to emphasize that this was an event that was more than a footnote to history: it was, and continues to be, a very important event in the lives of many Canadians, one that helped to shape our present world.

This book fills an important gap in the record of Canada's history: no other account of this important period has been produced from the Canadian point of view. It will be relevant to any study of the Cold War or of Canada's role in the modern world. The style and content will make this book especially useful as an addition to high school and public library collections but will also be of interest to university and college libraries. Highly recommended.

Neil Payne, Kingston C. V. I., Kingston, ON.
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