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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

From Occupation to War: Cold War Legacies of US Army Historical Studies of the Occupation and Korean War

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2020, v.60 no.2, pp.14-54
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2020.60.2.14

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Abstract

The History of the US Army Forces in Korea and the official history series of the Korean War were written in the context of the emerging Cold War with the Soviet Union and during the formation and establishment of the global Cold War, respectively. They served to diffuse a Cold War-centered worldview of vested interests at the American and global level. Meanwhile, Robinson’s “Betrayal of a Nation” could not find a publisher for its severe criticism of American occupational policy and was passed on to later researchers in manuscript form. And I.F. Stone’s The Hidden History of the Korean War (1952), which raised, “the theory that North Korea was provoked to attack South Korea” and denounced the US government’s military conduct of the war, was removed from many libraries. As the understanding of the nature of the Cold War and its culture has deepened, the awareness is widespread that the efforts to resolve postcolonial issues failed due to the advent of the Cold War. It emerged in the process that world powers’ dominance strategies violently deterred and sealed postcolonial challenges in the places concerned. As witnessed in the cases of Robinson and Stone, a divergent understanding of the epoch which countered the dominant one was repressed or rooted out by force in the US and around the ‘free world.’ The Cultural Cold War did not unravel in a way that different views and modes of understanding engaged in free competition; conversely, it had the characteristic of being deployed as one side excluded and suppressed the other unilaterally.

keywords
History of the US Army Forces in Korea Betrayal of a Nation The Hidden History of the Korean War US Army’s Office of the Chief of Military History (OCMH) Richard Robinson I.F. Stone Cold War culture

Korea Journal