Cover image for The Korean War : a historical dictionary
The Korean War : a historical dictionary
Edwards, Paul M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxxix, 367 pages, 6 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS918 .E363 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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This historical dictionary of the Korean War is designed to provide brief but helpful information about all aspects of the war, including units involved, the United Nations, political and military actions, significant sites and operations, and weapons used. Each item is cross-referenced.

Author Notes

Paul M. Edwards is Director of The Center for the Study of the Korean War at Graceland University, Missouri. He has taught at the university level for more than 30 years.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This forty-first entry in the Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest is a second edition. The first edition, The Korean War: A Historical Dictionary, was published in 2002 and is now out of print. The author, a Korean War veteran, is the Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Korean War, located at Graceland University. Significant people, places, events, battles, and military units are covered as well as the political, economic, and social background of the war. The work is arranged in similar fashion to other historical dictionaries: a list of acronyms and abbreviations, maps, chronology, introduction, the dictionary entries, appendixes, and a bibliography. Eight maps include significant battles and events of the war. The chronology begins in 1882 with the signing of the Korean-American Treaty of friendship and commerce and ends in September 2009, when North Korea made a series of conciliatory gestures toward Seoul. The introduction summarizes the war and discusses its phases as well as its costs and consequences. The approximately 1,250 entries range in length from one line to three pages; words in boldface within an entry indicate separate entries for those topics. Among the six appendixes are casualty lists and key documents. A 71-page bibliography is broken down into 18 categories, including electronic sources. This is an excellent resource for academic libraries, particularly for those with studies in military history, as well as public libraries. It is a good update to Historical Dictionary of the Korean War (Greenwood, 1991), and it complements more recent reference works: Korean War Almanac (Facts On File, 2006), Korean War: An Exhaustive Chronology (McFarland, 2007), and The Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO, 2d ed., 2010).--Talley, Kaye Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

This second edition-part of Scarecrow's "Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution and Civil Unrest" series-follows the 2003 original from Edwards, a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Korean War at Graceland University and the author of many books and articles on the Korean War. A short overview of the history of Korea and the chronology of the war gives way to the entries, which are brief and factual with little analysis or context. Allen Millet, in a review of the first edition for the Journal of Military History, was very critical of the dictionary, especially for the exclusion of Korean and Chinese entries and for the glaring lack of non-English-language titles in the bibliography. The author has rectified some of these problems with new entries and an updated and expanded bibliography that now includes some non-English materials. Still, even with these additions, it remains a very Western-centric work. Moreover, the lack of analysis is problematic. BOTTOM LINE James I. Matray's Historical Dictionary of the Korean War is a superior work of much more utility to scholars or students. For a one-volume dictionary, buy that title instead, still available from Greenwood.-Ryan Johnson, Univ. of Mississippi, Oxford (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The "forgotten" war in Korea (1950-53) has been the subject of a number of major reference books published since 1990. Works edited by Spencer Tucker (Encyclopedia of the Korean War, 3v., 2000), James Matray (Historical Dictionary of the Korean War, CH, Feb'92), and Stanley Sandler (The Korean War: An Encyclopedia, CH, May'96) have sought to provide detailed encyclopedic overviews of the Korean conflict. Edwards (Center for the Study of the Korean War, Graceland Univ.) tries to cover more ground in a smaller volume with shorter entries. He provides a comprehensive chronology, 1882-1955, and a brief historical introduction. Most entries are a paragraph to half a page long. Coverage includes political figures, battles, policy-making institutions, and military units from the US, Britain, and other UN participants. Entries are cross-referenced in boldface, and there are frequent see references. The book lacks a subject index and suffers from incomplete referencing. Users looking for information on the rout of the US 8th Army by the Chinese in November 1950, for example, must know to refer to the Chongchon River entry. Despite these drawbacks, this is a useful source for undergraduate and beginning graduate students. The bibliographic essay and subject bibliography are good starting points for researchers at any level. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Smaller undergraduate and public libraries. W. F. Bell Lamar University